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16 Proven Ways To Grow Instagram Followers Organically

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Everyone wants to know how to grow Instagram followers fast. But it’s important to invest in the right type of growth.

More and more, Instagram is becoming a part of daily life for people around the globe.

With its high volume and visual format, it offers an engaging and fun way for people to connect.

Businesses have taken note, and have taken to the social media platform as a medium for marketing to new and potential customers.

If you operate a business or even a personal brand, how can you most effectively target new customers and grow your list of followers?

This post will teach you 16 proven tactics for how to get followers on Instagram.

Instagram Currently Has 1 Billion Active Users.

No, that’s not a typo. According to Business Insider, as of this summer, Instagram reached a staggering 1 billion active users. To put that in perspective, Facebook has about 2.19 billion active users, and Snapchat has about 100 million active users.

There is So Much Growth Potential With Instagram

With that many active users, Instagram offers an incredible opportunity for marketing your company’s products or services to a huge audience of potential customers.

But for many business owners, it’s hard to know where to even start. Plenty of businesses want to take advantage of Instagram’s potential, but few know how to do it effectively.

You’re Thinking, “But How Do I Grow My Instagram Following?”

That leads to the next big question: how do you build your Instagram following?

There are two key ways that people get followers:

1. Grow Instagram Followers Organically

In social media, “organic” refers to gaining followers in a natural way: using the platform and free tools provided by its network to build and interact with your community. Basically, you’re planting seeds by posting content, engaging with other Instagram users, and watching to see a following grow.

2. Buy Instagram Followers

A quick Google on the topic will reveal to you plenty of services that promise to gain you hundreds of Instagram followers for cheap.

The problem with this strategy is that it’s about quantity, not quality. These aren’t real followers. They aren’t likely to engage, aren’t likely to become customers, and aren’t likely to be meaningful followers.

So for the purposes of this post, we’ll focus on the organic strategy.

16 Proven Ways to Grow Instagram Followers Fast

The good news is that building your Instagram following doesn’t have to be complex. At SocialUpgrade, we’ve come up with 16 key tips for growing your instagram following:

1. Maximize the Potential of the Bio URL

If someone is interested enough in your account to click over to your profile, make it worth their while–and make it compelling enough that they want to follow you!

Your profile has a limited amount of characters, so be sure to concisely showcase what your company is and what it is you do. If relevant, include your location. Be sure to put your URL in the profile, too: this is how people can begin to explore your business further!

Additionally, be sure to use a compelling profile picture. You can use your business logo, but be sure it’s consistent with the branding on your website and other marketing materials. Otherwise, consider using a clear headshot or a photo of a key product offered by your company.

2. Stick to a Consistent Posting Schedule (Post at Least Once a Day)

While there’s no hard and fast rule about how frequently you should post on Instagram, a good starting point is to post at least once a day to begin with.

Things can move fast on Instagram, and sticking to a consistent posting schedule can help you get in the swing of things and help ensure that people catch your posts on a regular basis.

3. Use Videos

Videos on Instagram are a great way to tell your followers a more comprehensive story about who you are and what you’re about.

You can promote products or services, show them in action, and provide entertainment value, showing people your style, aesthetic, and overall company culture. All of these things provide added value to your brand.

4. Hashtag Like Crazy

Hashtags can be a great way to attract potential customers by attracting people with specific interests.

There are two key types of hashtags: community and branded hashtags. A community hashtag is more common, for instance #peanutbutter whereas a branded one might be a tag specific to one company, like Peanut Butter and Company’s #peanutbutterco hashtag.

Don’t become complacent in your hashtagging, though: if you always post the same exact ones, you may have diminishing returns. Be sure to mix it up and use hashtags that are relevant to the post in question for the best results.

5. Join Instagram Engagement Groups

An Instagram Engagement Group (also called Instagram Pods) are basically groups where you and a group of like-minded accounts will agree to participate in group engagement.

So, for instance, within the group, the members will like and comment on your posts, helping them get spread further in the Instagram-o-sphere.

In return, you respond in kind, liking and commenting on their posts. Unlike paying for followers, this is typically a free, grass-roots method of gaining followers that proves beneficial for all parties involved.

6. Have Your Own Unique Instagram Style

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?

If you want to be noticed on Instagram, develop a unique personal style and voice.

It’s important to create content that is aligned with your company’s branding and goals, and that tells people what you’re really about. This might be realized through having consistent topics that you post about, color schemes that you use, or a style of language that you employ.

Don’t get stressed out: this might not happen overnight. Keep learning what is working and develop your style based on what customers seem to enjoy. And yes, even look at other accounts for inspiration. But make sure that your content is uniquely you.

7. Go Hard on Influencer Marketing

If you want to get noticed, get in good with the people who get things noticed: namely, Influencers.

On Instagram, “Influencers” are accounts with a very large following. Their followers tend to react to the content that they post, so they can fact have an influence on others choosing to follow you.

You may find it worthwhile to reach out to influencers within your industry. This might be by offering them a product for consideration for review, or by engaging with them by leaving comments on their account or tagging them in a relevant post. A mention from an influencer can be a powerful way to gain more followers.

8. Cross-Promote on Instagram

Cross-promotion can benefit you and other parties related to your company so that you can both benefit from attracting one another’s followers.

For instance, say that you have an Instagram account for your farm to table restaurant. You might consider cross-promoting with a post featuring one of your food suppliers. This can attract their followers to follow you, and vice versa. Everyone wins!

9. Collaborate With Others

Collaborations can also be an effective way to gain followers. For instance, not long ago Play-Doh and Taco Bell collaborated on Instagram for National Taco Day. The post featured faux tacos made out of Play-Doh.

As unlikely of partners as these two companies might seem, a collaboration like that has the power to attract new followers to both accounts.

10. Post During the Best Times

What’s the best time to post on Instagram?

As it turns out, there are proven times that have shown to have more engagement than others. As you’ll find in this article, there are actually different times of day that will work best for posting just about every day of the week!

11. Engage With Your Audience

It’s called social media for a reason. You’ll make the biggest splash if you’re a social butterfly!

When people comment on your posts, be sure to respond to them or “like” their comment. It will make them feel noticed and appreciated, and more likely to comment again.

12. Create Great Captions

There’s nothing like a clever caption to amuse and snag followers. For example, posting a beautiful picture of a donut from your bakery’s menu is great, but the post won’t have maximum impact if you have a boring caption like “Here is a donut”.

Posting the same picture of a donut with a witty tagline like “Donut Worry, Be Happy” on the other hand will make the post instantly more engaging. Be clever with your captions!

13. Use Instagram Stories

Did you know that about a third of the most viewed Instagram stories have been shared by businesses?

Instagram stories are finite, so the format is a little bit more casual. You can post of-the-minute updates, behind the scenes videos or photos, or more “throwaway” content that is fun for a moment and then disappears from your feed.

If you consistently post interesting content on your stories, it can provide a new avenue for attracting new followers!

14. Use Quality Photos on Instagram

Don’t be intimidated by this tip. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to post successful photos on Instagram. However, use common sense to capture the most compelling visual images:

  • Light matters. Photos taken in either natural light, or with great artificial lighting, are more appealing than low-light or grainy photos.
  • Crop intelligently. Make sure that the composition of your photo is interesting.
  • Flatter yourself. If photographing your company’s products, be sure to take “beauty” shots by capturing their best angles and the most compelling views.
  • Don’t overdo it with filters. It can look phony and amateurish.

15. Tag Locations in Your Posts

Did you know that adding the location to your posts can help you get noticed?

For example, say that you own a jewelry making business and that you sell your wares in different stores across the country. If you share a photo of a product available in a given store or region, it can help people who are interested in that establishment find you.

If you have a brick and mortar location, you can also encourage others to tag you in their posts!

16. Engage With Others in Your Niche

Don’t just engage with your followers. Engage with the entire community around your brand. Post on other people’s posts within your sector or industry, and specifically try to make friends of influencers.

Posting thoughtful comments on other people’s posts can help get you noticed not only by the person posting but their followers too!


When it comes to Instagram for your business or brand, organic is the way to grow. It may take a little longer than buying followers, but rest assured, organic growth will yield better results in the long run. To really help foster organic growth, remember these key points:

  • Have an identity. A clear profile pic, bio, and a distinct style in your feed will all help get you noticed and garner follows.
  • Connection is key. Engaging with your followers and other accounts in your niche is one of the most effective ways to grow organically.
  • Help people find you. Using hashtags and adding your location to posts can help Instagram users find your account.

At SocialUpgrade, we can help you make your social media goals become a reality in a realistic and sustainable way. We’re committed to helping you determine the best practices and approach for your specific brand so that you can grow Instagram followers fast!

What’s your favorite tip for building an Instagram following?

Leave a comment!