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Grow Instagram Followers with Ads VS. Gain Instagram Followers Free [4 Tests]

Do you know the effects of growing Instagram followers with ads vs. gaining Instagram followers free? The article lists 4 experiments to find out what really works for you.

Updated 2022-01-20 02:10:06 | by Joy

With 400 million daily active Instagram users, such as brands, influencers, personal accounts, etc., it's a sore spot for them who are trying to build a large following. You may wonder how to increase Instagram followers through Facebook ads, or how to use Instagram story ads to gain followers, but do you know the effects between growing Instagram followers with ads vs. getting organic Instagram followers? The article lists 4 experiments to find out what really works for you.

Grow Instagram Followers with Ads

The Preparation Work before My Test Experiments

Prepare an old Instagram account with normal daily updates. If it's a personal account, switch it to a business account. But keep in mind that the data before the conversion is not available. Then note the number of followers for this account. Before the experiments, the initial number was 1331.


For all ads to increase Instagram followers, we used the same budget of $10 on the same post. Each test was conducted in a separate time frame and each ad campaign lasted 24 hours. During the experiments, we did not do any organic actions like creating new posts, answering comments, liking others’ content, etc. Now, just look at the 4 experiments we did.

Note that the 24-hour test time and the ad budget are not typical ways to verify which method is the most successful, so your results can vary widely. But by the end of the experiments, you will know the best way to instantly grow Instagram followers.

Test 1: Set up Instagram Followers Ad Campaign in Facebook Ads Manager

Instagram doesn’t yet have a special ad format to increase the number of your followers, but the Instagram ads are driven by Facebook ad manager, which allows users to direct ads to one website. Let’s see how to use Facebook ads to get more Instagram followers and check the results.

Testing Steps

Make sure you have a Facebook Business Management account before testing. You can head to the Facebook Business Manager page, create a new business account, and then simply connect your account to your pages.

Step 1.  Go to “ Ads Manager” and click “+ Create”. You will see two types of workflows you can choose from, including Guided Creation and Switch to Quick Creation. If you have created Facebook ads before, just tap on the second workflow.

Grow Instagram Followers with Ads Step 1

Step 2. Choose your marketing objective from the list of Facebook Ads Manager. Then, you will be prompted to name the campaign. The default name is just the target you’ve chosen, and you can specify a more specific name for it to help you keep track of your ads. My objective was Engagement.

Grow Instagram Followers with Ads Step 2

Step 3. In this step, you need to know how to target your Instagram followers with Facebook ads. You have a very powerful set of targeting options, which go far beyond typical demographics, such as age, gender, location, and so on. 

After that, decide where the ads will appear on Facebook and Instagram. You'll have two choices, including Automatic Placements, and Manual Placements.

Step 4. Choose the budget and schedule. Here we chose a daily budget of $10. Then create your ads.

Testing Results

Objective: Engagement

Demographics: Age: 16-34, men & women

Reach: 4528

Impressions: 6043

CPM: $2.32

Number of new Instagram followers after the test: 43

Cost: $0.23 per follower

Test 2: Use Power Editor Ads to Test the Growth of Instagram Followers

The Facebook Business Manager’s Power Editor is also one of the ways to promote your Instagram followers’ growth. Since this test is also a Facebook ad, the steps are similar to those in the first test, so I won't describe the steps in detail here.

Testing Steps

Simply head to the Power Editor from your dashboard under “+ Create & Manage”. Then click “Create Ad” and give your new campaign a name. Next, select your objective according to the interface prompt. Remember to choose “Instagram Feed” on your Ad Preview to see exactly what your ads will look like.

When you are editing your ads in the Power Editor, be sure to add your website URL if you want to drive traffic to your site.

Testing Results

Objective: Engagement

Demographics: Age: 16-34, men & women

Reach: 5102

Impressions: 7554

CPM: $2.04

Number of new Instagram followers after the test: 62

Cost: $0.16 per follower

Test 3: Getting Instagram Followers with Instagram’s in-app Automatic Promotion

The Instagram app allows users to promote existing Instagram posts, but you must first meet some requirements:

  • Convert your account to a business profile on Instagram

  • You need to be the administrator of the Facebook Page that connects to your Instagram account. 

  • Must follow the advertising policy of Facebook

Testing Steps

Step 1. Find one post you want to promote, and then tap on the blue "Promote" button. Note that you may be prompted to log into your Facebook account.

Grow Instagram Followers

Step 2. Choose your objective. There are only 2 objectives, including Visit your Website and Call or visit your business. 

Step 3. Choose your action button, budget, audience, and the duration. Then, you can review your order, preview your ad, and promote your post to get paid Instagram followers.

Testing Results

Objective: Traffic

Demographics: Age: 18-60, men & women

Reach: 7362

Impressions: 9382

CPM: $1.94

Number of new Instagram followers after the test: 38

Cost: $0.26 per follower

Test 4: 500 Free Instagram Followers Trial - Highly Recommended

The above 3 tests were related to Instagram paid ads for followers. In addition, we also did a free test of getting Instagram followers organically. Here I used a secure and reliable third-party tool - GetInsmartaGetInsitaGetInsita, which is designed to hack Instagram followers and help users naturally get real and active followers for free. Go straight to the testing step.

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Testing Steps

Step 1. Free download and install GetInsmartaGetInsitaGetInsita app on your Android, iOS, or Windows.

Step 2. Create a free account with your email and login. Then you will get some coins instantly, which can be used to buy followers on Instagram.

Step 3. Follow others or like other’s posts to make more coins for free. Follow one person and then make 100 free coins. When you get enough coins, directly use them to get organic Instagram followers without paying a penny. You can get free Instagram followers every 24 hours. I bought 500 followers with my coins. After 24 hours, I really got 500 real followers, and till now I didn’t lose any followers on Instagram.

Testing Results

Objective: Organic

Number of new Instagram followers after the test: 500

Cost: 0

The Comparison Table of the 4 Tests

At the end of the four tests, I made a comparison table so that we can directly find the most efficient way to increase followers on Instagram. Additionally, you also need to be aware that the results may differ from person to person and the data may be different.

Test Cost Duration Follower Growth Lose Followers
FB Ads Manager $10 24 Hours 43 Yes
Power Editor $10 24 Hours 62 Yes
Instagram App $10 24 Hours 38 Yes
GetInsmartaGetInsitaGetInsita App $0 24 Hours 500 No

Bottom Line:

Instagram is a compelling platform that attracts more and more users, but getting more visibility or sales on Instagram can also be a big challenge. Hope the comparison between growing Instagram followers with ads vs. gaining Instagram followers free will help you dominate the platform. After testing, I found the fourth test was so effective that I now got 50000 followers on Instagram free.

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