In the near decade that Instagram has been around, its feed and app have gone through many iterations. With every tweak to the algorithm and the introduction of new features, businesses need to keep up to maintain a steady account growth.
- Research your target audience thoroughly. ...
- Plan ahead. ...
- Like and comment on accounts similar to your own. ...
- Use a variety of relevant hashtags. ...
- Promote your Instagram on your other channels. ...
- Use tagging and geolocation as much as possible. ...
- Utilize new Stories features to keep your content fresh.
So how do you adapt? By trying out and incorporating new growth strategies. For this piece, we’ll cover organic Instagram growth strategies but we do recommend support with ads if you have the budget for it.
What defines Instagram growth? For many, it’s the number of followers you have and gain. But to get these new followers, you have to have a combination of increased account engagement, brand exposure and compelling content. Otherwise, why else would anyone follow you?
You likely already have a good idea on what your Instagram growth looks like and what has worked or not worked in the past. If your growth is stagnant or you want to put a little more oomph into your strategies, we recommend testing out any or all of these tips.
A note on Instagram growth, though: Services that tout growth through purchased likes and followers are against Instagram’s service policies. These fake engagements and growth rates will only harm your account in the long run and might even get your account banned. If you use a marketing agency to help you grow your account, check to see what they’re doing before you pay for the service.
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Consistency is key
Let’s make sure you have the basics down first. To grow an Instagram account, you can’t put all your eggs in the proverbial basket and rely on one post to go viral. Most posts won’t go viral, which you means you need to find a better way to get your posts in front of your intended audience.
Take a look at your posting schedule, posting frequency and content quality. What are you doing well and what are your areas of improvement?
n our guide on best times to post, we recommend Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and Fridays between 10 and 11 a.m. as starting points. For most consistent engagement, Tuesday to Friday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. are the best times. If you don’t have data yet on your best times, these time ranges would be a good place to start. We recommend you go into your analytics and find the best times to post for your brand. Sprout Social’s ViralPost publishing feature takes the legwork out of your research and will post when it thinks you’ll have the highest engagement based on previous analytics. This can be a huge time saver when looking to post frequently and consistently to grow Instagram followers.
Run promotions & contests
Share the wealth with influencers
Increase engagement time
There are many methods of growing your Instagram following organically. We’ve highlighted a few here, such as running contests and cross-platform promotions. Some are designed for faster growth while others—like investing in more engagement time—are slower to produce results. A combination of the above strategies will put you in a good place to grow your Instagram account organically and steadily.
Posting on a consistent basis sets up an expectation for your followers to look forward to the next post. Larger brands will post multiple times a day while small businesses may only post a few times a week. Whichever you commit to, just make sure it’s a consistent schedule.
And finally, consistency in content quality is very important. There’s a lot more noise on Instagram feeds these days and you need to stand out. Subpar or stock photos won’t help grow Instagram followers as much as those who are creating their own interesting content.
Invest in content production & content diversity
Engagement is no longer relegated to in-feed posts. It now includes metrics such as Story replies, views of IGTV episodes and Story mentions. And more content types means there are more opportunities to increase your engagement rates and, consequently, your organic Instagram growth.
If you’ve only done in-feed posts or tried out Stories sporadically, we recommend committing to a few Stories a week to establish consistency and plan content for it. With a variety of ways to use Stories as a method to grow Instagram followers, it’s an opportunity to see what resonates with your audience.