If you sit with your Instagram account and hope to get followed by people automatically, that’s not gonna happen.

Looking at the statistics, 30% of Internet users are on Instagram. This platform has the highest level of engagement with brands now. It may seem like you just need to jump in and post beautiful pictures, but in fact, it takes more than just the things mentioned above.

There are plenty of tips on the Internet on how to grow an Instagram account organically. However, many of them work with massive accounts and won’t work well with a micro ones.

The first thousand followers on any social media are usually the hardest to get because people barely pay attention to small accounts.

People who follow and interact with you on Instagram, are most usually your friends. That’s almost cool if it’s your personal account, but for growing your business or personal brand-not enough.

You can get followers by just visiting a social media panel, but those are just numbers, and they are useless with the new Instagram algorithm. Now engagement with pictures is way more important than a number of followers.

In this article, we’ll explain step-by-step how you can get your first 1000 engaged followers on Instagram.

1. Keep your bio full and interesting

There are two parts that you can take advantage of when you create your profile:

Your Name.
Your Username.

Both can appear in the Instagram search result. In this case, if you create a brand around your name, then your Username should be your name.

For your business pages – it’s the name of your business or if you create a thematic account, include the keyword there so it will be searchable.

For the Name field, include your keyword there too: something, which briefly describes your business or your target audience.

There is no need to double-write your name in the Name field, but you can do it if you like and still add 1-2 keywords for your business.

The rest of your BIO isn’t searchable. However, give a brief introduction of yourself and what you do, so people will get to know more about you by seeing it.

2. Make Connections

Follow people who you know. Search through your Facebook and Contact list. They will get the notification about your follow and may follow you back. They are your first followers. use InstaCaptain to make it all even easier. With the help of its auto follow feature, you can search for Instagram users in your niche and Insta Captain will help you follow them automatically to get their attention.
Search for hashtags related to your niche and put the status to “Active”
You can also stop activity every day for the time you select.


3. Identify your Audience

From the beginning, describe your potential audience for yourself (create an avatar).

Then, look for other accounts, which serve your audience.

If you are a designer of kid’s clothes, then accounts for moms, kid’s training centers, kid’s events, or other kid’s fashion accounts may fit your audience criteria.

If you are a fitness trainer, then fitness centers, sports stores, healthy lifestyle account in your area may have the audience you need.

Find the accounts, which post on a regular basis and have a good engagement with their content.

Create a list of such accounts for your brand and then start engaging.

Go to their profile. Comment on their posts. Follow their followers and interact with those new people. You need to get their attention and get connected before they will be willing to buy from you.
Use InstaCaptain and its auto comment to get the best results.

It comments automatically on an Instagram post without you having to do it manually. You can write up a comment you want to post and then target the places you want your comment to be.

You can target accounts by using hashtags, places or you can directly target the audience of Influencers in your niche with the help of our filtering features.

Auto Comment
Setting up the Auto Comment feature in Insta Captain

4. Communicate Well

Do you know that you see only 30% of the content of people who you follow? So don’t follow more people than you are following.

The same for your followers, they also see only some content of people who they follow. The key point here is to start communicating with people, so they will check your feed, follow you and keep engaging.

The more people engage with your post, the higher it appears in their feed.

Your posts are also competing with each other. This way, the post, which gets more engagement, shows first than the one with less engagement.

5. Create quality content

Testing the variety of posts on different small business accounts, I found that besides just posting the product picture, there are several other types of posts that work well:

  • Before/after posts in service or work cases.
    Sharing your client’s stories about using your service or product works wonders. Whenever you have a chance, tell the story about them.
  • Testimonials.
    Don’t be shy to ask about them or if they post something on social media, ask if you can share it on your Instagram too. Every time you want to share someone’s experience, ask for permission. Most of the time people won’t mind, but if they don’t want it, refrain from doing so.
  • Educational posts about your product or service.
    Sometimes people don’t know what else they can get or how to use stuff better.
  • Including questions or call-to-action to the post can also increase the engagement.

If your company focuses on the service or product, then a lot of quotes look like spam and will get a low number of likes and comments, but posting them from time to time give some further engagement works well.

Implement branded hashtags and encourage the followers to use them to have the chance to get featured on your account.

Sharing behind the scene photos or videos showing the process of your work also garners viewers.

Treat your social media as the high-standard online edition. Every time before you tap the ‘Post’ button ask yourself if it fits your social media ‘magazine’ and would you engage with this post? Is this worth sharing? If the answer is ‘No’ or you doubt if you would engage with the post, then the post is weak.

6. Patience is the key.

Be consistent in your posting even if it is just a few times per week. Pick the comfortable schedule for yourself. Don’t try to run a marathon from the first day or you will get burned out fast. Use Insta Captain to make it easier by going for its auto post feature.

As the name suggests, this feature allows the users to schedule their post In Calendar option users can choose the date of posting and add as many posts they like. The time of posting can also be chosen once a date has been chosen.

Once you get used to your optimal schedule, you can post more. When you post regularly, you consistently get to your follower’s radar, so they always remember about you.

When you don’t post for a while, you stop showing up on the people’s feed and even if you will start posting again you may lose connection with some followers.



7. Engaging Hashtags for the win

Hashtags help you to be discovered by other people. On Instagram, you can add up to 30 hashtags. Use many or all of them.

Search for relevant hashtags for the topic(s) you post.

Then, create the lists of them for each subject you post about. Pick those, which have less than 500k pictures associated with them. You can also add 1-3 top hashtags to get ‘quick’ engagement for the post for the first few minutes.

Save them in the phone app. When you publish the picture, just copy and paste them in the caption or the first comment.

8. Get among top search results

You can get more exposure and followers when you get to the Instagram top posts for certain hashtags. This is the area at the top of the Instagram search result with only 9 specially selected pictures.

While Instagram doesn’t tell you the algorithm of choosing pictures for the top, there is something you can do.

The point is to get more engagement with your post within 1-2 hours of it getting published and better from the accounts with big followings.

Here are more tips:

– Post at the time when most of your followers are online. If you have a business account, then check your statistics.

– Prepare high-quality image, which will fit your niche. Well, that’s actually what you should always do on your account.

– Pick hashtags relevant to your niche. They shouldn’t be too popular. The more popular they are, the harder it is to get to the top if your account isn’t big yet.

– If your picture has other people or brands on it, tag them. They get the notification about your post, and there is a possibility that they will engage with it too.

– It’s good to have a relationship with bigger accounts. If you don’t have any, start interacting with them. The perfect result is when they follow you and begin liking and commenting on your posts. When the accounts with a large number of followers engage with your picture, then you get more chances to get to the top.

– Post your image and track the results. Check the search feed of the hashtags you use.

The post usually disappears from the top within 24 hours.

Also, it’s possible that two of your posts get to the top, but then they will compete with each other.

It seems complicated, and you won’t get to the top every time, but if you do it right, there is a big chance to get there quite often.

9. Connect with your fans

To engage with your followers, start writing a simple open-ended question in the post. Ask them about something.

The important part is if you want people to start the communication on your feed, go to them first and comment on their feed for a period of time with proper comments.

Yes, it’s time-consuming. But when you do that, you will see that people start replying to your questions too and the interaction with your other posts will grow.

10. Make stories and videos

There are two ways of using videos on Instagram: on the main feed or Instagram Stories. Video content can get 34% more interactions than regular photo pictures.

Depending on the complexity of your product or services, tutorials can go a long way in making sure people know exactly how to use it.

The main feed lets you host longer videos, and they stay there till you want.

With the 10 seconds Instagram Stories, you can show a quick tutorial or step-by-step process with each video.

If you aren’t selling a physical product, host a tutorial covering why your service is essential. Incorporate testimonials and success stories from previous clients.

Show how your product or service is different from the rest. Set yourself apart from others with a little creativity.


Getting your first thousand engaged followers may be a slow process. You may use one tip from above, decide that it almost doesn’t work and leave it. To make it really bring you the results, use all of them at the same time. Simply go step by step. If you do it right, it will probably take you a month to get from 0 to 1000.