This is a guest post by Berry, singer, wife, mom of four, living the blended family life. Berry is passionate about social media marketing, copywriting and content creation. She loves baking and creating recipes for her blog, when she’s not being distracted by shiny objects. Check out Berry’s Instagram
If your goal is to grow your Instagram organically, it’s not surprising that it can seem like a daunting task – because it is! There is so much you need to think of and so much you need to do to make this platform work for you.
From content creation (how do we even do that) to getting people to follow you (it’s free, why is no one following me) it’s understandable why some people want to buy followers. You don’t need to do that. It’s also not worth it. I have been studying and working on my Instagram for quite some time and picked up a few hacks along the way to help make growing your Instagram seem like less of a “mission impossible”. In this post, I’ll be sharing my top tips with you.
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Do you ever think it would be so much easier getting someone else to take over your Instagram and do everything for you because it is such a pain to get engagement on your account? Yep, I think everyone has felt this way. It is not easy to make your Instagram account a success. It
takes hard work, dedication, and consistency.
I didn’t know anything about Instagram when I started my account for my blog. I was also gullible enough to think it would be easy to grow my account and get engagement… “crick crick”… (that’s the sound of my two likes on my posts). I want to share a few tips with you that I have picked up from my research and just my overall experience with this platform. It has become my favorite platform and I have even made some amazing friends along the way.
How to grow your Instagram organically
01. The liking posts strategy
When I started my Instagram it was just for my blog, to try and advertise my posts and create engagement on my site – that didn’t work. It is not as easy as it may seem until get in there. So I started doing some research and found read between the lines on a few other pages online until
I found an amazing hack to grow your Instagram following organically. That’s right – for free! All it takes is time and consistency.
My Instagram grew from 250 subscribers to 2100 subscribers from when I started using this technique up till now. “How is this possible?”, Is something you may be thinking. Well, I am here to share this hack with you.
Let me explain, you can’t just go down your feed and like posts. You already follow these people so they don’t need anything from you. They also often see your likes on their content so they won’t really be concerned about looking at your profile. No, what you want to do is like posts from accounts you do not know. From users who don’t have many followers or have the same amount as you. You want to get their attention.
You also don’t want to get random people following you, you want to grow your Instagram following organically with actual humans that want to follow you because they like your content or have similar interest as you.
To do this strategically, follow these steps:
1. Select one of the hashtags that you use often by clicking on it, which will open posts from other users that used the same hashtag.
2. Click on “Recent”, not “Top”. The reason for this is that those “top” posts usually have thousands of likes, so your little like is not going to mean anything to their busy account.
3. “Like” the genuine posts you come across. Keep an eye on how many posts you’re liking. You should be able to like 100 posts (takes about 2 minutes) and you should then take a break for at least one hour. Why? Instagram has its own rules and algorithms that they change quite often. Their bots watch account activities like a hawk! So your account will get blocked if you are being too generous with your likes.
Instead, do your 100 likes a few times throughout the day. Making sure to leave at least a one hour gap between turns. What I do is like the posts until my likes don’t take, you will see that as you try to like a post the heart disappears. That is a sign that you need to stop and back away
from the phone.
Why does this work so well? Because you’re getting the attention of people who don’t have many likes on their posts and enjoy similar content as you. It’s also good to note that you can throw in a comment here and there on the accounts that seem cool to create engagement.
By using this hack you will organically grow your followers with people who actually want to follow you, not robots, like for like accounts or bought followers who bring absolutely no engagement or benefit to your account. You may even make some wonderful friends along the way.
You can expand this strategy further by appealing to people’s egos. People love to hear you love their new video, or their advice, or something about them that’s relevant to what they post about (their outfit, their new book, their kids or pets being cute, and so on). Adding a screenshot of their profile to your story and tagging them with a short message can work really well.
Repeating this over time can see really good results and help you build relationships with the account owners. Make sure the screenshot you’re sharing is something public (i.e. not paid for content the creator wouldn’t want you revealing) and that any non-public personal info is obscured. You also want to make sure that your commentary is genuine and the part you’re sharing from them is a small size so it doesn’t look like you’re just trying to steal their content! If you’re concerned, you could create your own unique short video, Story or post about how much you like their account.
You could even add a recurring task to your calendar to create some Stories to mention a few accounts to follow and why those accounts are great.
02. The giveaway strategy
This one does involve spending money, but you can reduce the cost by getting together with a bunch of other people and splitting the cost between you all. You can often find people willing to take part in giveaways in Facebook groups for bloggers and influencers, but do your due diligence to make sure they’re trustworthy.
The reason I’m labeling this an organic strategy is because it has a ripple effect of contestants tagging other friends who then follow you too. This way you reach second degree and third degree friends of your followers and get a lot of the same types of targeted people joining you. It’s also much more cost effective and less hassle than running ads to attract followers – and you’ll see a much bigger return. (Ads can be good if you have the time and budget, but only if your goal is also selling a product or service rather than just growing your personal or blog account).
Have a quick search to find out the latest rules on running Instagram contests so you can make sure you stick to them. The prize/s you choose should be really coveted things – if they’re out of stock everywhere or limited edition, even better. People will go wild for them. To get the right kind of followers, make sure you’re giving away something that’s relevant to what you post about. There’s no point giving away a Dyson Airwrap if you’re mainly a business stategist for example – people won’t be attracted to your other posts and regular content and will just mass unfollow you after the contest.
Similarly, if you love beauty products and post about them a lot, but your audience primarily follows you because they find you attractive rather than because they’re interested in how you create your looks, they’re unlikely to be interested in winning a Dyson Airwrap either. Knowing your audience is key to coming up with a good prize. A good prize is key to getting people to enter your contest and for them to be the kind of followers you want.
Ask entrants to tag a friend and follow the accounts involved in the contest to grow reach. The simpler the contest is, the more people will take part. Don’t forget to include terms such as when the contest ends, which locations you’ll ship the prize to, when the contest ends, etc.
How to make your Instagram account a success
01. Be real, be you
Yes, no one likes a fake account that with no purpose to the posts. While it’s always good to check out other people’s profiles for inspiration, don’t let that turn you into something you’re not or create an image for yourself that feels inauthentic because you think that’s what people want to see. People want to see you – celebrate that. It also means that people will follow you because you have that special something.
02. Post good quality content
Don’t just post something for the sake of posting. You need to put thought into what you want to say and who your target audience is. You want to be known for something – book blogging, beauty tips, beautiful home inspiration. Even if you post things that aren’t on those topics sometimes, you need to aim toward being the “go to” for something, so people remember you and head to your content when they need that fix.
03. Post great quality images
This doesn’t need to be difficult. If you have the correct natural light and placement of your product/person, you can get some super decent photos with your phone camera and edit with presets or filters. No need to hire a pro every time you want a new post.
04. Post stories
This is important. Everyone is different and where some people enjoy reading your captions or scrolling through your pretty photos on your Instagram feed, others enjoy watching Instagram story updates. This could include sharing posts from other accounts, or sharing what you’re cooking for lunch. It can also be cool tutorials that you save as a highlight afterward. Keep your story active with a post (or several posts)
05. Engagement is key
You cannot have a successful account if you do not engage with other accounts and those who comment on your posts. Like all the comments on your
posts, respond to them. Comment on other accounts posts that appear on your feed, reply to stories that you watch. Engage, engage, engage.
06. Be creative
Don’t post the same photos every time you create a post. If your images are too similar, people will think they’ve seen it before and not bother reading the caption or engaging. Change things up. Change the topics of your posts, ask questions to encourage engagement. Think of each post as a statement.
07. Don’t be scared of IGTV
This feature is your friend. IGTV can be used for any informative video you want to post. Think of it as YouTube for Instagram. You can even
do a whole cooking video on “How to make spaghetti”, if that is your/your audience’s kinda thing.
08. Don’t be scared of Reels
This feature is also your friend and brings in MANY views on simple posts. Remember that “How to cook spaghetti” video that you posted to IGTV?
Well, now you can recycle that same video by creating a short reel of it and then pointing them to your IGTV video for the full video/recipe. This feature is basically Instagram’s version of TikTok.
09. Use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite
This tool has saved me a few times. I don’t schedule all my posts, I like to be present on my account and engage, but some weeks are rough and I just don’t get to everything. For this reason, I schedule 2/3 posts a week depending on how busy I am, they then post automatically to my Instagram feed. That means I don’t need to worry about getting a post ready every day with the copy and then posting it at the golden time. I can just respond to the comments as they roll in.
This might seem like a lot to take in, or maybe you already use some of these points on your account, but they do work. It is not a quick fix, just facts on how to create a successful Instagram account. It does start out slow, and it takes time to connect to the audience you’re looking for.
Keep in mind that not everyone will like your content, that’s ok. Focus on those who are engaging in your posts and post for those followers. If you overthink about those who unfollowed you you’re going to be erratic with your content. Reward those who stick around and you will gain more followers because you’re consistent. Consistency is key. Don’t start out strong with your posting schedule and then fade away over a few weeks, you will notice a drop in your engagement and activity.
Another bonus tip – your target audience might change as your account grows. I know I started as a blended family blogger but I am now simply a mommy blogger that talks about her blended family. There is nothing wrong with that. Blogging is always evolving and you need to keep up with those changes or you will start falling behind.
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