It’s settled. Instagram is one of the most engaging social media networks.
In 2020 it is estimated to have over 877 million users - with numbers only increasing in the following years.
This makes Instagram a highly desirable platform when it comes to growing your business.
However, the way to succeed on Instagram does not lie in simply posting content on a daily basis.
But don’t fall into the trap of buying followers! The followers who are bought will never actually engage with the content you post.
This is the reason why actual followers are so valuable for your Instagram account.
It is only when your Instagram account grows organically that you have valuable followers on your account.
Read on to find out how to grow Instagram followers organically.⇣
How to grow Instagram followers organically
If you want to know how to organically grow your Instagram audience, take a good look at the content of your Instagram account. Using the right content can help you win new followers organically.
- Take good quality photos where everything is in focus
Remember, Instagram is visual, and you are competing with some impressive and stunning posts.
You don’t need a fancy device for an amazing photo, just a lot of attention to details: natural light, a crisp image, and a relevant background will do wonders.
Phones these days are more than capable to create some amazing imagery, but a photo is a simple image if you don’t create a story behind it and give it a personal spin.
- Post only your best content
Posting every single day is important, but what’s even more important is making sure that all your posts are up to standards.
So no photo is still better than a mediocre photo. If you don’t like it, there’s a good chance your followers won’t either. Stay true to your followers.
Posting every single day is important and I know that can create an enormous amount of pressure to constantly produce new content. But no photo is still better than a mediocre photo. If you’re not feeling a photo, there’s a good chance your followers won’t either. This is what happens when you don’t post a photo: nothing. Aka you don’t gain any new followers but you also won’t lose any.
- Sina, @happygreylucky
- Work on your captions
Remember what I mentioned earlier about the story behind your post?
Well, captions are great tools to fill in the gaps and make sure the story is finished.
Don’t overdo it: keep your Instagram message short, sweet and simple, and it will reach more people than you’d expect.
Instagram is predominantly a visual platform but a good caption can absolutely take your photo to another level. Some of my all-time best performing photos have had good captions to go with them. Think witty, honest, or heartfelt.
- Sina, @happygreylucky
- Alternate your type of posts
If you want to organically grow your Instagram, don’t just limit yourself to one photo. Posting the same types of posts over and over again can become monotonous.
Break the circle of your regular posts by adding video posts and carousel posts from time to time, and then check your analytics to see which type of post brings you better results.
In fact, carousels have been proven to have higher engagement rates per posts is our Instagram content and engagement research.
Use a selection of photos and combine them in such a way that they tell a compelling story.
A good strategy to organically grow your Instagram is to make all of your posts easy to recognize by adding subtle branding elements to anything and everything you post.
Think colors, tone of voice, specific messages. Paying attention to everything that means "look and feel" is a great marketing strategy.
Samsung US, for instance, stays true to pastels and neutral colors and puts the spotlight on a cozy interior design to highlight their smart appliances.
And don’t be afraid to associate strong, relatable values to your name.
It will encourage your loyal audience to interact instantly and will connect a new audience to your brand instantly.
People react to strong messages and giving your brand an authentic identity through expressing values that your company follows is a great way to create loyal fans that will turn into a returning audience.
If people believe in your company, they will support you both online and offline, strengthening your brand’s name and bringing new followers to your page.
Just remember that the key here is authenticity.
Another important pillar is consistency.
Proving to be consistent in your posts will not only help add new followers organically, but it will also help with retention. After all, social media is a long term strategy.
Consistency translates into reliability.
People follow you because they like what you post and offering them consistent, timely content lets them know they can count on you if they come back to your page time and again.
This also helps you build an image (for your business) that is centered on characteristics specific to your Instagram account (such as using the same hashtags on all posts, or posting particularly-fashioned pictures).
- Use hashtags to gain traction
Used correctly, hashtags can help spread your message to new people and help you grow your audience.
You will not only be able to gain more followers, but those followers will be people that are genuinely interested in the topics described in your hashtags and are likely to engage with you.
So make sure that you use hashtags that are fairly popular, but aren’t extremely common.
Instagram allows you to add as many as thirty hashtags, but one hashtag study shows that you should use fewer hashtags.
Actually, the number of hashtags you use and the decision to place them in the caption or in the first comment should be taken after closely analyzing your audience and the size of your profile.
However, while selecting hashtags, you need to ensure that only those hashtags are incorporated in your posts that help you gain relevancy with your audience.
- Reinforcing familiarity through photo
Since Instagram is similar to a digital magazine, content on Instagram should be curated to share a common vibe or theme.
For instance, you may consider posting pictures related to a single subject matter, or resort to cropping all the images in a similar way, or even opting for the same filter for all your pictures.
For example, Sue Zimmerman’s followers are familiar with seeing clean images and fonts with bright colors in her Instagram profile.
- Assessing personality through tone of voice
The way you word and write your message also plays a big role in being consistent. Think of your brand as a person: the way they look and speak, their likes and dislikes are all part of their personality.
If you want to organically grow on Instagram, you have to define the personality of your brand and make sure you communicate your messages in a tone and manner that your audience can identify and relate to.
This will help you identify the strategies implemented by your competitors on Instagram, especially the ones that are popular on this social network.
Use analytics tools (like socialinsider.io) to gain insights about your competitors:
✔ When and what are they posting?
✔ How are they engaging with their audience?
✔ What content is generating excitement and what’s falling flat?
You can compare their Instagram profiles to your own and see what they are doing better.
You can draw powerful insights that help you adjust your own strategy and help your posts perform better.
Without networking you cannot expect to have an audience, leave alone grow your Instagram followers.
Therefore, networking will help you to communicate to a large audience on Instagram, resulting in growth and popularity of your business on Instagram.
Here are a few ideas on how to do it:
✔ Engage with others on their feed.
✔ Engage with people on your own photos by responding to comments.
✔ Team with a group of other Instagrammers and participate in #followfriday or other variations for your niche.
✔ Increase exposure by tagging brands, influencers or your followers in your posts.
✔ Setup giveaways.
✔ Let other people regram your posts (by resharing to their Story).
A good way to attract new followers as well as to make your Instagram followers feel excited about something new is by setting up recurring giveaways.
When your giveaway closes, the winners will most likely tag you and talk about you. So your account and brand/business will be exposed to a lot more potential new followers.
Besides, giveaways are proven to help boost engagement on your Instagram posts.
These are some of the most effective tips to keep in mind and try for yourself.
But while you do that, you need to remember that it is the manner in which you present your brand and engage with users that actually contribute to growth in your Instagram followers organically.
I hope you found this guide useful and I’d love to hear your thoughts in comments.