3 Keys to Grow Your Instagram Audience Organically
Jan 19, 2019 | By: Justin Gamble
I know a lot of you (myself included) still find it challenging to grow your Instagram account. Every creative I know would love to know the secret to growing your account to 10k or more followers. Now, I know followers aren’t everything and many people run successful businesses and have accounts with really small followings. But we all want our work to get the recognition we feel it deserves. The three things I want to discuss in this blog post have been instrumental in growing my account from around 500 followers to nearly 7,000. There was a point where I stopped doing these three things and my account was hit hard with negative analytics. Since I began to revisit these three things I’ve begun to see growth again across the board in regards to my analytics and wanted to share them and hopefully help you grow your account.
Be consistent in every aspect of your account.
Pretty much anyone who runs a successful Instagram account will tell you this. How do I know? I listen to a lot of podcasts, I watch a lot of YouTube videos about growing Instagram accounts, and I read about social media marketing. And when I took the advice from those people and applied it to my own account, I saw a massive change in growth. I’ll include links to some of my favorites at the end of this post.
When someone first looks at your account, there’s a few things they will notice - what type of account you have (food, travel, fashion, portrait, etc.), how often you post, and how your account is styled.
You want your account to be appealing to people who are viewing it for the first time. So there are things to consider when laying out your profile.
Your profile should have a consistent theme. I should be able to immediately look at your profile and say, “Oh, cool! This is a portrait photographer.” Or, “ This girl’s style is so trendy. Oh I see, she’s a fashion blogger.” You don’t want your potential audience to be confused the first time they see your profile. They should be able to identify exactly what kind of content will be featured on your account.
A great way to keep your feed looking consistent is to develop a style with your editing. Once you find a style of editing that you like, you should keep your editing style on all future posts very similar or transition smoothly into a new style of editing. You want your audience to be able to identify your posts when they come across their feed. By maintaining a consistent editing style, your images will begin to be easily associated with your account.
Pick a time of day that works for you (and your audience) and try to post something at that time every day. Put your audience onto a schedule that they won’t even be aware about. They’ll begin to expect to see your content around certain times of the day as they scroll through their feed. Ideally, you want to post at the times your audience is most active, your post should receive higher amount of engagement around that time and should be shown to more people as a result.
Network inside Instagram and in the real world.
I feel like this one speaks for itself, but if you want to to have a lot of people following you, then you need to meet and talk to a lot of people. This part is honestly the most fun and easiest part of growing your account. Making new friends is always fun. Sure, some people won’t be interested in getting to know you or developing a relationship with you, but the ones that are may become some of your best friends and most reliable connections.
Now, at first I was scared to reach out to people I didn’t know because… well, they were strangers and I figured they didn’t care who I was. I’ve found that’s really not the case as long as you are genuine and connect with them on mutual interests. If you’re still hesitant about reaching out to strangers online, which is understandable, try attending meetups and networking events in your area. I just recently started doing this and they’re incredible. You can meet so many amazing and talented people and actually put a name with a face and at the same time you might even learn a thing or two.
Oh man, hashtagging has been so key in growing my account and finding new connections. I absolutely HATED hashtags for the longest time, I thought they looked tacky and cluttered up peoples posts. But since I started using them I’ve began to understand the impact they can have. Despite what you might think, people do search through hashtags pretty regularly looking for new accounts to follow and new content they might be interested in.
Instagram limits the number of hashtag’s your post shows up under to 30 hashtags. Meaning that if you’re using more than 30 hashtags, your wasting your own time and making your post look super cluttered. You can keep your post from looking cluttered by adding the hashtags in the first comment on the post, your post will still show up in the hashtags, and your caption won’t look as busy.
Make sure you’re using hashtags that are relevant to what you’re posting as well. When people are looking through hashtags about dogs, they don’t want to see pictures of your car. They won’t be remotely interested in what your sharing and it’s not very likely they’ll take a look at whatever else your posting. If you’re not sure what hashtags to use in your post, I recommend checking out the app Focalmark. It allows you to select what type of image your sharing and some other details about the image and then generates up to 30 related hashtags automatically for you.
Hopefully these three tips gave you some insight as to why your account might not be growing at the rate you wish it were. I know once I started using these tips, my account started to see more traffic and engagement, so by implementing these strategies I’m sure your account will do the same!
If you're interested in how I grew my account 850 followers in just one week you can check out the strategies I used in this blog post: https://bit.ly/2IUPFAX
Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this post! Feel free to leave a comment if you found this helpful or have any questions, and be sure to follow me on Instagram to stay up to date with what I’m up to and future blog posts! @justingamblephoto