With more than 700 million active monthly users, Instagram offers plenty of potential followers for businesses of all sizes. And those followers are worth pursuing, because they are your real and potential clients.
If you’re not actively working to get more Instagram followers, you’re missing out on a passionate fan base that wants to connect and learn more.
There’s no magic formula for how to get Instagram followers if your goal is to connect with real people who are passionate about your niche. They will engage with your content and develop an ongoing connection and loyalty to your brand.
In this post, I will share ways you can use to increase your organic reach on Instagram today.
First, let’s learn something about Instagram’s mysterious algorithm. In simple words, an algorithm is a robot. It’s an ever changing program with a purpose to provide you with content that you are interested in, or that it thinks that you are interested in. It is tracking what are you and your followers are doing as a business or a personal profile in order to provide everyone the right content, content that we want to see and which will make us happy 😊 Based on your followers, their likes and comments and yours. the Instagram algorithm will push your page to the explore feed of other people that are interested in “similar” content.
The rule is simple you will attract what you put out there and yes, every single step counts in the mathematical formula of the Instagram algorithm. By understanding how algorithms work you can utilize certain features of Instagram in order to increase engagement and boost those likes and comments and get new followers. The algorithm is the system that will provide you more followers and engagement, what kind depends on steps that you take. So, in this article we will talk about some optimization tactics that you should be using if you are or you want to be an avid Instagramer.
First of all, use the app the way it is designed to be used. The most basic optimization is the size of the photos that you post. So, if you are using the Instagram app, and you are reading this text, think for second. What will be more visible for the user who is scrolling the feed on his phone, a landscape photo or portrait photo? Well, a portrait photo, of course.
Now you know what the perfect size for your photos is, and you have beautiful shots – what about the content? Beautiful shots are not enough; you have to have a good content. What do I mean by good content? First, you have to find out who your audience is and what topics they are interested in. What questions are they asking? Once you know this, then you can provide them with good, quality content that will engage them and provide them with answers.
Through the engagement of its users (your followers) Instagram will count your posts/content as relevant or irrelevant.
The goal of the platform is to keep users on the platform as long as possible. The more time that a user spends on the platform; the more space Instagram has to advertise to them and earn revenue from their attention. In order to increase the time a user spends on the platform, Instagram is trying to serve their users the best content – content that is preforming the best. So, if your content is performing well (lots of likes, follows and comments) Instragram considers it important and relevant to its users (your followers) and will promote it so more people see your content.
Let’s go back to the first sentence for a second “The algorithm is a robot” – what kind of conclusion can we draw from that? Well, it has certain parameters by which it is counting the relevance of your content, it won’t come to your page, read all of your posts, and think “Hey this content is interesting, this person knows what he is talking about”. No, it will count your likes, your comments and your followers and from that it will draw a conclusion about the importance and relevance of your content.
In order to get engagement, you also need to engage with people, so check the pages of your followers, like their posts, start a story with them. Engagement is a two way street.
Now, you have the right photos and quality content, and you are engaging with people, what next?
Timing! Timing is a very important thing when it comes to posting on Instagram. If you have a business profile this is very easy. You can find out from your “insights page” when it is the best time for you to post and when the majority of your audience is on the platform. If you don’t have a business account you can do your own research into this. Make your own schedule and post at a different time every day, write your engagement for every day and specific time and calculate when you are receiving the most feedback, likes follows etc. Be aware, because the best time for posting on Mondays isn’t necessarily the best time for posting on Thursdays. People have different routines from day to day and those times can be changed easily, so you have to track it constantly to get the best results.
If you are using Instagram for business, you should definitely choose a business page, because you will get access to all of the analytics and you can also run ads through it if you choose to.
The next important factor when it comes to boosting your engagement is a – call to action. Don’t just make statements, ask people a question, interact with them, it is a very simple step and it works.
Location and hashtags– every location and every hashtag has its own gallery. People search those galleries and browse them. Every gallery has a “Top” section and a “Recent” section. If you follow all these steps carefully and boost your engagement, your posts will end up in the “Top” galleries. Until then, search your hashtags carefully and combine the most popular ones with the less popular ones, where you stand a chance to get a spot in “Top” section.
In order to grow as a platform, Instagram is putting out new features constantly; some recent developments include Instagram Stories and Instagram Live. Instagram users are focusing their attention on these new features as they are still a novelty. So, how can you use them in order to increase your engagement? It is very easy – tell your story! Show them what is happening behind the scenes, who you are, what your struggles are and your wins. You can also promote your new posts through Stories and Live, (personally I hate that) but yes, it will help you to increase your engagement.
Implement all these small steps, and you will see the results. Try not to use other programs and generic comments, because Instagram really appreciates organic engagement and gives you a big boost for it. If people who are engaging with you are engaging with everyone with the same comments, Instagram will read those as a spam, and then you are going nowhere. Also, comments that are smaller than 4 words will be read as spam! Instagram doesn’t count them as valid comments.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is making your brand relatable and personable. Don’t try to cheat the algorithm, work with it and you will go far. If you post high-quality, relevant content, while finding a way to connect with your users, the Instagram algorithm will reward you in the end, and your brand visibility will skyrocket.