In this article, not only are you going to learn how to get organic followers on Instagram, but you're also going to learn how today’s Instagram’s algorithm works and leverage it to get organic followers. When the algorithm changes, it affects everyone: the Kardashians, Selena Gomez, The Rock, you, and yes, your dog’s account. So brace yourself, you’re in for a treat.
First of all, why should you seek the organic route of gaining followers on Instagram? Why not just buy them?
The answer is simple: you always want to have quality over quantity and here’s why. Buying fake ghost-followers or using automated bots to boost engagement today might result in a shadowban.
A shadowban has the opposite symptoms of organic growth. According to Hubspot, it means your content won't appear on anyone's feed. Nor on any hashtag's “recent posts” or “top posts” section.
If you get shadowbanned, your account will stop growing. That's why you absolutely want to keep it 100% organic.
So the fastest way to get organic followers on Instagram is this: Make the user experience (UX) engaging, valuable, fun, consistent, and authentic. This is the blueprint of how you’re going to grow your Instagram account organically. But how can you put this plan into action on Instagram?
Don’t worry, we've got you covered. Keep reading and we’ll show you exactly how.
First things first, you need to know how to play by Instagram's rules.
Instagram is like a board game. You have to play by the rules so you can win. Here’s how Instagram's algorithm works and it’s dead-simple. The more engagement you get (likes, comments, shares, saves, story replies, views), the more Instagram promotes your content.
So, how to get organic followers on Instagram? In a nutshell: by engagement.
Here's the thing. Engagement is Instagram's algorithm main metric. Once Instagram notices the engagements, your posts will get promoted in Instagram’s explore feed, or on the “top section” within a specific hashtag. Therefore you’ll reach a wider audience and boost your followers count organically playing by Instagram’s rules.
Now, wouldn’t it be awesome to put it into action and show you exactly how to get organic followers on Instagram?
Let's get down to business and show you how. Below are 7 tips on how to get organic followers on Instagram playing by Instagram’s rules:
To get more engagement and organic followers, people need to see your posts first. You see, with more than 100 million photos shared every day on Instagram, it’s hard to get exposure with this much content. That’s where hashtags come into play. Hashtags are the key to expose your posts and reach a large targeted audience in your niche.
Each hashtag has a “recent posts” and “top posts” sections for the hashtag. You can see the two sections when you click on the hashtag or when you search for it.
For example, let’s say you’re a business in the fashion industry. And you included a hashtag in your post’s caption called #InstaFashion. When people click on the hashtag, they will see your post in the “recent posts” or the “top posts” section.
Your goal is to get exposure for your posts in those two sections for a hashtag related to your niche. And niche hashtags are where you’ll find your target audience and interested like-minded users.
So, how to get organic followers on Instagram by leveraging hashtags the right way? You asked, and you shall receive, so follow along.
First and foremost, keep in mind with generic, trending, and popular hashtags, it'll be harder for someone to see your posts. Why? Because it will disappear from the “recent posts” section very fast. So, what kind of hashtags should you use instead?
A general rule of thumb is to include a mix of small niche hashtags, medium niche hashtags, and large niche hashtags. But most of your focus—especially if you don’t have many followers—should be on the small and medium hashtags. These are the hashtags where you’ll find the most active, loyal, dedicated and interested like-minded users in your niche.
Leveraging small and medium hashtags will increase the time that your posts will stay visible in the “recent posts” section. It will increase your chances of being discovered organically and your audience will engage if they like what they see.
Hashtags in numbers:
Very large = Over 1 million posts
Large = 500k to 1 million posts
Medium = 100k to 500k posts
Small = 50k to 100k posts
Very small = Under 50k posts
Your choice of hashtag will depend on how big your account is. The general rule of thumb here is to mix it up and include an amalgam of a small, medium, and large niche hashtags. That will expose your account to a variety of potential organic followers.
You can include 30 hashtags in the caption per post, but as a brand that will look unpleasant and spammy. Use 5 or 6 hashtags or less per post.
Here’s the trick: if you want to include more, then include them in the comments. It will appear as the first comment for your audience. And the cool thing is, your hashtags will work the exact same way regardless of the placement. Meaning, your post will still be viewable within the hashtags placed in the comments when someone searches for them.
Create your own branded hashtags. It keeps your audience engaged and connected with your brand. And it will help followers to showcase, spread, and increase your brand awareness.
Don’t use the exact same hashtags over and over. Instagram might flag that as spam. The solution is to rotate between them over time and keep it diverse.
You should consider posting more videos for your feed posts, Instagram Stories, and IGTV and here’s why.
“If you upload videos, you’ll find that you’ll get more engagement than if you just upload images.” - Neil Patel
This is especially true in Instagram Stories. Instagram reported more than 500 million users using Instagram Stories daily as of 2020. And 62% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories.
If you want to learn how to get organic followers on Instagram, leveraging videos is vital.
The more videos you post, the more engagement you’ll get, which leads to Instagram promoting your content. And you'll gain organic followers.
Photos may be worth a thousand words, but context gives clear directions and vivid meaning. Yes, you can grab attention with high-quality photos, but there are millions of high-quality photos shared every day.
Why would fans follow you? What makes people engage with you? What makes you stand out from the crowd?
One word: captions.
How to get organic followers on Instagram with captions? I'm glad you asked.
You see, people gain value in a variety of different ways. Some value educational content, some value entertainment, others value inspiring content, and still others value art. Whatever it might be, always make sure you provide value in your captions. Your captions can be educational content or a story, or just a few clever and fun words to bring context to the post and encourage engagements.
You don’t have to use all 2,200 characters in your caption. Your captions can be short—but long enough to be captivating, valuable, interactive, and sometimes fun to inspire interaction.
Instagram will show the first 3 to 4 lines of your caption. Then you have to click on “more” to see the rest. So make sure you lead with the important content you want your audience to see.
If you're wondering how to get organic followers on Instagram, focus on providing value-driven, and engaging content.
Always emphasize and ask your audience for engagement by including a call-to-action (CTA). How to get organic followers on Instagram by including a CTA exactly? Great question, here are some examples.
Encourage them to engage and like your post by writing "double-tap if you find this helpful”. Or "share your story in the comments,” or “tag your best friends”.
Or simply ask them a question to answer in the comments. And get creative with Instagram Stories by using the poll stickers, or make a quiz. If you have 10,000 followers you can tell them to “swipe up”. You can also direct your audience to a link in your bio.
Whatever it might be, always tell users what to do next after they see your post, and encourage engagement. Striving for more engagement will eventually get you featured by Instagram and reach a large audience and get organic followers.
If we could answer “how to get organic followers on Instagram?” in one word—It would be “consistency” and here’s why.
If you post every day or on a regular basis—then people will engage with you more often. That will get you recognized faster, and put you in a state of organic growth. It tells Instagram this is the type of content people are interested in.
That will get you featured on Instagram’s explore feed, or on the “top section” of a specific hashtag. So stick to a consistent posting schedule, and Instagram will raise you to the top. Ideally, you want to post daily.
When it comes to posting consistently and writing valuable and engaging captions everyday, time and energy are not on your side.
Creating captivating, engaging and valuable Instagram content daily is heavy-duty. You have to come up with ideas for pictures, videos, Instagram Stories, etc. Not to mention the most important part that will differentiate you from the crowd: the copy or captions.
So, hiring a social media copywriter is a great idea for a consistent and high-level Instagram copy. Why is hiring a social media copywriter for your Instagram account game-changing?
A social media copywriter captures your brand’s voice, aesthetic, identity, and culture. And helps align it with your Instagram content. They search your target audience to learn their interests. Then they write interactive, and engaging social media copy that appeals to your target audience to help maximize your engagement.
Their role is to focus on providing value for your target audience by utilizing educational, entertaining, and interactive strategies to increase brand awareness. They also help to attain organic followers.
There are various ways on how to get organic followers on Instagram. Investing in and leaving it to a professional is one of the ways to save you time and energy.
Social networks are supposed to be social. Play by the rules of the game, and you shall receive the results you desire.
Engagement is a two-way street: the audience and you. To gain and maintain organic followers, you need to engage and stay connected with the audience.
How to get organic followers on Instagram by engaging back? Here’s how.
When people comment on your posts, make sure to respond back and like their comments. It will make them feel noticed and appreciated, and more likely to engage again. Especially if they’re not a follower, they will appreciate your interaction and they might follow you.
When someone takes the time to direct message (DM) you, you should reply. And community engagement is also great. Simply tap into a hashtag in your niche, and comment on or like the posts of your target audience. That builds brand awareness and sparks more engagement. And it increases your organic followers.
How to get organic followers on Instagram? A concise answer is to follow Instagram’s algorithm main metric and seek engagement. Engagement is the key. The more engagement you get, the more Instagram promotes your content.
Make sure you leverage hashtags the right way as mentioned above. And it’s proven if you post more videos, you’ll get more engagement. Write captivating, valuable, and fun captions. And always provide engaging and valuable content for your target audience. Encourage engagement by including a call-to-action (CTA). And most importantly, post consistently, stay connected and respond to your audience.
If you want a delightful, valuable, and engaging Instagram copy that boosts your followers count and nurture them into customers, then consider hiring a social media copywriter today.
Photo credit: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/oxford-uk-december-5th-2016-apple-529918606
Abdulmalik Ghandoora is a pioneer experienced copywriter through Dan Lok™ Education Inc. He will live and breathe your brand, his role is to help you get consistent ROI-focused copy. He has the skill to influence, and inspire people to take action through well-put-together written words. Abdulmalik is also an SEO content writer. A certified inbound marketer.Hire Abdulmalik