With over 1 billion monthly users, Instagram is a goldmine for marketing your business. After all, 58% of users are more interested in a brand or product after learning about it on Instagram.
But the problem is, brands only see a 1.46% average monthly Instagram growth. That’s not a lot!
Fortunately, there are ways to grow your Instagram following without spending a dime. Use these 5 organic Instagram growth strategies to put your brand in front of more Instagram accounts, faster.
Organic Instagram Growth Tip #1 - Define yourself
One of the most important tips is to define your business and your value proposition first. Here are some questions to get the branding juices flowing before you put even one second into marketing:
What are my brand’s strengths?
What are my brand’s weaknesses?
Why should my target market pick me over competitors?
Who are my competitors?
What are they doing really well?
What isn’t working for them?
Organic Instagram Growth Tip #2 - Know your audience
Long gone are the days where mass, unpersonalized marketing actually worked. With technology advancements and buying behaviors changing, your target market expects only relevant products / services / education served to them, and even then they’ll require 8 or more “touches” before converting.
You’re wasting precious time and resources if you’re posting content willy-nilly. What does your audience want to see? Craft social media content that speaks to their tastes—otherwise they’ll ignore you or, even worse, unfollow you. Make your marketing count! To see organic Instagram growth, start by asking yourself these questions before you post:
Who is my target market (gender, age, location, occupation, household income, hobbies, pain points, etc.)?
Have I built buyer personas?
How can I alleviate their pain points?
When are my followers active on social media?
What times and days of the week are people viewing my content?
What other accounts do my followers follow?
Are there any trends?
After you’ve answered these questions, you can start building your social media plan of attack. Your goal should be to inspire, entertain, or educate so your followers will not only stick around, but they’ll engage and maybe even share it with their friends (other potential customers).
Organic Instagram Growth Tip #3 - Create great content
No matter how much you want to “game” the system, everything on Instagram comes back to content quality. Whether you have 5 or 5 million followers, you need to give something of value to entice organic Instagram growth. Follow these tips to produce jaw-dropping content:
Educate instead of sell
Nobody wants to hear your sales pitch on a platform that’s designed to be a fun distraction or place to really connect. Instead, focus on providing value. We like to use GODIVA chocolate as an example. We love GODIVA chocolate (maybe a little too much actually...) but even we would get tired of seeing posts talking about how delicious their chocolate is. Instead they share recipes, ask questions, and post fun gifs to keep us engaged.... And purchasing their products.
Your brand needs to have a particular look or aesthetic. It’s tempting to follow the latest trend and switch up your style (helloooooo warm neutrals, we see you), but don’t. Design a style guide with your logo, colors, fonts, and images that represent your brand then follow it! Canva is an easy, mostly free platform that offers loads of templates to start your design journey.
Try the new shiny thing
Ever make an Instagram Reel? Give it a try! Often these new content formats outperform standard posts because Instagram wants people to start using it and take traffic from TikTok. But you won’t know how it performs with your audience until you start experimenting.
It’s cliche, but it’s true. Nobody wants to hear a boring, sanitized brand voice. People follow you for your unique perspective, so give it to them! You might not be for everyone but that’s okay. You’re looking for dedicated fans and that means standing for something.
Organic Instagram Growth Tip #4 - Use hashtags strategically
If you aren’t using hashtags in every Instagram post, please start now. But it’s not enough to slap a few hashtags into a post and hope for the best. You need to thoughtfully target hashtags that your target market would follow. That means:
Researching hashtags: Look at your competitors and target market. What hashtags are they using or engaging the most with?
Using a mix of hashtags: We love the 10k-100k-1m rule. Choose hashtags that have 10k posts, 100k posts, and 1m posts. You may not get a ton of reach targeting hashtags with 10k posts, but you won’t get buried in the 1m post hashtags. A good mix ensures you’re seen.
Keeping it relevant: If your post isn’t about National Pancake Day, don’t use #nationalpancakeday. Instagram is smart and can tell when your hashtag doesn’t match the content. If your content isn’t relevant, it won’t be engaged with anyway so what’s the point?
Switching things up: Using the same hashtags in every post can get you shadowbanned, so always write your hashtags from scratch. You can definitely use the same few in every post (like your branded hashtag!) but they should be about the content itself, not just a copy and paste from the last post.
Organic Instagram Growth Tip #5 - Give more than you take
Now that you’ve done all that hard work, you might be sitting here wondering where the hundreds of thousands of new followers are. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way even for the most amazing brands. In the world of social media, everyone is fighting for mind share and everyone wants something in return (i.e. social media influencers want brand deals and brands want sales and your friends want you to comment on how awesome little Johnny is doing in hockey).
For this tip, we want you to spend 1 hour a day on Instagram contributing and giving. Go to where your target market is and comment something of value on their posts. And no, we’re not talking about “love your product! 💖”. You are an expert, show them. Also go to industry accounts or associations and answer questions people leave in post comments. Wow them with your big brain.
The Bottom Line
Marketing is not about what you can get, but what value you can give to your target market. These 5 organic Instagram growth tips will help you reach more accounts, attract more followers, and build a loyal following in the long-term.
Now that you have the roadmap for organic Instagram growth, contact us for other ways to jumpstart your brand on social media. Influencer marketing can get your brand in front of hundreds of thousands of people in a fast and meaningful way while giving you lots of beautiful content to repost (see Instagram Growth Tip #3). Or if you’re looking to market to a niche customer base or do a retail push, Instagram ads might be the best tactic for you! Either way, give us a shout and we can decide together which will meet your goals.