Looking to build your audience on Instagram? You're not alone, in fact the over 800,000 people search "How to increase followers on Instagram" every single month!
So, we're here to cut through the noise and how to grow your Instagram with real, targeted and engaged followers in 2022, which we have done for over 13,000+ client through our own Instagram Growth agency.
What is Organic Instagram Growth?
Organic refers to the term natural, so rather than paying for followers or using black-hat marketing strategies we can use genuine techniques to build an audience on Instagram.
What are some organic growth strategies I can implement?
So first off, let's get an understanding of Instagram Growth, as it's really quite a simple equation. The more people you get to your Instagram page, the more followers you will get. It's a simple formula that will look something like this
100 people visit your page, 20 follow your page and the other 80 aren't interested in your content. This would give you a 20% follow back rate, so instead of focusing on 'growing followers' we should focus on getting people to your page and a percentage of those will decide to follow you.
For anyone coming from a marketing background, I'm sure you've noticed already this looks very similar to a tradition marketing funnel. The real question is, how can you promote your Instagram page?
Promoting Instagram Content
One of the biggest mistakes we see is people not cross-promoting their content. Sure we see the usual stuff like sharing an Instagram post on Facebook. But what about all the other platforms out there? Reddit, Pinterest, Forums, Twitter, Blogs, Facebook Groups, Photography Websites and tonnes more!
Make it a habit to cross-promote your content on multiple channels remember, just because it's Instagram Marketing it doesn't mean we need to limit ourselves just to Instagram! Instagram users are everywhere, so do whatever you can to get in front of your target audience.
The phrase content is king exists for a reason, perhaps more-so than ever on Instagram as it's a visual platform. Focus on quality, over quantity. There's a complete misconception around Instagram content that it's about how frequently you post, that's completely wrong.
Focus on great quality content, not quantity. It's better to post once per week, or even once per month and make sure it's great content rather than spamming your followers with daily average updates. I grew my personal Instagram to 42,000 followers posting about 24 times per year, I have a full-time job and a life so I couldn't focus on building great content 24/7 but I could get a couple of great shots per month which lead to great results on Instagram!
Now when you have a great post ready to go, let's get some hashtags. In 2022 there's also a weird misconception that hashtags "aren't cool anymore" which is nonsense, they never were cool, but they drive people to your Instagram page, which is what we need to get more followers.
Use between 3 - 11 hashtags on your posts but keep them relevant to the post. We also have a complete guide on [hashtag optimisation] that's worth looking over to make sure you get the most our of your hashtags!
Engaging with your Target Audience
Another great way to build your audience on Instagram is by engaging with profiles in your target audience. This is referred to as Follow/Unfollow, the 2c Comment Method or Auto Liking. Regardless of what people are calling the strategy, the concept remains the same.
By finding your target profile on Instagram and engaging with them through Following/Likes/Comments you will increase the number of visitors to your page, which as explained above will lead to more followers.
Here's an example of how to execute this strategy:
Find a profile similar to your own, for example let's say you're trying to grow a Travel Photography page.
Go and find some influencers in the travel photography niche
Now, we can simply go and check everyone has has liked the posts of @muradosmann
Which gives us this, now we can scroll through and 'follow' anyone who matches our target audience. We know they're already interested in travel photography so we can do some basic filtering such as making sure they have a profile picture, checking their Instagram Profile to validate how many followers they have and if it's a high-quality Instagram.
If they match your target criteria, then just hit the Follow button
Now our target profile has received a notification from us saying that 'we have followed them on Instagram'. More than likely they will come back and check out our page to see who just followed them. Guess what? If they like what they see on your page, they will follow you back so as long as you have a similar style and theme to your original target account, you should achieve a follow-back rate of about 20-25%.
The same method can be applied on comments, likes and liking comments. However there's a few important things to remember with this method. Don't be spammy!
Don't go and follow everyone, you will gain followers but you won't build an engaged audience. You want to check the Instagram profile before following them and make sure they align with the type of followers you want. Otherwise you'll end up having followers and no engagement. Which is the opposite of a health Instagram page.
This method of growth is often abused, and has been given a bad name in the past as people complain their audience isn't engaged, it's generally due to poor targeting. Generally focus on influencers with 10k - 100k followers as they will have far more engaged audiences which will lead to better results for you.
This method works extremely well to build up your initial audience, which is the hardest part. Once you reach around 50,000 followers you should start to look into partnerships and Share 4 Share with other influencers in your industry!
The only negatives about this method of Instagram Growth is that it's quite time consuming, generally you need to perform about 150 - 230 actions per day which takes between 2-3 hrs if you're being targeted and reviewing the profile correctly.
Aside from that, it's an excellent way to build a targeted and engaged audience on Instagram. In fact, it's one of the primary growth methods we use at Social Boost on our clients accounts.