How I Grew My Instagram Followers Organically
Lock-down has been a funny time for us all. Some of us have been super productive and learning new skills, while others have made the most of the unforeseen break and relaxed our way through the pandemic.
I come somewhere in the middle of both. Especially in the first 6 weeks of lock-down I was super productive and if you follow me on Instagram, you'll see that I have been renovating parts of my home and I even learnt how to bake!
One thing that this year has taught me is to realise what I really want from my work and so I have been focusing heavily on growing my online presence.
Being online as a blogger has so many aspects to it. Us bloggers do not just sit and write a post and then publish it and instantly earn money. I wish it was as easy as that! We all work really hard behind the scenes to ensure our blogs are legally sound, promoted, Search Engine Optimised and working correctly.
Most of us also have social media platforms to keep up to date and grow too. My main platform is Instagram.
This post will tell you the steps I have taken during lock-down to grow my Instagram followers by 500 in 6 weeks. If you follow some of these steps too, this will show you how to grow your Instagram followers organically.
Let me know if you use any of these tips and what your results are!
1) Engage With Your Followers
This is such a big thing that a lot of people do not very often practise. Instagram is a social media platform - important word being social. SO be social!
I'm not saying you have to spend all day commenting on posts and liking photos, but, my routine is to spend 5 minutes replying to your DM's and comments on my posts, and then spend 5 minutes commenting and liking on my followers posts. This shows the Instagram algorithm that I are an active user of the platform and thus will give me more visibility.
If you practise this step, you only need to set aside 10 minutes of your day and you will start to see results. With all of these steps, the more you implement them, the more you will see your follower count increase.
2) Use Hashtags On Every Post
There has been speculation recently that hashtags on Instagram no longer work.
I would completely disagree with this and say that Instagram hashtags are working better than ever!
Instagram allows you to put up to 30 hashtags in your caption or in the comment section of your post and I use at least 20 hashtags on each post. I have tried using them in the captions and in the comments and honestly, I find there to be not that much difference. I tend to put mine in the caption for ease.
3) Use Hashtags Relevant To Your Content
This might seem really obvious, but using hashtags that are relevant to your niche is going to help you attract the right audience.
For example, if you post a picture of your home, using #seascape is not relevant and Instagram will know this and potentially hide your post. If you post a photo of your dining room and use hashtags such as #diningroominspo and #myhomeinterior that is so much more relevant and will attract an audience who will follow you for your home content.
4) Change Up Your Hashtags
This is also something that took me a while to learn too.
The key to this point is hashtag research. Before posting your image, search out hashtags in the search bar to see what is popular and what isn't. Make a note of hashtags that are ranking well, relevant to your content and with differing amount of posts under them.
Usually I will use 3 hashtags with over 1 million tags, then 10-15 with between 50K and 250K, and then around 3 or 4 with 250K - 500K.
Using hashtags with lesser tags already in it will allow your content to stay near the top of the search for longer, and expose you to more views.
5) Use Location Tags
One that I always make the most of is location tags.
This is especially relevant if you are a travel blogger/ instagrammer because it is an easy way to reach an audience who may be looking for a specific location for inspiration.
I change this up too, however. For example, on my recent visit to Jamaica, I had several images to post of my grid and so changed up the locations from niche location tags such as the name of the hotel, to country tags such as Jamaica.
Examples of location tags are below:
*Hotel Tags - Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
*Area Tags - Ohco Rios, Jamaica
*Landmark Tags - Dunn's River Falls, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
*Airport Tags - Montego Bay Airport
*Region Tags - St Anne's, Jamaica
*Country Tag - Jamaica
Or for an even broader tag - Caribbean
6) Spend Time On Your Captions
Again, this is one that takes a little more thinking about.
I've found that on my Instagram in particular, that if I tell a story or share a top tip in my captions, I will automatically gain more engagement. I make my captions all relevant to my image and finish with a call to action.
A call to action is something that you would like your followers to do. I love having chats with my followers and so I always ask them a question for them to answer in the comments. This has to be genuine though, as sometimes it's really obvious when content creators are asking their followers to "leave suggestions down below" and then they never ever respond. Instagram algorithm doesn't like this and will inevitably hide your account anyway so don't ask a question in your caption if you have no intention of engaging in conversations with your followers.
7) Lastly... Enjoy The Platform For What It Is!
Lastly, whilst we all want to grow our Instagram followers organically, please do not put yourself under any pressure to grow a massive following overnight.
I do not have a huge following, but I have an engaged following and that means more to me than anything else (although a swipe up would be nice!)
Also, remember not to compare yourself to anyone else online - that is important! :)