Have you ever wondered why certain Instagram accounts attract hundreds of thousands of followers while some remain stuck with their goal to break through the first one thousand followers? It’s not surprising to see such numbers from accounts of well-known brands and celebrities. What inspires wonder and curiosity are those accounts owned by seemingly regular individuals and startup companies.
Upon examination of these accounts, social media experts have identified the essential elements that an account must possess to reach that level of success. Based on their observations, here are three important tips on how to grow your Instagram organically:
1. Go for quality over quantity
When it comes to the content that you are going to post in your account, choose only the best ones that are worth sharing to your followers. Flooding the Instagram feed of your followers with whatever content you have on hand is going to run against the existing algorithm that determines how far the reach of your account would be. Even if you make 100 posts per day, but only 5 receives a good feedback, your succeeding posts would continually be rated lower, thereby decreasing the exposure of your account to potential followers.
Compared to other popular social media platforms, Instagram ranks among the most visual in terms of the posts made by the users. Therefore, the quality of the image you are going to post will sway the reaction that you might get from your followers.
This is not just a matter of the camera resolution used to take the photo, or your level of photo editing skills. Those elements matter in making your posts visually appealing. However, quality goes beyond what can be seen on the surface.
Quality posts are made with clear intentions on what their respective message or purpose would be. Before posting an image to your Instagram account, reflect on the following questions to help you decide if that given post is worth sharing to your followers:
- What is the primary message of this post? Is it meant to inspire or to sell something? Should it have a humorous or serious tone?
- Is the image visually striking? Does it need further editing? Do you need to use filters for it?
- Does the caption describe well the image for posting? How long should it be? Is it easy to read and digest?
- If you cannot answer these questions with high certainty, then take a step back and spend more time in planning out your next post. If you are going to post just because you feel obligated to do so, then you are following this essential tip on how to grow your Instagram account.
2. Aim for consistency
There is no specific rule in Instagram that prohibits you to alter the style or aesthetics of your account. However, the visual nature of this platform makes it easier to spot these differences. If you are aiming to increase your following, you should keep in mind one of the basic principles of effective digital marketing—brand consistency.
Your posting schedule also affects the brand experience of your followers. Ideally, you should have established the schedule of your posts based on the optimal time when your followers are likely to see your content on their respective feeds. If no one from your list of followers is active at 8 in the morning, sharing any content around that time would lessen the effectiveness and reach of your post.
Once you have figured out the optimal posting schedule for your account, set up reminders on your phone or other personal mobile devices. For instance, the analytics of your account indicate that your followers are active every afternoon and late evening on a daily basis. Your account should then be post twice per day—one at around 2 P.M. and the other one by 10 P.M.
Though it may seem as a trivial thing, following a consistent posting schedule would have a profound impact on your follower’s perception of your account. Over time, this perception would turn into your general reputation among Instagram users. At that point, your good reputation would consistently attract followers even without exerting any additional effort from your part.
3. Master the art of hashtags
Posting content with relevant hashtags would widen the reach of your account beyond your current following. Instagram lets you use up to 30 hashtags per post. However, it’s not advisable to maximize this feature since it could make your post seem inauthentic and cluttered.
If you are still a novice at putting hashtags for your posts, here are a couple of pointers to get you started on this:
- Search for accounts that have similar content or theme with yours. Make sure that they have a large amount of followers already. Take note of the hashtags that they frequently use, and apply them to your posts.
- Identify the primary themes of your posts. Type in those terms into the search function of Instagram, and select the tab that is dedicated for hashtags. Go over the most popular posts, and observe the other hashtags associated with your theme. Use the ones that would work well with your brand or aesthetics.
Some users who wish to increase their exposure join Instagram challenges that involve the usage of particular hashtags for a given period of time. Consider participating in those events as well, but make sure that you would also aim to show off the quality of your content that potential followers can expect from your account.
Given its global reach and ease of use, having an Instagram account has become a necessity not just for personal use but for business and other higher purposes as well. There are shortcuts that you can take—mostly illegal or unethical means—but at the end of the day, learning how to grow your Instagram following is a valuable skill to have in this age. Investing your time and effort is a worthwhile endeavor, considering the rewards that you can enjoy by being Instagram famous.