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Would you like to add thousands of followers to your Instagram account for free?

Would you like to grow your following without buying fake followers or using spammy tactics? 

If you have answered yes to even one of these questions, this article will leave you speechless.

Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms right now. It has increasingly become a cornerstone of many brands’ social media presence, helping to drive traffic and build an audience of interested buyers. 

Building a large following truly interested in your brand should be a core part of your marketing strategy and so, it makes no sense buying followers or using bots.

In this article, you will learn 12 practical strategies that would help you get new followers on Instagram for free every day consistently.

The best result will come when you combine all strategies because they are not mutually exclusive.

Think about it,

With a huge following, you get more traffic to your website, more subscribers and more potential sales and authority in your market.

How to Get Real Followers and Likes On Instagram for free

1. Build a consistent brand story and image 

You must be able to build a unique brand image and story that makes your brand recognizable. 

This includes paying attention to the colours, the layout and the general outlook of your Instagram. 

This must be consistent across all platforms as it helps in not only giving your brand identity but also appealing to your audience. 

Now, when creating a unique outlook for your brand, colour is the most important factor to consider. Your posts should be easily recognizable at first glance. 

Pick a colour or family colour like @Iamshaunadavid does here (Notice the consistent color?):

2. Optimize your bio and profile: 

When new followers are visiting your page, they want to know why they should follow you and whether your content is relevant to their needs. 

What you should do is to make the most of the 150 characters in your bio and be able to communicate what your brand stands for and what kind of content your followers should expect. 

It should also include a call to action (CTA) that tells your audience what you want them to do. Examples of CTAs commonly used are: 

  • Sign up for my newsletter
  • DM for business enquiries
  • Click to learn more
  • Grab my secrets here

When selecting a username, it makes sense to use one that is consistent with the handle you use on other social media platforms. 

You can also include keywords that your audience will most likely search for.

Here is why,

It makes it easier for people to search for and locate your page on any platform. 

Your profile picture must show your identity and reveal to people that an actual person is communicating to them. 

Also, including a link to your website is one way to drive traffic from your Instagram to your website. 

Without a clearly defined bio, profile image and an ideal username, it will be difficult for people to know and recognize your brand. 

This bio from my Instagram account shows how I clearly stated my brand’s purpose and offer

3. Create engaging content that best appeals to your audience: 

What kind of content does your audience want? What is the best way to communicate this content to them? 

Before you can come up with suitable responses to these questions, you must first be able to define clearly your target audience.

  •  What are their pain points? 
  • What problems are they trying to solve? 
  • What times do they come on Instagram? 
  • What kind of content do they enjoy the most? 

You see, being able to answer these questions will direct your content creation approach and ensure you are creating the right Instagram content. 

When someone new visits your page, your content should be relatable, keep them hooked and coming back for more. 

Chris of @thechristosnikas defines this clearly when he stated that 

‘’The first step to content creation is to know what you can/should post and who it is for.’’ 

4. Use your captions to drive engagement: 

The next strategy to focus on is the use of captions to motivate engagement. Your caption is an important factor that increases engagement on your Instagram. Use your caption to offer more value and guide your customers to take the desired action.

Now to maximize your caption for post engagement, you must:

  • Use a question or statement in the first 12 characters that will pique their curiosity and have them clicking on more.
  • Tell them something of additional value than what is in your visual post
  • Use emoji to break up words and to make it easy on the eye.
  • Create a sense of urgency by telling them what mistakes they make or something they are not doing right.
  • Include a call to action (CTA)

A compelling caption will lead to more engagements. When your caption drives more comments and likes, it means more people will find your content and might end up following you. 

5. Use relevant hashtags: 

The next strategy involves the right usage of hashtags.

Adding hashtags to your caption is a great way to find new followers and share your photos with more people.

 Let me remind you about how hashtags work.

The content you post on Instagram goes with a short caption and a few hashtags. 

These hashtags help organize and categorize images and video content. 

The benefit of all that is content discovery.

Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags per piece of content you share. I highly recommend you use about 25 hashtags as that would give you a wide range without looking spammy.

Hashtags are all about traffic and engagement

One of the most important aspects of hashtags is relevancy. Don’t use a lot of hashtags just because they are popular.

That is not how it works.

Your hashtags must apply to your topic. 

Another misconception is that you should only chase the highest populated hashtags with hundreds of thousands of posts.

You should actually find the balance between your hashtags and mix them up because when you post highly competitive hashtags, your post will stay in a good position for a few seconds since hundreds of users are constantly posting. In a matter of seconds, your post goes down and becomes hard to find. More often than not, you won’t even show up at all.

When the hashtag is not that popular and not that competitive respectively, your post will stay longer in a good position under the most recent posts.

Remember to include popular and less popular hashtags. Use these hashtags on every post you do. Preferably 25 per day. Your hashtags would help new followers find and engage with your content.

The key takeaway here is to research your hashtags and get them ready before you post an image or video. 

In short, hashtags make your content easier to find. 


Users can discover content when they search for your hashtags or click on hashtags of related pages. When more people are able to find your posts using hashtag search, they are more likely to follow you if they like what they see. 

6. Add a link to your Instagram account on other platforms:

How will people know to follow you if you don’t promote your account? 

A great way to do this is by adding a link to your Instagram account to other platforms you are on. 

 This includes other social media accounts like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. 

Also, add your Instagram link to your email signature, online newsletters, business cards, etc.

Share a link to your Instagram profile anywhere and make sure you have valuable content that those clicking on the link will enjoy.

When promoting your account across all platforms, you can also leverage on paid ads.  

You can take advantage of the $1 a day strategy I taught in my Mini Ads Magic Workshop where you learn a step-by-step strategy to promote your account to a wider reach.

Simply put, you learn a simple yet effective method on how you can boost your audience on Instagram using a single campaign ,while spending just $1 a day.

7. Create a content calendar: 

Any serious brand owner recognises the import of a content calendar, especially when they are on different platforms. 

A great way to ensure you are consistently posting relevant content is by crafting a content calendar for all your social media accounts, including Instagram. 

A content calendar:

  • Helps to keep you organized
  • Is important in maintaining consistency
  • Helps to keep your audience engaged
  • Is crucial for keeping up with trends

Best of all, scheduling your content in advance takes off the pressure of having to come up with a new post everyday. 

A content calendar allows you to have high-quality content ready that will help you get more followers and likes on your Instagram.

Now, to create a content calendar for your brand, you can use a Google spreadsheet or download a free template online. 

8. Create different content: 

When creating any kind of content for your Instagram, you must keep in mind that every member of your audience is at a different buying process. 

What does this mean for you?

You must be able to create posts/topics that appeal to every stage. 

This all comes down to creating the right content at any stage of your audience’s journey. 

Buyer’s journey and content examples

  •  Awareness: At this stage, your ideal audience is not aware of your brand or product, and so your content should be mainly informative. 

Examples of content in the awareness stage are how-to posts and guides. 

  • Interest: At this stage, your audience is aware of your brand and what you do but are not ready to buy from you yet. 

The right type of content you want to be creating are personal stories that take them through your journey. 

You can leverage other Instagram features like IGTV to create a detailed post in video format that addresses a pain point. 

  • Desire: Being able to capture your audience’s attention enough to get them interested in your offer is the goal here. 

At the desire stage, your audience is now interested in what you sell and will patronize you. By now, you should share your offer. Ideal content ideas will be a call to action to download a free ebook or guide. 

You can share customer testimonies and include a CTA to a course, or any kind of digital product. 

You see, when people come to your page and find content they enjoy, they will be more willing to re-share your posts, which is a great way to expand your reach to new audiences and prospective new followers and likes on Instagram.

Now, because you want your audience to see and engage with every valuable post you put out, consider taking it a step further by running cheap paid ads. 

9. Maximise Instagram’s features: 

Instagram offers a wide range of tools to help connect with your audience. The right strategy is to use a mix of them from time to time. 

Instagram features to use

  • Carousels: Instagram carousels allow you to use multiple images in one post. On this platform, it is a great way to create engaging content and share stories/topics for informative purposes.
  • Single posts: These formats are great for sharing personal images, quotes and infographics. If you want to share a quick visual with your followers, use a single post and include a descriptive caption to drive engagement. 
  • IGTV: Want to share a quick tutorial, interview or discuss a new product launch? The IGTV helps create long-form videos for more interesting content. Video is easier for your followers to consume and can also be effective in putting a face to your brand.
  • Stories: Instagram stories are significant because it allows you to post as many pictures and videos to your story as you want. Use this feature to share quick tips or something personal. As over 500 million Instagram users use this feature every day, it can be effective in increasing your reach and driving followers to your Instagram page. 
  • Reels: With Instagram reels, you can create engaging, short and fun videos with your followers. You can use reels to create quick tutorials that are 15-seconds long. 

10. Embed your Instagram posts in your blog: 

Now we know Instagram can be a great way to get more traffic to your blog and website. Well, your blog can also help grow your followers on Instagram. 

By embedding your Instagram posts to your blogs and including a clickable link, you will get more visibility, which invariably serves to increase your followers and likes. 

Take for example this post. Notice how I have embedded some Instagram posts throughout. Each post is clickable and encourages potential followers to check out the profile and follow the Instagram pages. 

11. Track your activities: 

Why will you keep creating posts if you can’t monitor what is working and isn’t? Track your Instagram content using an Instagram analytics tool as this allows you to identify areas where you need to adjust your strategy to get more followers. 

You want to monitor:

  • Which posts drive profile visits: Monitor which posts have gotten you more followers, DMs and profile visits. You can then create more similar posts or leverage on paid ads using the $1 a day strategy in the mini ads magic formula to get a wider reach. 
  • Engagement rates: Your engagement rate shows how effective your content is. The higher the engagements, the higher the chances of getting more followers. You can measure your engagement by using this formula:

(Saves + shares + likes + comments)/Followers count * 100

  •  Reach conversion: The higher your reach, the higher the chances of getting more followers and likes. A relatable content will offer a higher reach. 

How to calculate reach conversion:

Profile visits/reach * 100

  • Follower growth over a certain period: Knowing your follower growth will help you make necessary changes to your account. Maybe you need to craft a better bio or create more relatable content.

Followers gained-Followers lost= Net followers

12. Use comments to drive engagement: 

Comments are a big part of Instagram and can be effective in driving engagements to your posts and more followers to your account. 

Now, how do you use comments to drive engagements?

Add value.

The comment section is a great place to add additional info missing from the major post. 

You can also visit big accounts of people related to your niche and drop valuable comments that add value. 

 If your comment gets pinned, more people will see it and are more likely to head over to your Instagram profile and follow you if they see what they like. 

What strategy are you taking to increase your Instagram followers and likes?

Instagram continues to help brands increase their reach so you want to take advantage of these strategies to get more followers and expand your brand’s reach.

While some of these steps might seem like a lot of work, you can easily leverage paid ads using a simplified $1 a day paid ads strategy to connect to a wider reach of targeted audience in a short period.

Click here to get started.

Oyekunle Damola

About the author

Damola is a Digital Marketing Consultant who teaches people how to use Digital Marketing channels to grow their business online.

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  1. This is a really cool guide to increasing Instagram followers, but it’s very key for us to note that just like everything good, it takes patience and dedication. Great Work.

    1. Hi Dibia,

      Thanks for stopping by. Without dedication and patience, you truly won’t be able to increase your followers on any social media platform.

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