I’m excited to announce that I’ll be adding an umbrella topic to my website on marketing called Marketing Gems – pretty fitting right? I figured since I’m always being asked about marketing and social media by family and friends, I’d try to help people online, too!
Today I wanted to discuss organic growth on a social media platform that has over 1 billion users: Instagram.
While there are rumors regarding the algorithm and how it works…I’ve seen first-hand and experienced what really works when it comes to growing an Instagram account. And no, I don’t know if “shadow ban” is real, but I’ll help you find ways to avoid questioning if you’re part of that cryptic ban.
In today’s social media climate, you can definitely buy your way into acquiring more followers, likes, and comments. However, this is a poor tactic to use and won’t lead to authentic and genuine engagement that can lead to growing your brand. You don’t want a bunch of spammy comments on your content (think 1-3 emojis or phrases like “SO LIT”) instead, you want to have real responses and feedback so that you can build trust.
Tip #1: Research Hashtags Within Your Niche & Mix them Up
If you use #awesome or #travel for your content, chances are your photo will get lost in the sea of hashtags. This is why it’s important to do research on hashtags that cater to your niche. Mix your hashtags by using medium-sized and small-sized hashtags for your photos – they’ll be more likely to be seen by users. A good size to start with would be a size 50k or 100k hashtag. You can even go smaller, depending on your niche! Sometimes I use hashtags that are 5-10k in size, and I get more engagement with them than I do when using one that is 100k+ in size.
Try it: next time you post a photo, mix up your hashtags based on size – your photo will be seen more often.
Example – I’m a “travel blogger” so use these hashtags often:
Tip #2: Write Meaningful Captions
Captions that are lyrics to a song or a few emojis won’t prompt your followers to engage much. Making time to write out a more thought-out caption will capture the reader’s attention and make them more likely to engage. The more people spend time looking at your photo, the more the algorithm on Instagram will favor your photo for others to see.
Try it: post a photo and create a caption that you know will resonate with your followers. Start off, or end with, a question – experiment with this and see if your engagement increases.
Tip #3: Follow Hashtags
Instagram released this feature not too long ago. You can now follow hashtags to see content you like. This provides users with opportunities to engage with what they like seeing on Instagram given that the hashtag stays true to the content being uploaded. Most of the time, the hashtags I chose to are relevant to the photos. This is another opportunity to “meet” users that do something similar to you or own a business that you might be interested in. You never know what connections you can make.
Try it: follow a hashtag and see if you like what you see on your feed. If you do enjoy the content – engage!
Tip #4: Create carousel posts
These posts include more than one photo/video. You can use these for calls to action, to showcase multiple trip photos, etc. These are a great way to get users to spend more time on your posts. Swiping right is a form of engagement and algorithm will take note on this. The result? You guessed it: more appearances on Instagram.
Try it: upload a post with more than one photo/video. Try to get creative so that users are prompted to swipe right!
Let me know if these tips are helpful and if they end up working out for you!
Do you have any Instagram tips you’d like to share that work for you?