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How to Get Real Instagram Followers in 2023

If you’re wondering how to get real Instagram followers this year, this article is one you might want to keep reading.

Instagram is still relevant. TikTok hasn’t overtaken it yet. Brands and businesses can’t quite excel on TikTok like they can on Instagram. TikTok is a viral growth platform where everyone is getting lucky. Instagram is a platform where people and brands can grow into fame.

But if you want your brand or influencer to get the attention it deserves, you need to get real Instagram followers on board.

I’m not saying you need to have ten, fifty, or one hundred thousand followers, either. What I mean by real followers are followers that will be loyal to you, endorse you, buy from you, and love you.

That’s what I mean by real followers.

It’s not about a vanity metric. It’s about finding people who genuinely want to follow you, your influence, your business, or your brand.

And that’s why I’ve created this article. I want to show you the best ways to get real Instagram followers in this new year and beyond.

If you succeed, that means I succeed as a social media strategy blogger.

Think Strategy to Get Real Instagram Followers

The first thing you need to do is get yourself in a strategic mindset.

A strategy can be defined as practicing something planned out and organized. It’s doing something that has a specific rhythm to it.

When you have a strategy in place, you have something to fall back on when a component of your plan fails. When you don’t strategize, it is easy for you to feel like a failure and give up.

Whether you’re trying to be an individual influencer, a business, or a brand – a strategy is a must.

To get into a strategic mindset, you need to become goal oriented. And be mature about your goals. A goal of 100,000 followers in a year isn’t a mature goal. It’s a wish. It’s a dream. It doesn’t happen as quickly as people think.

But if you had a goal to get real Instagram followers to subscribe to your newsletter ten times a month, that would be a mature goal you would likely achieve with some work.

If you strategically plan and set goals for your Instagram, you’ll get real followers in no time.

Get Real Instagram Followers

Get Real Instagram Followers with the Right Profile

Your profile matters. Your display name, bio description, link, and photo do matter.

Your display name (not your @username, but the name you choose to show on your profile) is searchable. So, taking advantage of that free real estate is always a good idea. It’s OK to make it your name or business/brand name. But you have some room to put a little bit more. So, if you’re name is James Smith, and your niche is personal growth, make your display name: James Smith – Personal Growth Coach.

Your bio itself should be to this point, niche-focused, and eye-catching. Use emojis that could relate to your niche. Use trigger keywords that catch people’s attention, like BEST and EASY. Look at examples of other bios being used on Instagram. What ones make you want to follow the account? How can you learn a lesson from those and apply them to your profile to get real Instagram followers? The bio needs to tell the reader exactly what they should expect from your Instagram page.

People are going to have different opinions on your link. But it should be a Call-To-Action. That’s more important than anything else. My link goes to a custom page I made on my website that shows my newsletter subscription form at the top, a few more social links, and one or two other links. I used a custom page on my website rather than some hosted links page. I’d rather keep it branded to my content. My link goal is to get newsletter subscribers and additional social media followers on my other platforms. Remember that thing above about setting goals!

Your profile picture matters. And in this instance, so does your username and display name. Try to keep all that common among all the social media platforms you’re on. For example, my hiking brand, “Hiking with Shawn,” uses a common username (@hikingwithshawn), a display name (Hiking with Shawn), and the same photo on every profile. The image is of me in front of a waterfall in the forest. It’s good to build a brand and use the same theme everywhere you are. If you change a photo on one profile, make sure to change them on all of them. Build a brand to get real Instagram followers because people will be loyal to brands quicker than those who don’t have a brand.


Be Consistent with your Content Theme and Schedule

It’s essential to be consistent if you want to get real Instagram followers.

People aren’t going to figure out who you are if they aren’t seeing your content more often.

Consistency helps you be seen more often.

You post on a schedule, and you stick to that schedule. This way, people know when you’ll be posting, and the Instagram algorithm will also know, which could help rank your content better on the platform.

Consistency doesn’t mean you have to post ten times a day, every day. Gary Vee would love that, but it isn’t as easy as it might seem. But consistency does mean you stick with your chosen posting schedule.

If you choose to post once a week, you need to make sure you post once a week. If you decide to post ten times a day, you need to stick with it. Posting ten times a day would be very challenging. But posting once a week wouldn’t be. Make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself, trying to be consistent.

You should consider posting more than once a week, however. I go with one reel a day and one gallery a day. I post a reel in the morning and a gallery around noon. I remain consistent about it.

One way that I stay consistent is by scheduling content through the Meta Business App. As a result, I remain a week ahead of schedule for content on Instagram. This allows me to focus more on engagement which I’ll get into below. An excellent third-party solution for this is Buffer. You can use the free version, but I highly recommend the paid version.

You should also be consistent with your theme.

By theme, I mean the type of posts you create and the theme of your sharing content. If you focus on baked goods, all your reels, photos, stories, and live streams should be about baked goods. Don’t randomly post about something else that isn’t related to the theme of your page.

Consistently sticking to a relevant theme is the best way to get real Instagram followers because they know what to expect from your content.


What Works, What Doesn’t Work

There are many good ways and many bad ways to get real Instagram followers these days.

What may have worked five years ago doesn’t always work today. So it’s good to recognize what is working and what is not. The reason is that you don’t waste precious time on something that will have no Return on Investment or ROI.

So, what works to get real Instagram followers?

  • Engagement – Reply to everyone the best you can. Don’t just like their comment. Reply and at least give them an emoji to describe how you feel about their comment. Make sure they see that you have acknowledged them. Keep the discussion going, too. Ask questions and try to keep people on your content.
  • Reels – Instagram is still trying to be a video platform. They can say all they want about photos, but the video is their main product. That’s the way it’s going to continue, too. Keep posting pictures if you want to. But consider uploading some reels, too. Or even turn your photos into reels. We’re all lured to video content. Instagram doesn’t have to make the algorithm show more videos for us. If we see them, we’re going to watch them likely.
  • Stories – Take advantage of stories to get real Instagram followers. Stories are elegantly positioned at the top of the app. We’ll always click them first because they’re right there, and that little moving circle is satisfying. After that, we got to see what story had been shared. I bet we look at just as many stories as we do posts. And because of that, you need to take full advantage of the stories feature.
  • Exploring – Get away from your page and explore the content of other people, businesses, brands, and especially influencers. Comment on their posts and try to make your comments stand out and be helpful at the same time. Be consistent about commenting on specific profiles if you want to get noticed. Be helpful and contribute to others’ comments to get their attention.

Now let’s move on to what doesn’t exactly work that well for Instagram anymore.

  • Hashtags – They’re not ideal for use anymore. I stopped using them about four or five months ago, and I’ve only noticed an increase in followers and views since then. So instead of hashtags, choose topics on reels and put a popular description in as long as it’s accurate. For the caption, be descriptive when you need to be or short when you don’t.
  • Followers – I know this article is about getting real Instagram followers, but it’s not about getting a specific number of followers. It’s about getting the right kinds of followers. And that being said, focusing on bringing a high number of followers isn’t that helpful anymore. You want followers that will perform actions on your profile. So don’t focus on a vanity metric that will get you nothing.
  • Tagging – Don’t feel like you need to tag everyone for others to see your content. There’s nothing more annoying than being tagged on a post with ten other people because someone wants everyone to know they just posted something new. Reserve tagging for people and brands that will benefit from the post you’ve tagged them on.
  • Watermarks – When you upload to TikTok, you’ll get the same TikTok video added to your phone photo/video gallery afterward. Many people add those videos to Instagram reels. Instagram doesn’t like it. They’ll put less weight on your reel than others. It’s because a competing rival company’s watermark is posted on a video on their platform. Upload original videos and photos to get real Instagram followers.


If you want to get real Instagram followers in this day and age, you will have to focus on real efforts with a proven track record. The suggestions above will help you get on the right path to becoming an Instagram celebrity. If you enjoyed this article, please give it a share. If you haven’t already, follow me on Instagram. I’m trying to get the page going.

Shawn Gossman

About the Author

Shawn Gossman has created content, blogged, ran online communities, and shared a passion for digital marketing for over twenty years. Shawn believes the best way to help content creators, businesses, brands, and marketers is to give away more than you sell. The same advice is recommended for the readers who follow this blog. Shawn also offers various services for extra help in content creation and blogging.

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