With over one billion users, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms and has the highest levels of engagements from users.
However with its new very clever algorithm and lots of competition, it is no longer as easy to grow your Instagram account as it was a couple of years ago and it is no wonder why it may be tempting to turn to try to bots and paid followers to get your targets; but that is definitely not the answer and is more likely to damage your account rather than help it.
Therefor that leaves us with the question, what is the answer ? How can we grow our Instagram accounts organically?
To give you a helping hand we have put together our top tips for growing your Instagram account in 2019.
Make your Bio Count
The Instagram Bio is the first thing your visitors will see and will help them to decide if they should follow you so it needs be strong.
To start make sure that the Username and Name fields are not the same. These are the only parts of the bio which will show up in an Instagram search. The Username Field should be should business name however the Name field should include keywords which you target audience would use to search Eg Mindfulness ideas for kids, Beauty, Makeup and Fashion etc.
The Bio itself should sum up what you have to offer within the 150 character limit, include contact information, other social media handles and use hashtags on key words and if the area you are located is important to your blog make sure you include that too.
Most importantly include a link to your blog with a reason why they should click. For example instead of check out my blog here, use see my top recipes here, etc.
Brand your Instagram Feed
Your Instagram Profile Page is the first chance you get to make a good impression for users coming to take a peek.
Your feed should reflect your brand and posts should be creative and consistent; posting in a willy nilly fashion won’t have the same initial impact as considered posts which tell your story.
Having said that it is also important to make sure it portray the real you. To help you identify the brand you want to portray, start with looking at your blog and reflect the design on your feed.
Use Instagram Stories
Instagram stories is used by over 300 million people each day and is a great way to connect to your readers.
Although images disappear after 24 hours (unless you add to highlights) it is worth spending a little bit of time thinking about the images you want to post and the story message you are trying to tell.
For example If you are making a new recipe tell the story of how it has been made. Mix up static images with videos and boomerangs to keep it interesting and a description on each image of the step. If you have the recipe on your blog direct them to your link in the bio on the first and last image.
Make sure you add different hashtags to every image, tag in businesses if at an event and add in your location . If you got an idea from someone else tag them in to thanking them, you never know they may add the post to their story.
The latest research is indicating that posting one to two times a day to get the best interaction from your followers. However the main thing is to be consistent.
If you don’t think you can manage a post a day, think about what you can manage and stick to set days so your audience know when to expect your content.
Also consider the time you are posting. It worth doing some research into when your audience will be present, look at your insights, when other similar accounts post think about you tend to look at your instagram account. If your content is relevant to mums avoid the school run and aim for early evening when the kids have been put to bed.
Use Hashtags But Not Too Many
Hashtags are how followers will you find you post and it can be tempting to try to use the 30 limit on every post. However not only is this time consuming and tempting to use the same hashtags each time it can also come across as spammy.
Instead go for seven to eleven for each post. Make sure you research them first, keep them varies and actually relate to your post.
Instagram is a social media platform and to be successful it shouldn’t come as a shock that you need to be social.
Although you should never for a like for like approach or follow as this can damage you account.
Engaging with other accounts is a great way to be seen and promotes engagement on your posts.
Make sure you follow accounts similar to your own, start to engage with them but make sure you are genuine and not spammy.
The best to time engage is just before and after you post, so increasing your chance of traffic to your recent posts within the golden time when the Instagram algorithm pushes popular posts to top of feeds.
When your followers engage with your posts reply to them as soon as you can. You can also tag other relevant accounts into your replies (eg event organisers, venues) to get them involved in the conversation and extending the engagement.
Gemma runs the Family On The Go parenting online magazine which covers news and events from around Manchester and Tameside, and is also a freelance marketing consultant.