The best way to gain IG followers

You can choose from many ways to increase the amount of your followers on Instagram. Instagram itself has started to provide us with IG ads. These ones have automatic settings which are managed directly inside the Instagram app. We tried to find out if its better to choose the automatic settings in the app, if it is better to use Ads Manager or to do manual work gaining organic followers. 

We want to note that our results might be different from your experience. 

The account where followers were being gained 

The account is called @slovenskobezfiltrov. This account had a history before but the account has be inactive for some time .

Initial stage 

Amount of followers: 1331 
The account was personal so we had to switch it to the business version. The previous data was not available afterwards.  

We used the same budget and the same post for each promotion. The campaigns lasted 24 hours and we spent 10€ in each. It is not possible to measure the amount of the new followers in Business Manager although it is possible in the promotion via the Instagram app. This is why we also had to create each test in a separate time horizon as we did not make any organic actions (new posts, commenting, liking the pictures etc.). We compared the amount of followers before and after each test. Notice that this might cause inaccuracy in the results. 

The post we promoted had been created 3-4 weeks before the account was changed to a business profile. We did not receive any previous data about the posts and the post was promoted right after switching to the business account. Therefore we started to gain the data about the post after starting the ad. So it is highly likely that most of the insights about the post (collected right after the promo) is from the promotion and not from the organic. 

Test 1: Automatic promotion created by default options in the Instagram app 

You can set up this propagation directly in your business account. Instagram provides you with automatic settings by default. Campaign has Traffic as the objective and the users are able to link to your profile through the CTA “View Instagram Profile”. 

Objective: Traffic 
Targeting: 1% Lookalike audience – Instagram Automatic, demophics: Slovakia, age: 18-65, men, women 
Reach: 6184 
Impreseions: 8993 
CPM: 1,11€ 
Amount of likes: 491 
Amount of comments: 0 
Amount of new followers after the test: 19 

Test 2: Campaign created in Ads Manager with manual settings 

When setting up tests 2 and 3 we used the data from the insights in the business account. This is why we chose the users between the age of 16-34. 

Objective: Post Engagement 
Targeting: all people who have interacted with the Instagram profile slovenskobezfiltrov in the last 365 days, 1% Lookalike audience –  all people who have interacted with the Instagram profile slovenskobezfiltrov in the last 180 days, demographics: Slovakia, age: 16-34, men, women 
Reach: 3558 
Impressions: 4396 
CPM: 2,27€ 
Amount of likes: 595 
Amount of comments: 0 
Amount of new followers after the test: 20 

Test 3: Campaign in Business Manager with manual settings 

Objective: Post Engagement 
Targeting: interests Photography – Must Also Match Slovakia, demographics: Slovakia, age: 16-34, men, women  
Reach: 12600 
Impressions: 13220 
CPM: 0,76€ 
Amount of likes: 948 
Amount of comments: 0 
Amount of new followers after the test: 32 

Test 4: Organic gaining of followers 

This way of gaining followers is logically the worst for measurement and the results are inaccurate. We were trying to reach the new followers by interactions during one day and we compared the results of the followers after 24 hours.  

Method: commenting, liking relevant photos of prospective followers, interactions with the followers, posting new pictures, etc.  
Amount of new followers after the test: 63 

Usually we make long term split testing in our agency with the high budgets .. thanks to our FMP badge we can cooperate on testing for Facebook needs and the tests are on a very high level .. This particular testing was a personal thing though, with a hobby purpose .. Therefore the budgets and time of the tests were adjusted to it. This is the reason why there is written in the article “We want to note that our results might be different from your experience” as well as “Notice that this might cause inaccuracy in the results”. The aim of the article is to come up with some ideas of gaining new followers and to share our experience even though on a small scale. 


Unfortunately there is no “Increase the amount of followers” objective in the Ads Manager yet. This is why the campaigns cannot be optimized perfectly and the results are very tough to measure. We just came up with some ideas on how to gain the new followers and how to analyze what worked best for us. To sum it up, we must say that the Facebook algorithms for the Interests Audiences work pretty well. We have to confess though that increasing the amount of your IG followers is continuous work which is highly associated with organic work as well. After all, our results from test 4 say the same. 

At the end of the testing we had 1465 followers on our business profile @slovenskobezfiltrov. The last test would be just how many followers we can gain on our profile after reading this article.  

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