How to Grow Instagram Followers Organically

Updated on September 11, 2023

8 min to read

Content Writer

Published January 5, 2023

How to Grow Instagram Followers Organically
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Learn how to grow Instagram followers organically using the easy-to-follow strategies in this guide.

While it’s not easy to rake in organic IG followers, anyone can succeed with the right guidance.

Continue reading to learn eight actionable and proven methods for growing your Instagram followers organically.

Table of contents

What you’ll learn:

  • Why do you need an organic Instagram growth strategy?
  • How to grow Instagram followers organically
    1. Optimize your Instagram account for discoverability
    2. Use trending audio to generate more engagement
    3. Publish consistently by auto-publishing your posts
    4. Manage audience interactions promptly
    5. Leverage trending hashtags to improve searchability
    6. Publish content your target audience loves
    7. Establish and track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
    8. Choose a Social Media Management (SMM) Platform you can count on
  • Resources You’ll Love
  • Customers Also Ask
  • Spur organic Instagram growth with Vista Social

Why do you need an organic Instagram growth strategy? 

An organic Instagram growth strategy establishes your social media presence (or your client’s) in the long run.

While it’s challenging to organically grow Instagram profiles, the organic method leads to bigger and more sustainable rewards—without draining your funds. 

Unlike paying for fake followers or launching social media ads, organic follower growth occurs naturally. You just need time, patience, dedication, and the right Instagram marketing tactics proven to rake in more followers. 

Benefits of organic Instagram growth

Below are the benefits of organic Instagram growth:

  • Get real, recurring engagement: Organic Instagram followers are real people capable of generating real engagement, including likes, shares, and comments.
  • Leverage word of mouth: Shares from your organic followers are like digital votes of confidence—boosting your reach and brand authority. 
  • Generate conversions: Unlike fake Instagram followers, real followers help you achieve business goals, from sales to email signups. 

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How to grow Instagram followers organically

Without further ado, here are eight proven, organic ways to grow followers on Instagram:

1. Optimize your Instagram account for discoverability

Use a more search-friendly Instagram username and bio to be more discoverable on the platform. 

If you have an established presence in other social networks, use the same names across all your profiles. Otherwise, add keywords to your Instagram profile for searchability. 

For example, if users want to look for marketing tips on IG, they’ll search for the keyword “marketing.” 

Here’s what they’ll find:

Instagram search results
Image Source:

Instagram lets you change your username as long as it’s unique. Here’s how: 

  • Step 1: Open the Instagram app. 
  • Step 2: Go to your profile and tap ‘Edit profile.’ 
  • Step 3: Tap your username. 
  • Step 4: Enter your new username and tap ‘Done.’

Instagram will reserve your username for another 14 days. After which, you can only revert back to your old username if it isn’t taken by another user. 

Create Instagram posts with trending audio to increase their discoverability and generate more engagement. 

Audio tracks make Instagram video posts, reels, and stories more entertaining and catchy. It also makes content discoverable to users who want to use the same audio.

IG content.
Image Source:

Remember, before you can turn Instagram users into followers, you need to get their attention first. 

Trending sounds improve your chances of being seen on the platform. Just use audio tracks that your target audience likes to beef up your follower count. 

Vista Social’s publisher provides trending audio suggestions for video content. On the “Publish” window, click the video recorder icon and click ‘Add video.’

Choose from the options below to import videos to your posts: 

  • Choose from Library
  • Design with Vista Create
  • Discover (from third-party sources)
  • Upload from computer
  • Upload from URL
Vista Social’s publisher provides trending audio suggestions for video content.

Tip: Vista Social detects if your video doesn’t fit the ideal Instagram reels dimensions (or any video content type). Pay attention to alerts in the preview panel if you need to change your video’s aspect ratio.

A thumbnail of your video should appear below your post caption field. 

Click the three-dot menu icon and select ‘Pick sound’ to reveal trending audio suggestions for Instagram stories, feed posts, and reels.

Reveal trending audio suggestions for Instagram stories, feed posts, and reels.

Browse the “Trending sounds” tab or use the built-in search bar to find audio clips. Click on the audio cover to play the track or tick the check button in the upper-left corner. 

Click ‘Apply sound’ to add the trending audio to your video.

Add the trending audio to your video.

Vista Social streamlines the process of planning posts, adding trending sounds, and setting a publishing schedule. You can apply trending sounds to video content on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. 

3. Publish consistently by auto-publishing your posts

Create an automated publishing schedule to give your Instagram posts maximum exposure.

Instagram users have predictable usage patterns that affect the visibility of content, especially if you look at the big picture. 

Align your publishing schedule with these patterns to put your posts at the top of their home feeds. This will help you supercharge engagement and reel in more followers. 

Unlike other platforms that only schedule reminders, Vista Social offers complete auto-publishing to nine social networks, namely:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google Business
  • TikTok
  • YouTube
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest

Vista Social also guarantees that your content is posted at the perfect times. By analyzing the performance of previous posts, the platform automatically identifies the optimal posting times across your channels. 

Use the publisher to plan a single post and select ‘Schedule’ before you click ‘Next.’

Use the publisher to plan a single post.

On the next page, click ‘Show optimal times’ to reveal posting times that generate the most engagement. Click on the posting time you want to use and click ‘Schedule’ to schedule your post.

Select posting time.

Jot down the recommended posting times to build your automated “publishing queue.” When set, simply select ‘Add to queue’ when planning future posts—Vista Social will automatically publish them at the next available publishing time. 

To create a publishing queue, click ‘Settings’ from the dashboard and select ‘Publishing Settings.’

Create a publishing queue.

Under “Publishing Queues,” select your entity and profile from the drop-down menus. Add posting times by clicking ‘Add a slot.’ 

Select your entity and profile from the drop-down menus.
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4. Manage audience interactions promptly

Respond to audience interactions promptly to get into their notifications and encourage further activity. 

This will stimulate user engagement in the form of comments, likes, and direct messages—something that will get you noticed by the Instagram algorithm. 

The best way to manage audience interactions is via a unified inbox. With Vista Social’s “Inbox” tool, stay on top of all conversations, comments, reviews, and mentions. 

Go to ‘Inbox’ from your dashboard to be in control of your social media engagement:

Manage social media interactions.

In addition to tracking interactions, the Vista Social Inbox also lets you send your responses directly. Liven up the conversation with hashtags, emojis, and image attachments.

To keep social media messaging on-brand, create “saved replies” or templates other team members can use when responding. 

Create templates by clicking the “saved replies” icon below the message field. On the popup window, click the “plus” button to continue. 

Create “saved replies” or templates other team members can use when responding.

If you can’t think of anything interesting to reply, use Vista Social’s conversation AI assistant. This tool automatically generates natural and engaging responses to common messages.

Vista Social’s conversation AI assistant.

If you find an undesirable comment (spam, offensive language, etc.), you can easily hide them from other users by clicking the three-dot settings icon and selecting ‘Hide this comment.’ This will immediately hide the negative comment to other Instagram users.

Hide negative or offensive comments.

Here are more tips for using Vista Social to manage audience interactions:

  • Use the built-in ‘like’ button for positive messages: Reward supportive users with a “like” straight from your Vista Social inbox. 
  • Create tasks for high-priority conversations: Mention team members, use labels, and write internal notes to keep your team on the same page when handling valuable accounts. 
  • Encourage positive commenters to follow your Instagram profile: Use variations of the Call-to-Action (CTA), “be sure to follow our page for more.” 

Inject your Instagram content with trending hashtags to increase their searchability. 

Hashtags help users find relevant content from Instagram. If a hashtag is trending, it means a growing number of users are searching for that hashtag in the social network. 

To find trending hashtag suggestions from Vista Social, launch the publisher, and click the hashtag button under the post editor. Click ‘Hashtag suggestions,’ enter any relevant keyword, and click ‘Suggest.’ 

Within seconds, Vista Social will reveal a list of trending hashtags around your topic (sorted according to popularity). 

Vista Social will reveal a list of trending hashtags.

Tip: If you know how to repost a reel on Instagram, consider experimenting with different hashtags to identify which ones work best. Create a reusable hashtag group with Vista Social to boost future posts. 

6. Publish content your target audience loves

Convert Instagram users into followers by consistently publishing content they genuinely enjoy. 

A good strategy is to “borrow” a few ideas from your top competitors on Instagram. Scout their profile and look specifically for posts with high engagement. 

Here are a few proven tips to create content that rocks on Instagram:

  • Take advantage of different content formats: Mix up your content strategy with reels, stories, carousels, and so on (especially if your top competitors use them). Pick the format that best conveys your message.  
  • Write brilliant captions: Regardless of content format, a good caption always improves your chances of turning users into followers. Research online or investigate competitors for reels, stories, and photo dump captions that fit your content.
  • Jump into trends: Use trending video formats or challenges to get into your target audience’s radar. For example, users are learning how to make a reel with photos and publishing them to “trick” the Instagram algorithm.
  • Add a “like and follow” CTA: Don’t hesitate to ask your audience to “like and follow” your page if they liked your post. Use this CTA in your captions, video (as a sticker or text overlay), and voiceover—whichever applies.
  • Tag other users and products: Use Vista Social’s publisher to tag other profiles to get their attention as you schedule posts. You may also tag products to give users an opportunity to convert into customers on the spot. 

Just be careful when experimenting with different Instagram content formats. If you’re handling a client’s account, use Instagram drafts and let your client approve posts manually.

Must-read: How to find deleted TikTok videos

7. Establish and track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Identify and measure KPIs to assess if your Instagram marketing efforts lead to more followers. 

Use tools like Vista Social’s customizable reports to highlight and continuously track data. To generate an on-demand report, navigate to ‘Reports’ and click ‘Run report.’

Generate on-demand report.

To track and scale your Instagram account, choose either a “social media performance” or a “post performance” report.

A social media performance report tracks metrics like follower growth, engagement, impressions, and post frequency. On the other hand, a post performance report focuses on content-related metrics, particularly data tied to user engagement. 

To highlight specific KPIs, use the “Report Builder” tool to select the pieces of data to track for the selected social profiles. This may include your follower count, top hashtags, post frequency, impressions, and more. 

Use report builder for the metrics.

Vista Social reports can include custom headers, captions, and supplementary text. They can also be scheduled to send automatically via email on a weekly or monthly basis.

8. Choose a Social Media Management (SMM) platform you can count on

Invest in an SMM platform you can trust to keep your Instagram content strategy running smoothly.

Other than front-end features like post scheduling, audio suggestions, and conversation management, look for a platform that protects your Instagram marketing data.

Vista Social, for example, supports two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access to your campaigns. We also provide prompt live support to help you get the most out of the platform.  

All Vista Social subscribers can get access to multiple support options, including live chat and video calls. 

Customers Also Ask

How do you get 1,000 followers on Instagram organically? 

Top ways to increase Instagram followers:

  1. Optimize your Instagram account
  2. Use trends (audio, hashtags, challenges, etc.) 
  3. Automate your publishing
  4. Actively manage audience interactions
  5. Track KPIs
  6. Choose a reliable social media management platform

What is the best time to post on Instagram?

The best times to post on Instagram: 

  • Sunday: 1 a.m.
  • Monday: 5 a.m.
  • Tuesday: 7 a.m.
  • Wednesday: 3 a.m.
  • Thursday: 3 a.m.
  • Friday: 7 a.m.
  • Saturday: 1 a.m.

Why is my Instagram followers not increasing?

You’re either not consistently publishing quality content, or you’re not exploring other content options on Instagram. Social media is always evolving—you need to keep up with the changes if you want to stay relevant and grow.

Resources You’ll Love

Spur organic Instagram growth with Vista Social

Learning how to get Instagram followers organically is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.

The right SMM platform will help you breeze through the challenging aspects of growing your Instagram following. And with Vista Social, you don’t need to spend a dime to get started. 

Click here to create a free Vista Social account and start scheduling posts today!

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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