Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in existence. One can use it for a wide range of purposes, such as driving customers to landing pages, building brand awareness, and encouraging interaction from customers. The downside is that Instagram is incredibly competitive, so it can be hard to stand out from the crowd.
Some users resort to paying for followers to artificially boost their numbers and give the appearance of popularity. However, this is detectable and can quickly destroy your credibility and online presence. Instead, here are five effective, low-effort strategies to build an organic Instagram following.
Does your Instagram feed reflect your desired image? Is it clear who you are and what you are trying to do? Check out your Instagram feed by looking at your posts and seeing what impression they create as a whole. You can use a visual planner tool to make this easier. Apps like Preview and PlannThat offer tons of flexibility and features to create a curated aesthetic that followers will easily recognize.
This is part of creating a cohesive brand image, making your account more appealing to new visitors and encouraging them to follow you.
Hashtags are a great way to grow followers organically. However, many people overlook the importance of hashtags because it takes patience, consistency, and a small amount of SEO research to get the ball rolling.
Fortunately, tools like Flick and Kicksta can take the research and guesswork out of finding the right hashtags for your posts. It's helpful to curate a few different sets of hashtags for categories of posts to maximize users' ability to find and follow your account.
It's also important to be patient with this trick. Followers won't come overnight, but this is an effective long-term strategy. Research shows an uptick in engagement by anywhere from 21 to 79 percent (exact numbers depend on account size and hashtag placement) when accounts use the appropriate hashtags.
To appear spontaneous, you must plan carefully (ironic, right?). "Curated spontaneity" is key to successful Instagram engagement.
Knowing the best days and times to post for maximum engagement is essential for growing your following consistently. Tools like Preview and PlannThat (mentioned above) can help with this.
Other tools like HootSuite and Loomly offer more in-depth analytics.
One of the easiest ways to find when to post is to use your account's Insights tab to see when followers are most active. This lets you experiment with the times you're likely to get the most engagement.
Whatever your type of business, your competitors and other companies operating in your niche will be posting on Instagram too.
Follow these accounts (especially the successful ones!), and engage with them via likes and comments. This works exceptionally well if your brand fits into their niche without necessarily providing competition.
For example, if you offer private yoga classes, following Manduka (a brand known for their yoga apparel and accessories) and adding insightful or engaging comments to their posts is likely to gain followers. They're in your niche but not a direct competitor.
In addition, follow some of these related accounts' followers. These people are already interested in your niche, so if you follow them, they will probably follow back and be interested in what you have to say.
Cross-promote your content across other platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, and YouTube. Make sure you have social media buttons on your website and blog. Keep a link tree in your Instagram bio as well, for followers to easily access your brand across the internet.
Since 2020, the number of influencers and publications who develop more than one account has not exceeded 10% of the total number. However, the more traffic channels an affiliate has, the higher their average income is. In 2021, influencers and publishers who maintained 2 or 3 accounts across social networks earned on average 3 times more in Admitad ConvertSocial than those who maintained only one account.
At the same time, those who developed 4 or more accounts earned about 10 times more than users with one account.
On the other side of accessibility, remember that it's vital to offer captions for video posts and alt text for users with visual or hearing impairment or other special needs. Instagram rewards accounts that are more accessible, and followers are more likely to engage with your content when they see that you're inclusive and thoughtful.
It's tempting to look for quick fixes to grow your social media, but the best strategies play out over the long term. Always ensure your content is new and lively, and remember that a bit of research goes a long way. Instagram is a visual-first platform, so it's the perfect space for using photos, videos, and memes to create a buzz around what you do.