By Ransom Agui
Organic Instagram growth takes a lot of time and focus. You need to commit to creating plenty of high-quality content for your audience, so they want to follow your profile. There are also the challenges of finding the right time to post, knowing how to create content (Stories, pictures, and videos) and engage with your community.
It’s no wonder some people try to skip some of the hard work by buying followers instead.
After all, the more followers you have on your Instagram account, the more likely it is people will trust and engage with your profile. Buying a handful of followers can seem like a great way to give yourself the initial boost you need to make the right impact online. Unfortunately, the risks far outweigh the potential benefits.
Organic Instagram growth is the only safe and sustainable way to develop your social media presence, and leverage the power of Instagram sharing – here’s why.
What Are The Different Instagram Growth Methods?
The purpose of social media is to engage with followers on a regular basis through shared content, discussions, and meaningful interactions (like livestreams and contests).
Commit to a great social strategy, and you’ll eventually earn the followers you need. Unfortunately, organic, reliable growth is often slower than most people would like.
During the initial stages of building your Instagram account, when you only have a handful of followers, you’re missing out on:
- Exclusive features: Certain Instagram features are only available when you have a specific number of followers – like the “swipe up” feature for profiles with 10,000 fans.
- Social proof: Some followers will be reluctant to follow someone with only a handful of followers because they won’t trust the quality of their content.
- Marketing opportunities: Influencers and partners are less likely to partner with a profile that has only a small number of followers.
This means you need to find a way of growing fast. This could mean using an Instagram growth service to boost your organic growth or experimenting with things like like/unlike methods. Here are some of the most common ways to gain followers fast.
1. Buying Instagram Followers
Buying Instagram followers means purchasing a specific number of followers from a company or repository online. Most follower sales companies offer “packages” starting at 100 or 1,000 followers. On the one hand, this can seem like a great way to get a larger following fast. You don’t need to do any work, and you can improve your chances of competing with other brands.
Buying followers gives you an instant boost to your visibility and can lead to better engagement and partnership opportunities, too. Unfortunately, purchasing followers isn’t as simple as it seems. First of all, buying followers on Instagram goes against the terms of service for the platform, so if Instagram finds out you’ve been doing this, you risk being banned.
Another problem is although your reputation may improve initially when you gain new followers, it can quickly crumble as soon as people find out those followers are fake. Most companies sell fake followers, bot accounts, and spam bots, rather than connections with real people.
- The quickest and easiest way to gain followers
- Can offer access to more Instagram features and opportunities
- Requires no work on behalf of the business
- Flexible package options from most sellers
- Risk of being banned when Instagram finds out
- Can be expensive, and your return on investment isn’t promised
- Fake followers damage your credibility
- Engagement won’t necessarily improve, particularly if your followers are fake
- Spam bots can drive away authentic followers
2. The Follow/Unfollow Method
For most people, the risks of buying followers are far too great to chance. This is why many users looking to accelerate organic Instagram growth have begun experimenting with other methods. One option to improve your chances of getting genuine followers (rather than bots), with very little initial investment or work, is the follow/unfollow method.
The follow/unfollow method involves following all of the people who already connect with competitors and similar brands in your industry. This means you get to specifically target the people most likely to be interested in your brand. Once an account follows you back, you then unfollow them, so you can maintain a good follower/following ratio. After all, big brands and credible influencers don’t follow nearly as many people as they have following them.
Some statistics suggest around 28% of influencers with fewer than 100k followers have used this trick. On the one hand, it’s a cheap and effective way to connect with the right people you want to follow your account. On the other hand, you’re once again risking your credibility and your account, as the follow/unfollow tactic goes against Instagram’s terms of service.
- Quick way to find new followers relevant to your brand
- Reduces of the risk of fake followers and bots
- Takes less time than genuine engagement
- Affordable (Doesn’t cost anything to follow)
- Puts your credibility at risk when people realize what you’re doing
- It can be hard to maintain a good follow/unfollow ratio
- There’s a risk people will unfollow you when you unfollow them
- Goes against Instagram’s terms of services, so you risk a ban
3. The Liking Method
Ultimately, tricking your followers into following you, or buying fake accounts to ramp up your numbers is never going to be as effective as organic Instagram growth. Only organic growth will help you build connections with genuine people who want to interact with your business. However, there are ways to accelerate your organic growth, too.
The “liking” method is the safest way to grow your Instagram account. It allows you to essentially “like” content from the people you’d like to have following your account, in the hope they’ll follow you in return. Unlike the follow/unfollow method, you’re not putting your credibility or your ratios at risk. You’re just engaging rapidly with a lot of potential fans.
The liking method also gives you the control of being able to decide which followers you want to engage with, which reduces the risk of bots and fake accounts.
- Simple and straightforward method
- Excellent for targeting specific users
- Doesn’t put your account at risk
- Can be automated with the right tools
- May be slow to do manually
4. Reasons To Choose Organic Instagram Growth
Organic Instagram growth might be slower than buying your followers or using various underhanded tactics to attract new fans. However, it’s also the best way to get the most out of your Instagram account. Here are four reasons why organic growth is really the only choice for Instagram users:
1. It’s The Safest Method
Instagram wants its social platform to be as fantastic as possible for users. This means cracking down on people who use underhanded tactics to trick their audience. The Instagram terms of service forbid people from using tactics like the follow/unfollow method or buying followers. If you’re found using one of these tactics, you could risk being banned. Organic growth means you can protect your account. You will:
- Protect your account so it can continue to grow over time
- Demonstrate the credibility of your brand
- Reduce your risk of having to start from scratch
2. Slow And Steady Growth
Slow and steady development in your Instagram account proves to the algorithm, and your followers, that you’re genuine. People don’t always trust influencers and brands who suddenly gain millions of followers overnight. Steady growth is more likely to give your identity the credibility it needs. A slow but authentic approach:
- Earns the trust of your followers
- Shows Instagram you’re using the platform correctly
- Impresses future partners and influencers
3. High-Quality Followers
When using tactics like buying followers, you generally can’t choose which followers you end up with. There’s a risk you’ll have nothing but bots and fake accounts filling your follower list. Not only does this mean you risk scaring away any authentic followers with spam, but fake accounts also can’t generate any engagement for ROI on your campaigns. Organic growth:
- Reduces the risk of dangerous fake or spam followers
- Ensures you can find people with a genuine interest in your brand
- Exposes your brand to the right niche
4. Better Engagement
Remember, a high number of Instagram followers doesn’t just allow you to use new features and tools on the platform. You should also be looking for ways to increase followers so you can engage with people who want to buy your products or help build your brand. Fake followers won’t show an interest in your company, but real followers create profits. Better engagement means:
- A stronger chance of earning new followers in the future
- Better chances of working with partners and influencers
- Increased return on investment from your campaigns
How to Grow Instagram Followers Organically
Achieving organic Instagram growth can take time, focus, and commitment, but any brand can succeed with the right strategy. The best way to build your following is to:
- Engage with your audience: Manually connect with the people you want to follow your account. It’s called “social” media for a reason, so get social. Comment on photos and videos, like other people’s content, and send DMs when necessary. You can even respond to the comments people leave on your content. Remember, every interaction with a potential follower should be strategic, so don’t just comment with emojis or single words. Make each connection meaningful.
- Automating the process: Using an organic Instagram growth tool, you can also accelerate your organic growth by automating engagement practices. For instance, a growth tool can “like” photos for you, focusing on the Instagram followers most likely to be interested in your content.
- Continue producing amazing content: Remember while engagement, both automated and manual can improve your follower count, you still need to keep customers around with great content. Produce great photos and videos to build a beautiful Instagram grid, to attract new followers and impress your existing ones. Remember to check your analytics on Instagram to see which posts perform best.
Build Your Platform The Right Way
Building your organic Instagram follower account may take time, but it’s also the best way to ensure a return on your social media investment in the long-term.
About the Author
Ransom Agui is a marketing coordinator at Kicksta – a leading Instagram growth service helping brands, influencers, and agencies grow their Instagram following organically. He writes articles on Instagram marketing and enjoys developing content and search engine optimization strategies.