Social Media Workshop: TikTok 101 – Wednesday, July 24 · 5:30. Register Here

Experiment Dates: Jan 21, 2019 – Feb 11, 2019


I can increase my Instagram following by 20% in 4 weeks without spending any money.



  • Post twice per day every day for 4 weeks
  • Respond to all comments and messages within the platform
  • Use higher powered hashtags to get more reach (these are recommended within the Tailwind application)
  • Engage with content creators that align with my brand values
Graph showing the data results of LaceyJLively's Instagram experiment to grow Instagram followers by 20% in 4 weeks


Initial follower count: 395

Amount needed to reach 20% increase: 474

Total new followers needed to reach goal: 77

Day 7 increase: 40

Day 14 increase: 20

Day 21 increase: 18

Day 28 increase: 27

Total increase: 27

Final follower count: 422

Actual increase in followers: 7%


It is possible to get more Instagram followers without spending any money, but the growth rate is less than some may expect.

Observations to Consider:

  • I observed double the expected follower growth in the first week.
  • I observed a significant decrease in followers between day 7 and day 21. 
    • Why?
      • All the photos shared from the first 3 weeks came from one photoshoot.  I did wear 3 different outfits and had different “hair-do’s” for the shoot, but they all looked similar in setting and emotion.  Perhaps the lack of variability led to less perceived authenticity.
  • I observed a slight increase in followers between day 22 and day 28.
    • Why?
      • I dropped my number of posts down to approximately one per day and increased the visual variability of the posts.

Thanks for checking out this experiment!  Did you learn something from it?  Anything you’re going to adjust within your own Instagram marketing?  I hope so!

If you liked this and want to continue the conversation, consider joining SprySpace – the Facebook group where digital marketers go for education, support, and virtual giggling.