How To Get Free Followers On Instagram: Going From 0 To 15,000+
One of the most exciting things about starting up a business is creating its social media accounts. After all, 86% of brands are on Instagram – so it’d make sense to get on board for marketing purposes. Instagram is one of the hottest media platforms to connect with potential customers while building a loyal fanbase. With tools such as Instagram Stories, Instagram Live, and DMs, there’s never been an easier way to connect with today’s consumer. And speaking of connection, just how deep is the Instagram effect? A whopping 92% of consumers stated that they ended up buying something from a company, visiting its website, or following the brand’s profile after seeing it on Instagram.
Today, we’ll cover tips and strategies you can utilize at different stages of your Instagram journey, separated by follower count milestones.
1. Starting to 100 Instagram Followers
So you’ve got your account with your username and log-in credentials. Cool. When just starting out, there’s a lot of stuff you’ve got to do to get your brand name out there.
To start, make sure you have your brand logo uploaded for your profile avatar. Ensure your profile description gives a good intro into your brand, in addition to a website URL so visitors can visit your website.
One your Instagram (and other social media accounts) are up, be sure you add the handles to your website. And if you utilize email marketing (you absolutely should if you haven’t gotten it set up yet), make sure your social media handles are also somewhere in the email like the footer. Adding your handles is important as it’s truly a free way for visitors or subscribers of your brand to further connect with you.
Hashtag research that also displays “related hashtags” to help you out.
Once all that’s set up, it’s time to really dive into the heavier work. Research competitors to see what kind of content and hashtags they are using. How are they connecting and engaging with their followers? Compile a list of hashtags you can use for your posts – then start planning a content strategy. What kind of content do you want to post? Product shots? Motivational quotes? Brand truths and beliefs? There are a lot of ways to build an authentic brand through content on Instagram. Once you get down a content strategy, plan out imagery or photography and figure out the CTAs and post captions.
The “tagged photos” tab on Nike’s profile.
Once you’ve been posting for a while, keep your eyes peeled for posts you are tagged in. You can find these in the very right-hand tab on your profile page feed. If you are ever tagged in posts, Instagram will also send you notifications. You can build a great customer-brand rapport if you respond to customers’ posts or better yet – repost them onto your own feed and tag the user. Get the right reposting apps such as Repost for Instagram or Repost app.
And while this is going on, remember to practice grassroots marketing, where you leave engaging comments in niche-related posts and relevant brand pages for exposure. This allows followers of other brands to see your name as they scroll through comments.
2. 1,000 Instagram Followers
Congrats! Once you’ve hit the four-digit mark, you’re really on your way to becoming an up-and-coming brand. By this time, you should have a good content strategy down. Since you’ve made it to such a solid number of followers, you can consider becoming more engaging with your Instagram content.
Options to post on Instagram Stories.
If you haven’t already used Instagram Stories, be sure to check out the features such as “Questions” or “Polls” to generate easy engagement with your audience. When users see you engaging in these ask-and-respond features, they’ll be more inclined to respond, especially if they like your brand.
If your general content posts have been going off without a hitch for Instagram, consider using a post scheduler such as Hootsuite or Hopper HQ. This will help you save time manually uploading, and allow you to focus on creating more content, be it video or images or memes, to connect better to your audience.
H&M uses Instagram Stories to promote an eco-friendly cause.
And if you have any seasonal sales or big brand values, consider creating an ad campaign and using feed takeovers or Instagram Story campaigns to give your brand an elevated brand presence.
I Can Wines holds a giveaway for a free case of its wine.
Up the ante on incentives to follow, too. Why not celebrate the big 1-0-0-0 with a giveaway? This will really take your brand above and beyond and show your followers that you appreciate their loyalty.
And although you’re in the 1,000 range, continue to engage in grassroot marketing to build up your presence in accounts similar to that of your brand or in those that your target audience would like.
3. 5,000 Instagram Followers
Four thousand followers later, it’s a great time to consider camping up your marketing efforts to attract more followers (after all, look how far you’ve come).
At this stage in your branding efforts, you can consider reaching out to influencers or expert figures in your business or product industry for collaborations or takeovers.
With the higher stakes, (if you have a budget), you can consider paid ads. In this case, you’ll have video or images that show up as sponsored posts in the Instagram feeds of your target demographic. This level of targeted ads can pay off in dividends if you have a lot of visitors click through your CTA and make a purchase from your website or follow your Instagram account.
And maybe you’ve done this already before hitting 5,000 followers, but it’s important at this point to study your analytics for your Instagram account. Also, reassess your content strategy to see if anything needs to be changed or eliminated.
4. 10,000 Instagram Followers
By hitting 10,000, you’ve really come a long way. At this point, you should definitely have a robust strategy for your content, switching it up between photos and video and funny content and informative content.
Continue to seek out partnerships with influencers or field experts to build your social proof and brand authority. If you haven’t before hitting 10,000 followers, consider paying for ads on Instagram.
And if you didn’t hold one for different milestones, definitely think about some sort of giveaway or raffle to your Instagram followers. You can even hold multiple ones at this point and space them out to coincide with holidays or seasons such as summer or Christmas.
Naked Juice utilises a swipe-up link (“Learn More”) to take viewers to a landing page.
One big thing that becomes unlocked at the 10K mark for Instagram is the ability to utilize a swipe-up link for your Instagram Stories. This makes the user experience much more seamless now, allowing viewers to access your CTA in one smooth motion.
And at 10,000 followers, it’s a good time to consider what other resources you want to implement for your social media. You can consider hiring bigger talent to shoot higher-quality videos (if you don’t have an in-house production team). You can consider other hot platforms for brands such as TikTok or the ever-popular YouTube. Note not all platforms require a professional team (ex. TikTok is meant for being shot straight on one’s phone, while YouTube standards now favor HD quality from camera for video).
Also, you can think about expanding your blog (if your website has one). You can implement videos produced by your own company to liven up all your copy and images, or partner with industry experts to guest blog. Plus, you can do community outreach with bigger names like charities or causes that relate to your products (ex. If you sell car accessories, reach out to a driver safety awareness organization to donate some items for members). There’s so much you can do once you spread beyond Instagram followers.
5. 15,000 Instagram Followers and Beyond
Once you reach above 10,000, you’re a well-oiled branding machine. By this point, you’re probably seeing a lot of click-thrus and conversions from your Instagram to your linked content and website orders. You should continue doing everything mentioned in the milestones above.
Continue to reevaluate your content, comment back to people who engage with you, respond to DMs, and continue to produce images, captions, and video that is informative but can also brighten up someone’s day. For a brand to truly cement itself into a consumer’s heart, it has to offer something unique – a feeling, an experience that just can’t be given by any other company.
SUMMARY: So many ideas, all showing you how to get Instagram followers for free (except for some apps you may utilize for your content). Going from zero to 100 and beyond is by no means easy, but it’s a long road of trying different content and engagement approaches to show followers (and strangers) that you are a well-informed expert (and fun, engaging brand) in your line of business.