Organic growth on Instagram still exists. But how do you achieve it?
With millions of daily users, Instagram can’t be ignored by businesses. It remains a crucial part of an effective social media marketing strategy.
Hashtags still work, but considering the growing competition, companies can’t effectively increase brand awareness and cultivate organic followings using strategies from 2017-2018.
Read this article to learn the best tactics for growing your Instagram following organically.
Timing matters on Instagram
If you want to make a splash on Instagram — consider carefully when to post.
SproutSocial’s research found that weekdays between 10 am and 3 pm were the ideal times.
Research shows that travel posts are best on Fridays from 9 am until 1 pm, and posts on entertainment should be made on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 pm until 3 pm. If you’re running a restaurant — the best time to post delicious pics is at 12 pm on Fridays.
Non-profits do better on Tuesdays at 4 pm, or 10 am, while e-commerce related posts should be made on Thursdays at 9 pm or 4 pm. The perfect time for healthcare is on Wednesdays or Sundays at 9 am.
Technology-related topics should be covered on Mondays or Tuesdays at 2 pm, and education on Thursdays at 4 pm or 5 pm.
So, at what time should you post? Technically — at any time throughout the day, but definitely not when your audience is asleep. Experiment and use analytics to find the frequency and timing that works for you. Don’t stress too much about it if you’re new to SMM. Instagram algorithms make it very easy to time your posts.
Persistence pays off
Although posting at least once every day is the conventional gold standard of effective SMM, there is no set rule to optimizing your frequency. Instead, commit to a frequency that you can sustain in the long run.
If you’re busy running a business, you may not have enough time to create seven days worth of original content. But with modern online design services like VistaCreate, this task is not as challenging and time-consuming as you think. Learn more on how to create trending designs for Instagram in no time here.
It’s ok if you manage to post only a few times per week. Stick to it.
To quickly DIY a couple of free reels, stories, ads, and any other kinds of content for Instagram — you can always use one of the professional design templates available in VistaCreate.
Over 100 million photos are posted on Instagram daily! To get noticed, consider every detail of your posts, including the color you are using to present your brand.
Research suggests that images with a single dominant color gain 17% more interest than images with multiple dominant colors. In comparison, images with texture had higher engagement rates with 79% more interest than those with low texture. Apparently, users also like when there’s some space in photos – as those with more background (negative or white space) get more likes than those without.
To showcase your products on Instagram you can always utilize the free VistaCreate background removal feature. Just take a pic, open it in our app or web editor, and tap Remove background to clean up the image. Add a message, logo, and branded colors — you’re ready to share.
Reels have become the number one instrument for organic growth
Feed is the oldest and the most saturated format. A lot of people continue to post photos, videos, despite the great competition. Using TikTok-like Reels feels unnatural, but they have become the number one instrument for organic growth today. Dance videos might be popular, but Reels are also used for 20-sec tutorial videos, career videos, and financial advice.
If you’ve already built a strong presence on Instagram — Reels is the ideal venue for making an impact with your branded content and captivating your loyal audience.
To get started and see how this new marketing tool works for your business — resize your ready-made VistaCreate video projects or design fresh Instagram Reels using our templates.
Want to learn more about keeping your account “reel” with this new format? Read this particular article on Instagram Reels for business.
Giveaways, also known as loop giveaways, are a great strategy for growing your audience on Instagram. They leverage the audiences of multiple like-minded accounts and are mutually beneficial to all parties involved.
Here’s how it works: you make an irresistible offer, such as winning $10,000. To participate, people have to follow you and partner brand accounts. In the end, one lucky follower puts the money in his pocket — it’s as simple as that.
In 2019, Kylie Jenner promoted a $20,000 giveaway, which included nine luxury bags. It was a hugely successful campaign. Participating brands gained over 230,000 new followers from that one giveaway and saw a dramatic increase in traffic.
Technically, it’s not an organic way to grow your audience on Instagram and the costs can vary wildly. Still, it’s a well worth investment: the buy-in cost per new follower is incredibly low, and even if you’re running a small business, you can utilize this strategy by splitting the costs with other participants. And you’ll increase follower counts with real people, and not fake bot accounts.
Instagram shoutouts, known as when influencers promote another account’s content via posts or stories, is another great way to grow your account. And such partnerships can be arranged for free.
It’s called shoutout for a shoutout (S4S): A straightforward quid pro quo when you give some account a shoutout and they give a shoutout back.
If you’re good with business and have many happy clients, you can count on receiving voluntary shoutouts: when an account loves your content, product, or service so much that they tell their followers about it.
Shoutouts still hold tremendous marketing power. And this trend shows no signs of stopping.
Growth by hand
Instagram is continually working on preventing fake accounts and engagement by cracking down on profiles that use automation and bots for growth. That makes growth by hand a brilliant strategy. It can greatly help your brand meet long-term Instagram growth goals and see stable results.
You can attract new followers directly by looking through your audience accounts, commenting, and interacting with their posts.
This way, you can introduce new audiences to your brand and encourage them to find and like your page.
In recent years Instagram started to use automation software that inflates likes and comments. Brands that do not have authentic followings will be left in the dust. You don’t want to take that route and put the credibility of your business at stake.
Yes, the crowded Instagram may seem like a difficult place to be heard. But it’s worth the effort. The business accounts left standing will dominate the markets.