How to Get Followers on Instagram Without Following

Updated on September 11, 2023

11 min to read

Content Writer

Published May 18, 2022

How to Get Followers on Instagram Without Following
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Are you wondering how to get followers on Instagram without following other users?

Following other users to get followed back is a classic strategy to get more Instagram followers. However, it shouldn’t be your ONLY strategy for growing your Instagram account. 

Spam-following Instagram accounts could lead to an unhealthy and unattractive follower-to-following ratio.

Not only will this affect how users perceive your popularity, it can also affect your earnings if you’re an influencer. 

In this post, we’ll uncover the best marketing tips and IG tools to grow your Instagram followers without following others first. 

Table of contents

What you’ll learn:

  • 7 ways to get followers on Instagram without following
    • Schedule Instagram posts and post frequently
    • Promote your Instagram profile on other channels
    • Engage comments from other Instagram users
    • Try new content pillars and track results
    • Leverage influencer marketing
    • Run a hashtag contest
    • Get smart with hashtags
    • Use video content
  • Top benefits of gaining more followers
  • Common mistakes to avoid when getting Instagram followers without following
  • How to get followers on Instagram without following: FAQs
  • Get truckloads of organic followers with Vista Social

7 ways to get followers on Instagram without following

Here are 7 ways to boost your follower count organically and successfully: 

1. Schedule Instagram posts and post frequently

High-quality and relevant posts win Instagram followers. And if you post frequently, you’ll consistently get more followers. 

It’s that simple. 

However, you can’t just blast a chockful of posts in a row.

You need a posting strategy that aligns your posting frequency and timing to the activity patterns of your ideal Instagram followers. 

Vista Social can help you build an automated posting schedule around optimal times.

Screenshot of Vista Social's home page

To do this, head to “Publishing Settings” and scroll down to “Publishing Queues.” From there, select the Vista Social account entity you want to work with.

Screenshot of Vista Social's Publishing Dashboard

Not sure when to publish posts on Instagram? 

For starters, consider posting once or twice during the following times: 

  • 11 AM to 1 PM
  • 7 PM to 9 PM 
  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday

You can also use Instagram’s built-in Insights tool to monitor the most active times of your existing followers. Just tap ‘Total followers’ in the “Insights Overview” section and scroll to the bottom. 

Suggested Article: 431+ Best One-Word Instagram Captions to COPY & PASTE! [2022]

Screenshot of Vista Social's Instagram Posting.
Image Source:

After building the posting schedule for your Instagram account, the next order of business is to queue up some content. 

This can be done from the “Publish” menu, which can be found right on your dashboard.

Screenshot of Vista Social's Single Post Dashboard

In the “Publish” window, build your Instagram post as usual by writing a caption, injecting hashtags, and so on. Just be sure to select ‘Add to queue’ when finalizing your post before you click ‘Next.’

Screenshot of Vista Social's Add to Queue

As the final step, you need to decide if your post goes at the top or to the bottom of your queue. 

Vista Social should present you with a visual calendar for an overview of your posting schedule. That will help you decide whether your new post should be published in the soonest available time slot or once everything else in your queue has been posted. 

(Also read: Loomly vs Hootsuite vs Vista Social: Which SMM Platform is Right for You)

Ready to give your content workflow and posts a major upgrade? Try AI Assistant powered by ChatGPT today! 🤖💙

2. Promote your Instagram profile on other channels

In most cases, using a “Follow me on Instagram” CTA can help anyone get free Instagram followers. In doing so, you utilize the content and presence you already have in other social channels to bring more attention to your Instagram account. 

For example, on Twitter, you can tweet a follow request with a clickable link attached to your Instagram handle.

Screenshot of Eden Hazard's Twitter
Image Source:, @hazardeden10

A long-term strategy is to include a link to your Instagram account in your bios and post descriptions on video-sharing social media platforms to cross promote social profiles across social channels. Big-name influencers like Marques Brownlee constantly include a link to their social media accounts, including Instagram, in their content descriptions.

Image Source:

If you run a website, embed an Instagram follow button to places that make sense, like your page header, footer, and sidebars. AddThis is the best app to do this if you’re looking to drive new visitors for free. 

Just use the straightforward interface to build your follow button and add the code to your website.

Screenshot for Add This
Image Source:

3. Engage comments from other Instagram users

To get more Instagram followers, you need to take on a more active role in engaging your target audience. 

Responding to their comments—be it on your post or that of other popular Instagram accounts—will help you turn some heads. Just be sure to load up on funny things to comment on Instagram to make your brand more likable and approachable.

Suggested Article: 142+ Instagram Poll Questions to Ask Your Followers

Don’t ignore your direct message inbox, either. That’s probably where your most interested leads will attempt to reach you. 

For that, use Vista Social’s Inbox tool to manage all your social media conversations in one place. 

Screenshot of Vista Social's Inbox

4. Try new content pillars and track results

When was the last time you reviewed your Instagram content strategy?

If you’re not satisfied with your content’s performance, experiment with other content pillars for Instagram

To help you come up with a great idea, here are some examples of Instagram-level content pillars: 

  • Inspirational content — Before and after photos, image quotes, results, etc. 
  • Behind-the-scenes content — Company meetings, lunch outs, team-building, etc.
  • Informative content — Video tutorials, infographics, screenshots, etc.

How do you know which content pillars will work on Instagram?

That’s the fun part—you don’t.

Sure, you can take a look at what your top competitors are doing on Instagram. But there’s no guarantee that they will generate the same results for you.

What you can do is implement a performance tracking strategy using Instagram’s built-in analytics. Or, if you want something more in-depth, you can run a “Post Performance” report on Vista Social.

Screenshot of Vista Social's Post Performance Report

Within seconds, Vista Social will present you with a detailed report of your social media content’s performance. 

If you scroll down to the “Posts performance” section of the report, you’ll see an overview of each post’s user engagement metrics.

Screenshot of Vista Social's Post Performance Report

Monitoring these metrics will help you determine which content pillars stick and which should hit the dirt. 

5. Leverage influencer marketing

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If you want to increase Instagram followers fast, it’s time to take a more serious approach. 

Influencers can help promote your Instagram account to a wider audience. This, of course, comes with numerous benefits, like gaining followers, ramping up your user engagement rate, and generating leads.

Instagram features Branded Content Tools to make it easy to work with influencers. This lets you whitelist influencers for automatic tag approvals and enable manual approvals for more control. 

Don’t know how influencer marketing works on Instagram? 

You should see brands working with influencers all the time on Instagram. Just look for the “Paid partnership” tag and you’ll know you’ve found one.

For your reference, here’s a paid partnership post between Addicted to Tools and the company Optus: 

Screenshot of Addicted to Tools Instagram
Image Source:, @addictedtotools

Below are some ways to work with influencers to increase followers: 

  • Plan a collaborative project: Think of collaboration opportunities like interviews, Q&As, and live virtual events to give the influencer something meaningful to share.
  • Give influencers early access: Ship them free products they can review and encourage them to upload their findings. 
  • Share an influencer’s existing Instagram post: Instagram lets you share your influencer’s existing social media content as branded ads. 

6. Run a hashtag contest

Promising your target audience a chance to win something valuable is a great way to incentivize following your account. In exchange, you can ask your potential followers on Instagram to simply follow your page, tag their friends, write something creative, or all of the above. 

You don’t need to purchase any tool or hire any service to run contests. Simply come up with a prize, contest mechanics, and content for your contest post. 

There are loads of hashtag contests on Instagram you can use for inspiration.

Screenshot of ILIFE's Instagram
Image Source:, @ilife_global

In addition to getting more followers on Instagram, hashtag contests will also stir up user engagement. 

Comments, likes, shares—all this will be picked up by the Instagram algorithm. Cumulatively, they will help make your brand more visible on the platform.

There are other Instagram contests you can try:

  • Caption contest: Ask your followers to write the most creative caption they can think of for your image.
  • Trivia question: Ask a question and pick from a winner among active users who gave the correct answer.
  • Voting contest: Pick the top submissions from your audience and run a poll on who should win.

A crucial component of any Instagram contest—not just hashtag contests—is a unique branded hashtag. 

Suggested Article: 487+ Best, Most Popular, Viral Hashtags for Instagram this 2022

This takes us to the next strategy.

7. Get smart with hashtags

It takes a little brainstorming with your team to come up with the perfect hashtags for Instagram marketing. This is especially true if you want to create unique hashtags that you want people to associate with your brand.

If you can’t come up with anything, you can draw a few ideas using tools like the All-Hashtag

To use it, simply enter any word that describes your brand, product, or contest.

Screenshot of All Hashtag's home page
Image Source:

Keep in mind that you can choose between top, random, and live hashtags as your search filter. 

  • Top: Find the most-used and popular hashtags related to your keyword.
  • Random: Find hashtags randomly.
  • Live: Find the most recently-used hashtags.

All-Hashtag will provide you with multiple lists of 30 hashtags. To generate more, simply click ‘More hashtags’ under the right list.

Screenshot of All Hashtag options
Image Source:

These hashtag ideas can be used to increase the searchability of your posts on Instagram. However, using too many of them can make your post descriptions look cluttered. 

Here’s a tip: use Vista Social to automate a first comment that contains these hashtags. 

All you have to do is paste your hashtags in the “Leave the first comment” field when scheduling a post.

Screenshot of Vista Social's Leave Comment

8. Use video content 

With the success of TikTok, Instagram rolled out features that focus on short-form videos. 

Instagram Reels, for example, allows brands to reach an engaged audience using videos up to 60 seconds long. You can also publish regular Instagram video posts to catch the attention of your ideal followers and draw more eyes to your content. 

For ideas, start with the most viewed Instagram video in your niche. Chances are, you’ll find the following types of videos: 

  • Video posts from influencers and famous people
  • Funny videos
  • Product unboxing and review videos
  • Product demos
  • Videos using trending effects and sounds

There’s also Instagram Stories, which comes with a list of audience engagement features. A good example would be the Questions sticker, which can pique the Instagram crowd’s interest and win over followers—given you know the best questions to ask on Instagram story

Top benefits of gaining more followers

Some of the perks of getting followers on Instagram without following other users include the following:

  • More people will see your content. The more people see your content means more opportunities to gain likes, comments, and shares. #Winning
  • With more followers, you’ll look like a hot shot on the ‘Gram. It’s an important achievement if you’re trying to make your clients big on Instagram, promote their business, encourage people to engage with their content, or use IG marketing to amplify their social media marketing efforts. 
  • As you help clients rack up followers, other users may follow your clients simply because they are popular. It’s like a snowball effect, but instead of snow, it’s Insta-fans.
  • If you’re a hustler, a bigger following can lead to paid gigs, including sponsored posts and partnerships. Cha-ching!
  • Having a ton of followers shows everyone that your clients are the real deal. It’s one way of showing social proof, helping your clients be the queen (or king) of the Insta-jungle in no time.
  • No need to play the follow/unfollow game. Growing your client’s without following means you won’t need to resort to sketchy tactics like following Instagram users and unfollowing them once they follow your client’s account back. Sure, it can be an exellent way to get fake followers, but who wants that? Don’t do things like buy Instagram followers or the tactic mentioned above. 
  • You can be super picky about the other Instagram accounts your clients follow, but still have a massive following yourself. Consider only following relevant accounts to keep your client’s following list genuine. 
  • You’ll have a higher ratio of real followers to following, which looks way cooler. 
  • You can help your clients connect with people who are genuinely interested in their content, instead of just following others to get a follow back. Get free followers organically instead of using fake and questionable tactics.

Getting more real Instagram followers without following others is totally worth it—if you can nail your strategy and use the best apps to help drive organic growth.

Common mistakes to avoid when getting Instagram followers without following

Check out the common mistakes below to avoid making them and grow your IG following successfully:

  • Ignoring the power of engagement. Don’t focus only on getting more followers and neglect engaging and having a meaningful conversation with current followers. As mentioned earlerier, effective engagement helps you build a loyal following and improve your reach on Instagram.
  • Using spammy tactics. Avoid using spammy tactics such as buying followers, creating fake Instagram followers, or using bots to automate your interactions. These tactics might give you a temporary boost in followers, but they can ultimately hurt your client account’s credibility and can even lead to account suspension.
  • Neglecting content quality. Instagram is a visual platform, and high-quality content is essential to attract and retain followers. Posting irrelevant or low-quality content on your Instagram feed, Reels, and Stories can fail to attract new followers and drive away existing ones.
  • Failing to target the right audience. Understand your target audience and create content that appeals to them. Posting content that doesn’t resonate with your target audience can fail to attract new followers and lead to decreased engagement.
  • Lack of consistency. Posting irregularly or inconsistently can lead to a drop in engagement and followers. Create a content calendar and stick to a regular posting schedule to keep your audience engaged and interested.
  • Not using hashtags effectively. Using relevant hashtags can increase your reach and attract new followers. However, using irrelevant or overused hashtags can hurt your client account’s visibility and credibility.
  • Ignoring analytics. Analytics is critical to understanding your audience’s behavior, identifying which content resonates with them, and optimizing your strategy to attract new followers. Regularly analyze your performance data and adjust your strategy accordingly.

How to get followers on Instagram without following: FAQs

1. Is it hard to get followers on Instagram?

It’s not hard to get real Instagram followers if you know the right strategies. Blend a user-oriented content strategy with various promotion tactics, like Instagram Stories and influencer marketing, to get the best results.

2. Does posting daily on Instagram help?

Posting frequently will help your page become more discoverable on Instagram. However, make sure each post is created and published with the same level of commitment to quality, relevance, and timeliness.

3. What is the best time to post on Instagram?

To generate the most interactions, the best time to post content is Wednesday evenings between 7 PM and 9 PM. Just be sure to check Instagram Insights to optimize your posting schedule over time. 

4. Can buying followers on Instagram get you banned?

No, you can’t get banned for buying followers or hiring services that aim to get you more followers on Instagram. Just be sure you’re getting real, active followers and not inactive accounts that can’t engage your content. 

5. Can you get verified on Instagram if you bought followers?

Yes and no—there’s no required number of followers to get verified on Instagram. While you need a substantial amount of followers, verification happens to accounts tied to a registered business account or entity or a real famous person.

(Also read: Sendible vs Hootsuite vs Vista Social: 2022 Review)

Get truckloads of organic followers with Vista Social

You can’t get new followers on Instagram if you just read about the best strategies. 

What you need to do is turn information into action—and find the best tool for the job. 

Vista Social fits the bill perfectly with a combination of post scheduling, user engagement, and analytics reporting features.

Get started today by creating a free account.

About the Author

Content Writer

Jimmy Rodela is a social media and content marketing consultant with over 9 years of experience, with work appearing on sites such as, Yahoo, SEMRush, and SearchEnginePeople. He specializes in social media, content marketing, SaaS, small business strategy, marketing automation, and content development.

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