How I grew my following on Instagram. So I started my Instagram back in October 2020 and I now have just over 3000 followers. I consider this normal, healthy, genuine growth. I’m listing here the ways that I know will get you 3k Instagram followers, Be warned, some of this methods I do not condone or recommend (No.7), and I share it here purely because it IS a guaranteed method. Other methods require a lot of time and commitment, but are worth it.
Before you set yourself an Instagram followers goal, ask yourself why you want 3k or 10k or 50k followers? For me, I want to build the Sweeter Than Oats brand, and to eventually make a full time career out of it. Instagram is just one arm of that brand, but it’s incredibly important to build an online presence that puts you out there, and gives you an automatic set of followers for your blog. Set yourself realistic and achievable goals. Once you reach 3k, there is no guarantee that brands will come knocking, but if your content is good, you do stand a much higher chance.
I first recommend building up an audience on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter plus TikTok/YouTube (if you make videos), before pushing a blog out there. The key to success is having great engagement with your readers, followers, viewers. There is enough collaboration and ad space out there for all of us that work hard enough to earn it, so be kind and reciprocate.
7 Best Ways to Gain Followers on Instagram
- Engage. When you start a new account, you will be considered a rookie. You will get likes from lots of people who won’t follow you back (see No.5), but that you will be tempted to follow because you’re flattered and/or you like their account. To get followers when you first start off, search the hashtags for topics you will be posting in. For me, it was vegan or plant-based food tags I was searching for. Then, like and engage lots of accounts like yours, preferably small ones too, and build up a genuine rapport. In the beginning, you will have to follow, to get followers.
- Post great content. Content is king (or queen), and it cannot be overestimated how important a great picture and/or caption is to achieve followers. My photography has improved over the last 6 months, but I have always maintained engaged captions, that ask my followers questions, getting them involved, and keeping them interested. Beautiful photography obviously goes a long way, particularly if your goal is to get some kind of affiliate deal or sponsorship out of your IG, but don’t forget to write captions that are genuine, warm and show a real life person behind the lens.
- Join engagement pods. Now, after you have gained a few followers, you may be lucky enough to be asked to join some engagement pods. If not, start your own! These are Instagram groups of maybe 20-30 fellow IGers. all from the same niche (usually), and you share your posts, liking, commenting and sharing. The one thing Instagram loves, is engagement with fellow IGers. Get your engagement group members to invite other members and follow each other. Be careful. You can have too many people in a group and get blocked temporarily, or even barred. Don’t be greedy. Join several groups.
- Join Facebook engagement groups. Pretty much the same as No.4 just on Facebook, and you might find different people to engage with. Furthermore, you don’t have to wait for an invite. Just search for Instagram Engagement Groups on Facebook, and you will find a plethora of different groups you can request to join.
- Piggy back off of large Instagrammers. Now, I’m not proud of this, and probably not many people will share this tip so overtly, but if you find a follower from your niche with lots of followers (more than 20K), if you look at their followers, these will usually be newbie Instagrammers (remember being one of those?). Like and engage on several of their posts, and if, like me, you follow them anyway because you feel a little dirty about how you’re getting followers, you’ll soon get a ton of followers. This method works incredibly well. The reason is that when people start new accounts on Instagram, they will be shown larger accounts that they might like to follow, and invariably do. Don’t go crazy liking posts all day long though, Instagram will temporarily put a block on your shenanigans. However, it worked for me when I was slogging away at 2850 (I had set myself the target of reaching 3k by the end of April).
- Be patient. Set yourself a target each month, and a strategy, and you will get there. My eventual target is 10k, I’m hoping by the end of this year, but it IS a slog. So many people on IG are after the same thing: a juicy advertising deal or promo, and are a lot more savvy to the tricks of other Instagrammers. When I first opened my Sweeter Than Oats Instagram, I wanted to get 10 followers by the end of the first week, 50 by the end of the second week, and 100 by the end of the month. I achieved this by following No.1 to the letter. It took a little longer to get to 1k, maybe by Christmas and then it’s taken me until the end April to get 2k more followers following all of the above methods (except No.7, of course).
- and finally….Buy them. I strongly urge you NOT to take this route. I have been down this track with an old account, many years ago, and it ruined my account forever. Instagram not only frown upon the idea of buying followers, they will also penalise you for an indefinite length of time. Furthermore, if you are after followers for genuine engagement, you won’t be getting any likes or comments or shares from bots, so that will lead you further down a slippery slope of having to buy likes. I cannot deter people enough from doing this. You know those people on IG who have 50k followers but only seem to get 100 likes per post? Yeah, they bought those followers. And it’s so important to remember that if you are after that great collab, you need amazing engagement. Long gone are the days when clients were interested in how many followers you had. Unless you’re a Kardashian, it’s all about likes, comments, reels, views, shares, stories: being a part of the community. Because why would a client pay you if they knew that all the people you share your posts with are just fake?
So, here are 7 easy ways to get 3k followers on Instagram. How do I know they work? Well, Nos.1-6 I followed, and they continue working for me. Remember to always maintain engagement with your followers, and always share, like and save posts that you really enjoy. Like all social media, Instagram works through reciprocity and awesome content. And please, please, please do not buy followers.
Do you have any tips for increasing your followers on Instagram? Comment below. I could also have mentioned two other intangible elements: buying ads (did not work for me) or luck. Some people are simply lucky and have their content picked up by a fellow large Instagrammer and will suddenly explode all over the web (not literally). Whilst hooray for them, the rest of us have to put in hard work, just the same as with any other job or hobby, but these are the best ways to get real followers on Instagram for free.
Click here if you want to see what my goals were for April 21 and what they are moving forwards.