Instagram is hot!
In an attempt to grow their follower count on this rising star, people resort to desperate tactics.
By following the 15 strategies in this post, you’ll be able to generate free Instagram followers without resorting to desperate means.
This post follows a case study format. You will see empirical evidence that proves how these methods generated 12,000 free Instagram followers for me without much time or effort.
When we’re done, you’ll be able to follow these strategies to grow your own Instagram account.
Let’s dive in.
- 15 Instagram Growth Hacks That Generate Free Instagram Followers
- Daily Stories (Every 3 Hours For Best Results)
- Answer Every DM
- Respond to Your Comments
- Daily Posts 1-4 Posts a Day
- Use Call to Action AKA CTA in Your Captions
- Relevant Hashtags to Your Posts
- Use Engagement Groups
- Do Shout for Shout with Similar Pages to Yours
- Turn on Post Notifications on Bigger Pages in Your Niche and Make a Genuine Comment as Soon as They Post!
- Set Up Your Story Highlights
- Good Hashtags (Small and Big)
- Post When Your Followers are Most Active (Read the Analytics)
- Viral Content (They Should Be Either)
- Create a Good Bio That Explains What Your Page Is All About
- Read Your Insights and Post More of What Works and Kill What Doesn’t!
- Wrapping Up: How to Get Free Instagram Followers
Free Instagram followers.
Everyone wants Instagram followers but people are reluctant to pay for them.
I wondered, “Can I get free Instagram followers by following the tips in this post?”
I followed the strategies in this infographic and found out.
Before we get going, let’s see if the tips work.
When I started these strategies, I had 474 Instagram followers.
When I finished this article, I had 12,400 Instagram followers.
As you can see, this is a gain of approximately 12,000 followers.
Having at least 10,000 Instagram followers is important so you can use the Swipe Up feature in your Instagram Stories leading followers to your offers and articles.
15 Instagram Growth Hacks That Generate Free Instagram Followers
Daily Stories (Every 3 Hours For Best Results)
At first, I believed this would be a time drain, but the Stories create themselves in a way.
Look: In my Story, I suggested Instagrammers ask me a question.
Three people asked me questions. Instagram gives you the option of sharing the answers to subsequent stories, which I did. As a result, I ended up with four Instagram Stories instead of one.
Many formats exist for Instagram Stories. For example, you can conduct a poll, use a Slider, have a countdown to an event, If you want to ask your followers a multiple-choice question, you can use the quiz feature.
Make sure to add hashtags to your Stories, so people interested in your content can find it.
If you have over 10,000 followers, use can include a link to a relevant post. Be sure to use the Swipe Up GIF so people know what Call to Action you want them to take.
Answer Every DM
DM stands for “Direct Message.”
I’ve received opportunities in my Direct Messages so it’s important you answer them.
Also, it’s just rude not to answer your messages.
You’ll find your messages in two places– one place for people you’ve accepted messages from in the past and a separate place for people you still need to approve messages from.
Click the home icon. In the upper right-hand corner of the screen, you’ll see a Send icon. If there is a red number on it, you have notifications waiting for you.
Click the number to see the notifications. If someone is DMing you for the first time, their message requests will be to the right of the word “Messages.”
Although Instagram is a photo-sharing site, you do not need to share a photo to DM someone.
Respond to Your Comments
An ideal commenting strategy exists:
Make sure you respond to your comments with four or more words and within the hour of posting.
Here is the rationale: If your Instagram post has any chance to be in the Explore Section and receive great visibility, you need to show Instagram your content is engaging.
When people make an indepth comment and you reply with an indepth comment within the hour of posting, this is the proof Instagram seeks. No guarantees you’ll wind up in the Explore Section, but this would boost your chances.
Daily Posts 1-4 Posts a Day
Even when I’m at my busiest, I try to post once a day.
People will get bored with your account if you don’t post regularly and unfollow you.
Unfollow apps exist to tell people who they should unfollow. Don’t think your absence will go unnoticed or unpunished.
Use Call to Action AKA CTA in Your Captions
One of the many beauties of Instagram is how engaging the users are. Take advantage of the Call to Action you’re allowed to put in your caption to bond with your followers.
I have seen five types of Calls to Action:
- Tell people to like.
- Tell people to comment.
- Tell people to share. The norm seems to ask your followers to “share with 3 people who need this.” I try to be more specific than that, but I usually ask people to share with 3.
- Ask people to promote. You can open your feed up to others wishing to promote their accounts, their products, or their services.
- Ask people to enter a contest or participate in a giveaway.
Relevant Hashtags to Your Posts
In the Instagram search bar, type in your niche. After you do, you’ll see two tabs: Top and Recent. Click Top. These are the Top hashtags generating so much interest, the Instagramers using them wind up in the Explore section which gets the most visibility.
Use the “Top” hashtags if they accurately describe your content. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags.
A quicker method:
Go to All Hashtags. All hashtags is a free hashtag generator. Put in the hashtag most related to you content. You can ask for Top or Random hashtags.
Some people advise against only using “Top” hashtags for fear your posts will get lost in the noise. Instagram is crowded.
Use Engagement Groups
Apparently, Follow Loops are one of Instagram’s secrets since people tell me they haven’t heard of them before reading my tips.
Follow Loops are also called “Follow Trains.”
Instagram Loops are groups of people that are interested in generating free Instagram followers through a follow for follow method.
Most Follow Loops ask you to post the loop’s graphic. When you’re sent the graphic, you’re also sent a caption with hashtags to post. The hashtags enable people to find you.
Be sure to tag the loop’s admin so they know you complied with the rules of the loop.
Are you concerned these will interfere with your Instagram photo grid? Perhaps you have a pattern or a color scheme in place this conflicts with.
Don’t be concerned. You’re allowed to delete the post after a day or two. Since people are in different time zones, this window of time to follow everyone is helpful.
I realize when people collaborate in this manner, there is a concern that you won’t get genuinely engaged followers.
When we join a loop, we are instructed to like and comment, in other words, network and engage. Everyone is very friendly.
Instagram seemingly has loops for all sorts of niches. I have participated in loops for pet lovers, teachers, authors, and mothers for example.
To find a loop with like-minded content creators, go to the Instagram search bar and type #FollowTrain or #FollowLoop.
Other Engagement Groups
There are many engagement groups that can further your Instagram growth. For example, some groups use the Telegram app to communicate.
Other groups use Facebook groups to interact.
These groups vary from Follow Loops.
These other engagement groups might have different rules like requiring likes and comments. There are also engagement groups that operate on a follow-for-follow system similar to those found in Follow Loops.
Do Shout for Shout with Similar Pages to Yours
I have a buddy. For about a year, we sporadically give each other shoutouts. This exposes my content to his followers and vice versa.
Try to find a buddy with an account similar to yours in size and content.
There are other reasons to give shoutouts. When people guest post for me, and I promote their content on my Instagram feed, I’ll give them a shoutout.
Some hashtags exist just for this purpose. For example, “#ShoutoutSunday” has 550,440 posts with that hashtag.
Turn on Post Notifications on Bigger Pages in Your Niche and Make a Genuine Comment as Soon as They Post!
I try to comment on @IBrandYourBiz early. Favour, the admin of the account, posts early on Saturday. I try to comment late on Friday. Due to the time difference between us, I can.
The importance of networking can not be stressed enough. In any social situation, you can not be passive and expect growth.
Would you believe there is a free Instagram Engagement Rate Calculator designed just to ensure you’re networking enough?
Set Up Your Story Highlights
The red arrow is pointing toward my Story highlights.
When you make an Instagram Story, you’ll see “Highlight” in the bottom right corner of your screen. Clicking Highlight enables you to name your Story where it will be permanently saved until you remove it. If you don’t, your Story will disappear after 24 hours.
If you look at the top of your Story, you’ll see how much time you have remaining until your Story vanishes.
Good Hashtags (Small and Big)
Small hashtags don’t have many posts with that hashtag. Big hashtags are popular.
Use All Hashtag and click Random or Top.
So far, I’ve only used the “big” hashtags. If you’re concerned your hashtags will get lost, try the “Small” hashtags.
How many hashtags to use is heavily debated. I use the 30 we’re allowed.
Post When Your Followers are Most Active (Read the Analytics)
When you have an Instagram Business Account, you are entitled to insightful analytics. These include data about when your followers are most active.
You’ll learn which days of the week your followers engage with your content the most and what times of those days.
Apps are available to help you post at these optimal times.
Buffer, Hootsuite, and the When to Post app will ensure you post at optimal times when your followers are on Instagram.
Viral Content (They Should Be Either)
- High Value
- Triggers Emotions
If you go to the Instagram Top Nine site, you’ll discover your most popular content in 2018.
Check out your feed’s analysis. Did any of your 9 most popular posts fit these descriptions?
Create a Good Bio That Explains What Your Page Is All About
Above the Highlights, you see my Instagram bio.
Notice next to my name there is a laptop emoji and the word “Blogging.”
The rest of the bio explains my site is for bloggers and people seeking online success and entrepreneur quotes.
Therefore, my bio accurately describes what my Instagram account will hold for people checking out my content when they consider if they’ll follow.
Read Your Insights and Post More of What Works and Kill What Doesn’t!
When you’re looking at your feed on your smartphone, swipe to the left, and you’ll see the word “Insights.” Click.
You’ll see Insights for how well your content performed, your followers’ activity regarding your account, and your audience demographics.
Also, the Viral Content section of this post recommended you go to Top Nine. Your best 9 of 2018 shows you what works with your followers. Post more like those 9.
Wrapping Up: How to Get Free Instagram Followers
Do you still need additional Instagram tips? All the Instagram Tips and Tricks You Need to Know: 89 Mostly-Free Hacks, a Guide to Using and Monetizing Instagram, is available in both ebook and paperback formats.
In closing, this post showed you how to get free Instagram followers.
These tips are easy to follow and don’t take much time.
This case study shows how I generated 12,000 Instagram followers. If you go to my Instagram account, you’ll see my number of followers has continued to grow.
Use this post as an action plan. Now that you’ve read these Instagram growth hacks, you can get free Instagram followers as well.
Note: Results may vary. Experiment with what works for you and your followers. For example, try using the big popular hashtags and then try using the small not-so-popular hashtags and see where you’re more successful.
Readers please share so people seeking greater growth on Instagram read these strategies.
I look forward to your views: Are there any additional Instagram growth hacks you can recommend to generate free Instagram followers?
You can use the following tools to further your Instagram success: