How to Organically Grow Your Instagram Account
For many brands, Instagram has grown to become the foundation of their social media presence. Instagram has surpassed Twitter when it comes to sending traffic to landing pages, building trust, and creating audience engagement. However, as with all social media, it takes time to grow your account, and a handful of followers aren’t going to be giving you the business you crave.
Now, there are companies that you can pay for followers, but the Instagram algorithm is constantly trying to weed out followers that have been bought. While there are ways to skirt around the system, you’re more likely to get engaged, business-building followers from organic growth, even if it takes longer.
You want people who are liking and sharing your posts, clicking your links, subscribing to your list, and making purchases. Usually, bought followers won’t do this; they’ll merely be numbers to make your account look more popular. However, with these tips, you’ll be able to start growing your followers the organic way.
Optimize Your Account
Before you work on gaining more followers, you should ensure that your Instagram account is fully optimized. This means you need a bio, proper image captions, a username that connects you to your brand, and a profile image. Everything about your Instagram account should point to your brand and business, which means a username like “DaletheMale” won’t connect people to a business selling, for example, paintings of cityscapes. Try using your actual business name instead. If your business name is on the long side, however, you can shorten it for your username, making it easier to remember and link to.
Also, remember that the link in your bio is the one place you have to drive Instagram traffic to your website, so don’t overlook it. A good tip is to not link directly to your homepage; try product pages that relate to the specific keywords or hashtags you use most often in your account. This creates a more cohesive experience for users, especially when you tell people “Link in bio”.
Post Relevant Content
One of the first things you’ll discover is that some content performs better than others, and there are no universal rules regarding this. Your brand and the kinds of people attracted to your products or services will be different to others, hence why testing engagement is paramount.
However, despite the individual nature of followers and businesses, you should still look at current Instagram trends to see what kinds of content people, in general, are most responsive to. This can be anything from the type of posts you make to the filters, captions, or even post times.
Remember, this isn’t so that you can copy your competitors, it’s so you can effectively optimize your posting strategy. There are many analytics tools you can use, too, to track how much people are engaging with your posts.
Engage with People
Social media has become one of the primary ways that people come into contact with businesses, and consumers are contacting businesses through these connections more than ever. As such, it’s important that your Instagram isn’t just a place where you post and wait for clicks to your landing page.
Engage with comments, answer questions, and be personable. You aren’t a cold corporation on Instagram, you’re a vibrant, community-driven entity that wants to make a difference in people’s lives, even if all you’re doing is selling t-shirts.
Perfect Your Hashtags
People search hashtags, so before you start sharing your Instagram link everywhere, one of the simplest ways to grow your following is to use hashtags wisely. A good way to start is to find hashtags that aren’t oversaturated.
For example, #love has more than 180 million photos connected with it, so standing out among that crowd is next to impossible. Instead, find hashtags relevant to your posts that clearly have engagement but aren’t too populated. If a connection is relevant enough, people will follow.
Of course, you can create your own unique hashtags as well. However, the best way to do this is to use unique hashtags to group posts around relevant content that’s already generating engagement.
Posting at random is a great way to lose followers. Instead, people prefer predictable content. Knowing they can expect to see new posts every other day, for example, will keep them checking up and engaged. If you post multiple times throughout the day, make sure those times are consistent. Having a schedule will take you far.
On that note, you can always schedule posts in advance. If you have a full marketing team, this can be helpful so everyone is on the same page, especially if you have a campaign or event going on.
Use Influencers and Help Others
Followers are valuable, and using influencers, or large Instagram accounts in your niche or industry, can have a very positive effect. When an influencer shares your content, it puts your brand before a wide amount of people. You only want to make sure that you’re sharing something of value with them, but many influencers are open to marketing collaborations or sharing your posts for a fee.
You can also share other peoples’ content as well, or hold contests to promote your brand to a larger audience. Remember, social media is about sharing and engaging.
Promote Your Instagram Account
Make sure people know they can find you on Instagram. You can add your social media accounts to your website or business cards, or link to your Instagram account from other social media, such as Twitter or Facebook.
Promoting your Instagram is an excellent way to generate engagement and acquire new followers, so don’t be afraid to promote it instead of a landing page. You should never run paid ads just to promote your Instagram page. You can, however, add your Instagram account link to an ad to generate more interest in it.