10 Free Tips For Real Instagram Followers

So, you want to be famous on Instagram without buying followers or resorting to cheap tricks? With this guide I'll show you how you can steadily grow your following, naturally, with real people who will interact with your photos.  I'll also show you what to avoid on your way up there to the top.  

With these techniques, I grew my profile from just 30 odd followers to nearly a thousand within a couple of months, with little effort. Not only that, my photos receive great attention from genuine people who enjoy my content.  With dedication and a little time, there's no reason why you couldn't do better. 

 

What to avoid when growing your Instagram account.

Many of the guides on the internet suggest techniques which will indeed grow your following, but will result in fake followers and people way outside of your topic. You'll get far less likes, and a lot less attention. Here's the main things to avoid: 

1. Instagram follow trains

Follow trains are somewhat like chain letters, involving following everyone on a list, and encouraging others to follow the list - you included in exchange for being added themselves. It's a very fast way to gain followers, however they won't be following for your photos. So you can't expect many likes. This method also has a high risk of loosing followers later on, and having your account shut down. 

2. Mass Following lots of people

In the short term, following lots of people may sound like a great idea to get return followers. However Instagram frowns on mass following and may freeze your account for over use. Your account will look less attractive too if you follow more people than follow you. This method is inefficient, risky, and harmful in the long term.  

3. Buying Instagram followers / likes

It is against Instagrams policy to purchase likes or followers and you can have your account banned for doing this. Besides this reason, the followers you receive will be of questionable quality and will not attract further growth or likes beyond those you pay for. Avoid.

Read on for what to do for more Instagram followers


Check out diffuse photo's instagram gallery:


How to get more Instagram followers - What to do

1. Post only your best photos

Maintain a high quality gallery with only your very best photos. Stick to a theme too. 
With a wildly varied gallery it's very hard to keep all of your followers happy from post to post. By sticking tightly to a theme you'll attract followers with similar interests and gain a better response to every photo you post. 

2. Use lots of appropriate # HashTags

The main way to get your photos out to more non followers is to use hashtags.  Every hashtag puts your photo into the top of a new feed where it can be seen. It'll only stay there for a very short amount of time, especially with popular tags, so including 11 or more tags will maximise your initial likes and increase the chance of being placed into the nine most popular for one of the tags. Don't overdo it though. Too many tags can make your posts look less desirable.
Check out tagsforlikes.com for a look at the most popular hashtags to use. 

Some suggested tags: #happy #love #instagood #photooftheday #dogs #cats #mood #look #style #beautiful #smile

3. Post at the best times of day

This is less important for photos, however there are peak times to post. Here in the UK I post at 8:00AM GMT and 6:00PM GMT and occasionally later into the evenings.  If you're trying to target a particular location, adjust those times for when your area is home from work. Sometimes I even use the Ad breaks in popular TV programmes to post something.  

4. Post REGULARLY

Avoid posting too many times a day - this will congest your fans feeds, they wont like that. I've found every 6 to 12 hours is a good rate.

5. Be Social - Like, Comment, Followback

Instagram works best for those who are social with others. You need to make yourself known to others with similar interests. Instead of following everyone, simply search your favourite hashtags and like all of the photos you find appealing.  Spend some time doing this. Comment on the exceptional ones, and don't rush it. Instagram limits the number of likes per hour you can do.
Don't forget to reward those who like and follow you - like something of theirs back, leave a comment, and follow back if you enjoyed their photos. It's important to quality control the photos you like - these appear in your own likes feed - for others to see. 

6. Clean up the gallery

Constant gallery hygiene is essential.  Review your posts activity and prune away any that are receiving below average likes.  By doing so, your gallery will only get better. 

7. Keep at it

Follow these tips with consistency and put time in daily.  Your profile will soon begin to grow, and your followers will increase. You'll gain more likes and comments, and build a fan base. As your profile grows the results will escalate - like a snowball effect.  

So, stay away from scams and promises of thousands of followers, and build a genuine and rewarding fan base, for free. 

Did these tips work for you? Share you advice and experience below, or search for more tips. 

Written by Simon Osbaldeston
photographer - diffuse photo