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Instagram Growth Tactics That Any Account Can Use

Instagram is an exciting social media platform seeing huge growth. There certainly is room for every Instagram account to grow in terms of following and engagement. We’re not talking about Cristiano Ronaldo or Selena Gomez’s type of following, although it would be great to have over 100 million followers and millions of likes.

Very few Instagram users are celebrities. The majority are regular people and businesses who want to reach a specific group on Instagram. The question is, how can you drive the people you want to your Instagram account? Here are growth tactics that any account can use to take advantage of Instagram’s huge community.

Growth tactic: Partner with micro-influencers

Micro-influencers are those who have between 2,000 to 500,000 followers within a specific niche. These people take time to engage with their followers and most of them are on Instagram to add value, and not to earn money. What makes people follow them is their authenticity. To be like them, the key is to find micro-influencers that belong to your niche and collaborate with them by following these steps:

  • Follow them. Micro-influencers act like regular people too, and they will appreciate it if you follow them.
  • Engage with them. You can’t just DM them right away, take time to like their photos, make relevant comments on their posts, and build a relationship.
  • Offer to collaborate. If you leave comments on their posts regularly, they will be interested enough to check your profile and even engage on your posts as well. You will know when it’s the right time to take a deep breath and offer a collaboration.

Why not macro-influencers? Macro-influencers have more than 500,000 followers and they are usually celebrities. They have more reach than micro-influencers, but you won’t get the same level of engagement.

Notice how this influencer engages with her followers in the comments section, and compare this to macro-influencers such as the Kardashians. Sure, you can comment on their photos – along with thousands of other Instagram users – but don’t expect them to respond. Most macro-influencers get paid by major brands to promote their products for thousands and thousands of dollars.

If you are planning to explore paid partnerships, take note of Instagram’s paid partnership tool to conform with the FTC’s Endorsement Guides.

Growth tactic: Use the right hashtags

Hashtags can make or breaks posts. Using relevant hashtags enables you to reach users within your target market who are not yet following you, thereby giving you the opportunity to grow your following. When it comes to hashtags, keep in mind the following:

  • Use the maximum number of hashtags. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, and this experiment by Agora Pulse proved that using 30 hashtags in one post result in more engagement compared to using only seven to 10 hashtags.
  • Use both relevant and generic hashtags. Aside from hashtags that are specific to your post, you may also use generic ones such as these popular Instagram hashtags, keeping in mind that they can lead to poor engagement and even unfollowing if abused. Take a look at what hashtags this food blogger used in one of her posts:

  • Place your hashtags in the caption. There’s a lot of discussions regarding the right place for hashtags. Do they belong in the caption or in the comments? There seems to be no consensus about which location gives you a higher level of engagement. Based on this poll, however, placing the hashtags in the comments sections is neater, but some users who did this report being shadowbanned.

Although there’s no way to know how Instagram’s algorithm works, let’s be on the safe side and place hashtags in the caption.

Growth Tactic: Create Story highlights

Instagram stories, when used properly, are a great way to boost engagement, and Story Highlights are even more powerful. Story Highlights allow you to categorize Instagram stories so your followers will have easy access to them, even when the original story has disappeared. Story highlights are located strategically between your bio and your posts, so customizing the icons is a great way to attract followers and increase engagement.

instagram story highlights engagement

This makeup retailer made wonderful use of story highlights by categorizing them properly. If you scroll to the right on their account, you can see more story highlights by brand and also one story highlight for makeup tutorials.

Growth tactic: Ask questions in your Instagram stories

Instagram’s question sticker feature allows you to interact with your followers in a different way. The feature’s primary use is for your followers to ask you questions by tapping on the sticker. You can then respond to a question by tapping on it. Here’s how writer Jarett Wieselman used it:

You can also mix it up a bit by asking the question using the sticker so your followers can answer it. They can even reply as many times as they want, thereby increasing engagement. While you’re at it, explore the emoji slider and the polling sticker as well in order to get your followers’ thoughts on certain issues, or to simply get their attention.

Growth tactic: The classics

While the tactics above make use of connections and Instagram’s features, these methods are the classics – they have been proven, tried and tested by almost all influencers. Without these tactics, you will find it difficult to grow your Instagram into what you desire it to be.

Great content

Keep your photos and captions attractive, descriptive, and interesting. Instagram is first and foremost, a photo-sharing app, and people go there to look at pictures that tell stories. If your photos are not interesting, chances are people aren’t going to engage on it. Check out this video on how to create great content on Instagram:

For growing Instagram accounts, the best contents are those that invoke emotions, so think about your audience while creating your posts. CTAs (call-to-action) can also be effective, but use them sparingly to avoid looking too needy.

Create an impression

Users who preview your account will most likely look at the number of your followers. The more followers you have, the more they’ll be impressed, and the more they’re likely to follow you. Buying Instagram followers can give you enough credibility to impress your target audience. However, you need to choose the right provider that offers organic services. Before buying anything, do your due diligence by researching and reading the reviews on our site.

Post regularly

Be consistent in posting content. You don’t have to post five times a day, just make sure that you follow a schedule and that you post at times that are proven to drive more engagement. This depends a lot on the people you want to reach out to, so it is important that you know your target audience.

Engage with your followers

Instagram is all about interacting with other users. If you don’t interact with your followers, chances are they are going to unfollow you sooner or later. You need to build a relationship with your followers and the only way to do this is by engaging with them. Take time regularly to just scroll through your posts and reply to comments. If Wendy's, one of the biggest fast food chains around, has time to reply, so do you:

wendys instagram engagement

You can go as far as checking out a follower’s profile and liking their posts. If the situation calls for it, you can even swap DMs with your followers to get that next level of engagement.

Instagram growth tactics for all types of accounts

Whether your goal is to drive more sales to your business, or to become an Instagram influencer, the growth tactics discussed in this article can help you attract more followers and increase engagement.

Take advantage of Instagram’s features such as story highlights, stickers, and hashtags, and be on the lookout for more features that Instagram will roll out in the future. Don’t hesitate to reach out to micro-influencers within your niche – you’d be surprised at how many of them are willing to help out.

Finally, don’t skip the classic Instagram growth tactics – post great content regularly, create a good impression, and take time to engage with your followers. If you don’t have great content to start with, you will find it difficult to grow no matter how many hashtags you use, or how attractive your story highlights are.

Date: November 30, 2018 / Categories: Follower Tactics, Marketing, Tips, / Author: Rich Drees


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