Instagram has a highly sophisticated algorithm that decides what posts are shown to which users. This is an algorithm that is also constantly being changed and updated. What worked to gain organic followers on Instagram a year ago may not necessarily work that well today. This is why you should stay on top of the latest techniques for how to gain more followers on Instagram.
Thankfully, we’re done all the hard work for you. If you want to know how to grow an Instagram account for your small business, you should read on. Here are the top 5 ways to gain Instagram followers organically.
1. Make your Instagram name SEO-Friendly
If you want to know how to grow on Instagram, you will have to start with the name you choose for your account. Make sure that it is SEO-friendly. What this means is that you should be thinking in terms of what will someone on Instagram be searching for.
Will they be searching for your name? That is highly unlikely unless you’re incredibly famous. They will most likely be searching for a keyword, such as ‘fitness coach’ instead of your name. That means you should place a keyword related to your business into your name. Usually, the keyword that will help you gain the newest followers is one that is related to your profession.
2. Write descriptive post captions
People will see the first couple of lines of your posts before clicking on them to see the rest of the content. This means you will want to write something eye-catching that will want them to engage with your posts in some way. Remember, this is your money shot. Aside from uploading a photo that stops people from scrolling further, this is how you can connect with people.
Once you’ve hooked them with your first sentence, you can let them know that they should click on the link in your bio. By writing descriptive post captions, you stand to gain more followers, get more leads because of people going to your website, and increase the engagement on your posts.
When you get more people to your website, you increase the likelihood of them signing up for your email list. Whenever you send an email to your mailing list, you can include Wisestamp’s icon add-ons to your email signature to have icons and links to your social media accounts, which helps keep engagement levels high. Remember, when engagement levels are high, Instagram’s algorithm rewards you by placing your content in front of more people.
If you remember from before, we mentioned that Instagram loves keeping you on your toes by changing the algorithm every now and then. Well, the algorithm rewards account that receive higher engagement levels by placing their posts into more Instagram feeds.
You will also enjoy higher placement in hashtags you use, as well as prominent placement on the Home screen. That last part is important because it is where suggested posts are displayed to potentially millions of people.
3. Use trending hashtags
There are a lot of hashtags. If you think of a word right now, there’s probably a hashtag for that on Instagram. If you are new to Instagram, you may think that it’s a good idea to place very broad and generic words as hashtags at the end of your Instagram photo captions.
Going back to our example earlier using hairstylists, if you use the #hairstylist hashtag, you’re going to see your post lost amidst the 31.6 million other posts under that hashtag.
This means that if you are hoping for people to come across your post by looking in the ‘Recent’ tab under that hashtag, you will probably never be found. When a hashtag has millions of posts under it, there are new posts that show up within mere moments. Your post will be gone almost immediately.
Conduct hashtag research
If you want to know how to boost your Instagram followers, you have to conduct some hashtag research. Look for hashtags that have fewer posts and use those on your posts instead. You will want to avoid using any that contain millions of posts. Small and medium-sized hashtags are great niches to use. The less popular a hashtag is, the more likely you are to get exposure.
However, there should be a limit on this as well. Avoid using hashtags with less than 1,000 posts. Those will likely put your posts closer to the top of the posts that use it, but you would be reaching that many people. Ideally, use a few hashtags between 100,000 and 1,000,000, a few between 10,000 and 100,000, and a few between 1,000 and 10,000. This well-rounded approach will help you maximize the amount of exposure you get, which can boost your Instagram likes and follows.
We also recommend putting together a spreadsheet that contains all the hashtags in these three popularity categories. This will help you avoid spending too much time on remembering what hashtags to place into your posts. You can also simply have a memo on your phone and copy the hashtags directly into your posts.
Change Up the Hashtags You Use
When you keep a document with all the hashtags that are relevant to your business, you can easily add them to all of your posts to gain more likes, shares, comments, and followers. However, there’s a catch. Avoid using the same exact hashtags for every single post!
As we already mentioned before, Instagram uses a very smart algorithm. It’s going to see you using the same exact hashtags in post after post as spam. It will respond by reducing the organic reach your posts get, or shadowban you from specific hashtags. A shadowban is when your posts no longer show up under certain hashtags. Once you get shadowbanned, it can take two or more weeks before the ban is lifted and your posts show up under the hashtag again.
What you will want to do is switch up what hashtags you have. Ideally, have around 100 hashtags in your go-to document that you can use, within the parameters we mentioned earlier. When you mix and match hashtags in this way, you will avoid getting decreased views and being shadowbanned.
4. Engage with others
We know that it’s something that takes time and can be annoying, but engaging with others on Instagram should be part of your strategy when it comes to how to gain more followers on Instagram.
You will need to put some time and energy towards commenting on and liking posts by other people.
There are a few critical reasons to do this. It’s because of that darn algorithm again. When Instagram sees that multiple people are engaging with you, the algorithm will show users more of your content. This is because it seems engagement levels are higher on your content and comments.
Another reason to engage with the community related to what your business is all about increasing your exposure. When you comment on other peoples’ posts, you are increasing the chances of others seeing those comments and clicking through to your account. You will enjoy higher clickthrough rates if your posts contain something that is actually meaningful and interesting. So, avoid one-word comments or something generic, because that won’t be that effective for you.
If you want to be an expert on how to grow on Instagram, you should follow these five strategies religiously. They still work very well to gain more followers on Instagram, and be a boon for your small business.
5. Generate organic followers from your emails
Knowing how to gain more followers on Instagram is just one component of a successful marketing strategy. Once you get people to click through to your website, you can start collecting their email addresses for your mailing list. After all, Instagram is not a platform you control. You could get shadowbanned, or outright banned any day. You don’t have control over many aspects of your Instagram marketing opportunities. Your email list is something you are entirely in control of.
With every email you send, you can include professional email signatures that even include clickable icons for your social media accounts. Wisestamp has highly-engaging signatures that have been proven to increase engagement by adding hyperlinks to social media accounts. These icon add-ons will help you if you want to know how to grow an Instagram account.
Whether you’re using an email client like Gmail, Outlook, or something else, you will be able to incorporate these dynamic signatures into every email you send out to your mailing list.
Instagram’s algorithm is changing all of the time. This is why you need to make sure that your strategy for how to grow an Instagram account is up-to-date. We recommend checking up online every few months to see if the methods and strategies you are using still work. You always want to stay at the leading edge of what’s working to keep gaining a larger audience on Instagram. After all, this is one of the best marketing tools you have at your disposal today as a small business.
Now that you know how to boost Instagram followers, you can start applying these winning strategies right away.
Use your Instagram account to promote your website and use your website to promote your Instagram account. You now know how to boost Instagram followers, as well as how to get more leads for the products and services you offer. Enjoy your new success thanks to these top 5 ways for how to grow on Instagram!