I’ve been thinking about writing this article for a long time because mostly I wish I had the time to utilize my own social media accounts better. I’m going to give you a little hint right away, buying Instagram followers is a sure way to tell everyone that you bought Instagram followers. You can’t hide it. Everyone knows. Not only is it super obvious to anyone that looks at your followers and engagement, but Instagram knows and can suspend or ban your account. Worth it? I think not.
I only have just over 7000 Instagram followers. I’m the first to admit that I’m not great at using Instagram. If I engaged more and posted more I’m sure that I would be somewhere completely different in terms of follower account. How do I know this? Because when I did these things my followers grew exponentially and that’s how I got most of the followers I have today. They just stuck around. They’re mostly from years ago because lately I have been very poorly utilizing Instagram and every other form of social media ever since I had my two-year-old.
I’m going to give you 16 strategies I know that work based on experience with my own account and client accounts, to grow your engagement and follower amount.
Instagram Growth Strategies
1. This one is super obvious, but post good content. Post engaging content with attractive designs and pictures. For instance, if you’re an artist post your work, describe your work, and ask people questions.
Ex: Here is my newest painting of peonies. Explain why you painted it. Ask a question: What’s your favorite flower?
2. Don’t know what to post yet? Repost engaging content from other influencers and brands you love on your story. You can also post them on your feed with credit and with their permission. Many Instagrammers, especially smaller influencers, will be happy to allow this.
3. Comment on other posts using similar hashtags to you. don’t post robotic thoughtless comments, post kind comments related to their content. Instagram is all about building community and keeping people on the app. If you are helping them do this your own engagement should rise gradually.
4. Like other people’s comments and posts. Engage with people’s comments on busier accounts. People want to follow someone they like.
5. Warning: I’m going to tell you this one even think it even though I think it’s pretty shady. You’ll likely discover this with a lot of Instagram marketing accounts you encounter and Instagram marketing tips you find. It’s none other than the follow and unfollow method! Other users tend to follow users that follow them so you do get more followers but when you unfollow them often times many people will unfollow you as well. If they don’t, it’s still pretty sketchy and probably won’t earn you any good karma. It’s a bad plan but I had to mention it.
6. Instagram growth pods can be helpful temporarily but are not a good long-term strategy as the comments and engagements are still technically not organic. You trade likes and comments with other Instagram users.
… But I Want to be an Influencer
These strategies will help you get started on Instagram but if your plan is to become an Influencer, you must build authority in such a way that people want to listen to you. In order to do that, you can try the following:
1. Create infographics about DIY tutorials and crafts in your niche and post them. Other users in your niche will be more likely to follow you to learn the unique techniques and insights you have to offer.
2. Post stories from your life in your story section, place behind-the-scenes views in the form of images and videos. This will not only help people to connect with your lifestyle but it will help you in building trust about your authority. If you’re not doing anything interesting, start doing interesting things! Start posting exciting things that engage interest.
3. I haven’t tried this on my own account but have used in on client accounts: Convert your profile to an Instagram business profile. Why? You will suddenly be able to view analytics and have a better insight to your material. This used to be the only way you could have links in your stories but now this is not an issue (there are link stickers!).
4. Use the above insights to determine which type of posts do best and what times/days are best to post your content to Instagram.
5. Leverage the power of videos using your timeline, reels, IGTV, and your stories. Videos are engaging.
6. Research and develop hashtags that are relevant to your brand or page. Utilize the power of hashtags. Make sure the hashtags relate to your photo, Instagram automatically scans photos to determine the subject matter. Sometimes they are wrong, but when using blatantly wrong hashtags just to get likes on an unrelated photo, you will get shadowbanned.
7. As I said, Instagram rewards users who stay on the platform and engage — aka keeping others on the platform. It’s a community. Engage with your followers and reply within 1 hour of them commenting on your post. Do not to try to use bots to automate things (or by hiring bots) — Instagram can shadowban you for this and then none of your posts will show up in feeds or when users search for your hashtags.
8. Always use location tagging and tag people/businesses in your posts when you feature them so that your followers as well as other users can connect with relevant posts easier.
9. Maintain consistency in your posts and brand-style. All of your posts should have a certain feel to them that relates to your profile. Also create new posts and engage with followers consistently.
10. Once you convert your account to a business account, utilize ads. If your posts are good, you should get an exponential growth in engagement.
If you follow these steps you should see momentum on Instagram in terms of followers, engagement, post reach, and overall growth. Just remember, don’t buy followers or likes!