Growing your Instagram account is all about creating an effective Instagram growth strategy.
The thing is, no set strategy will work for all influencers and brands. It’s up to each person and brand to figure out what works for them, and what doesn’t.
With that in mind, I’ve taken what I’ve learned in the field of digital marketing and social media and crafted this list of useful ways to help you grow your Instagram followers and keep them.
How Can You Revitalize Your Instagram Growth Strategy?
Many brands use black-hat tactics for Instagram growth. For example, they buy Instagram followers to inflate the follower counts on their Instagram bios.
Sure, it’s the easy way out. But an inflated follower count will lead to low engagement rates, which won’t impress any brand or business looking to work with you.
What’s even worse? Inflating your follower count if you’re trying to sell a product. Bots won’t be purchasing from you, only real accounts can.
The only way to be successful is to grow your Instagram account through tried and tested methods.
Here are some of the best Instagram growth strategies that you can try out to grow your online presence:
1. Use Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags can help people discover your content. If used properly, hashtags can also help you boost your content reach and get more engagement.
Sure, they can be an asset in your marketing strategy, but only if you know how to use them right. For instance, generic hashtags like #beauty or #fitness may be used very frequently. So, your post may get lost among all of the tagged posts. That’s why you need to use hashtags strategically.
Tools like HashtagsForLikes can help you find Instagram hashtags that are relevant for your audience.
This tool also helps you find out which hashtags your competitors use and the kind of engagement they get. Having this information can help you find out what your target customers talk about.
Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags per post. But that doesn’t mean you should use so many on every post. Going overboard with hashtags can make your Instagram profile look spammy and can even affect your engagement rate.
According to a study, the engagement rate decreased when the number of hashtags used increased.
That’s why it’s a good idea to use 3-4 relevant hashtags in your posts. That way you can attract a genuine audience to your content.
2. Optimize Your Instagram Posting Schedule
Did you know that there are 347,222 users scrolling through their Instagram feed every minute?
What does this mean for your business?
To get the attention of your audience on Instagram, you need to post more content. Otherwise, your content may get lost in a sea of posts, which means you may never reach your target audience.
Also, keep in mind that Instagram now shows posts based on interests, relationships, and timelines. That means your audience gets to see your posts if they are interested in the subject or if they have previously interacted with your brand.
To achieve Instagram account growth, you need to post content more frequently and strategically. You need to find out when your audience is most likely to be active and then schedule Instagram posts accordingly.
Various studies have also tried to find the best time for businesses to post on Instagram. According to CoSchedule, the best times to post differs from industry to industry.
Check out the findings from their study in the screenshot below:
However, every Instagram account is different, and a tactic that works for one brand or industry may not work for another.
To find out which is the best time for you to post on Instagram, it’s essential to pay attention to how your audience interacts with your content. Post several times a day and see when you get the most engagement. Also, note the kind of content that receives a good response.
You can also use social listening tools to understand your audience’s preferences. Based on the findings, you can come up with a posting schedule to boost your Instagram growth.
3. Actively Engage Your Audience
You’ve got to engage your audience if you want to improve your Instagram growth. It’s a prerequisite. Building engagement isn’t only about posting interesting content. You need to be proactive social media managers in the comments section as well.
Encourage your audience to like, share, and comment on your posts. Also, invest time in replying to their comments. While responding, avoid generic phrases. Keep the tone genuine and conversational.
Additionally, you can also follow some of your loyal Instagram followers who may help you expand your network back.
4. Use Instagram Stories, Videos, and Live Videos
Instagram Stories and videos are great for Instagram growth. They allow you to be creative and engage your audience in new ways.
But that’s not all.Video posts get 2.1x more comments. Also, they get an engagement rate 38% higher than image posts. So, the more videos you use, the more likely your content gets viewed and shared with new audiences.
What about Instagram Stories?
More than 500 million accounts use Stories daily. Furthermore, 57% of brands also believe Stories to be very effective or somewhat effective in their social strategies.
To improve your Instagram growth, you can also use features like shoppable tags, music, interactive stickers, and others. They can help you capture your audience’s attention, pique their interest, and encourage them to engage.
Using live videos in Instagram Stories is also a terrific tactic that can improve your Instagram growth. You can use them to showcase behind-the-scenes footage of your business or to launch new products.
They are also great for Q&A sessions to interact with your audience. Stories can also help you build strong relationships.
To increase the chances of your Instagram Stories going viral, add hashtags and location tags. Instagram Stories also has a dedicated space at the top of the location and hashtag results pages.
To optimize the hashtags for your Stories, think about what your target audience searches for. Then, ensure the content you post relates to these searches.
Pro Tip: You can use HashtagsForLikes to simplify this process. On their Analytics Dashboard, you can see which hashtags can help you get more exposure.
5. Leverage UGC
User-generated content is one of the best ways to get more Instagram followers and engagement. By tapping into the power of UGC, you can boost your Instagram growth. If you nail this strategy, you can significantly boost your online visibility and awareness.
How can you start your own UGC campaign?
Come up with a hashtag and encourage your customers or followers to take pictures as they use your product. You can also use photos of your customers using your products on your Instagram account page.
A company that does this exceptionally well is Lush.
They publish customer photos on their account, and this also works as a recommendation. It can help them gain the trust of their new Instagram followers and potential customers.
6. Run Contests and Promotions
Do you love discounted or free things? Of course you do! Everyone does, and this is not going to change anytime soon.
How can you take advantage of this?
First, find out what your target consumers want or need.
Based on the findings, offer discounts or run giveaways for products or services that may be in demand. As a part of your campaign, also encourage your audience to like your posts, follow your page, and tag their friends.
This strategy can go a long way in boosting your Instagram growth.
To get the most out of this strategy, host a contest frequently. If your Instagram followers know they can expect to win more gifts in the future, they are more likely to stick around.
7. Tap into the Value of Influencers
When you’re talking about Instagram growth, you can’t forget influencer marketing. In fact, Instagram influencers can help you get more engagement and boost your sales.
In fact, Instagram is the most popular channel for consumers to follow influencers.
In the same report, 41% of consumers said that they discovered a new product or brand from an influencer every week.
Moreover, 87% of surveyed consumers said that they made a purchase based on influencer-generated content.
What does this mean for your business?
Instagram presents your brand with an opportunity to reach out to new consumers with the help of influencers.
With your Instagram account, you can also leverage the power of micro- and nano-influencers to promote your products and reach out to a diverse target audience.
Through influencer-generated content, you’re also likely to build your credibility and win over the trust of their audience.
That’s why influencer marketing can take your Instagram growth to the next level.
8. Try Instagram Ads
Growing your Instagram followers organically is great. But it’s inevitable that a lot of aspiring influencers will eventually need a bit of “paid” help.
That’s where Instagram ads come in.
Adding Instagram ads to your overall Instagram growth strategy is great, especially when just starting.
Using Instagram ads is fairly straightforward if you do it right.
The easiest and fastest way to use an Instagram ad is to simply boost one of your posts or Stories.
Where it gets a bit more complicated is knowing who to send those ads to. Considering you’re paying per ad, you want to be sure that the ads go out to the right people. In this case, people who’d be interested in your content.
That means you need to know who your audience is, and what their interests are before even considering running an ad.
If you aren’t sure how to find your target audience, check out my guide on how to find your target audience using advanced tracking.
Once you’ve got your target audience outlined, simply create a post or Story that rewards users for watching it and gets them to either visit your profile page or like and share the post.
This way, you’ll be getting even more exposure for your paid advertisement by adding an organic method of growth.
9. Create a Complete and Effective Bio
Posting great Instagram Stories, Reels, and Posts can only do so much. If you’ve mastered the art of the perfect post, it won’t mean anything if people click your bio just to be greeted by an unprofessional or empty profile.
All bios need a somewhat professional profile photo that gives the user an idea of who they’re following. If your niche is business or marketing, then dress the part. No one’s going to take business advice from someone in shorts and sandals.
Remember, if you're using Instagram as a business, you’re selling the brand. If you’re an influencer, you’re selling yourself. Make sure your profile stays true to the brand or person you are.
Josh Scherer’s Instagram bio is a perfect example. It’s witty, sarcastic, and funny. It also promotes his podcast and cookbook.
Furthermore, it offers you an idea of the type of content to expect. In this case, food-related content, with some humor sprinkled on top.
If you’re more interested in promoting yourself as a business influencer or professional, then Neil Patel sets the perfect example.
His profile picture is a professional headshot, with a plain white background.
His bio is simply a list of accolades, that shows you his stature among professional marketers.
If you’re unsure about how to create the perfect Instagram bio, then read the best Instagram bio ideas: how to create a killer bio.
10. Craft Great Captions
Captions can make or break a post. They should be part of all Instagram growth strategies.
Similar to hashtags, captions can tell Instagram’s search engine what the content is about and whether it’s similar or relevant to what’s being searched for.
In fact, based on the search term, Instagram will scan for relevant usernames, bios, captions, hashtags, and locations. All of these things play a part in telling Instagram whether your content is good enough and relevant for others.
That’s why you’ll find all these things mentioned on this list.
Now that we know how important captions are to organic growth, the question remains, what makes a good caption?
There aren’t really any set rules for what captions should include. The best thing to do is write with intent and find a keyword or phrase that has a high search volume, relevance, and a decent conversion value.
It’s also important to note, that your caption has a tone or voice. Your brand’s voicing shouldn’t change too much once you find a tone that performs well with your target audience.
If you’re not sure what captions to use, here’s a list of 150+ Instagram captions to up your Instagram game.
11. Focus on High-Value Accounts in Your Niche
This is a concept that seems complicated but is actually quite simple. To summarize, high-value accounts in your niche are people and/or businesses that have similar interests and content as yours.
It’s all about the algorithm.
One of the ways the algorithm identifies new accounts and posts to recommend to users is through “other people they follow.”
What this means is that Instagram will look at who you’re following, and who’s following you, to determine whether your account deserves or is relevant enough to be recommended to someone else.
Following influencers and people who have the same interests and posts as you, will tell the algorithm that you're part of that niche group. Even better if some high-valued accounts follow you back.
This way, it allows your account higher authority over a specific niche on the platform.
12. Use Instagram Insights
Instagram Insights is a way to learn more about the users that view your content and follow you.
Before reaching 100 followers, you won’t get much info apart from the number of views, likes, and comments.
Once you have more than 100 followers, Instagram insights will allow you to access more detailed info such as where views are coming from, the ages of viewers, as well as let you compare posts to one another.
Here’s a screenshot of what Insights will look like on your mobile phone. This is the main dashboard with a quick overview. Percentages offered are a comparison to the previous week, if set on 7 days.
You can change the duration up to 90 days. This will allow you to gauge your account's growth within the last 3 months.
To be able to use Instagram insights, you’ll need to have a creator or business account. This also means your account won’t be private, and any person can like, follow, and comment on your account.
Q1. What is normal Instagram growth?
A. On average, brands with a well-defined Instagram marketing strategy can witness a growth of 6%-8% per month in their follower counts. The average growth rate on Instagram is more than on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Q2. How to measure Instagram follower growth?
A. To find your monthly follower growth, find out the number of Instagram followers added in a month, divide it by the follower count of the previous month, and then multiply by 100.
Follower growth rates can be positive or negative. If you’ve added new followers to your Instagram account, your follower growth rate will be positive, else zero or negative.
Q3. How do Instagram growth services work?
A. Instagram growth services are third-party apps that interact and engage with people on your behalf.
They like, follow, and comment on other users’ posts to encourage them to follow your account eventually. They can auto-write comments and send direct messages to potential Instagram followers.
Q4. What are you looking for in an Instagram growth service?
A. While vetting Instagram growth services, consider these points:
– Opt for services that focus on increasing your “real” Instagram followers. Stay away from preloaded accounts, services that promise a “guaranteed” number of followers, and those that buy Instagram followers.
– Inspect growth-hacking tactics and avoid services that use black-hat strategies like engagement pods and commenting bots.
– Look into the offered targeting and filtering options.
– Ensure that their dashboard meets your needs.
– Check customer support options, online reviews, and pricing.
Ready to Boost Your Instagram Growth?
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to grow your Instagram account, but bear in mind that there’s no one-for-all solution. Instead, growing your account requires an Instagram growth strategy that develops as your channel grows.
It’s all about trying and finding what works best.
Give all the above methods a go and see which fits best within your Instagram growth strategy, and let us know in the comment section which worked best for you.