Instagram’s growth shows no sign of subsiding. Out of one billion daily active users, 200 million check at least one business account every day. It’s evident that Instagram is a great social media platform for marketers and entrepreneurs. And it’s necessary to grow your Instagram account if you want to run your business.
However, there are 25 million business accounts on Instagram. This means it is a difficult battleground for brands that don’t have a well-planned growth strategy.
If you’re wondering how you can stand out from the overcrowded space, you’re not alone. The competition on Instagram is palpable. And some brands are resorting to dubious practices like using bots or fake accounts to generate likes, buying followers, and using third-party apps to automate engagement.
To uphold the channels’ integrity, Instagram imposed a “shadowban.” The ban restricts the guilty brands’ posts from showing up in search results or followers’ feeds, leading to a dip in engagement.
But don’t worry. You don’t need to resort to shady techniques and risk getting shadowbanned. You can grow the number of followers and engagement on Instagram organically. Without spending a cent, you can maximize your content’s visibility and penetration. This post will tell you how to grow your Instagram account.
How to Grow Your Instagram Account Organically
All smart marketers follow one rule: never start a campaign without clearly identifying your purposes. So, which metrics matter on Instagram? How do you know that your brand is growing?
Some of the most popular KPIs include engagement per follower, website traffic, link clicks, comments per post, Instagram Stories engagement, and hashtag usage. Before you begin, you need to figure out which purposes you want to reach.
Once you have your goals laid out, you can try some or all of the strategies below.
1. Optimize Your Posts
Content is still king. More so on social networks that are brimming with sub-standard content. By following a few time-tested posting habits, you can optimize your posts so that they grab eyeballs and make an influence.
Crack the Instagram algorithm:
Instagram ranks posts that use 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 other random posts. This is the reason why you need to DM, like, or comment on the posts of your intended audience.
Instagram also ranks those posts that are relevant or interesting to a user higher than others. And newer posts get priority in Instagram’s algorithm.
So, what does that mean for you? You should post consistently. To come up with fresh content ideas, study the user behavior of your target audience, and then create content that is relatable.
Optimize visual content:
Your Instagram content needs to have high quality and be optimized for size and duration (for videos). To create attractive visual content for free, you should make use of professional-grade editing tools. You can use filters and overlays to up the glam quotient of your photos.
Remember that images need to conform to Instagram’s recommended sizes: 1080px X 1080 px (for square images), 1080px X 608 px (for landscape images), and 1080px X 1350 px (for square images).
If you’re uploading IGTV videos, limit their duration to 15 minutes. Their file format should be MP4 and cover photos should be in .jpg or png formats. It’s perfect to keep their aspect ratio at 9:16 and resolution at 720 pixels or above.
Post during optimal times:
Instagram Insights can help you create a comprehensive buyer persona for your Instagram followers. Using it, you can explore the most active times of your followers. You need to switch to a Business account to access and use Instagram Insights.
Influencers and content creators have it easier owing to Instagram Creator accounts. They can discover the best posting times by studying the graph for “When Your Followers are on Instagram.”
2. Keep Your Followers Engaged
So, you’ve figured out Instagram’s algorithm, created eye-catching visual content, and posted at the correct times. Are your engagement numbers still not as many as you’d like?
That could mean that your content lacks flavor. Your followers are either ignoring or dismissing your Instagram content. You need to step on the accelerator. You need great ideas that’ll make your followers sit up and have an eye on your content. If you’re having a creative block, you can get more inspiration from our ideas:
You can tell a story of your brand through Instagram Stories. Stories are more effective than still images and they don’t crowd your followers’ feeds. If you own a Business account and have 10K+ followers, you can add a “swipe up” link to your Stories and redirect traffic to your website. Stickers in Stories can further improve engagement.
As the name implies, Instagram Live is for live videos. They are an effective way to land at the first position in your followers’ Story section. Live videos look candid and engage viewers for longer. For live videos, you can add interviews, product demos, or Q&A with your viewers. Keep in mind to have a basic script and format in hand to avoid goof ups.
Instagram TV (IGTV)
The same to Stories, IGTV is for longer videos with cover photos. You can do promotions or influencer takeovers with IGTV. There are many free sophisticated movie-making apps like iMovie and FilmoraGo that can help you to shoot delightful videos.
If you want to expand your follower count, you need to explore new pastures. Hashtags can make your posts pop up in trending circles. Make sure that the hashtags you use are relevant to your brand and audience. HashtagsForLikes is a perfect hashtag tracking tool that searches trending tags for your brand.
Contests and Giveaways
Contests and giveaways are clever strategies to get new followers. You can host contest entrants to tag their friends and/or to follow your page. Your brand can get more visibility and your followers can win cool gifts in return.
You can let your audience in your journey by posting behind-the-scenes videos and bloopers. You can even create a buzz about upcoming events and products by posting teasers about them.
User-generated content is a great way to improve your brand awareness. It costs nothing and has huge engagement potential. You can craft a branded hashtag and encourage your followers to follow it and add it to their posts. This way, you can gather a lot of valuable content that can be reposted in your Stories.