Growing your Instagram account is possibly one of the best moves you can make for your business marketing strategy. Hundreds of millions of people across the globe use this platform.
And 53% of them are following their favorite brands. So why shouldn’t you get your fair share of loyal followers?
It’s possible, but only if you understand and put to use the fundamentals of organic Instagram growth, this guide covers the basics of how to create an organic strategy for your Instagram growth.
So let’s jump right in!
1. Ensure You’re Posting Daily
You can’t treat your Instagram account like you would a blog. Posting several times per week isn’t going to cut it on this highly volatile platform.
If users begin to follow your IG account, they’re expecting to see content daily (if not multiple times per day). But as a brand, it’s understandable that you may not have the time to post more than once daily.
And that’s okay.
As the bare minimum, you need to be posting to your feed every day. Try to mix up your publishing times and content types to see which perform the best (get the most engagement).
We find one study that says the best times to post on IG are:
Wednesdays at 3 pm
Thursdays at 11 am, 3 pm, and 4 pm
Fridays at 5 am
Of course, you’ll need to experiment to see what works the best.
2. Encourage User-Generated Content
Who said you have to do all the content creation? Instead, you can put IG users to work for your brand by asking them to share relevant content about your product or service.
For example, users can take photos with a pair of shoes you sell. If you go this route, be sure to ask users to tag your brand in their post so you can find and share it to your feed.
It’s also a good idea to come up with branded hashtags users can insert into the posts they share.
One way to get more people to create branded content is to host a contest. You can give a prize to the winner who posts the most creative photos with one of your branded products.
Now, what’s great about user-generated content is that it earns you kudos. Consumers are 7x more likely to purchase from a brand that’s recommended by peers.
This is what makes influencer marketing such a powerful tool.
3. Create a Hashtag Strategy
Speaking of tagging posts, it’s ideal for brands to develop a strategy using hashtags. This is the digital money that makes the IG world go ‘round.
It’s how prospective followers can find your content. And once they find your content, they may visit your IG account and follow it. This is the exact reason why most posts on Instagram are loaded with hashtags.
But we don’t recommend doing that.
Instead, you should pick a handful of relevant hashtags to use on your posts. There’s no set number of tags you should include, but test 10 to start.
The idea is to come up with hashtags related to your content and the search terms your audience is likely using. So using the same ones over and over isn’t going to cut it.
There are four types of hashtags you can focus on:
- Branded hashtags
- Popular hashtags (use no more than five)
- Location hashtags
- Trending hashtags
Again, as long as it relates to your content and audience, then go for it!
To help in your search for quality hashtags, you can use Hashtags for Likes. There’s a free and premium version you can use to find the best trending hashtags.
4. Engage With Your Audience (and Other Users)
It’s easy to forget to put the “social” in social media when developing our branded campaigns. So we end up publishing a sea of content that talks at folks instead of with them.
The only way you can change this around is to start engaging with your fellow Instagram users. If you see your audience making comments on your posts, take time to respond to some of them.
You don’t have to reply to everyone — as this would take all day, especially for posts that gain a lot of traction. The idea is to show your audience that you pay attention to their comments and care enough to respond.
So make it a habit to reply to the first 5 to 10 comments on your posts. Merely saying thanks to a compliment is enough to show engagement.
Also, don’t forget to follow others in your industry (particularly influencers) and comment on their posts. Your visibility in the comments section could help to drive some of their audience to your account.
It’s an excellent way to build your brand and get more followers.
5. Start Following the Right People
They say to begin your Instagram journey by following all of your friends and family. And while this helps to boost your list of followers in the beginning, it’s not going to do much for building your brand and revenue.
So once you get that out of the way, it’s time to search for Instagram users in your industry.
You can use hashtags to find influencers who are interested in your product, service, or industry. Then you can follow them.
Some may follow you back, others may not. From here, you can begin looking at their posts and seeing who’s engaging with their feed the most. These are the individuals you should target next.
They’re already showing interest in your industry, so they have a higher chance of following your brand. To be more strategic, you should comment on a series of the influencer’s posts to introduce yourself.
Make sure your comments are valuable, such as answering a question or making a statement that’s factual and relevant to the post. You may earn yourself several follows from doing just that.
If not, you can proceed with following those you engage within the comments section.
6. Keep Your Content Fresh
Posting content daily is great, but not if you’re publishing the same old types of content and topics.
You need to make your IG feed engaging and entertaining. One way to do this is by switching things up with videos, infographics, and colorful photos.
If you’re selling a product and want to show it off, then do it in a way that adds personality. For instance, if you’re a retailer selling shoes, you can have a model wearing them at the beach, walking down the street, or in a nightclub dancing.
It’s all about lifestyle. If your photos lack this, then they’re not going to intrigue the mass majority of IG users.
Do keep in mind that video content tends to do well across all social media platforms. So if you want to do a series of Stories, then make it creative. These disappear after 24 hours, so make it juicy.
You can also upload video content that doesn’t disappear.
The type of content you publish can also vary. For instance, you can publish how-to videos, host Q&A sessions with industry influencers, and share infographics with fun facts.
7. Host a Loop Giveaway
Never heard of one? That’s alright. Loop giveaways are contests that require contestants to perform several tasks to become eligible to win.
For instance, you may ask users to follow your page, like five of your recent posts, leave a comment on one post, and follow 20 other IG accounts sponsoring the giveaway.
This is found to be successful at getting lots of followers and engagement in a short period of time (especially if the prize is excellent). But how do you make sure users stick around after the contest?
Your best bet is to find influencers who are relevant to your industry so that their followers are more inclined to want to follow your brand. If the influencers aren’t in your niche, then their audience won’t find your content valuable.
8. Use Analytics Tools to Track Your Campaigns
The only way to know what’s working is to keep an eye on your IG analytics. You have some on your account you can view.
But there are other tools you should have in your arsenal as well — like Hashtags for Likes’ new Instagram Account Analyzer. You can use this to find influencers and even monitor your own IG account.
Just insert the username, and you’ll get stats about follower growth, number of uploads per month, engagement rates, and future projections.
This is valuable data you can use to gauge the potential of an influencer collabo and the success (or lack thereof) of your campaign.
Lay the Foundation for Successful IG Growth
The key to building a successful Instagram campaign is to set a solid foundation for growth. You can do this using this list of fundamentals for growing your account organically.
If you’re serious about building your brand and targeting a relevant audience who are willing to engage and buy from your business, then this is the best place to start.
As you’re setting everything up, be sure to use the Instagram Account Analyzer to back your campaign with reliable data.Opinions expressed here are the opinions of the author. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and can not investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the author to disclose. VIP Contributors and Contributors, amongst other accounts and articles, are professional fee-based.
Max has been traveling for the past 5 years working remotely as a digital marketing consultant, he’s passionate about helping startups transform into successful businesses. When he’s not working he loves to travel to remote places of the world! You can follow him on Twitter @maxkthompson.