You may have recently read our guide about the Instagram algorithm and how to make it work for your business. If you’re yet to sign up to Instagram as your business or brand, check out that information and use it in collaboration with this article.
Growing any social media following organically can be challenging, but as the most popular image-led platform currently available, Instagram offers a number of different ways to gain followers. There are a huge number of people using this platform on a daily basis – each one who may be your potential audience and brand consumers – but growing engagement can be difficult. We’ll show you 3 easy and proven ways on how to achieve organic and authentic growth to make your new year goals a little easier.
1. Generate Genuine Content
- Generate content that doesn’t appear spammy, salesy or pushy. You should steer clear of growth techniques that use fake engagement, such as buying comments from bots and artificial likes and follows from click farms. Spam comments and fake followers hurt your brand as it looks untrustworthy. Not to mention your account can be removed or suspended. In addition, if a number of your followers aren’t real people, it won’t create actual sales or conversions, so is it really worth it?
- Good content should be visually appealing and consistent. This could involve using a theme or brand colours and using imagery that is appealing to your viewers. Having a consistent style should stretch across your brand and social media accounts including your profile and captions, as it builds trustworthiness and allows your customers to gauge what to expect from your business
- Increase your following is to use alt tags and geo-locations within your online content. Alt tags are commonly used for accessibility but are essentially keywords that identify and describe the type of content used within in your Instagram post. This, coupled with using geo locations, is equally useful for anyone searching for a specific niche or business in your local area and can give your content an added boost.
2. Use Targeted Hashtags
- Use targeted hashtags rather than popular ones. You should start to view other accounts using the same hashtags as your competition. So the more people using the hashtag, the more competition your content is up against
- Aim to get into a hashtag’s “top posts” (high ranking) section that is relevant to your brand. You can achieve this by using hashtags that have fewer posts, and where the featured “top posts” have around the same number of likes that you’re getting on your own Instagram posts. This means that you will stand out among the hashtag’s top posts and get seen by real people. This is perfect for those brands that are just starting out either as a business or on Instagram, allowing you to start small and grow
- Create a branded hashtag to build your own community. Again, this helps to build a community around your brand by building trust and encouraging the creation of user-generated content, which you can then reuse as potential content.
3. Create Compelling Captions
- Create compelling captions which are attention-grabbing to readers. Many influencers are now treating their captions more like micro-blogs, ensuring the text accompanying an Instagram image is long and involves an element of storytelling. This engages readers meaning if they enjoy what they see, they are more likely to follow you and return to view more of your content
- Instagram captions are also the perfect place to use a Call To Action (CTA). Examples of a call to action can include “Talk to us at…”, “Find us over at (web address)”, “Shop our sale” or “Follow us for updates”. These CTAs work as they’re friendly, casual and offer the reader something helpful that they may need in return
- Add hashtags (including any own-branded hashtags, mentioned above) to the bottom of the captions, ensures your posts will be searchable and more likely to be seen by a wider range of Instagram users, not just your existing followers. This is a very easy way to grow your audience from those existing Instagram users with similar interests.