How To Grow Your Instagram Organically
Finding ways on how to grow your Instagram followers organically may seem complicated to newbie marketers or startup businesses.
However, it is one of the most important factors for your business.
If you have a large budget for your paid marketing efforts, then you might be okay. But without a social media presence to support it, you’ll end up spending a lot more acquiring new target customers than you should.
It’s not always easy growing your organic following. That’s why a lot of brands turn to buying new followers for a ‘quick fix’. But once you learn how to grow your Instagram audience organically, you’ll learn the difference between a ‘paid follower’ and a real follower.
Let’s explore how to grow your Instagram organically to actually achieve results.
10 New Foolproof Ways To Get More Instagram Followers Organically 2021
- Make quality content your priority
- Plan ahead using content calendars
- Use hashtags specific to your account size
- Increase your reach with the new Instagram Reels
- Use mentions & geo-location tags in your posts
- Collaborate with influencers + shoutouts
- Optimize your content strategy
- Your bio is your social business card, make a good impression
- Work on your copywriting skills
- Add alt-text to your Instagram photos
How To Grow Your Instagram Organically Tip #1: Make Quality Your Priority
(Above photo is from our client work: Alexandria Body Sugaring)
Before jumping ahead, you want to ensure that you are posting quality content. Instagram is a visual platform, nonetheless.
This doesn’t mean you have to invest in a $5,000 camera.
Or the latest smartphone.
Or a ton of stock images.
In fact, we recommend that finding the sweet spot somewhere between professional photography and amateur photography is where users really begin to engage with your content.
Instagram has become its own visually beautiful world.
The users on the platform appreciate visuals that provoke emotion or tell a story. They appreciate authenticity but also ‘how it could be’.
People don’t typically follow accounts that post low res or low lit Snapchat quality photos. They like images that convey music to the eyes.
However, don’t let that intimidate you or make you overthink.
One of the biggest problem that a lot of brands and users alike face is that they spend too much time overthinking each piece of content they release, and never end up sharing their content. Or end up posting too little for the growth to take place.
Remember, it’s all about finding that sweet spot between professional and amateur. Between authentic and ‘how things could be’.
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How To Grow Your Instagram Organically Tip #2: Plan Ahead
Take a look at your posting schedule, frequency, and the quality of the content you’re posting. What are you doing well and what are areas you could use some improvement?
If you don’t have data yet on your best times, these posting times would be a good place to start.
Once you have the time of your schedule locked in, it’s time to create a calendar.
A lot of social media scheduling platforms will go on to tell you how good it is to use their platform to auto-publish to Instagram.
However, over the past year, it’s become known among the ‘Instagram Guru’ Community and social media experts that auto-publishing to Instagram through any third-party apps is actually bad for your account.
What we suggest, is to utilize the notification features of scheduling apps and post directly to the platform.
Why is it we suggest that?
Because Instagram wants you to spend more time on the platform. The more time you spend on the platform, the more content they can show you. The more content that they show you, the more ads they can show you.
When Instagram sees the time you spend on their app, they see dollar signs in their eyes.
For a great content scheduling platform that will send you content post notifications and allow you to visually plan your entire Instagram grid, we recommend LaterApp.
And if you’re serious about your account growth, you’re going to have to put in the work! (Yes, this is manual work).
How To Grow Your Instagram Organically Tip #3: Use Hashtags Specific To Your Size
When I first started growing hundreds of my clients’ Instagram accounts 2-3 years ago, there were so many ways that could grow an Instagram account quickly that I never cared to learn about Hashtags.
I actually didn’t think that Instagram hashtags were efficient to grow your account at all.
Turns out, I was WRONG!
Instagram Hashtags are most efficiently used when using relevant hashtags for your engagement size but also when they are more relevant to your post!
Don’t simply aim for the popular hashtag that you saw your favorite 300k follower influencers using. Follower count as well as engagement rate both play a factor in the size of hashtag you should use for your business account.
There are tools (such as Flick) that allow you to gauge the average post engagement on that hashtag and how competitive it is to fall on. We’re seeing some of the highest engagement ever thanks to Flick.
Sorry to tell you, but these hashtags are all going to be high competition. You need to do the correct research to find out what are some low competition hashtags that are more suitable for your size and begin to scale your hashtags as your account grow.
Keeping those hashtags on your Instagram profile will help you reach a larger audience and continuously gain new followers within that niche.
We’re seeing accounts grow 300-500 new followers per month utilizing some great hashtags strategies. I’d like to think of it a little like SEO for your Instagram profile.
How To Grow Your Instagram Organically Tip #4: 10x Reach With Instagram Reels
When Instagram delivers new features to its users, they really love to make other users aware of that feature being on their platform. In today’s case, their newest feature that Instagram wants everyone to know exists is Instagram Reels.
Instagram Reels is the newest competitor of TikTok. With short-form videos usually over a song with a text overlay presenting how-to guides, trending dances, or funny, emotion-provoking content.
We have seen that users are able to improve the reach of their Instagram Reels 10x further than the organic reach of their regular posted content. This is because Instagram is pushing more and more Reels onto the explore page based on the type of content you engage with.
This provides a massive opportunity for organic growth on Instagram by reaching a large audience.
Whether you’re a marketer, a fitness coach, a beauty brand, or a dog groomer, you will be able to extend your organic reach beyond your following.
By utilizing the Instagram Reels feature properly, you will see an increase in impressions, unique reach, and organic followers. Which in turn, leads to higher engagement.
How To Grow Your Instagram Organically Tip #5: Use Mentions & Geolocations
An easy way how to grow your Instagram organically is to utilize geolocation tags. Especially if you’re posting from a well-known and Instagrammable place!
Also, if you’re wearing big mentionable brands in your photo or their logo is in your photo, tag them! It’s a fact that users often connect based on mutual taste.
Users will often find your account based on the location or brands you tag and either engage with you or follow you if the content is intriguing enough.
Make sure not to tag irrelevant brands or geolocations in your posts, because this can end up doing more harm than good. Make sure that you’re always using relevant tags & geolocations.
How To Grow Your Instagram Organically Tip #6: Collabs & Shoutouts
They say two heads are better than one. This kind of applies to Instagram as well. Getting a shoutout from large influencers or features on other pages every so often will do good for your organic growth.
Find out who your ideal target market is following. What accounts do they love? Which people influence their following behaviors? Find out who those people are that have a hold on your target audience and try to get featured on their page.
Another way to get extra exposure is to run a collab with a similar business or influencers. This could be in the form of a giveaway, collaboration content, or contest.
Provide value to both of your audiences in a way that allows you both to grow from one another. This can keep your engaged audience happy with fresh and familiar faces.
How To Grow Your Instagram Organically Tip #7: Optimize Your Content Strategy
Content will always be king. More so on social media channels that are flooded with sub-par content. By optimizing your content strategy and posting habits, you can optimize your posts so they stop people in their tracks.
Instagram ranks posts using AI to decide which posts will appear first in users’ feeds. Posts from people who appear to be “friends or family” are ranked higher than random posts. So you need to DM, like, or comment on the posts of your intended audience.
If you have a strong following, don’t stop engaging with those followers so that your content continues to appear on their timelines.
If you’re seeing a drop in your engagement rate after being dormant or not posting for a few days, it’s likely due to your audience engaging with other profiles and no longer being highly engaged with yours. This is due to Instagram showing them other peoples’ content in priority to yours.
So what does this mean for you? Continue to post constantly. Study the behaviour of your audience and create content that you know is what they will engage with.
How To Grow Your Instagram Organically Tip #8: Your Bio Is Your Social Business Card
If your Instagram bio has always been an afterthought, you might want to reconsider this in 2021.
Think of your bio being like your business card and a storefront in one. People who visit your profile typically decide if they want to follow you at first glance, so you need to give them a reason to do so.
The best Instagram biographies display clear expertise, the value they provide to their audience, and a call to action.
Add your industry to your name for better SEO results when users are searching for your service or solution. If you’re in the fitness industry, something along the lines of “Gary — Weight Loss Coach” would dramatically improve you showing up in the results on Instagram Search.
Make sure that you have an attention-grabbing profile photo. This can absolutely appear obvious to some, but you may be surprised how many brands tend to use a low res or unclear version of their logo or a photo that doesn’t portray their brand clearly.
You want your profile to resonate with your target audience. Something that quickly identifies your brand which in turn improves your organic growth.
How To Grow Your Instagram Organically Tip #9: Work On Your Copywriting
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Each post needs to have a definitive story behind it. Almost like your entire grid is meant to tell a brand story and each piece of content you publish is a new page in your book.
Longer captions have been able to hold your audience on your post longer. The longer your audience remains on your post or clicks “Read More”, Instagram takes that into consideration when showing your content to more people or to that specific user more frequently.
However, do not make this a daily practice. Switch things up every so often. One day your caption can be long and engaging while the next can be short and direct. Don’t be afraid to get creative while telling others that part 2 to your storytelling or the “hook” that everyone is waiting for will be on the next post.
One thing is certain when it comes to writing out captions. Your copy should never feel like you’re scrolling through a magazine ad. Stop screaming “buy my stuff, buy my stuff, buy my stuff”. Nobody likes to be sold to on Instagram.
Rather than making your captions about “YOU”. Write captions for your readers. Educational content, emotion-provoking content, and humor are all great places to start.
How To Grow Your Instagram Organically Tip #10: Add Alt Text To Your Photos
If you’re familiar with SEO, you may have gotten a bit excited to start having your Instagram content to show up on Google results. However, that’s not necessarily the case here.
On the other hand, Instagram alt text can be seen as an extension of Instagram SEO within the platform itself. This can help others find content more relevant to what they’re looking for.
Studies have found that the majority of consumers use Instagram to search for a brand and 80 percent of them follow at least one brand on Instagram. (jessicathiefels.com)
Instagram has its own search that helps users find creators based on accounts, tags, places, and keywords we type in. So by adding Alt Text to your content, it can improve the searching capabilities within the Instagram platform.
Instagram will also get a better idea of what niche your profile falls under. While the platform continues to try to improve its SEO capabilities, it’s best to be ahead of the curve than behind in the race. And as their algorithm becomes smarter, search features will become more accurate and powerful.
Ready To Grow Your Instagram Organically?
We’re constantly studying and researching higher engagement rate strategies, best strategies for an Instagram business account, optimized times for posting content, and all things social.
But there is always the unknown to consider. Especially when the typically Instagrammer algorithm is everchanging.
So if you have any organic growth strategies that you have found have helped you grow your account in the recent days or that you feel we may be missing, feel free to let us know in the comments.
We will do our best to research more into each suggestion to make our post more informative for our readers.
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