How To Get Free Followers on Instagram: 21 Strategies For 2023

by Manas Chowdhury
21 minutes read

Having a robust presence on Instagram can provide a significant edge for individuals and businesses alike. One of the key elements in establishing that advantage is by expanding your Instagram following. 

With a staggering number of over 200 million businesses owning an Instagram profile, it’s easy to feel like your Instagram content is drowning in a sea of posts.

But fear not!

In this article, we will unveil 21 effortless strategies that will help you amass more free Instagram followers. By implementing these techniques, you will be able to rise above the noise and grow your Instagram presence effectively. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets to expanding your Instagram following.

1. Get Free Instagram Followers by Hosting Exciting Giveaways

Hosting a giveaway on Instagram is an excellent method to quickly increase your follower count without spending a dime. Regardless of whether you have a small or large following, anyone can organize an Instagram giveaway.

Getting started is simple, and it can generate a significant amount of engagement on your Instagram account.

Hydroflask, for example, has successfully used seasonal giveaways and prizes to cultivate a highly engaged audience of Instagram followers.

Here’s How to Create an Instagram Giveaway Like a Pro:

  • Choose an attention-grabbing photo that will encourage participation and engagement. Dull and uninteresting images should be avoided.
  • Clearly communicate the instructions to your followers. Provide precise guidance on which Instagram post to like, how many friends to tag, what comments to make (using #giveaway), and where to place the comment.
  • Specify the start and end dates of the giveaway to prevent late entries. Consider adding any age or location restrictions to ensure eligibility.

2. Expand Your Instagram Following through Co-Promotion

Incorporating influencers into your Instagram strategy can be incredibly effective. One approach is to collaborate with influencers for co-promotions.

Influencers possess the power to raise awareness about your brand or products. By partnering with them, you gain access to their follower base and benefit from the trust they have established with their audience.

A popular co-promotion tactic is to offer exclusive discounts or prize packages.

To maximize the impact, it’s crucial to choose influencers who share a similar target audience with your brand. ColorPop Cosmetics, for instance, partnered with Kathleen Lights, a renowned makeup YouTuber, to promote their Zodiac Pigment Collection Giveaway.

Consider teaming up with another brand for a joint contest, as this can expose you to a wider audience and increase your chances of gaining more followers. An excellent example of this is the co-promotion between 7Eleven and Fini.

By incorporating these tactics into your Instagram strategy, you can effectively attract free followers and witness your audience grow organically. Take advantage of the power of giveaways and co-promotions to unlock the full potential of your Instagram account.

3. Increase Your Instagram Followers with Engaging Captions

Including a call-to-action (CTA) in your captions is an effective strategy to boost engagement and grow your follower count.

A CTA can be as simple as asking your followers to share their thoughts in the comments or to share your post. Encouraging action from your audience is key.

Posts with higher engagement are more likely to be seen by others, thanks to Instagram’s algorithm. You can try using proven call-to-action words to enhance your Instagram captions.

Here’s an example of a CTA in action: The Verge created a separate Instagram page dedicated to phone wallpapers and asked their followers to check it out and follow.

4. Expand Your Instagram Following through Comment Engagement

Social media platforms were designed for social interaction, not just sales pitches. Building a community and establishing a brand personality is crucial for attracting followers. Engaging and responding to comments on your posts is an effective way to achieve this. It shows that there’s a real person behind the account rather than a content machine.

Each comment presents an opportunity to gain a follower for your brand.

Take a look at how the Peel Instagram account uses its comment section to actively engage with its followers.

By providing genuine replies, promoting relevant products or sales, addressing questions and concerns, and showcasing your brand’s personality in the comments, you can foster meaningful connections with your audience and attract free Insta followers.

5. Boost Your Instagram Followers with User-Generated Content (UGC)

User-Generated Content (UGC) refers to content created by individuals outside of your organization or business. It’s genuine and produced by your own fans and followers.

Many have successfully gained followers by harnessing the power of UGC. The best part is that UGC can come from anyone, not just popular influencers.

Sharing UGC is an excellent way to strengthen the sense of community around your brand. Moreover, when you showcase content featuring real customers enjoying and using your products, it becomes easier for potential followers and customers to envision themselves doing the same. It’s a win-win situation.

Wayfair is a prime example of a brand consistently sharing UGC. They gladly repost content from their tribe of home decor enthusiasts. Notice how Wayfair always tags the person in their own photo and comments, ensuring that the content creators are aware of Wayfair using their content.

6. Increase Your Instagram Followers by Tagging People

Tagging is a powerful method to enhance the visibility of your posts online. When you plan to share user-generated content or images that include other individuals, it’s always beneficial to tag them. This can be done through an Instagram Story, post, or even a video.

Similarly, if someone posts content about you or your product, tagging them allows viewers to easily discover and follow your account, eliminating the hassle of searching on their own.

Whole Foods ensures to mention the brands featured in their retail stores, making it convenient for customers to find those brands.

By utilizing tagging options strategically, you can expand the reach of your content and attract more Instagram followers effortlessly.

7. Increase Your Instagram Followers by Going Live

Live video has emerged as a prominent marketing trend, and it continues to hold its position in the spotlight. When you go live on Instagram, your story takes center stage in your followers’ Instagram Stories feed. This prime placement increases the visibility of your content.

During a live session, anyone can join and engage with your video through comments or even co-hosting. 

8. Expand Your Instagram Followers with an Instagram Takeover

Hosting an Instagram takeover can generate captivating content and attract new followers from the brand or influencer you partner with. An Instagram takeover is a simple concept: someone temporarily takes over your Instagram account. It’s a mutually beneficial cross-promotion strategy.

Typically, the host (the account owner) allows a guest (the takeover participant) to reach a new audience with their own unique content.

Guests for takeovers can include influencers, employees, complementary brands, community members, or even customers.

To ensure maximum impact, it’s a good practice to announce and promote your Instagram takeover in advance. This way, your followers will be aware of what to expect and can actively participate.

Explore these Instagram takeover ideas to inspire your own successful takeover:

  • Instagram Story Takeover
  • Instagram Feed Takeover
  • Instagram Live Video Takeover
  • IGTV Episode Takeover

By implementing these takeover strategies, you can effectively engage your audience and attract more Instagram followers effortlessly.

9. Enhance Your Instagram Followers with an Instagram Theme

Establishing a cohesive theme or aesthetic for your Instagram account is crucial in attracting attention and gaining more followers. Studies have shown that a well-defined theme or brand aesthetic can make a significant impact.

Take a glance at Planoly’s Instagram account as an example. They use various shades of blue to create a consistent color scheme. Their content, including images, quotes, and videos, aligns with their Instagram theme, making it visually captivating.

Creating an appealing Instagram feed doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In fact, it’s quite simple. Here are a few effective ways to develop your Instagram theme:

  • Start with a color scheme using tools like Coolers to find harmonious colors.
  • Discover and follow accounts that have themes you admire for inspiration.
  • Create content that aligns with the look and feel of your chosen theme.
  • Use tools like Later to organize and plan your content effectively.

10. Amplify Your Instagram Followers with Quotes

You are likely familiar with popular hashtags like #MondayMotivation, where inspiring quotes are widely shared on social media. 

Even major brands have hopped on the quote bandwagon. Inc Magazine, for instance, shares quotes from entrepreneurs and founders to inspire their audience.

To leverage quotes effectively, you have two options: create your own quotes or repost quotes from others. Pinterest is an excellent resource for discovering impactful quotes. If you prefer to create your own posts, apps like Canva can help you quickly design visually appealing quote graphics.

Quotes serve as a powerful means to showcase your brand’s personality and core beliefs. Just remember to select quotes that are relevant to your target audience and followers, aligning with their interests and aspirations.

By incorporating quotes into your Instagram content, you can effectively engage your audience, establish a deeper connection, and attract more followers to your account.

11. Boost Your Instagram Followers with Analytics Tools

Now, you might be wondering how Instagram analytics can actually help you gain more followers.

Using analytics tools allows you to track your success and see the outcomes of your Instagram efforts. By leveraging these insights, you can make informed decisions about the type of content to post, identify your most engaged audience, and determine the optimal timing for publishing.

While most social media management tools incorporate some form of analytics, the following tools offer exceptional analytics capabilities:

  • Buffer
  • Later
  • Sprout Social
  • Iconosquare Instagram Audit

12. Skyrocket Your Instagram Followers with Influencer Collaborations

Influencers are truly a brand’s best friend. Collaborating with influencers not only helps build credibility but also opens the door to reaching thousands or even millions of followers.

Today influencer marketing is accessible to all brands on Instagram, regardless of their size or industry. You can engage influencers to promote your products, advertise sales, or even organize giveaways and contests. Combining the power of influencer marketing with these strategies can yield remarkable results in terms of follower growth.

Take a look at how Karl Conard promoted LG Tech’s new product. This influencer collaboration generated significant buzz around their upcoming product launch, creating anticipation among their audience even before it hit the stores.

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13. Increase Your Instagram Followers by Strategic Following

There seems to be a common misconception surrounding the act of following others on Instagram. Some believe that you should automatically follow anyone who follows you, while others advocate for a more selective approach to maintain a favorable follower ratio. However, the truth lies somewhere in between.

While it’s not necessary to follow every single account that follows you, it’s important to strike a balance. Don’t hesitate to follow fans, influencers, and friends who align with your interests and values.

However, it’s crucial to avoid relying solely on following others to grow your Instagram followers. Desperation for followers can attract the wrong audience and undermine your credibility. Instead, focus on building genuine connections and attracting followers who genuinely resonate with your content.

A good starting point is to follow your friends on Instagram, as most of them will reciprocate the gesture. Additionally, Instagram now allows you to easily follow your Facebook friends directly from your Instagram account. Simply navigate to your Instagram profile, click on the three-stripe icon at the top right of your screen, and select “Find People.”

You can also consider following influencers or fans with large followings in your niche. This can help attract like-minded followers who are interested in the type of content you share.

14. Enhance Your Instagram Followers with Engaging Instagram Stories

With an ever-growing user base of up to 500 million daily users, Instagram Stories have become an integral part of successful marketing strategies.

Updating your Instagram Stories regularly serves multiple purposes. It not only keeps your existing followers informed about new products or services but also signals to potential followers that your Instagram account is active and engaging.

To maximize the reach of your Stories, incorporate relevant hashtags and geotags so that anyone can discover and view your content.

Furthermore, take advantage of the ability to add links to your Stories, which can drive traffic to your website or specific landing pages. An excellent example is how HBX utilizes Stories to inform customers about new collections and drive them to explore further.

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In addition to sharing updates, Instagram Stories offer a variety of interactive features such as question stickers, emoji bars, and countdowns. These elements can foster engagement with your audience and build anticipation for upcoming launches or events.

Finally, don’t underestimate the value of Instagram Story highlights. By organizing and categorizing your Stories into highlights, you provide your followers with easy access to previously shared content and ensure that they don’t miss out on anything important. Take a cue from Buzzfeed’s Tasty Instagram account, which effectively uses highlights to showcase a range of content options for their followers.

15. Boost Your Instagram Followers with Captivating Videos and IGTV

Did you know that video posts on Instagram generate higher engagement compared to image posts? Not only that, but they are also more effective in helping Instagram accounts gain followers. It’s clear that creating exciting and engaging video content is a powerful strategy to grow your Instagram following.

Instagram offers a feature called IGTV, which allows you to create and share videos longer than a minute in length on the platform. You can even share a one-minute preview of your IGTV video in your regular feed, attracting viewers and encouraging them to watch the full video.

Here are 7 genius ways you can leverage videos and IGTV to attract more followers:

  • Behind the Scenes: Take your audience behind the scenes of your brand or business.
  • Tutorials & DIYs: Share instructional videos and do-it-yourself content related to your niche.
  • Product Updates: Showcase new product releases or updates in an engaging video format.
  • IGTV Episode Takeover: Collaborate with influencers or industry experts to host an IGTV episode on your account.
  • Brand/Team Introduction: Introduce your brand or team members through videos to create a personal connection with your audience.
  • FAQs: Answer frequently asked questions in video format, providing valuable insights to your followers.
  • Lookbooks: Create stylish lookbooks or fashion videos to inspire and attract your target audience.

16. Expand Your Instagram Followers with Effective Instagram Ads

Instagram ads have proven to be a powerful tool for reaching your target audience and gaining more followers. With the ability to create ads for both Instagram Stories and the feed, you can broaden your reach and increase your chances of attracting new followers.

Before diving into creating Instagram ads, consider these tips to maximize their effectiveness:

  • Establish clear goals and objectives for your ads to ensure you have a focused strategy.
  • Use captivating images or videos that grab viewers’ attention and make them want to learn more.
  • Use targeted ads on Instagram to reach specific demographics or interests relevant to your brand.

By following these tips, you can create compelling Instagram ads that effectively engage users and drive them to follow your account.

17. Increase Your Instagram Followers with Instagram Plugins

Integrating your Instagram feed into your website or blog can be a game-changer in converting website visitors into Instagram followers. By showcasing your Instagram account on your website, you make it easy for visitors to discover and explore your content.

With the increasing popularity of Instagram, there are numerous Instagram plugins available that make it simple to add your Instagram feed to your website. These plugins also provide the opportunity to display user-generated content, enticing customers to shop and follow your brand.

Additionally, don’t forget to add the Instagram icon to your website footer, ensuring that customers can easily find their way to your Instagram account.

18. Expand Your Instagram Followers with Instagram Nametags

Instagram Nametags, introduced in October 2018, offers a convenient way for people to find and connect with your Instagram account. These customizable name tags can be scanned by others, instantly directing them to your profile without the need to manually search. Similarly, you can scan other people’s Instagram Nametags to discover and connect with them.

Use the power of your Instagram Nametag to attract more followers and make it effortless for people to find your account. With a touch of creativity, you can incorporate your Instagram Nametag into various strategies:

  • Print your Instagram Nametag on your business cards.
  • Display your Instagram Nametag in your physical store or retail location.
  • Add your Instagram Nametag to your videos or visual content.
  • Incorporate it into your blog or website, making it easily accessible.
  • Share your Instagram Nametag at events or networking opportunities.

By leveraging your Instagram Nametag creatively, you can enhance your visibility and make it convenient for others to follow your Instagram account.

19. Harness Your Other Platforms to Gain Instagram Followers

If you have a presence on other social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, leverage these channels to direct your existing fans and followers to your Instagram profile. Instead of waiting for them to find your Instagram account on their own, proactively let them know about it.

Share your Instagram username or a direct link to your Instagram profile on your other social media accounts. 

Encourage your audience to follow you on Instagram for the latest updates and exclusive content. Adding clear calls to action (CTAs) such as “Follow us on Instagram for the latest updates on…” can further boost your followers.

By cross-promoting your Instagram account on your other social platforms, you can tap into your existing audience and expand your follower base on Instagram.

20. Boost Your Instagram Follower Count with Hashtags

Harnessing the power of hashtags is crucial to increase the visibility of your Instagram content.

The question of how many hashtags to use often sparks a debate. Using too few may not have a significant impact while using too many can feel overwhelming. Through experience, experts found that using around 10 to 30 hashtags, along with your own branded hashtag, tends to yield positive results.

To further enhance your reach, consider incorporating branded hashtags into your posts. BarkBox, for instance, created the hashtag #BarkBoxDay to raise awareness about their products. This hashtag has been used in over 365000+ Instagram posts and continues to gain momentum.

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21. Cultivate a Loyal Follower Base with Consistent Content

Creating exceptional content alone is not enough. Consistency in your Instagram posting is key to maintaining and growing your follower count.

However, we understand that daily content creation can be overwhelming, especially with a busy schedule. The good news is that managing your Instagram account doesn’t have to be a tedious task. Social media scheduling tools such as Buffer, Later, and Hootsuite allow you to schedule your content in advance.

By planning and scheduling your content days or even weeks ahead, you can ensure a steady stream of posts while freeing up time to attend to other pressing matters.


We hope you have understood how to get free followers on Instagram by now. However, it’s essential to remember that a large following is only valuable if you can engage and build trust with your audience, fostering a vibrant community around your brand. Your goal should extend beyond mere numbers; it should be about attracting genuine individuals who are actively engaged with your content.

Now, we would love to hear from you!

What are your go-to techniques for increasing your Instagram follower count? Feel free to share your insights and tips in the comments below. Let’s continue the conversation!

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