It’s 2018, Instagram has evolved quite a bit rolling out more features, changing algorithms and acquiring more and more users to the platform . But not only is it still gaining momentum, engaging over 500 million users a month, its also bringing real cash to its owners and more brands are getting more interested in advertising on Instagram. Although it’s not easy to grow organically, it’s still doable. Here’s how you can do it in 2017.
Define who you are
Throughout my Instagram journey I have seen a lot of Instagram profiles ranging from kids photos to travel, fashion and food mixed altogether. This will not work. Define your niche and who you are and stick to it. If you really need to mix all those things together setup separate Instagram profile for each category.
Gain the followers
Instagram has always been about give and take. Follow the people who you think might follow you back. It’s just a numbers game. If you follow 400 people a day at least 30% will follow you back. One thing you need to be aware of is the 7500 following limit, so make you know who to unfollow after few days. You can easily do it with a variety of different apps.
Get more organic likes
Do a little research. Go back through your photos and see which ones got the most likes and comments. What clicks with your audience and why? How can you incorporate more photos like that into your feed?
REMEMBER THAT QUALITY BEATS QUANTITY
Edit your account to leave only the best photos. No one wants to follow someone with thousands of pointless images of food when you are here for shoes.
TAG PEOPLE IN YOUR PHOTOS WHEN RELEVANT
This ensures those photos show up in those users’ feeds and makes it more likely they’ll share them.
Get real comments
Real comments are crucial. Social media is a two-way street. The closer you are with your followers the better.
ASK QUESTIONS IN YOUR PHOTO CAPTIONS
Get your followers engaged by asking them to take further action (e.g., “Let me know what you think in the comments” or “Best beach in Bali. You guys agree? Let me know in the comments.”).
ENCOURAGE FOLLOWERS TO TAKE ACTION
As simple as it may sound, people are more likely to do something if you ask them to do it. Sharing a quote? Ask them to “like” your photo if they agree with it! Sharing something funny or relatable? Ask your followers to tag a friend! If you put the idea out there, it will encourage your followers to act accordingly.
Never buy likes, comments or followers
Not only can you be easily caught by the Instagram team, but your posts will most likely not be shown on more popular hashtags due to the new Instagram algorithm because your engagement is just fake. last but not least, if you want to get brand deals you’re asking for trouble.
Whenever I see someone who has 50K followers and 40 likes on average per photo, I know immediately their followers were bought. Same thing with likes and comments. I’ve seen profiles having 50 photos and each with almost exactly 1000 likes. Not really natural, right? Brand managers know it too. Another way I check to see if someone has fake likes or followers is to go to the users who “liked” the photo and chances are you’ll find profiles that follows a ton of people and has only a couple of posts.
In the end, if you’re trying to cheat the system and buy tons of likes, followers and comments to make it look natural, it will cost more than developing and growing an account the right way, organically.