Instagram is an undeniable force for both regular users and businesses alike. With over 700 million active monthly users and over 4 billion likes per day, it would be downright neglectful if you did not share your brand on the platform. Even so, with all that activity it can sometimes be difficult to get anybody to notice your Instagram account. Don't panic just yet, though. In this article, we will break down exactly how to grow your Instagram account naturally and organically.
The key to this is consistency. In everything that you do, you must do it consistently. From the pictures that you post to the number of likes that you give each day, you must be diligent in this endeavor.
While this may seem like a daunting task for busy business owners and bloggers (and anyone else trying to make it through this world), it will be worth it in the end. The Instagram community is eager to see your photos and happy to engage with your brand.
The only problem?
First, they need to find your Instagram account. With a few strategic efforts, a bit of persistence, and a lot of patience you can get Instagram followers easily. By following these straightforward steps, you will be growing your Instagram account in no time.
How to Grow an Instagram Account in 14 Actionable Steps
While consistency is undoubtedly vital in getting more followers on Instagram, it is understandable that you won't always be available phone-in-hand around the clock. Start with these steps to immediately increase your reach and then continue implementing these strategies as best you can.
1. Pick a Good Instagram Name
A lot of Instagrammers think that they need to pick something quirky and creative to attract users to their page. While quirkiness and creativity are assets that indeed make a person or blog more interesting, they don't necessarily belong in your Instagram name (not to be confused with your username).
This all comes down to basic online marketing. You want your name to quickly communicate to your potential followers precisely what your Instagram account is all about. If your Instagram is displaying a lifestyle brand, for example, then be sure to show it somehow in your Instagram name.
Another good reason to include your theme or service in your Instagram name is to be more searchable. If you have an Instagram account that displays raw food, for example, then an Instagram name with "raw food" in it will be more likely to appear when a user searches the same phrase. The key to getting more followers is for them to find you!
2. Personalize Your Brand
People like to see that there is a real person behind the account. We are social beings, and so we naturally connect more easily with other humans than, say, a tiny screen with pretty pictures, or you can use ready-made social media bundle deals. Take the time to complete your bio in a way that not only shows what your Instagram is all about, but it also conveys the person or people behind it.
3. Research Your Competition
Before you fully launch into outreach mode, spend a little bit of time researching your competition. Your competition already has something that you want: followers that are interested in what you have to offer. Since they already have followers, you can be sure that what they are doing is working. So, pay attention to the style, format, frequency, and tone of their Instagram account.
Also take note of which hashtags they use, the time of day that they are posting, and how they interact with the community. Your competition is giving you a unique peek into what your very own experience will be like, so learn from their mistakes and benefit from their successes.
4. Choose a Grid Layout That is Attractive
While this may seem obvious, it is worth noting that you must create content that people will like. One straightforward way to do that is by strategically creating content that will look nice not only individually but also altogether on the grid. You must put just as much thought into your entire Instagram page as you do with each post. By choosing an attractive grid layout, you are ensuring that your potential followers will stay just a little bit longer on your Instagram.
5. Be in the Photos
As uncomfortable as it may make you, people want to see you in front of the camera from time to time! Users are more likely to connect with you on a personal level if they can put a face to the account. While most of us feel as if a pretty landscape or a perfectly plated meal is more attractive than us, users tend to feel differently. Sure, people want to see all those beautiful things, but they want to look at the person behind those photos more.
You don't need to be in all the photos, but do try to hop in every once in a while. Instagram is a social platform foster that social relationship between you and your followers by showing them who you are!
6. Use the Right Hashtags
Hashtags are crucial to getting more followers fast because they are like the beacon that attracts them from all corners of the world. Don't slap just any hashtags in your picture, though. Carefully research which hashtags correlate with your niche and then do further research to figure out which are the most effective. Look at your competition's page (again) to see what they are using and then incorporate those that fit with your Instagram theme and mission.
Once you have an idea of which hashtags you'd like to use, head over to Hashtagify and plug them in. The platform will then give you data one each hashtag so that you know which ones are most effective and which are just Insta-pollution. It will also suggest similar hashtags that you may not have thought of, which will help you further expand your reach.
7. Like Photos in Your Niche
The single most effective way to gain exposure is by liking other people's photos in your niche. Anyone with any significant number of followers will tell you the same. The more pictures that you like, the more followers that you will get. It may sound simple (it is) but it is very effective.
Most people, however, don't have the time or the desire to like hundreds of photos each day. This is where specific tools like Growr come into play. You can easily grow your Instagram with Grow because it does all the 'liking' for you. All you need to do is indicate which hashtags you would like it to focus on, and then it automatically likes and follows accounts that use those hashtags. It is an automated process that mimics what you would be doing already if you had the time.
Just like liking photos in your niche will earn you new followers, leaving comments will have the same impact. Explore accounts and pictures with the same hashtags that you use, then leave friendly and thoughtful comments. A heart emoji or a thumb up will not gain much attention, but a comment that shows that you read their caption or watched their story will work wonders for your potential new follower.
This can indeed be time-consuming, but a little bit goes a long way. Whenever you are on Instagram, spend a few minutes commenting on photos in your niche. With time, you will see the followers trickle in.
9. Join a Comment Pod
If you'd like to improve your comment game seriously, then consider joining an Instagram pod. A comment pod is a group of people just like yourself looking for some genuine interaction, but amplified. In the pod, your group will coordinate posting schedules so that you can all leave comments on each other's photos as soon as they're posted.
This will increase your visibility, thanks to Instagram's new algorithm, while also indicating to potential followers that your photo is "likable." With a bit of social psychology at play here, you can signal to other users that people already like your photo, and so it is safe for them to do so as well. While this certainly sounds silly, it is an incredibly effective method that is being used by all serious Instagrammers today.
10. Ask Your Followers to Tag a Friend
Be strategic with your captions. Share a thoughtful caption with each of your photos to foster that human connection and then get your followers involved. Include quick calls to action, such as tagging friends or answering questions. The tasks don't need to be complicated or even that deep. A simple, "what's your favorite?" often does the trick. By including a call to action in your caption, you are naturally increasing engagement and even bringing in new followers with the help of your current followers.
11. Collaborate With Others
Reach out to other Instagrammers within your niche to collaborate on a project together. By working with another account, you are getting premium access to a set of followers that you know are already interested in your niche and actively engaged. This is premium access to potential followers that you can easily get by merely being friendly and engaging with the community.
12. Host a Giveaway
Contests and giveaways provide an easy way to generate buzz around your account once you do have a small following. You can easily set the terms so that participants must follow, like, or comment to earn an entry into the giveaway. You can even collaborate with other Instagram accounts to expand your reach even further.
A great tool to help you set up your giveaway is Wishpond. It allows you to set your terms and randomize the process so that you can focus on engaging with your followers rather than planning your giveaway.
13. Use the Stories Feature
While your Instagram page may be a set of perfectly curated photos, your Instagram Stories is where the behind-the-scenes magic happens. If you don't necessarily like being in your pictures, but you would like to let your followers see you in real life, take advantage of the Stories feature. You can easily upload images and photos of your day to day activities. Then, within 24 hours they disappear.
This is also another fantastic way to reach more followers as you can tag your location and include hashtags in your Stories, as well. By adding your location, nearby spectators can easily watch your story. The more accessible your Instagram account is, the more followers you will have.
14. Analyze Everything
Lastly, you must always analyze your work. Pay close attention to how users respond to what you do. Figure out which hashtags bring in the most followers and what time of day brings the most engagement. Once you figure out what works, you will be able to grow your Instagram account in no time!