About to give up on Instagram? Whether you’re trying to make sales, land sponsorships, get more clients, boost your traffic, make connections, or grow your brand, Instagram is the place to be. While Instagram is a pretty hard platform to grow on (trust me, I know), it’s still one of the best platforms to use to grow your business. So, it’s well worth your time. Although I have been using Instagram for my business since 2018, I started seeing growth and results only after I began to implement specific strategies. So if you’re having a hard time growing on Instagram, today I’m going to share 10 Instagram growth hacks that have helped me grow my Instagram and will hopefully help your grow your Instagram organically, as well!
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SAVE THESE INSTAGRAM GROWTH HACKS FOR LATER!
10 INSTAGRAM GROWTH HACKS YOU NEED TO TRY
Before I begin sharing the strategies that have helped me grow my account, I want to note that I don’t claim to be an Instagram expert or guru. However, since I have been getting quite a few questions about Instagram, I wanted to compile a list of all the things I have been doing to grow my Instagram. So, below I’m going to share all of the Instagram strategies that have worked well for ME and have helped me grow organically.
1) BE CONSISTENT WITH INSTAGRAM IN ALL ASPECTS
First things first, if you really want to grow, you have to be consistent.
You can’t just post once and expect to grow overnight. Life doesn’t work that way and neither does Instagram. When it comes to growing organically on Instagram, you have to be very consistent.
Be consistent with your posting schedule. Consistent with your content. And very consistent with your strategies.
When I just started using Instagram, I would post randomly and carelessly. You can say that I simply posted for the sake of posting.
However, since I have been taking Instagram seriously and trying to grow it organically, I have been very strategic and consistent.
HOW TO BE CONSISTENT ON INSTAGRAM:
- Create a posting schedule. Ask yourself: what days do I want to post? Monday-Friday? Every other day? Etc.
- Try to post the same amount of times every week. I currently post 4-5x every single week on all three of my Instagram accounts.
- Post at the same time everyday.
- Be consistent with the content you post. It’s okay to mix up your content, but try to stay consistent. For example if you’re a beauty blogger, you’re going to want to post beauty related content instead of fitness content. However, if you’re a lifestyle blogger, you may have a variety of topics you post about! So, try to keep this in mind.
- Implement strategies consistently for at least 2-3 months before giving up.
- Devote a specific amount of time to Instagram daily. I have blocked 12pm-1pm strictly for instagram. So, I use this time of the day to post and do all Instagram-related tasks (I’m going to be sharing these tasks later in this post)!
2) POST WHEN YOUR AUDIENCE IS ACTIVE
Again, you want to post at the same time everyday, but you want to make sure that you’re posting when your audience is most active.
Before finding my perfect posting time, I would post in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings. My posts were all over the place and they had a really hard time performing. But after looking through my analytics on Instagram and analyzing when my audience is most active, I have found a time that works well for me. I currently post on all of my accounts anytime between 12pm-12:15pm ET.
However, this time may or may not work for you. This all depends on YOUR audience.
HOW TO POST WHEN YOUR AUDIENCE IS ACTIVE:
Go to INSIGHTS -> AUDIENCE (followers) -> MOST ACTIVE TIMES
As you can see, my audience is most active between 12pm-3pm. So, this is why every time I post on Instagram, I post at this time. 🙂
3) POST QUALITY CONTENT
I can’t tell you how many times I have stopped myself from following an account just because their content was poor. And at the same time, I have found myself following and obsessing over lots of small accounts just because their content was superb.
Personally, when I click on an account, I don’t focus on the amount of followers they have, I focus on the kind of content they have.
Which is why, I can’t stress enough how important it is to only put out quality content (especially if you’re a business account!)
HOW TO POST QUALITY CONTENT ON INSTAGRAM:
- Use presets on your photos to give your photos a special touch and to also create a cohesive feed.
- Avoid posting blurry photos.
- Make sure to airdrop your photos instead of messaging or emailing them to yourself so that you don’t lose the quality of your photos.
- Use canva to create valuable graphics and quotes.
- Post content that is valuable and relatable to your audience.
- Avoid posting personal photos that don’t provide any value whatsoever (post these on your personal account not your business account!)
- If you’re posting a photo for aesthetic purposes, make sure you add value in your caption.
- Before posting, ask yourself: is this post solving a problem, providing inspiration, or entertaining my audience? If your post is not doing either, than I would set it aside and post something else.
- Running out of content ideas? Repurpose your content! I love transforming my high-performing tweets into Instagram stories and graphics to repost later on Instagram.
4) PLAN YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED
The one Instagram app I always rave about is the PREVIEW app. For those who are unfamiliar with this app, this app was designed to help you plan out how you want your Instagram feed to look like before actually posting anything. The preview app has a lot of cool and helpful functions, but my absolute favorite is being able to rearrange the order of your posts so that you can plan a cohesive and beautiful feed.
In a platform where there are billions of users, a stunning and cohesive feed definitely helps make you stand out.
HOW TO CREATE A COHESIVE INSTAGRAM FEED:
- Use presets on your photos (you can create your own on Lightroom, download free presets, or purchase presets!)
- Use the same fonts in your graphics.
- Create a brand palette on Canva and try to stick to those colors.
Take a look at my feed for all three of my Instagram accounts:
MAIN ACCOUNT: @gabbyabigaill
2ND ACCOUNT @createdmagically
FAITH ACCOUNT @equationofhope
MORE INSTAGRAM GROWTH HACKS….
5) OPTIMIZE YOUR INSTAGRAM PROFILE
When it comes to making a good first impression on Instagram, your Instagram profile is what will either captivate or scare away a potential client or brand from working with you. So, it’s essential that you use this space to not only make a good impression on whoever comes across your profile, but to also give them a good idea of what your brand/business is all about.
Simply put, your Instagram profile should clearly state who you are and what you do in a captivating and unique way.
Since your Instagram profile is composed of a few parts, I’m going to break down each part for you below!
HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR INSTAGRAM PROFILE:
PHOTO – Upload a clear photo of your brand/business. This can be either be a photo of yourself or your logo. If you’re the brand, make sure that you use a clear photo of yourself. I find that people are more inclined to follow accounts when there is a face behind the account. However, if your business is based on a product or something that has nothing to do with you, I would use a logo instead.
USERNAME – For starters, your username should match on all platforms so that people can easily recognize you! However, if you’re new to social media and haven’t come up with a username just yet, this is your chance to come up with a username that represents your brand/business.
PRO TIP: Avoid using numbers, too many letters, or long usernames!
NAME – On top of including your name in this space or the name of your business, you should also include a keyword.
If you don’t know what to include, stop for a moment and ask yourself: what do I do? If you’re a personal trainer, include the words “personal trainer” next to your name. And if you’re a fashion blogger, include the words “fashion blogger” next to your name.
BIO – Your bio should be a short summary of yourself or your business and it should include a CTA.
Again, this is another great place to add in keywords.
WEBSITE – The whole point of using Instagram is to grab leads and get people to either buy your products, use your services, visit your website, or perform a certain call-to-action. So, make sure you include a link for people to click on.
PRO TIP: If you have various links, create a landing page where you can include them all. You can check out my landing page, here!
EMAIL – Lastly, make it easy for people to contact you by adding your email to your profile.
Take a look at my profile for all three of my Instagram accounts:
6) USE INSTAGRAM STORIES RELIGIOUSLY
One of my favorite Instagram features is Instagram stories. I love being able to share snippets of my day, behind the scenes content, and personal content that I would not normally share on my feed.
Instagram stories are great because they help you connect with your audience on a more personal level.
HOW TO USE INSTAGRAM STORIES:
You can use Instagram stories to give your audience more insight to your business/brand as well as your life.
Here are some ways to use Instagram stories to your benefit:
- Start a small series or a challenge related to your niche. This gives your audience something to look forward to!
- Create playful polls to entertain your audience.
- Create polls to help you make business decisions (this is a great way to get feedback from your audience!)
- Use the quiz sticker to do market research.
- Ask your audience personal/business related questions using the question box sticker.
- Share little snippets of your day.
- Post inspirational content that will motivate your audience. I love sharing words of wisdom and quotes.
- Repurpose your content! I like screenshooting my tweets and reposting them on my stories with photos of me in the background.
- Share your new Instagram posts immediately after posting.
- Use giphys on your stories to capture your audience’s attention.
- Include hashtags in your stories to boost engagement.
PRO TIP: You can hide your hashtags by adding a giphy or photo over the hashtags.
7) USE RELEVANT HASHTAGS
Hashtags are a great way to get your content across more eyes. Hashtags give you the opportunity to place your content in front of people who don’t already follow you. This is also one of the best ways to connect and network with similar accounts!
Luckily, Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post. So, that gives you 30 different communities to share your content to.
Although using hashtags seems pretty straight-forward, you have to be strategic in this case too.
HOW TO USE HASHTAGS ON INSTAGRAM:
- Create a list of all of the main topics your account is about. This can be: lifestyle, fitness, beauty, journaling, etc.
- Research hashtags by topics. Search keywords on the “tags” section on Instagram and write down hashtags that have (10k-100k posts)
- Create hashtag groups in your notes. Create a note for every different topic you’re researching hashtags for.
- Copy and paste hashtags from your notes on to your caption to save some time. BUT be careful to not repeat the same hashtag groups repeatedly otherwise your account may be shadow-banned (your posts won’t show up on hashtag feeds)
PRO TIP: Analyze the hashtags similar accounts are using and take note.
8) KEEP YOUR AUDIENCE ON THE PLATFORM LONGER
Like every other social media platform, Instagram loves it when their users stay on the platform longer.
So, making your audience stay on the platform longer will give you extra points with Instagram.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR AUDIENCE STAY LONGER ON INSTAGRAM
- Avoid single word captions or captions that just include an emoji. Instead, write meaningful captions that will keep your audience glued to your post longer.
- Always include a question at the end of your posts. This will not only motivate your audience to engage with your post and leave you a comment, but it’ll also make your audience stay longer on your post.
- When possible, ask your audience to tag someone in the comments. For example, you can try something like “tag someone that inspires you in the comments below!” This will not only boost your engagement, but it’ll also bring more eyes to your profile.
- Try carousel posts. For those who don’t know, carousel posts are posts that feature 2-10 photos in one post that users can swipe through. Making your audience swipe through your photos on a carousel post will make them stay on your post longer.
- Start conversations in your comments! When someone leaves you a comment, try to start a conversation with them based on their comment. This will not only help you engage with your audience on a personal level and make them want to comment again, but it’ll also help add more comments to your post. More comments = more engagement.
9) ENGAGE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
Engaging with your audience is by far the most important and crucial task on Instagram that so many people are ignoring.
Have you ever come across accounts that have 25k+ followers but are barely getting 100 likes and comments?
There’s a simple explanation to this: poor engagement. These users simply post and expect comments/likes to rain without putting in any work whatsoever. They’re ignoring the comments on their posts, not returning likes (you don’t always have to do this, but doing this from time to time can make a difference), not liking or commenting on any posts on their feed, and completely disregarding their audience.
Instagram DOES not work this way (at least not anymore!) If you’re expecting people to engage with your content, you have to do some engaging yourself. Remember, followers don’t mean anything if you don’t receive any engagement on your posts.
Genuine engagement > amount of followers you have
HOW TO ENGAGE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
- Respond to all comments quickly and genuinely, preferably within the first hour after posting.
- Try to return a couple of comments. This will make people want to comment on your posts more!
- After posting, go through some of the hashtags you used and comment, like, and follow accounts that are similar to yours. Personally, I like liking a few posts in each hashtag, clicking on posts that stand out in the “most recent” section and then following accounts that fit my vibe.
PRO TIP: Whenever you want to follow account, make sure to like their latest 9-12 posts (bonus if you leave a comment on one of their posts!). This will help you take up space in their notifications and make them want to either follow you back or return the love!
- Like and leave genuine comments on a couple of posts on your timeline before and after sharing a new post. This will help boost the interaction on your posts. Not everyone will return comments and likes, but those who do will help give your post a boost.
- Watch and interact with other people’s stories. React to stories, reply to stories, and even start conversations. More activity = more engagement.
- Go through the comments of similar accounts and follow accounts that catch your attention in the comments. If they’re leaving comments, chances are that they’re active users and will interact with your posts too.
- Return likes! If you don’t have time to return comments, try your best to return likes (even on small accounts!) I’ve noticed that this makes people want to interact with your posts more.
10) PERFORM DAILY INSTAGRAM TASKS
To ensure that you stay active on Instagram, create a list of 3-5 tasks to complete on Instagram daily or at least 5/7 days. Don’t know what Instagram tasks will help you grow your account? No worries, below I’m going to share a list of Instagram tasks for you to do!
DAILY TASKS TO PERFORM ON INSTAGRAM:
- Post on your feed.
- Share at least (fill in a number here) stories.
- Like (fill in a number here) posts on your feed.
- Leave (fill in a number here) comments on posts on your feed.
- Watch and respond to (fill in a number here) Instagram stories.
- Go through (fill in a number here) hashtags: like (fill in a number here) posts, comment on (fill in a number here) posts, and follow (fill in a number here) accounts.
- Research (fill in a number here) hashtags.
- Follow (fill in a number here) similar accounts.
- Reach out to (fill in a number here) brands.
- Return (fill in a number here) likes and comments.
To recap, here are the 10 instagram growth hacks that have helped me boost my engagement and grow my Instagram following:
- Be consistent with your posting schedule and strategies
- Post when your audience is most active
- Only share quality content
- Plan your Instagram feed using the PREVIEW app
- Optimize your Instagram profile
- Use Instagram stories religiously
- Use relevant hashtags
- Keep your audience on the platform longer
- Engage with your audience
- Perform daily instagram tasks
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I hope you find these 10 Instagram growth hacks useful! Remember, all strategies require consistency, dedication, and patience! So, don’t give up after implementing them for only a few days. Which Instagram growth hacks are you going to try on your account? Comment below!
Until next time,