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How Can I Increase my Instagram Followers Organically?

Welcome to The Social Lab! This blog will not only help you navigate your personal social media, but also investigate marketing trends and examples of great social media work. Do you have something we should talk about? Make sure to send us an email or contact us on social media.

It seems like many marketing companies have forgotten that social media is meant to be social, not just a large room to scream out a personal agenda. So how can someone create an organic following, say on Instagram? First of all, if you are genuinely interested in this article, you should be applauded for approaching social media the correct way. In order to generate an organic following, you have to put in the time and effort. Do you gain friends just by yelling your name and talking to as many people as possible, or do you gain friends by cultivating a relationship?

Furthermore, many API's or follow / unfollow programs are being shut down by Instagram. Gone are the cheap, growth hack methods that result in nothing. Instead, people will be forced to engage with people like a real human.

So how can you gain a large organic following? Consider the following tips...

Engage With Other Users

This may seem self explanatory, but you would be amazed at how impatient people get. Social media is a two-way street. Consider your target audience and afterwards engage with people that would be interested in your content. For example, if you are a cook, you could search the hashtag food, and subsequently like and comment on people's posts. Of course, it is important to act organically. Truly take the time to comment in a human and personal way. If an individual’s content is something you sincerely enjoy, you can also follow them and like some of their older posts. If this is a personal account or you only run a couple social media accounts, you should think about organically engaging with a hashtag for at least 20-30 minutes per day. You will be amazed at the results you will get.

Utilize Hashtags

All of your posts should have 25–30 hashtags in the comment section. This will help get your posts noticed and also keep your copy (text in the caption) clean from clutter. In addition, when people remark on your posts, make sure to like those responses or even reply back. It is incredibly important to create hashtags that are relevant to your image. If you are posting a piece of art, then you should have hashtags that align with that. Don't be afraid to put some hashtags that have less than 500,000 or even 100,000 searches.

Post at the Right Time for your Audience

Your target audience will be on at certain times of the day. It's your job to determine when and post / engage with people during that time. If you were invited to a party by your target audience, then you would obviously show up during the party time.

Follow / Unfollow Organically

Just because you don't have a robot controlling who you follow, doesn't mean you can't follow and unfollow certain people. At The Socii Project, we have even been known to create a spreadsheet to keep track of the people we engaged with and the ones that posted so little, that they needed to be unfollowed. Again, the goal here is to act like a human and behave organically. Follow 20 people, engage with them, and give time for the relationship to cultivate. If nothing happens, then by all means unfollow.

Create Great Content

Post prominent images and noteworthy text. Ask questions. Get people engaged. This is probably the greatest tip of all. No matter how much you engage with different hashtags and also your own home feed, if you don't create content worth looking at and reading, then what is the point?


On top of these tips, it is also important not to forget your current fans. Take time to go through your home feed and like other people's posts. Again, social media should be like a friendship and it's important to give as many people as possible time and attention. Basically, don't be a robot!

Organic followers will always trump cheap, bought followers. While it may take more time and effort, it is ten times more worth it when it comes to brand awareness and sales. Are there any tips you can think of that we should talk about? Email us or comment below.


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