6 Ways To Grow An Authentic Instagram Following

Want to grow your Instagram following? Of course you do, followers can help your brand awareness; build your online community and increase sales. If you're looking to just rack up your numbers you're in the wrong place but if you want to attract Instagram followers who will make a positive impact on your business read on.

Before you learn 'real' ways to grow your followers it's time for a few home truths:

  • An increase in followers will NOT automatically equal an increase in sales

  • Your engagement rate will become harder to maintain the more followers you get

  • Quality wins over quantity, the more the merrier is not the motto to adopt

  • Despite what you hear Reels are not the best way to grow your account

  • Average follower growth each month for the last year is 2.13% (access up to date month by month info here)

  • No amount of fancy tactics will grow your following if your profile is rubbish

Your Profile

Let's take a look at closer look at that last statement! Your profile has the power to turn a visitor into a follower in seconds. The combination of your grid content, account info and bio copy should tell them who you are, what you do and who you do it for (so the right people follow you) with some personality thrown in, people buy from people after all.

Get In Front Of Other Accounts' Audiences

Partnering with like minded accounts and teaming up with those who share the same target audience as you is the most direct and reliable way to ensure your content is placed in front of the Instagram users you want to attract. You can achieve this by going live with them; via collaborative posts and reels and through story takeovers. If you're not ready for this level of teamwork creating Instagram Guides; tagging others in your content (not in a spammy way),especially Stories with their 'Share To Your Story' prompt and creating or joining in with an 'Add Yours' story sticker related to your industry or business values can also help exposure.

Encourage User Generated Content

This positive content created about you but not by you works on a three fold level. It places you in front of a new audience; provides social proof that you, your product or service are highly rated and supplies you with content that you can share to your following. Make sure you're encouraging your customers to post about your business and also to include your branded hashtag in addition to tagging your account when they do as this will improve the opportunity for your account's discovery.

Go Where Your Audience Hangs Out

Where do your ideal followers congregate on Instagram? Locate the accounts that attract them and spend time hanging out there commenting on posts and reels and replying to comments others leave. The added bonus of 'embedding' yourself in these profiles means that Instagram will surface your account in the 'suggested for you' option to your ideal followers.

Show Up In Search

There are 3 ways to search on Instagram and you can influence whether your account and your content shows up in specific searches:

  • Keywords: the 'name' (bold copy under your profile image) on your profile, bio and the words you use in your post captions will determine whether you're visible in a keyword search.

  • Hashtags: their new dual function to help you show up in hashtag searches AND keyword searches means you must choose your hashtags wisely.

  • Geotags: using these on posts and reels is absolutely vital to assist location based business with discovery

Don't forget to run searches yourself to help you find accounts you want to connect with, you cannot rely on Instagram to do this for you!

Know Your Content Endgame

Running a competition is an easy way to gain Instagram followers but you're forcing the follow when this is a criteria for entry and the reality is you'll be left with many new followers who want the prize but aren't interested in your account. An Instagram Challenge the connects your business with your ideal followers is a wiser choice; it requires planning but those who participate and thus follow will be a more valuable addition to your account long term.

Memes, gifs, fun stuff, hacks and tips are highly shareable types of content giving you the potential to reach a previously untapped audience. The more you understand what content resonates with your audience and the psychology of why we share things on social media the easier it is for you to create content worth sharing.

Gradual Growth Is Good

To see success in growing your Instagram following use a blend of Instagram's features, clever content planning and your own proactivity. Don't be tempted by 'quick follower wins', for instance a 'viral' Reel can leave you with the wrong type of followers, low engagement and struggling to generate leads. If you'd like a 'follower growth plan' tailored to you, your business and your Instagram account then get in touch to book a 1-2-1 session with me.

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