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Last updated: October 31, 2022
A guide with 10 proven ways to grow your Instagram followers organically, get more engagement and build your brand.
With the right strategy and mindset, Instagram can do wonders for your blog’s brand awareness and traffic. But for many, Instagram is still a bit of a mysterious beast, as it works very differently from other social media channels.
Growing Instagram followers organically is very rewarding, as it gets you the best results in the long term. It really pays off to keep your account genuine and not to try and game the system, leading to a larger and more engaged audience.
Read on and learn more about the 10 best ways to grow your Instagram followers organically.
10 Tips to grow your Instagram account:
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10 Tips to Grow Your Instagram Account
Growing your Instagram followers is perhaps not as easy as it is with Twitter, which is one of the reasons why so many Instagram users resort to questionable tactics, such as the follow unfollow method, to increase their followers.
But if you stick with the following 10 habits, you will undoubtedly be able to grow your Instagram account organically. It may take some time, but those organic followers will ultimately get you the most engagement.
1. Start with Research
As a professional blogger or Internet marketer, you need to be prepared. Just like SEO takes time, learning Pinterest takes time, and understanding WordPress takes time, getting your head around Instagram can cause a few headaches.
So, before you create an Instagram account or start posting things, it’s worth doing some research. You need to work out who your competitors are and what kind of content they are posting. Create a list in Excel and keep track of those “competitors” and similar accounts.
You also need to work out who your projected audience is. Create a virtual profile of the person you want to target and create content with that profile in mind.
You can analyze competitors’ accounts and see what type of people engage with their content. See what they like most, what they comment on, what they say, etc.
2. Publish Targeted and Relevant Content
Once you have a good idea of what your projected audience looks like and what kind of content generates the most interest, you can start planning ahead and publish targeted and relevant content.
Start publishing content that is laser targeted and super relevant. Don’t just post random stuff that has no connection with your blog, brand, or audience. Only post content that your projected audience actually wants to see. Content that supports your blog or website.
That is the type of content that will generate the most engagement, and that will ultimately grow your Instagram followers, organically and steadily.
Instagram can be ruthless. If you publish content that isn’t relevant and doesn’t interest people, they will walk away. In Instagram terminology, that means they will unfollow you. Just like that. Goodbye.
3. Publish Consistently
It’s also important to publish that targeted and relevant content consistently. This can be four posts per day or just one per week. As long as you’re consistent.
There is no point in going too hard and uploading a new image every 10 mins for a few days, followed by an extended social media break for five weeks. Again, Instagram is ruthless.
Many of those new followers you attracted when you were super active will forget about you if they don’t see new cool stuff coming from your Instagram account.
Make a plan and stick to it. If you want to publish twice a week, put two weekly reminders in your diary and just do it. Go ahead and post that awesome content, without resorting to annoying Instagram tactics.
4. Use Hashtags Strategically
Hashtags… they are very, very important in the exciting world of Instagram. They can make your posts discoverable. It’s interesting, though, because on some other social media platforms, the excessive use of hashtags is frowned upon.
Don’t overdo it, though. There is no need to add 40 or 50 hashtags to each post. It’s overkill. Instead, go for relevant hashtags that align well with the post you’re publishing. You shouldn’t have to add more than 10-15 hashtags.
The other thing you need to keep in mind is that Instagram really doesn’t like the use of unrelated hashtags. Some people try to be sneaky and add a popular or trending hashtag to a post that is about something completely different. It doesn’t work.
Hashtags on Instagram work like a search engine. And if you’re trying to outsmart the algorithm by using irrelevant hashtags, not only will Instagram not like it, but users won’t appreciate it either.
5. Engage with Similar Accounts
Posting great content is crucial but engaging with others is also very important. It’s a great way to get your name out there, get more exposure, and ultimately grow your Instagram followers.
But your likes and comments need to be genuine. Don’t pay for tools or people to do the (automated) liking and commenting for you. Random, irrelevant comments don’t work because they’re fake.
All you need is 20 minutes to go through your Instagram feed and engage with others. Add comments that add value, comments that trigger a potential response, and comments that stand out. This is a great way to show appreciation for other people’s content.
6. Showcase Your Instagram Account
This one may be obvious, but you should include your Instagram account in the list of social media accounts on your website, if you have one. Put it on the homepage, in the footer, and in your about page.
Also share your Instagram content on your other social media accounts. Facebook lets you connect your page with your Instagram account, which is a great way to get more exposure.
If you have a newsletter, mention your Instagram account in your emails, and perhaps ask your readers to give you a follow. Every little bit helps.
7. Use Instagram Reels
Instagram Stories used to be all the rage, and to some extent, they still are, but Instagram Reels are so much more important today when it comes to growing Instagram followers organically.
One of the strongest features of Instagram is the ability to create Reels. Creating and publishing a Reel is not only super easy but also a great way to add some spice to your account.
Instagram Reels are meant to be spontaneous and fun, and they typically appeal to a large audience as video content naturally attracts more engagement. And what’s great is that Reels do not disappear like Stories do, so they can work for your Instagram account for many years.
If you’re new to Instagram Reels, the below video is an excellent tutorial:
8. Tag Others
An effective way to grow Instagram followers organically and get more exposure is by tagging other accounts. You can do this when you post something that you think will be of interest to specific accounts. Most likely, they will appreciate the gesture and perhaps even give you a follow or a mention.
And don’t be afraid to tag big accounts, as long as your content is relevant to them. You never know; they may share your content or give you a shout-out of some kind.
I always appreciate it when someone tags me in a post that aligns well with the niche that my particular Instagram account is in.
9. Add a Location to Your Posts
If the image you’re uploading was taken in a certain location, be sure to use that location in your Instagram posts. It’s another way to make your posts more discoverable.
You can search for locations within Instagram, so your post may pop up in these search results. Especially if your photo is of high quality and gets a lot of engagement.
Instagram users do use the location search feature on Instagram a lot, which can generate ongoing engagement on Instagram posts years after posting.
10. Use Branded Hashtags
Using branded hashtags is another powerful way to grow Instagram followers organically. Many big Instagram accounts have their own branded hashtags as part of their overall marketing campaign. Often they encourage others to use their hashtag to get more exposure.
This is especially true for accounts that mainly share other people’s content. So if you have an awesome photo, use a popular branded hashtag, and your post may get shared with a large audience. The key here is to only do this when you have a top-quality post.
It’s worth creating a list of brands and their hashtags, just so that you can quickly check if there is a relevant hashtag that you can use for a particular post. Don’t overdo it, though, as this could easily come across as a spam campaign.