While it may sound superficial, the number of followers your brand has on Instagram matters.
A strong follower count helps build social proof — or credibility — among your target audience.
For example, a brand that only has a few followers can be seen as inauthentic or untrustworthy.
Conversely, a brand with many followers, but hardly any engagement, can seem suspicious — and signal to Instagram that your account may be spam.
The goal is to increase your audience quickly using ethical growth tactics.
To teach you how to grow Instagram followers for business, we’re going to show you:
Table of Contents
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How to get your first 1,000 followers on Instagram
- Ensure Your Instagram Business Profile is Complete
- Post High-Quality Visuals Consistently
- Maintain an Authentic Brand Voice Across Posts
- Write Engaging Instagram Captions that Convert
- Don’t Buy Fake Followers
Before diving into how to grow Instagram followers organically, let’s go over how to to get your first 1,000 followers on the platform.
1. Ensure your Instagram Business Profile is complete
To optimize your Instagram Business Profile for success, all aspects of your account must be complete.
Double-check that you have a website address in your bio that directs users to either your homepage or another relevant website page for your brand.
This link is clickable from your business Instagram page and allows users to quickly understand your products or services without leaving the app.
Adding your website’s address to your profile also drives website traffic for your business.
To do so, tap the Edit Profile button from your profile page. Then, type in the name of the specified link into the Website section and tap Done in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.
In addition to adding a link, make sure to choose and display the category that most closely represents your business.
Think of your category as a keyword that allows users to search and find your business on the platform.
To ensure you’ve completed your Instagram Business Profile, we put together a few quick questions to consider:
Ulta Beauty is an example of a fantastic and complete Instagram Business Profile. Take a look.
Post high-quality visuals consistently
Instagram is designed for users who want aesthetically pleasing content and high-quality visuals. That means your media assets need to look polished if you want to gain followers.
According to HubSpot’s 2020 Instagram Engagement Report, photos receive 27.55% more likes than permanent video posts and nearly 14% more likes than multi-image carousels.
Keep this statistic in mind to optimize your digital media for Instagram. However, you should still test different visual content types to see what garners the most engagement with your target audience.
The general consensus is to post one-to-two times per day and at least three-to-four times per week.
Regardless of the number of posts and publishing frequency you choose, it’s crucial to maintain a consistent cadence.
You want to keep your brand top-of-mind on the platform to ensure you’re staying ahead of the competition.
Maintain an authentic brand voice across posts
Social media is an extension of your brand, and your tone should reflect your brand’s personality. It’s essential that your copy feels authentic to the user while reflecting Instagram’s playful atmosphere.
Pro Tip: Develop a brand style guide that you can share with your social media manager or marketing agencies to ensure each post sounds like it’s still coming from your brand.
Write engaging Instagram captions that convert
Instagram captions are just as important as the media you post.
Like other social platforms, Instagram offers a scrolling environment. A good caption can stop scrollers in their tracks, giving you an opportunity to convert potential customers.
Your captions need to:
Don’t buy fake followers
Instagram penalizes accounts with fake followers.
Who remembers the infamous Instagram purge a few years ago?
In 2018, the social network finally cracked down on inactive and spam accounts by deleting those profiles.
Further, the Instagram algorithm prioritizes content in the feeds of those Instagrammers with a “relationship” to the poster.
Engagements indicate a relationship, so real people are your best bet to increase brand awareness and trust among current and potential followers.
How to grow Instagram followers organically for your business
Whether you’re working with a small budget or testing the waters, follow along for tips regarding how to grow Instagram followers organically for your business. Learn how to increase Instagram followers with these hacks — for free.
1. Use relevant hashtags and branded hashtags to increase searchability
Hashtags make your posts searchable on Instagram, making it easier for potential customers and followers to find your business.
That same 2020 HubSpot report found that using five or six hashtags offers the most engagement, with performance dipping after six hashtags.
Optimize your posts for peak performance by using relevant hashtags that provide context to the visual as well as branded hashtags to increase awareness.
2. Add location tags to posts
If you’re wondering how to grow Instagram followers fast organically, adding Instagram location tags to posts is a great start.
Instagram location tags (or geotags) allow your posts to be categorized with all content tagged to those specific geocoordinates.
Similar to hashtags, geotags make it easier for users to find your Instagram account. They can also increase transient and local business for your brick-and-mortar location.
Boca Raton Resort & Club always tag the location “Boca Raton Resort” when publishing their Instagram content.
3. Be active and respond to Instagrammers promptly
Another answer to how to grow Instagram followers organically is to be active and post timely responses.
Follow, like, and comment on Instagram accounts with similar content. This will increase brand visibility and drive traffic back to your own Instagram account faster than you may expect.
Engaging with other user profiles extends to your Instagram Business Page as well. People are taking the time to engage with the content you’re posting, so make an effort to reply.
2020 data from Statista shows 24% of respondents in the U.S. expect a response from a brand on social media within one hour.
4. Implement a follow-to-win giveaway
Want to learn how to get followers on Instagram without following?
Implement a contest or giveaway where Instagrammers have to follow your Business Profile for a chance to win.
You don’t have to offer a grandiose prize. People love free merchandise, packages, or free-trials of valuable services, as well.
Take this giveaway by Ajisen Ramen, for example.
View this post on Instagram
⚠️$40 Ramen Giveaway ⚠️ To celebrate the re-opening of our IRVINE location’s outdoor dining, TWO LUCKY winners will each get $20 giftcard to use at ANY Ajisen location in California 😆!! We have one of the largest ramen menus with over dozens of ramens to choose from. 🥰! Are you ready for a ramen FEAST??? TAG your friends and family to increase the chances of you winning ✌🏻!! Here are the rules: • • • 1️⃣ LIKE this photo 2️⃣ FOLLOW this account @ajisenramen_ca (We will be checking 🙈) 3️⃣ TAG your friends (Unlimited entries are allowed but tag a different friend in every comment). • • • This contest is open to anyone living in the USA and will close on 10/19 at 11:59 PM. TWO winners will be randomly picked and announced on mine and their story the following day 10/20) 😆!! Good luck 🙌🏻 • • This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram's term of use. #ajisenramen #giveaway
The restaurant offers a $50 gift card in exchange for liking the post, following the account, and tagging friends.
5. Cross-promote your Instagram Business Profile across other mediums
Want more options on how to grow Instagram followers organically?
Make a post on your brand’s other social media channels — like Twitter or Facebook — prompting people to follow your Instagram account.
To grab your audience’s attention, and make the ask worthwhile, offer an Instagram-specific deal in exchange for following on the platform. A little incentive goes a long way.
You can also include a CTA to follow your Instagram in email newsletters or blog articles.
The goal is to take advantage of other mediums to organically promote your Instagram Business Page.
Instagram hacks for followers
- Use Instagram Analytics to optimize a publishing schedule
- Schedule content in advance with the best organic Instagram growth service
- Partner with micro and nano-influencers similar to your brand
- Encourage user-generated content
- Invest in paid advertisements
If you typed in “how to increase Instagram followers hack” on Google, you’re in the right place.
Below we’ll go into more detail about those Instagram hacks for followers, including more insight on how to grow Instagram followers organically.
1. Use Instagram analytics to optimize a publishing schedule
Instagram offers a suite of free business tools for professional accounts, including intuitive analytics spanning the last seven days.
To view the built-in analytics, tap Insights from your profile page. Here, you can find useful data to help fine-tune your Instagram marketing strategy, such as determining the best days and times to publish your content.
From Insights, tap on Total Followers, then scroll down to Most Active Times.
Use this information to schedule content during the days and times your followers are most active to increase post visibility and engagement.
2. Schedule content in advance with the best organic Instagram growth service
Scheduling content in advance allows you to maintain a consistent posting cadence on your Instagram feed. It also provides a birds-eye-view of your content to ensure you have a cohesive brand style.
On the hunt for the best organic Instagram growth service?
We don’t mean to toot our own horn, but… Toot! Toot!
Fanbooster by Traject allows you to take your social media strategy to the next level.
Here are a few noteworthy features to consider:
3. Partner with micro and nano-influencers similar to your brand
Studies have consistently shown that users trust influencers more than celebrities or traditional advertisements.
So, it’s no wonder Linqia’s 2020 State of Influencer Marketing report found that nearly 100% of marketers and agency professionals plan to use influencer marketing this year.
When selecting potential influencers to work with, keep these questions in mind:
Micro and nano-influencers have stronger connections to their audiences and higher engagement rates for a fraction of the cost.
A micro–influencer is typically considered anyone with a following between 10,000 and 100,000 people.
A nano–influencer has a much smaller niche and is considered anyone with a following between 1,000 and 10,000 people.
To put things into perspective, HypeAuditor’s 2020 State of Influencer Marketing report shows the ER for U.S. influencers:
4. Encourage user-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is any form of media posted by a consumer about your brand’s product, service, or experience.
Similar to influencer content, people trust peers more than the brand itself.
The more customers that positively post about your business, the more potential consumers will see messages about your brand and want to give you a chance.
UGC also provides another layer of authenticity and humanizes the brand.
Encourage followers to post UGC when visiting your company or after they receive their product shipment. Think of it as modern-day, word-of-mouth advertising to gain followers from similar customers.
5. Invest in paid advertisements
Facebook is a “pay-to-play” market. As the parent company of Instagram, this extends to its platform as well.
While not organic, paid advertisements on Instagram allow you to reach similar users who aren’t currently following your business and encourage them to convert.
Instagram even has an advertising objective optimized for directing users to your brand profile.
Final Thoughts: How to grow Instagram followers organically + growth hacks
Instagram is an important marketing channel for businesses. Getting started and understanding how to grow Instagram followers organically can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
Whether you’re searching for hacks to increase your Instagram followers or looking to garner your first 1,000 followers — we’ve got you covered.