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How to Gain Instagram Followers Organically in 2022 – 22 Tips

Jan 4, 2022

Your Influencer Coach & Fellow Content Creator

I'm an Instagram influencer coach and lifestyle content creator based in Arizona. I help others live out extraordinary lives through my influencer career advice, travel guides, and life hacks.

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Post Summary: I’m sharing my best tips for how to gain Instagram followers organically in 2022!

How to Gain Instagram Followers Organically

Back for more social media tips? Get ready because these are a doozy. People are asking me how I organically grew my Instagram following. There’s no straightforward answer, unfortunately. The app is constantly changing, and the algorithm changes ever more frequently.

PS: If you need more information about how the current algorithm works, I suggest reading how to beat the 2022 Instagram algorithm before going any further. 

Why Write This Blog on How to Gain Instagram Followers Organically?

My Instagram account currently sits at over 100,000 followers. And I did NOT get there by buying bots or doing follow/unfollow methods. Instead, over time, I’ve learned how to leverage Instagram organic growth through lots of trial and error for consistent results, which I’m guessing is what you’re looking for. 

Interestingly, I always thought what I was doing to get more followers was universal. However, through some research, I found that no one was talking about actual organic growth – just shortcuts. 

Instagram “experts” love to tell small creators to do something like “comment on every photo under a specific hashtag,” *BARF*. Talk about time-consuming and never getting that time back, lmao. 

I think it’s such a pity to see small creators struggle to grow their Instagram following when the truth is, everything they need is at their fingertips! I hope to help shed some light on organic growth strategies you can start implementing today, whether you’re a macro or micro-influencer. 

These are the things I wish someone would have told me before I went through a massive trial and error phase with my account. Hopefully, this blog will help you get a leg up on your growth!  

Why Focus on Instagram Organic Growth?

So long story short, it was pretty easy to purchase bots on Instagram back in the day. People would basically do it left and right. Then when Instagram shut that down, it became trendy for people to use a “follow/ unfollow” method.

Then it became popular to like random people’s posts. Then it became popular to comment on random people’s posts. 

All wastes of time if you ask me! Trust me when I say how to grow organically on Instagram has nothing to do with these shortcut methods and everything to do with strategy. 

Don’t worry, we’ll get to those.

Regardless, people like to grow their Instagram account for various reasons. One of them being it’s part of how to get paid Instagram sponsorships. Heck, growing can help you determine your Instagram influencer rates too

But, no matter your reason, I can understand why you want to grow on the app and help!

Now, let’s quickly talk about the consequences of using strategies like follow/unfollow. 

Why The Follow/ Unfollow Method Doesn’t Work

The follow/unfollow method is honestly one of the worst things you can do for your Instagram growth. Not only does everyone basically know about it, which means people will see right past that BS, BUT if you use this method too much, you can get kicked off of Instagram. 

If you don’t know what follow/unfollow is, good! But just so we’re on the same page, follow/unfollow refers to a terrible growth strategy where you follow a ton of accounts in the hopes that they’ll see the following notification, look at your account, then follow you back. 

Trust me, I have an IG community of over 100K… this method does NOT work. 

That’s precisely why I spent a TON of time learning how to get followers on Instagram without following a ton of crappy accounts! It is super exhausting, fake, AND DOES NOT WORK.

If anyone has told you to use this method, PLEASE stop listening to them, lol.

How to Get Followers On Instagram Without Following or Liking

I should add “or commenting” to that, but I digress. Do you want the real secret on how to grow Instagram followers organically? Here it is:

POST BETTER CONTENT AND POST CONSISTENTLY.

Yep. It doesn’t get any clearer than that. So while I will be providing you with 22 ways to gain organic Instagram followers, if you only take ONE thing away from this blog, make that it. 

At the end of the day, the best way to organically grow Instagram profiles is through consistently posting great content. Of course, no one ever wants to say that or tell small creators that because it’s “hard.” With practice, it really isn’t! 

But it does take practice and is not an overnight thing. 

Heck, if you get really good at posting Reels and practice making them great, one viral Reel can get you hundreds of thousands of followers. But again, it starts with getting into the habit of creating great content.

Okay, I think we’re on the same page so let’s talk about how to organically grow Instagram followers 2022 edition!

22 Tips on How to Gain Instagram Followers Organically in 2022

PS! Before you start reading this blog, I would like to mention that I update my social media blogs pretty regularly! Therefore, I advise saving this blog somewhere safe to keep referring back to. 

The Instagram algorithm changes regularly, which can impact growth. So keeping up to date with the best tips is essential!

Tip #1: Have a Consistent Look with Your Photos and Feed (to a point)

A great way to continue to gain organic Instagram followers is by sharing a consistent look throughout your photos. You can do this by using filters and influencer presets to edit your photos. If you have a particular editing style you like, creating a preset for yourself can save you time with the editing game. 

Now, I mention *to a point* because having a super cohesive Instagram feed isn’t THAT important. We’ll get more into why this technique can help you grow, but I do want to call out that you don’t have to just use presets to have a consistent look. 

Even if you take iPhone pictures and don’t edit them, it’s about having a recognizability factor to your feed. Maybe that means you’re always the subject of your images, or you have a certain sense of style that’s easily recognizable. Heck, perhaps you take all of your photos on film. 

Whatever your method is, find a way to easily recognizable your personal brand.

READ NEXT: Best Aesthetic Photo Editing Apps

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

Consistency is never a bad thing. In the realm of borrowed land that is Instagram, you want to stand out in any way you can! Having a style means people will recognize your photos and engage with them. I like to edit my pictures with warm hues. 

Followers scrolling through their feeds will see my warm style and go, “Oh, that’s Dani! I tots want to see what she’s up to,” which will lead to engagement, leading to an Instagram algorithm boost which then leads to more Instagram followers. Woohoo!

So that’s one way on how to grow organically on Instagram; let’s talk about the other ways!

Tip #2: Have a Seamless Aesthetic on Your Profile

Okay, you have a preset you’re using for your photos, but what about the rest of your profile? My suggestion: tell a brand story throughout your page! When someone lands on your profile, they should know who you are right away, and your brand should stand out.

In the competitive world of Instagram, if you don’t stand out, you can get lost in a sea of noise! So make yourself some story highlight covers, use similar editing and color-grading in your stories. Heck, use an Instagram font generator and start incorporating some cool fonts into your feed!

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

When you went searching for how to gain Instagram followers organically, you probably weren’t thinking about aesthetics, huh? To be honest, in the “borrowed space” of Instagram I mentioned before, there simply isn’t time to be a plain Jane! Do you have to have some crazy outlandish color scheme and highly designed branding to stand out? NO. Of course not. 

However, you want people to know who you are and what makes you unique! Just like in the real world when you connect with a brand via brand recognition. There are a ton of brand competitors out there, but you’ll always go to the one you recognize, trust, and love. 

Give potential followers the chance to see you and your brand for what it is. 

Make sure that your brand and aesthetic match across all aspects of your profile: 

  • Instagram Cover Highlights
  • Your Profile Pic
  • The overall theme and consistency of your photos

READ NEXT: Best Aesthetic Photo Editing Apps

Tip #3: Schedule Your Posts and Plan Your Feed

Plan and schedule your posts ahead of time to gain organic Instagram followers in 2022. Scheduling can help you have a consistent look to your feed AND stop stressing about, “Oh no! What do I post today?” 

Let’s be honest; when that happens, sometimes we don’t post at all or write a half-assed caption that gets us nowhere. I also love being able to schedule posts so that they’ll go live, and I don’t have to worry about getting online while I’m out on an adventure. 

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

Again, CONSISTENCY. Also, I have found that when I sit down to plan my feed and write thoughtful captions, I am so much more confident in my work. New and old followers appreciate the quality of content that comes from me when I plan, making me feel good!

Tip #4: Niche Down

This tip on how to grow Instagram followers organically is actually pretty popular. Niching down can be difficult for some people to fathom because feeling like you’re in a “tight box” can stink, right!

The truth is, when you niche down, you actually have more creative control over your Instagram content. You can have better direction and develop boundless ways to create recognizable content across your feed. 

Niche Exercise

Not sure where to start with a niche? I suggest using this simple exercise. You can use a piece of paper to answer these questions if you wish:

  • What do you envision your personal dream brand to be? No boundaries! In a perfect world, what would your personal brand be? What would your Instagram profile look and feel like?
  • Who are 3 Instagram influencers/ accounts you love? Why do you like their content so much? 
  • Who is your ideal follower? Why do they love your content? How do you serve them?

From here, you can begin to think about your personal dream brand and start honing in on your niche. 

So let’s say after all of this dreaming and completing your little niche exercise, you came to the conclusion that you would love to be a fashion influencer. You can create content like:

  • Fashion hauls
  • Outfit ideas for XYZ season
  • Your favorite items you worse on XYZ season
  • Outfit of the days
  • Outfits inspired by XYZ person

What if You Love More Than Just One Niche?

“But Dani, this is so hard. I LOVE food too, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to gain organic Instagram followers because I just can’t niche down!”

Well, hold up. Okay, so let’s say that you love going out to eat and sharing that with your followers too. As a fashion influencer, how would food tie into the content mix?

Get creative! Maybe in addition to the other content you’re sharing, you can do some fun food-inspired outfits or outfits you would wear to go out to a certain kind of restaurant! 

But see what I did with those two examples about? I took the niche we were working with and came up with some creative content ideas by blending in additional interests. 

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

You can get some creative direction, create more consistently, and create content centered around a particular audience by niching down. 

Instagram now lets users select their content “Interests,” which means users can tell Instagram what specific content they want to see more of. Unfortunately, by not narrowing down your interests, you’ve missed out on the opportunity to let Instagram push your content to the right people! As we continue our how to organically grow Instagram followers 2022 tips edition, you’ll notice that we want to appease the algorithm when we can!

Manage Interests on Instagram
“Manage interests” Instagram Feature

Tip #5: Use Niche-Specific Hashtags

I’ll admit, hashtags aren’t my favorite way to grow, but with the launch of Instagram Search, hashtags are a great way to make your content search-friendly!

Think of them as keywords for your content. For example, if you post about Style Tips, literally use the hashtag #styletips on your posts. This way, anyone searching for style tips on Instagram will see your posts.

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

Again, this is more about adding keywords to your posts and making them Instagram Search friendly. 

I can certainly write a blog about Instagram Search, but in the meantime, I encourage you to start thinking about what niche-specific hashtags you can start using! You might even benefit from using them on microblogging Instagram captions!

Tip #6: Create Your Own Hashtag

Creating a branded hashtag is a GREAT way to get more Instagram followers. When you can create a catchy hashtag and encourage your audience to use it, then share their use of the hashtag on your stories, your followers will go crazy and engage!

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

When your followers get excited and start using your hashtag, your hashtag will grow and grow and begin to become popular with the masses. 

From there, potential followers and followers alike will start competing for space on your stories in the hopes you’ll notice them in the hashtag! When considering how to gain Instagram followers organically, shareability is huge!

Tip #7: Find Your Purpose & Be Authentic

While you might have an excellent brand going for yourself, are you clear on your why? Why should people care about following you, and why are you showing up on social media? Once you’re clear on your why you’ll go all-in and create content that will convert potential followers.

Be authentic in the way that you show up!

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

This is another way to boost engagement. I’m not telling you to share your vulnerabilities in a way that makes you uncomfortable. By being authentic, I mean stop trying to replicate every single piece of content or personality you see. 

When you create content that lives and breathes your unique attitude and successfully shows current and new followers why they instantly trust you more. 

Tip #8: Give Your Bio a Refresh

Update your Instagram bio and name to have keywords that indicate what your content is about to Instagram. When you do this, you’ll make it easier for Instagram Search features to categorize your profile and push it to users who may be interested. 

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

Instagram Search is a great way to organically grow on Instagram because it gives you the chance to get in front of your ideal audience. So start thinking of Instagram as a search engine and optimize your account appropriately, so it’s easier to get in front of new Instagram users!

In the future, we might see Search related methods for how to grow organically on Instagram become more prevalent.

Tip #9: Create a Story Series

Don’t stop the brand consistency at highlight covers and imagery; take it to Instagram stories too! Plan your stories out in advance. Know where your story content is going and what you’re sharing with your audience. 

Create stories that go with your highlights! Like to talk about beauty products? Then, create a story series called “Beauty Fridays,” where you share some excellent beauty products you’re loving every Friday.

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

Do I have to say it? CONSISTENCY. Some of my absolute FAVORITE Instagrammers have excellent story series like “Do Good Monday.” I have learned to look forward to them and engage with said stories! You can gain organic Instagram followers consistently when you give people a reason to anticipate your content.

Heck, I’ve even noticed that some folks tend to re-share their favorite story series on their feeds because they love them so much, they want others to see them!

Tip #10: Show More BTS in Stories

Followers love seeing more of you! Of course, they love the beautiful photos or other curated content you are creating for them, but they also want to see the BTS (behind-the-scenes). They want to know the real you and know that you aren’t so different from them after all!

I suggest using Instagram Stories to do this. You can show people what a day in your life looks like or behind the scenes of a photoshoot. The key here is to create a deeper connection with your Instagram followers. 

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

When you post more of “you” in stories, it gives followers a reason to connect with you in ways they might not otherwise be able to otherwise. And at the end of the day, that’s what encourages more people to follow and share your profile. Having more of “you” in stories also gives your followers someone to relate to, trust, and connect with.

When you do this, you’ll begin to naturally increase your engagement, which will then help the Instagram algorithm push out your content to more potential followers. And engagement will always be an important part of how to grow Instagram followers organically.

Instagram also tends to share Stories on the main newsfeed, so if you get more views on Instagram Stories, you can begin to appear across new users’ feeds! More eyeballs on your content = more followers.

Tip #11: Create a Story Template

By “Story template,” I mean a story slide followers can fill out and share on their Stories! Templates had a moment a couple of years ago with folks making templates like “this or that,” “bucket lists,” etc., but they work! Templates are a great way to engage your audience.

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

The whole point of a Story Template is that it is a challenge that your followers take part in, re-share on their stories, then their followers fill out the template. 

When you create a template, put your username on it so folks are sure to check out your account. That’ll ensure all parties who see and use the template head over to your Instagram page so you can gain more Instagram followers in 2022!

Tip #12: Create a Filter

This tip is a little more complicated than the others, but face filters can get a crazy amount of reach! If you create a face filter people enjoy, they’re likely to use it on their stories, which means you’ll get exposure from other people creating content of their own.

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

When you use a face filter, the filter creator’s username shows up on the upper lefthand corner of a story screen. This will get more eyeballs on your profile and potentially get more followers in 2022!

Tip #13: Tag Creators in Your Stories

Reach out to other content creators and collaborate with them. When you do so, create a fun series together, then share each other’s handles on your Stories. You can even collaborate by doing a fun shared giveaway and sharing that on your Stories. Doing so can help you both grow because it will help you reach each other’s audiences. 

I love starting with Stories, though, because users can easily tap through any tagged handles.

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

Collaborating can help you spread your Instagram wings and get in front of audiences other folks have. More eyeballs on your content mean more followers for you! When thinking about how to grow organically on Instagram, we want to consider ways we can get in front of mass amounts of new people. AKA increase reach.

Tagging each other on your Stories can also single to Instagram that your accounts share some sort of relationship. When Instagram sees that two or more accounts are related in some ways, they start to suggest said accounts to users through the Explore page and other avenues.

Tip #14: Use the Collab Post Feature

The Collaborator post feature on Instagram is a new way to get in front of users organically. So whether you have a second account or a friend you’re going to collab with, using this feature will automatically put your content in front of a new set of followers.

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

The collaborator post feature essentially makes you and another account co-authors of a piece of content. This single piece of content will then appear on BOTH of your followers’ newsfeeds. It’s a free and great way to get in front of new users!

Tip #15: Share Content Across Other Platforms

By this, I mean you need to be posting on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, and your blog! If a new app or social sharing platform takes off, you should be sharing content on it. While you can only post on Instagram and call it a day, by not spreading your wings, you’re missing out on sooooooo many potential followers out there! Remember what I said about increasing reach when thinking about how to grow Instagram followers organically?

Only want to post on Pinterest? That works! Start by picking one additional social media app and going from there.

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

It’s all about reach, baby! Every time you spread your content out more, it’s helping you get even more reach! And it will lead people back to your Instagram page. Also, using multiple social media platforms is key to a flawless social media strategy.

I am saying you need to create new content for every platform by no means. Instead, make things easy for yourself by recycling content across multiple platforms.

Tip #16: Engage with Your Audience

A B-I-G way to grow on Instagram is by engaging with your audience. I know… you’ve heard it 1,000 times, but it’s true. Let your audience know that you care about them by engaging. Respond to their messages and comments. 

Check out their pages and let them know that you like what they’re creating. If you genuinely want to grow on Instagram in this day and age, you need to be active and engaging on the platform.

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

Engaging with your Instagram audience helps strengthen your bond, leading to better Instagram engagement on your posts. Remember: better engagement is a major key for how to gain instagram followers organically. But, of course, you’ll then get more Instagram followers once the algorithm is on your side!

Tip #17: Ask Questions

“Ask questions” comes off as vague advice, I know, but what I’m really telling you to do here is to ask your audience questions. Ask them what they want to see from you, or heck, ask them how their week is going! 

And if you are having trouble deciding what kind of content to create next, this is an excellent way to source your followers’ ideas.

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

When you ask questions and show you care, your audience is more likely to trust you, engage more with you, and recommend your account to their followers.

Wouldn’t it feel better if we treated followers more like friends and less like a number?

Tip #18: Use Your Analytics

How often do you check your Instagram Analytics? When I first started posting and trying to grow my audience, my answer would have been: NEVER.

It turns out it can be handy to know a thing or two about your audience, like the exact times they will be online engaging with you… Yup. Convenient, I know. Ensure that you’re taking advantage of the analytics that Instagram already shares with you and use those to grow your account.

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

If you read my 2022 Instagram algorithm blog, then you’d know that timing is a HUGE factor for beating the Instagram algorithm and knowing how to gain instagram followers organically. 

You can also use your analytics to see what content is performing the best for you. When you know what content is performing the best, you can recreate that content to continue driving results. 

Tip #19: Post Carousels

It’s said that when you post a carousel, you’re likely to get 14% more engagement than you would with a static Instagram post. Carousels can be a combination of multiple photos or photos + videos. They help tell a better story to your followers and potential followers!

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

In the previous tip with the same tune, check out my 2022 Instagram algorithm blog for more about timing. If you want the Instagram algorithm to favor you and show your content to more folks, you need to create content they want to spend time looking through! 

The more time folks spend on your photos, the more Instagram will go, “Oh! This post must be important, we should show it to more people,” which means you get more Instagram followers!

Tip #20: Post Reels

Reels are having a MOMENT rn! Look, when Instagram creates a new feature, they favor accounts that use it. Reels are Instagram’s competitor to TikTok, and my my, they’re not going anywhere in 2022. Reels are here to stay and have been getting folks upwards of MILLIONS in reach. 

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

Reels are a great way to add value to your audience’s lives! 

Naturally, videos tend to have more of a shareable factor, which means when you create relatable or entertaining Reels, they can get shared across the platform. More shares = more eyeballs on your content = more Instagram organic growth.

If you need help creating Reels that get more views and reach, I have a $1 Reels video course I made with all of my best tips for creating viral Reels. I even made workbooks and PDF downloads to help! We go over editing Reels, sourcing content ideas, finding the right hashtags, etc. The $1 helps me cover the cost to host the videos on Teachable, haha. 🙂

How to Create Viral Reels

Tip #21: Go Live

Instagram Lives really had a moment in 2020. Why? With isolation, people crave connection. Lives are a great way to foster that connection and keep your audience interested in what you’re up to. 

After the pandemic, Instagram started to lean more into Lives introducing bonuses and features like “Badges.”

Lives don’t have to be anything crazy. You can hop on for 15 minutes, ask questions, give a life update, start a conversation, etc. 

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

I’m suspecting “connection” will be a big thing in 2022. You heard it here first! When you show up Live, you’re bonding better with your audience. Plus, Instagram was paying creators to go Live, which indicates that they want more creators using this feature more frequently. 

Tip #22: Use IGTV & Video

Okay, now I’m asking you to do a bunch of stuff, BUT hear me out. I suspect that when Instagram merges IGTV and video, it will become more critical. Instagram has never really been able to compete with YouTube, but this is their chance.

How Will This Help with Organic Growth in 2022?

Long-form video is excellent for increasing follower relationships. When you go in-depth on a topic, your followers get to know you better. 

At this point, I’m beating a dead horse, but when you focus on tactics that increase engagement, you’ll naturally be boosting using one, if not the best way to organically grow Instagram profiles.

Growing Organically on Instagram in Sum

Here is a quick list of how to grow on Instagram organically without following or liking a ton of posts:

  1. Have a consistent look with your photos and feed
  2. Schedule your posts and plan your feed
  3. Niche down
  4. Have a seamless profile aesthetic
  5. Create a Story Series
  6. Use niche-specific hashtags
  7. Show more BTS Stories
  8. Share content across other platforms
  9. Tag creators in your Stories
  10. Engage with your audience
  11. Create your own hashtag
  12. Use your analytics
  13. Post Carousels
  14. Post Reels
  15. Create a Filter
  16. Go Live
  17. Use IGTV & Video
  18. Ask questions
  19. Find your purpose and be authentic
  20. Create a Story template
  21. Use the Collaborator Post feature
  22. Give your bio a refresh

My Final Thoughts on How to Gain Instagram Followers Organically in 2022

No one ever said growing on Instagram was easy, but hopefully, from this post, you can notice a few themes:

  • Create better content more frequently and consistently
  • Make your content shareable
  • Focus on building a solid relationship with your followers
  • Make use of new features
  • Start thinking about Instagram Search

If you liked this post, I encourage you to follow my @danithecoach_ Instagram influencer coaching page, where I share more tips for folks like you! I also have a blog on how to make money as a content creator if you’re interested in that!

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  1. Thanks for helping by sharing the information. Really the information is very effective for us.

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