Instagram Growth Hacks: 12 Organic Strategies To Increase Your Followers

instagram growth

Instagram is one of the best social media platforms for visual marketing. It’s an excellent starting point if you want to grow your brand’s online presence.

But each year, more brands compete on the platform than the average monthly growth of an Instagram business account. 

To put this into perspective, there are over 200 million brands on Instagram. Meanwhile, the average monthly growth of a business account is +0.98% followers

So, is there a way to boost this organically? The short answer – Yes! Here are the best practices that’ll help you grow followers and increase engagement on Instagram.

How to Grow Your Instagram Following Like a Pro: 12 Best Tips & Hacks

Even with great content, your brand might not be seeing the growth you’d want. The reality is, growing organically takes a lot of work. But the long-term rewards are more than worth it.

Here’s what you can do to streamline the process: 

Target a Niche Audience

Brands often aim for a large, general audience, but a high number of followers does not always lead to engagement.

Statistics show that the more followers you have, the lesser engagement is. This is much different if we’re talking about a niche audience.

Instagram promotes relevant content and accounts, so optimizing for the platform’s search engine algorithm is crucial.

Try adding important keywords or hashtags on your posts, bio, and even your username. Then, keep posting consistent, niche-relevant, and high-quality content. 

Optimize Your Instagram Bio

As mentioned above, optimizing your Instagram bio helps your search visibility. This helps get your brand featured on Instagram Explore Page

An optimized Instagram bio considers the username, hashtags, profile picture used, and the links you include.

Use a username that’s related to your niche. You can change your username to contain a keyword even if your brand’s actual business name doesn’t. 

When linking to something on your bio, make sure it leads to an actionable landing page. This way you can funnel your Instagram traffic into something that converts. 

Have a Consistent Posting Schedule

Instagram’s algorithm favors consistency. Remember that quality content is what pulls new followers in. Consistency helps keep them. 

Having a consistent schedule ensures that you’re providing fresh content to your audience. To streamline this process, you can use automation tools like Publer’s Bulk Scheduling

Utilize Instagram Reels

Short-form video content is taking the world by storm. Just look at TikTok! Facebook and Youtube are even developing their platforms to cater to this type of content more. 

Instagram also has its own version called Instagram Reels. The platform itself said that it’s the best way to grow your community. 

According to statistics, Instagram users spend 20% of their time on the app watching Reels. This makes it one of the fastest-growing formats on the platform. 

Optimize your short-form video content by knowing when’s the best time to post Instagram Reels

how to grow your instagram following

Pick the Best Times to Post

Instagram Reels are amazing tools for brand building. But there are so many types of content you can post. Picking the best times to post them can give you an edge. 

But there’s no universal answer to what the “best time to post” is. As a rule of thumb, what you should consider first are your followers. What’s the best time for them?

To find your answers click on “Insights” on your business profile, find “Your Audience”, and tap “See All”. You’ll find when your audience is most active. Schedule your posts accordingly.

Cross-Post Your Instagram Content Across Social Media

Cross-posting content across your social media helps increase brand awareness, engagement, and followers. It also saves time and optimizes your posting schedules.

Each user has their own preferences when it comes to social media. When you cross-post, you might be able to reach audiences on different platforms like Facebook and Tiktok. 

But it does have drawbacks. First, you won’t be posting unique content across the board. Users might get tired of seeing something on Instagram and a few minutes later on Facebook. 

The challenge here is finding the balance between cross-posting and posting specific content for specific platforms.

Pick the Right Hashtags

Hashtags are the most effective and efficient way to market your brand on social media. You can find it on Twitter, TikTok, and especially Instagram.

Using the right hashtags helps your content’s visibility and find relevant audiences. But dumping out hashtags on your posts and bio won’t be as effective as before.

Focus on proactively targeting keywords in your niche. Find alternatives to competitive ones like #beauty. Try being more specific and target subcategories instead. 

Include Geotags to Boost Your Local Following

If you’re a small local business, then Geotags should be something to look into. When you tag your location on stories or posts, nearby users have a chance to see it.

You can even be more specific and tag the venue or event where your photos and videos were taken. This is all helpful as Locations have their own Instagram feed. 

Location hashtags also improve your visibility as well as location stickers in your Instagram Stories. This is a great way for small businesses to engage with potential customers.

Run a Contest or Giveaway

People love to get stuff for free. Psychology professor Dan Ariely explores this in his book Predictably Irrational

He states that free incentives motivate people to alter habits and conform to those offering them. This concept works wonders if you want to get more followers on Instagram.

instagram giveaways

Statistics show us that brands that do contests and giveaways grow 70% faster in the first three months than those that don’t. 

By nature, joining a contest or a giveaway demands users to engage with your content. An effective method is creating a contest or giveaway that requires users to tag or follow to join.

But before running a giveaway, promotion, or contest, be sure to follow Instagram’s guidelines

Harness the Power of Captions 

Captions can turn even the most random of photos into staples of internet culture. Posts shouldn’t stop with quality photos or visual content. Captions should also be well-thought-out. 

Instagram statistics show that the average caption length was 405 characters. But the platform allows a post to have a maximum of 2,200. 

There won’t be a one-size fits all caption range. Make sure to play around with it and see what fits what type of content.

Some photos go well with short and witty captions. Others might be better with long and descriptive ones.

Actively Engage With Followers and Influencers

Engaging with followers and influencers is one of the best ways to encourage user-generated content (UGC). In a nutshell, UGC is a form of social proof that focuses on your audience.

This type of content is seen as more organic and authentic. One of the easiest ways to use UGC is by featuring a user’s posts on your brand’s socials.

Partnering with verified influencers is also a great strategy to encourage UGC. Influencers help introduce your brand to new audiences and promote product awareness.

But before reaching out, make sure that you research what type of influencer is best for your brand. Here’s a brief rundown of the influencer types:

  • Micro-Influencers – Instagram micro-influencers cost around $250. Most specialize in a specific niche and have fewer followers than macro-influencers. But, they make up for it by having a dedicated following. 

Use micro-influencers when you want to increase engagement.

  • Macro-Influencers – These influencers have 220x more followers than micro-influencers. They’re more expensive because of their large following. The products they promote can become trendy within their community. 

Use macro-influencers for brand awareness across a more diverse audience.

Track Analytics and Adapt Your Strategy

The best way to grow on Instagram is by looking at your own statistics. Analytics tools such as Instagram Insight help you determine what strategies work and what don’t.

If you’re not sure where to start, you could look at your competitor’s numbers. Look into what’s driving their engagement, the type of content they post, and more.

Trends also change fast on Instagram. If you want to keep up, make sure to adapt your strategies and make analytics your foundation when making critical decisions.

Key Takeaways

Organic growth strategies on Instagram are going to take time and effort. But these lay out the groundwork for longevity on the platform. 

Here’s a quick summary of what you need to know:

  • Instagram business accounts grow +0.98% a month on average. You can increase this by following best practices.
  • Targeting a specific niche helps you gain a more engaging following.
  • Instagram’s algorithm favors accounts posting consistent, quality content.
  • Contests and giveaways help accounts grow 70% faster.
  • Use analytics to see what strategies work best for your brand. 

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