Instagram is important for all business owners, whether you’re a blogger or you run a small business. As one of the leading social media platforms, Instagram reaches roughly one billion people across the world. However, starting an Instagram account in this day and age isn’t as easy as it used to be.
In the past, growth on Instagram came easier. Not only was the less competition between popular niches, but it was a lot easier to stand out. Today, that isn’t the case. With so many people on the platform, it’s never been more important to have a strong strategy that uses the latest and greatest techniques. Because it’s easy to spot inauthentic, fake accounts with fake followers, you need to ensure you grow your Instagram organically.
How do you get started? What practices actually work, and which are outdated? Follow these steps below to create a platform you’re proud of that truly develops your brand.
Upgrade to a Business Account
There are 3 main profile types on Instagram. You can create a normal user account, Creator account, and Business account. Whether you’re growing an online blog or a business, a Business account is the best choice.
While you can convert an existing user account into a Business account, this type of profile comes with extra features you’ll need to succeed. To change your profile type, go to Settings > Account Type and select “Business.” From there, Instagram will ask a number of questions about your type of business, contact information, and so on. You’ll have access to analytics, links, and extra features.
Understand Your Niche
Another important step is to carve out a niche for your brand on Instagram. This is where a lot of new accounts fail. You can’t be everything and appeal to everyone. You need to choose a niche or audience to focus on and craft content geared to them.
Your Instagram niche should be related to your blog, website, or business niche. Who is your target audience? What type of content will you post about? If you own an online graphic design business, your Instagram niche will be in the graphic design space or those in need of graphic design long-term (business owners, startups, nonprofits, etc.). Once you know your niche, you’re ready to grow your Instagram organically.
Create Unique Content
Here is the chance where you have an opportunity to really shine. While there are endless trends on Instagram, it’s best to find what works for you. Just because a type of post worked for someone else doesn’t mean the same will be true for you. How can you grow your Instagram organically? Create outstanding, value-rich content.
This might be different depending on your industry, but some great ideas are:
- Behind-the-scenes glimpses into your business
- Industry statistics or infographics
- High-quality, branded photography
- Blog post, podcast, or book reviews
- Compelling quotes
- Videos through Reels or Stories
All of these ideas above are great for crafting your brand story on Instagram. With so many photo and graphic editing apps, it’s easy to create exactly the vision you’re looking for no matter your experience level.
Be Active on Instagram
You can’t expect to grow your Instagram organically if you only post every once in a while. While you don’t need to post every day, it’s important to have some type of clear schedule for social media if you want to succeed. Not only does this help you attract more followers, but it ensures your business or page looks active all the time.
More customers use Instagram to check in with their favorite brands. They don’t want to see that the last time you posted was months ago. This sends the wrong message! As a brand, it’s up to you to keep your page fresh and new.
Use Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags aren’t outdated. In fact, they’re only becoming stronger as Instagram adapts its algorithm. If you want to find your brand highlighted on the explore page or in someone’s feed, you need to use relevant, industry-specific hashtags. These can be any of the following:
- Popular hashtags (over a million posts)
- Medium popularity hashtags (100k to a million posts)
- Lower popularity hashtags (Under 100k posts)
- Location-specific hashtags
- Custom hashtags
- Industry hashtags
- Trending hashtags
Just make sure your hashtags are relevant and make sense for the image/video. Using the wrong hashtags again and again could do more harm than good. Aside from using hashtags in your own posts, engage with those using the same hashtags to grow your community.
Collaborate with Other Accounts
Last but not least, Instagram is a social media site, so keep it social! To grow your Instagram organically, you have to interact with other members of the community. This is the fastest and most reliable way to grow, no follow-for-follow or bots needed.
How do you collaborate? Aside from commenting on and liking posts, you can also ask for shout-outs, work with influencers, and partner with other brands. All of these small steps add up to a big impact. When someone sees their favorite account talk about yours, that brings more users to your page—converting to more followers. Not only does this strengthen your place in your niche, but it builds your brand organically.
Create a Strong Instagram Presence
A decade ago, it was relatively easy to build an online presence for your brand on social media. Simply put, there was less competition, and standing out was a lot simpler than it is today. Now, you need to do something special to show your audience you mean business. Not only do you need to provide high-level value, but you also need to engage with them regularly.
Are you ready to grow your Instagram organically? Forget the scammy practices of the past. Those don’t work, and they only drag your brand down. Start with these practices above to truly succeed long-term.