With more than 1.3 billion monthly active users, Instagram has grown into one of the largest social media platforms today. However, what sets it apart from other social networking sites is its high engagement levels — users spend an average of 30 minutes on the platform every day.
What’s more? Nearly 83% of consumers use the platform to discover new products or services and another 80% use it to make purchase decisions. That’s why it’s essential for brands to establish an active presence on Instagram.
But is it even possible to grow your Instagram account without having to spend a ton of money on ads? The short answer, yes.
This article will walk you through some very effective tactics to grow your Instagram following organically. These will be particularly useful if you’re just starting out and want to quickly build an engaged community of Instagram followers for your brand.
1. Optimize your account
If you want to attract more Instagram followers, the first step is to create a concise yet catchy description for your Instagram bio. Use it to tell your brand’s story in a way that appeals to people’s emotions.
Include relevant hashtags in your bio to maximize your reach. You could even add a branded hashtag to garner greater traction. Take a cue from GoPro’s Instagram account.
Don’t forget to include a link to your website or relevant landing pages. Also, add a suitable profile image (preferably your brand logo).
2. Create attractive and meaningful content
You need to give your target audience a compelling reason to hit the “Follow” button. The best way to do that is to consistently publish high-quality, relevant, and engaging content.
Use a mix of Reels, IGTV videos, Stories, and images to attract and engage your followers. Identify topics that address or resolve their pain points. Leverage AMAs and live sessions to interact with them, and learn more about their content preferences.
Remember to use colors, graphics, and other visual elements to create an Instagram feed that resonates with your brand. Here’s how Coca-Cola does it.
3. Stick to a posting schedule
Consistency is the key to building a loyal following on Instagram. Publishing a handful of images or videos at random times every month won’t do the trick. Instead, you need to create a proper Instagram content calendar.
This will help you incorporate a mix of different content formats and topics to amplify engagement. Also, use Instagram Insights to find out the days and times when your posts get the most engagement. Use it to fine-tune your posting schedule.
4. Work with micro-influencers
Collaborating with social media influencers is one of the most powerful ways of growing your Instagram account. But working with renowned influencers with millions of followers involves a hefty price tag.
If your marketing budget is limited, consider working with micro-influencers to expand your reach. While these influencers might have a few thousand followers only, they share a strong connection with their audience.
For instance, Pupfluence regularly works with pet influencers to create new content and drive engagement.
5. Use the right hashtags
Hashtags are one of the most effective tools for growing your reach and awareness on Instagram. While Instagram lets you add up to 30 hashtags in a post, you should only use the most relevant ones.
Research popular hashtags in your industry to identify the ones your target audience is most likely to follow.
Also, create a short and unique branded hashtag to reinforce your brand identity. Showcase it in your bio to encourage your followers to use the hashtag. You should also consider sharing user-generated content on your account to further boost your engagement and reach.
Here’s a great example from Nikon.
6. Socialize and engage
Attracting thousands of profile visitors and followers isn’t enough. You must also focus on engaging and retaining them. Respond to comments on your Instagram posts. Reply to DMs from your audience to keep the conversation going.
You should also leave thoughtful comments on Instagram posts from other brands in your industry to maximize visibility. This will help you reach a wider audience that may not even be familiar with your brand. However, make sure to engage with content that’s likely to strike a chord with your target audience.
7. Don’t fake it
When you’re building your brand on Instagram, the temptation to buy followers can be too strong to ignore. But remember that the algorithm is designed to regularly scan and weed out bots and fake follower accounts from Instagram profiles.
Also, when you buy followers, it won’t do anything to improve your engagement levels or conversion rates. It’s wiser to gradually build your following using the organic strategies mentioned above.
Having a strong presence on Instagram is crucial for the growth and success of your brand. Use the built-in tools to optimize your profile and publish engaging content. Leverage micro-influencers and hashtags to skyrocket your reach. Finally, make sure you engage meaningfully with your followers in order to retain them and take your business to newer heights.