It’s 2019 and Instagram has more than 1 billion active users worldwide and right now, it’s even harder to grow Instagram followers organically.
You may have seen your friends having 10k followers or more than that and at that point, you also tend to have the same number of followers.
It’s difficult and that is why many tend to buy followers to show their popularity but the question is for how long you can buy followers?
Maybe a month, two, or a year but you can’t buy followers throughout life. Even if you buy that is not going to give you an engagement, i.e a basic rule of Instagram.
To gain organic followers on Instagram is all about setting up a genuine connection between you & your products with your audience.
You might have come across an account having 20k followers but only 300 likes on a post and say about 10 comments.
What strikes on your mind? Not good enough, right? Or the account has bot followers and moreover you won’t follow that account despite it’s related to your work or profile.
So now, you must be thinking if I can’t use bots, how am I supposed to gain organic followers on Instagram?
Well, I have a solution for you and in this article, I am going to show you how to gain Instagram followers organically from scratch.
Yes, you heard it right. In this article, you are going to learn and understand how to grow your followers on Instagram organically.
But before we proceed, I would also like to inform you that it’s not an over-night trick. It will require time and efforts.
10 Ways To Grow Your Instagram Followers Organically
1. Profile Picture & Bio
Hey, the profile picture which we also call DP and your bio is the first and last thing anyone checks before following your account.
Let’s talk about the profile picture first.
No one checks any account without any profile picture. It’s human mentality if an account has an appealing profile picture then we will surely hit the account to check the rest and then we decide whether we need to follow or not.
Remarkably, it goes in the same way for you as well. A picture says a thousand words so, always use a good and clear profile picture initially.
Now it comes about bio, so bio is all about who you are and what are you.
You may be a singer, blogger, dancer, make-up artist or be it an artist it’s only your bio that defines what are you and who you are.
If you have a YouTube channel, blog or any website do mention the link under your bio as it also helps you to drive traffic.
Simply go to Edit Profile and you can update your information.
Call-to-action is a user engagement technique which allows you to contact the account holder through text, call, email and address.
But the call-to-action is not applicable for private profiles you need to make your account a business profile.
You might be wondering how does it relate to growing Instagram followers organically.
Yes, it does.
When someone hits your profile and after your bio and profile picture the next thing which strikes to the user is the call-to-action button and most of the user hits the button.
Hence, if they find it worthy and relatable to their search/niche they will follow you and that’s an organic follower.
3. Instagram Feeds
Instagram has the highest interaction level compared to any other social media channel.
No one likes and follows an empty account so you need to give something to your followers to interact with.
So before you follow someone, make sure you add at least 3-5 pictures or videos because it’s really important to give something to your followers to interact with.
Instagram also works on an algorithm and in which consistency and timeliness matters like any other social media channel.
Timing & Relevancy
According to a survey, the best time to post on Instagram is on Monday between 8 am – 9 am and 2 pm – 3 pm, Tuesday – Friday 7 am – 8 am and 3 pm – 4 pm and if you want to post on weekends, post on Saturday around 11 am and on Sunday between 11 am -2 pm.
You must be thinking why early in the morning because 80% – 90% of people check their phones right when they wake up.
You do not have to depend totally on the above timing, you will need to dig up your Instagram insights to see when your followers are more active.
If you are worried about the timing to post on Instagram you can use several tools to schedule Instagram posts.
- Sprout Social
- Buffer for Instagram
These tools can help you schedule the posts for your profile.
Theme & Editing
Brand or individual profile with a theme grab more attention than un-organized posts on Instagram. A user recognizes your profile instantly when he scrolls down his/her feed due to the theme.
It’s a bombshell for branding purpose.
To grow followers organically on Instagram it’s really important to give a reason to a user who visits your profile to follow your profile.
Keep the same constant form of editing on your pictures because that also give a different look to your profile.
4. Hack The Hashtag
The hashtags are one of the most important elements to drive engagement on your posts and to grow followers organically on Instagram.
We all know how to use hashtags but do you really know which and what type of hashtag you need to use?
Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags in one post but gone are those days wherein you used to stuff hashtags.
Nowadays, you can use 3-5 relevant hashtags in your post and drive a good number of users to your profile. But how?
There are around 5 types of tags:
- Event Tags – #birthday #wedding #fifaworldcup
- Branded Tags – #bmw #nike #rebook #cr7
- Industry Tags – #blogger #restaurant #youtuber #singer
- Niche Tags – #digitalmarketing #thaifood #fashionblogger
- Location Tags – #india #russian #malaysia or any famous building or monuments.
The posts containing geo-tags earn up to 39% more engagement.
Instagram has made the search results in a very simple way, it’s divided into three parts:
- Top posts which display the top 9 posts with most engagement.
- Most recent posts which display the tagged post (photo/video) in chronological order.
- Related hashtag which Instagram suggests i.e; the other hashtag people are using related to the topic.
Before choosing a hashtag you need to do some brainstorming.
There’s one more type of hashtag which is basically for a short time, say, maybe for a day or two and those are the trending hashtags like #happynewyear2019 #merrychristmas.
So basically, we use these kinds of hashtag for a day or two in a year.
5. Like, Comment & Follow
It’s not just you, who wants a good number of followers, likes and comments other wants too.
Now, the game begins. You will need to do some brainstorming and spend time checking out a few accounts of your niche.
Suppose if you are a photographer, then you will need to find some models and make-up artists then like their pictures and comment genuinely do not spam their profile by likes and comments.
Also, you can search for some photography community, join them and outcast your work.
You may question how does this work?, Well the answer is really simple the number of likes and comments you give to a profile, the user will be notified and their followers will see your comments as well so there is a possibility that out of 100 users 20 may hit on your account and 5 users may follow.
It will take time and it won’t result in ample of followers but at the initial stage, it’s a good way to get exposure.
But never play a game of “Follow and Unfollow”.
Hey, have you tried all the features Instagram has to offer?
Not yet, well, you should.
The story, live and IGTV came after a long time but are liked by the users now. Some say they like stories rather than scrolling the feeds, true that.
Instagram feeds are all about curated and well-edited posts but stories are about raw pictures, keep it raw and original.
Instagram allows it’s users to use the story feature in multiple ways; you may ask questions, polls, share behind-the-scenes videos to build an organic relationship, play with filters and boomerang etc.
But you need to figure out how it will work for you and help you grow. You can also use hashtags in your stories.
There’s so much potential with Instagram to attract your followers and to attract new followers to your account.
7. Engage With Your Audience
Instagram is not a place for a long conversation. However, Instagram like any other social media is all about engagement.
When people comment on your post, they are looking forward to interacting with you and comment is the best way to interact with your followers.
Liking a comment, answering a question or even responding to a message all caters to build a strong relationship with your followers.
Well you don’t need to reply to every message and comment and that is something which is not possible, and your followers will understand that as well. Be as active as possible.
If you are not responding to your follower’s messages and comments they are not going to stay with you. It doesn’t take much time to unfollow.
So be kind, generous, greet them warmly and try to respond as much as you can.
8. Test & Experiment
Any strategy can’t run for a long. Instagram strategy goes the same way.
You should have a proper Instagram strategy to provide a better experience. But if you pay close attention to your profile trends you will learn to do it better.
Make a note of posts and hashtags on which post you get most and least engagement and by using which hashtag you get maximum and fewer hits and at what time.
Then change the strategy for a week or two and notice the changes on your profile. Good or bad.
This will not only help you grow radically also you will understand the way Instagram marketing is done.
9. Collaborations & Influencer Marketing
Getting organic followers on your Instagram is tough and time-consuming.
It takes time as you need to outcast your uniqueness, build trust an demonstrate your credibility in the marketplace.
Collaboration & Influencer marketing is a new trend in which you can accompany with the right person to get a repost or shoutouts.
You might be thinking about how to collab with someone?
Well, it’s not that difficult. At first, shortlist few profiles and mention them in your Instagram feeds and stories, like and comment on their feeds. Surely, they will notice you and then after a while message them regarding collaboration.
Remember, your message should look quite professional don’t just type – Hey, we both are photographers let’s collaborate. It’s not going to work at all.
Offer them something they can’t refuse.
There are chances you may strike at one go but don’t be focused on one particular profile. If the first one agrees, well and good but if not try another. The more you collaborate, the chance to grow your Instagram followers increases.
Some say influencer marketing is easy to go but trust me it is not that easy instead It’s quite tricky to get a right influencer who can build trust on you.
Remember, don’t just ask directly for a shoutout.
Although you need to apply the same strategy to get a right influencer, if it’s done in the right way, you can see a number of followers coming your way.
10. Use of Other Social Channels
Social media channels are all about a connection.
Facebook & Twitter are the two most influential social media channel. We all know the power of a tweet and share.
But, the people connected to you on Twitter & Facebook aware that you are on Instagram?
Nowadays, we all prefer registration on any website or social media channels through our phone number, Gmail or Facebook and you must be thinking about to sync the contact or find people on Instagram will let you connect with everyone.
But there are people who must have created their Instagram profile with a different phone number or Gmail account and at that point, you would not be able to find those people.
Hence, link your Instagram profile to Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels & share your feeds as much as possible.
Let’s Wrap This Up!
- Never buy bot followers as it only gives a number of followers not engagements.
- Use a good profile picture with appealing bio.
- Create a compelling call-to-action.
- Create a theme feed with pictures and videos.
- Use a trending hashtag instead of a regular one.
- Use different social media channels to show your presence.
- Be thankful to your followers.
- Keep a good eye on your Instagram insights and accordingly make a strategy.
- Give importance to people with whom you want to collaborate.
These 10 practice will help you grow your Instagram followers organically.