Lately, I’ve been getting a few questions on how to grow and maintain your instagram following.
With Instagram rolling out new algorithms all the time, coupled with the fact that IG is soon to do away with likes all together, it’s becoming even more important to have an active audience on the platform.
But many people struggle to even get their post seen–even by those who already follow them. That was me my full first year with my new account.
Things started to change though once I really took the time to understand what this platform is. Thanks to this, I’m able to drive more traffic to this blog than ever before, I have monetized my postings and my account is growing faster than ever before.
These six steps I’m sharing with you today are not difficult and most can be implemented immediately. Follow these steps and you’ll start to see your instagram account grow in no time
Switch to a business account
If you are serious about growing your Instagram following, you need to switch over to a business account ASAP.
Business accounts are free and even allow you to link your Facebook page to your IG account for scheduling and cross posting (This is the only way to schedule IG post without worrying about your account being shut down btw).
But the most important thing about a business account is that it allows you access to Insights.
Instagram’s Insights is packed full of wonderful analytics that you can use to better understand your audience and what content of yours resonates with them. They give you everything from demographic information, to what hashtags people used to find your post, to how people were interacting with your post.
This information is so useful, and Instagram provides it free.
Use this information to figure out your niche and better tailor your content to them.
Optimize your profile
Optimizing your profile is probable one of the easiest things that you can do, yet a lot of people skip this step.
A good optimized IG profile should have the following:
- Your name & Social media monikers
- Link to your main site or to a Link Tree
- A bio that includes: name of page or blog, what this account is about, contact information
- Relevant hashtags in bio
This information is simple, but it makes a huge difference. Most of the companies who reach out to me, found my contact information right from my Instagram bio.
25% of the traffic that comes to this blog, clicked the link in my IG bio to get here.
My bio may be short and sweet, but it contains all the information people need to figure out if my content is for them or not straight away.
Use relevant hashtags
By now, everyone knows just how important hashtags are on social media. They are how people are able to search through the content they want, and it’s how people find you.
If you’re not using your hashtags right, you’re not going to be able to grow.
I do have a whole post dedicated to understanding hashtags and strategies here, but I’ll go over some of the basic on this post as well.
With hashtags, the trick is to 1) use hashtags that are relevant to your post and 2) use a mixture of medium and high density hashtags in order to be found on the explore page.
Instagram works hard to curate the content that shows up on peoples feed to make sure that it will be useful or entertaining for them. So when you use only generic hashtags like #happy, your post gets viewed as too general and doesn’t get pushed.
Post with super relevant hashtags on the other hand, such as #momblogger, or #WAHMLife get boosted because they are specific tags with a niche actively using and searing for them. Super relevant tags like these will put your post right in front of like minded viewers who are more likely to check out your page and follow.
You do want to be careful about using a hashtag that is low density however. These are super relevant hashtags that no one is really searching for such as #ThisBlogIsAboutHashtags.
Yes these hashtags are relevant to your post which IG likes, but they aren’t useful to the users who actually are looking for your content, so you won’t get the exposer you need with them.
Having a solid grasp on hashtags is super important to growing your account, so I highly recommend taking the time to check out this blog post here once you’re done with this one.
Join engagement pods
Engagement is queen when it comes to who gets boosted through Instagram’s algorithm and thus found.
Instagram highly favors post with high engagements rates all around and so do brands. One of the best way to boost your engagement is to join a pod relevant to your niche.
Instagram pods generally consist of a dozen to a hundred even active members who all agree to either, like, comment, share, save or some combination of the four, all post in the group.
These pods are really helpful because 1) they offer built in engagement and support from bloggers in your niche and 2) Instagram views these interactions as organic reach and so your post is boosted.
Use IG stories
If you’re not using IG stories to its full capacity, then that’s something you’re going to want to change in 2020.
IG stories is a wonderful, low-key way to interact with your following, keep active on instagram and expand your reach to new viewers.
What I love most about the stories feature is that it gives me an opportunity to be authentic with my audience, share what I’m currently up to when I don’t feel like making a long and edited post and I can still use features such as hashtags and and geo locations.
These features are amazing for stories because people can actually search them. If there’s a major event happing or if you’re at a popular location, you can use relevant hashtags and locations to add your story to the pool of other stories sharing the same tags. This is great because it put you right in front of people who are doing and are into the same things you are.
You can also tag multiple accounts in your stories. So if you’re posting a store about a product you’re liking, you can actually tag the brand and they’ll see it. Brands love this and many will share your story with their own audience, thus giving you even more exposure.
Promote a post
Unlike the previous suggestions, this one will cost you.
But it doesn’t need to be an arm and a leg– a small amount can go a long way for bloggers on IG.
Paid promotions is a service that Instagram offers that puts the post of your choosing in front of the exact audience you request. This is great because promotions are placed nativity in the timeline, so people are likely to see your post as they are scrolling through.
And if your post is catchy enough, they are likely to stop and engage with your post.
Promotions are a guaranteed way to make sure that your post is seen and pushed by Instagram. And you can pay as little as $5 and have your post automatically showed to 1,500 people in 24 hours.
Instagram does have a set of rules to follow for paid promotions to follow that include anti-discrimination and disclosing paid content, so make sure you clearly under all their rules and restrictions before you post.
These are some of the tips that I’ve been using to grow my account and they have really been working for me.
As a small page, Have been able to grow my audience size by more than double in the past 2 months alone with being consistence with these tips. And the best part is, I haven’t lost engagement either!
Which tips do you plan on trying out this year? Let me know below!