Social media influence is often a game of numbers: the more followers you have, the more influential you seem to be. And even if the number of followers is not equal to influence (but trust score and personality are), the more followers you get, the more likely you are to become an influencer on Instagram.

In this article, we’ll consider multiple actionable ways to increase your Instagram followers.

But before we begin, it won’t be sufficient to say that your Instagram profile has to look good if you’re trying to attract more people. A clear optimised bio, profile picture and aesthetically looking content are a must.

Free Ways to Get More Instagram Followers

Cross-promotion on other social media and sites

Tell about your Instagram account on other social media, and also add links in the comments to other posts and your bio on these platforms. To attract an audience to your Instagram account, make an intriguing post and write down the benefits so that users could go to your Instagram account and follow you.

IGTV videos and Reels

Instagram makes it possible to post long videos for up to 1 hour. So you can create engaging video content on Instagram, host Q&A sessions right on Instagram, show your life in vlogs and more.

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Besides, Instagram promotes influencers who use new content tools made by Instagram, such as Reels or IGTV. But it’s important to mention that you shouldn’t upload your TikTok videos to Reels just as they are because Instagram wouldn't like it. Instead, upload a short video to Reels first and then to TikTok. If you want to download your own TikTok video, you’d better use services that do it with no watermark.

Hashtags and location tags

They will help you get large discoverability and get onto the Explore page and, thus, attract new followers to your profile. But it works only if the hashtags are relevant to your post. So you can be easily found by users who are interested in what you have to tell.

Use low-frequency tags with fewer than 10 thousand posts, or medium-frequency tags - from 10 to 500 thousand. A couple of high-frequency ones are also possible but don’t overuse them not to get a shadowban.

Using a geotag, you attract those who are near to your location. This means that the likelihood that ‘neighbours’ will not pass by and follow you increases. Besides, geo-tags, like hashtags, let your post be shown to users who are searching for content in this location - these users are obviously interested in local content.

QR codes

Save your QR code and add it to business cards, your car, or any other place of yours that other people can see. Thus you’ll get an additional audience. Just go to the QR code section, save it and print it.

Tagging other Instagrammers and yourself

Ask your friends to tag you in a photo or in a story. Do the same yourself. The followers of the person that tagged you are more likely to visit your page. And a brand or other influencer that you tagged might visit your page and repost your content, thus making their audience visit your account as well.

Commenting, liking and following

Commenting

Find those influencers or brands who have your target audience, comment on them and turn on post notifications in order to quickly respond and have time to check in during the time when the post is still attracting new people. Use subtle humour in your comments - people love it. In addition to the post itself, reply to comments of other users to get more attention.

To do it quickly, use tools like Combin Growth to automate your actions. Simply find posts or users by locations, hashtags or keywords and schedule comments to their posts with the app. Combin Growth will do the rest for you: it will automatically post your comments spreading them in time. You just need to write several captions, and the tool will automatically post them randomly under users’ posts.


Liking and following

The core of the method is that you follow users and like their posts. That simple! Following here is optional. But these should be not just random accounts, but your target audience with approximately the same followership or even smaller than yours. Seeing likes notifications on the screen, users will most likely come to your page and, possibly, follow you in response.

You can also automate these actions with Combin Growth. All you need to do is to find your target audience by a certain criterion (location, hashtag, keyword, or users’ audience) and press the Like or Follow icon. The app will then like the posts scheduling these actions in time.

Use your competitors' pages to grow yours. Detect the most active users among their followers with Combin Growth (likers and commenters) and engage with them.

Giveaways

Try running a contest among your followers. Offer a gift, and specify the conditions for participation. This will increase the engagement of your followers and will help you attract new ones. The giveaway shouldn’t be very long, but at the same time, everyone who wants to participate should have their time - 5-7 days is enough.

Note that the prize you offer should be relevant to your niche and audience. Generic prizes like iPhones attract an irrelevant audience to your profile who will kill your engagement, reach and page in general when the giveaway ends.

Diverse and engaging content

Make sure you stay on top of the latest Instagram trends. Perhaps, there is some kind of viral challenge or flash mob you can take part in. Track what popular influencers in your niche are posting.

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You can discover trending posts on the Explore page, so even if you get onto the page yourself, you’ll organically increase your reach.

Don't forget about the call to action at the end of your posts reminding your audience to like, follow, or comment on the post.

To streamline the process of content strategy, use Combin Scheduler, an easy Instagram content planner that allows you to plan your posts and even stories for hours, days and weeks ahead. You can also repost content with Combin Scheduler. But if you do, we recommend you shouldn’t remove the repost badge and the original author tag. Remember what we said about user tags above? Thus it will also protect you from violation of the Instagram copyright policy.

Make sure you post stories! It is one of the most engaging types of Instagram content. Due to the not-so-convenient Instagram post feed, many users watch stories more often than they scroll the feed. So don’t forget to post some content as stories. You can also plan them to be published later with Combin Scheduler.

Don’t forget to leverage various stories stickers such as polls, questions, quizzes, countdowns and so on.

Another good way to attract new followers is live streaming. During live broadcasts, you entertain your current followers and attract new ones. Live streaming is also a great way to communicate with your subscribers, tell compelling life stories and answer questions.

After the stream is over, Instagram will let you save it on IGTV and all those users who missed the stream watch it later.

Even though Instagram is a visual social platform, interesting captions from time to time might do you good. If you are an expert in any field or just love something very much, don’t be shy to share it in captions!

But note that quality visual content (photos and videos) are still a must. Consistency is the key to success. Find your ideal posting frequency and see how your audience reacts. Remember that people follow hundreds of other influencers, brands and communities. Therefore, you need to constantly remind the audience about yourself.

Also, regular posting will increase your profile's reach. This means that organic account growth will also develop. Combin Scheduler is your free helper when it comes to regular and cohesive posting.

SFS

If you managed to get the first 1000 followers on Instagram, you can start doing SFS (shoutout for shoutout). Why 1,000, not fewer? Because if you have smaller followership, it's unlikely that you’ll be interesting to other bloggers and their audience. Some say this method is dead but I regularly see influencers doing this on Instagram and growing, so give it a shot, too!

To do an SFS, find a blogger with a similar audience and similar followers count and offer them to feature them in your blog in return they do the same. Since this is a blogger who is not yet a big influencer themselves, this partnership is free for you; influencers with bigger followership will probably ask you to pay for the promo.

Flash mobs and challenges

Try to take part in all kinds of marathons and flash mobs you see on Instagram. These online events allow you to express yourself and grow your page. If your content goes viral, your chances to get new followers increase!

AR masks

A year ago, Instagram has finally made it possible for everyone to create AR effects; brands, influencers and regular users included.

Now bloggers can create their own engaging and funny AR masks. AR masks easily go viral, so even a wannabe influencer can new followers thanks to them.

All you need to do for it is to have a little time and basic skills in Facebook’s Spark AR Studio. Some influencers that have already jumped to the bandwagon are Jesse Golden, model Frida Assen and more.

Special third-party services

The easiest way to quickly gain followers on Instagram is to use automatic actions or cheat services. When you just start, this can give an impetus for the development of the account. But choose services you’re sure in and stop using them right after Instagram warns you to stop.

With the help of targeted ads, you will be able to tune in to the feed of people who are interested in the content you create. Targeted ads are a deep topic that cannot be summed up in just a few words. Check our article on paid social to see what it is and how it generally works.

Influencer marketing

If you want to be an influencer yourself, it doesn’t mean you should disregard influencer marketing as a promotion option.

People trust people more. Therefore, bloggers are replacing the usual advertising that people are sick and tired of. Influencers gather a large audience around them and influence the decision, opinion and action of people with their posts, stories, and live broadcasts.

To find an influencer relevant to your audience and yourself, use Combin Growth. Once you found them and you’re sure they are what you want, feel free to contact the influencers and agree on collaboration.

In addition to influencers, you can buy sponsored publications on thematic community pages. These can be meme accounts, inspiration pages, accounts with funny videos or motivating quotes, profiles featuring one type of activity such as art page, fashion page, talented new musicians page and so on. Examples are modelblog, illustratorbee, classystreetwears, etc.

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Typically, such communities are much cheaper than Instagram influencers and their reach and ER are also lower than that of an influencer. So before you buy ads on such accounts, analyze them for bots and ghost followers.

Wrapping Up

Now you know many actionable ways to grow your Instagram account. Instgram growth is a daunting task, indeed. You need to invest quite a lot of time in your Instagram page if you want to become an influencer. The combination of the methods above is your success key. And the tools like Combin Growth and Combin Scheduler are your perfect help on the way to Instagram growth.