5 Ways To Grow Your Instagram Following Organically
By Cian Kelly
Growing an Instagram following can seem intimidating
when you’ve only just set up your account. The knee-jerk reaction can be to resort to paid methods to grow a following.
But there are actually plenty of ways to grow your Instagram following organically, without spending a penny.
In fact, these tried and tested methods should be integral to any business’ Instagram strategy, even if you are using paid ads too.
5 Essential Methods for Organic Instagram
1. Engage through Reposts and Messages
Engagement means interacting with your customers. It’s a proven way to grow your following on Instagram.
Through positive interactions you attract attention to your page, build relationships with your customers and establish
yourself as a trusted authority.
A recent Sprout study found when customers feel connection with your brand they’re 76% more likely to choose you over a competitor. Plus, making these kinds of connections has a snowballing effect on your following as customers are 68% more likely to recommend you to a friend.
So go ahead and leave messages on followers’ posts, answer questions, repost user-generated content and comment on relevant hashtags.
2. Hashtags, Tagging and Geolocation
Hashtags are great for Instagram discoverability
as anyone who searches the hashtag can see your post.
However, you will show up among others who have
used the hashtag too, so make sure to choose hashtags which aren’t too popular or your post will disappear in the sea of competition. If you’re confused about what hashtags to use, there are plenty of great hashtag generation tools.
Tagging other user accounts or your location will also boost discoverability. If you are collaborating with someone else, tag them in your posts so they will like, share and hopefully repay the favour, giving you exposure to their followers. If your business is based in a specific location, add the geo-location to target searchers in that area.
3. Promote Cross-Platform
A straightforward way to get followers on Instagram is to simply advertise your Instagram account to your existing customers. This could be through your other social media accounts, website, emails or any other marketing materials.
For example, you could repost Instagram posts to Facebook or embed relevant Instagram posts in your blog articles.
There are many ways to do this, so be creative and consider how top-performing Instagram posts could be relevant for use elsewhere. And don’t forget to embed an icon linking to your Instagram account on your website homepage.
4. Consistency, Timing and Scheduling
To find content that works you have to play and experiment. That means posting different types of content consistently, then reviewing your analytics to see what has resonated with your audience and what has flopped. Plus, the more you post the more likely you are to appear on someone’s feed.
Bear in mind that it’s counter-productive to spam your page with bad content, which will be off-putting to potential
followers. A good rule of thumb is to post as much quality
content as you can consistently.
It’s also important to remember Instagram’s traffic fluctuates throughout the day. To reach as many people as possible, you want to post consistently and at the right time.
Certain times are more popular, but this can vary depending on your target audience. The best way to decide post timing is by reviewing your Instagram analytics to see when your followers are online.
To help with this, there are some great social media calendar templates online, or you can create your own. Just make sure a variety of content is spread out over a period of time. That way, you see the performance of different types of content and remain consistently visible on the feed.
There are also plenty of apps and platforms which can help schedule posts in advance. Hootsuite and Buffer are popular choices for sharing posts across platforms. Their main disadvantage is they can only share one photo at a time. Plus, you lose the ability to add filters and edit your image. For posting carousels or to edit images, Planoly, Later and Preview offer an effective workaround.
5. Instagram Stories
Stories allow you to make spontaneous posts
which show up right at the top of the news feed. This helps overcome the problem of posting quality content consistently: you can post less-polished content to your story, which boosts your visibility and increases engagement without risking your profile looking messy.
By tagging your stories with hashtags they gain wider exposure by featuring on the story for each hashtag, appearing right at the top of the hashtag search.
Finally, stories contain lots of fun and functional features to engage with your audience, such as polls and questions.
Using these features facilitates engagement and encourages people to follow your page.
However, no matter how big your following becomes or whatever other methods you use, these 5 essentials should be maintained to continue organically accumulating followers and building a strong Instagram presence.
Do you want expert assistance with growing your Instagram following? If so, get in touch with PlaySocial today and see how our packages can skyrocket your social media success.