These are the steps I take, and I’ve put them together in a step-by-step guide format, for a better understanding and ready to be put into practice. Lets get to it!
Guide to Increase your Instagram Followers Organically
#1 Ask yourself WHY you are or want to be on Instagram
Instagram is a social platform where you:
- Share images (photo or video), with captions or comments.
- Browse, like and comment others users’ images.
- Other people browse, like and comment your images.
Now ask yourself if you really want or need to be there, and WHY.
Example: if you are a small business, your WHY is you want to create a community of people interested in your product, show your products, your new promotions, get feedback from your tribe…. and your ultimate goal will be increasing your brand awareness and your sales. (Check more “whys” for brands and businesses HERE)
#2 Get a clear idea of your message and what you have to offer to your audience
(if your idea of being on insta is just sharing images of your everyday life, or just random things for your family, friends, relatives or even having a private account, you can skip this step. Actually, you can skip the whole guide… LOL).
Once you know the reason why you are on Instagram, you have to identify what is the MESSAGE you want send out there: who you are, what do you have to offer, etc.
Just think in the same terms of any traditional means of communication: people consume social media basically looking for entertainment, information, or knowledge. You must adapt your message to these principles in order to develop a winning “MESSAGE”.
#3 Be (truly) real and not only be looking after increasing your following
When you are preparing one of your messages (your photo, your video, your caption, your story…) do it because you truly want to share something VALUABLE with the community. In other words, be as real as when you share something interesting with your people in real life!
#4 Get rid of the clutter
Look at your feed and do a little bit of cleaning up! You can remove what you don’t like, what is meaningless fo your new “message” and so on. If you have a large feed, just go back as long as you want. The idea after this is if someone check your profile, they are going to get an idea of what to expect from you, and right there they will decide if following you or not! Remember this: a visit to your profile is a great opportunity to get a new follower and your chances increase if you have an interesting feed!!!
Reminder: when you are clearing the clutter, you can archive your posts (no need to delete them).
#5 Use an App for unfollowers
Download any app for checking unfollowers (this is a basic weapon), but just be careful with lots of junky apps out there. Go for the most downloaded ones and one with the option “white list”.
Just let me tell you here that Instagram doesn’t like the fact that people use this sort of apps…but you really need it, just don’t over-use it!
People is asking me what app I’ve been using: “Unfollowers“: The free version is more than enough! But you can just download a few of them and keep the one that you like the most.
#6 Whitelist your favourite Instagram accounts
Once you have the unfollowers app, the first thing you need to do is check who you follow and “white list” the accounts you never want to loose, regardless of they follow you or not.
#7 Unfollow all your (not white-listed) unfollowers.
This is part of clearing the clutter too. If that account is not white listed, you don’t really want to follow… Being 100% Instagram taste, you should unfollow everyone (even your followers).
In general, in your everyday, while browsing Instagram, if you don’t like what you see, check their page, and decide to unfollow (you can base your decision on their following/followers ratio for example).
#8 Take care of your feed theme but not worry too much
It is good to get inspiration from other interesting feed themes, but if you are not an artist, you just have to be more or less cohesive, just in case someone check your profile.
BUT if one of the reasons for you to be to be on Instagram, is creating a stunning feed as part of your message (maybe because you are a designer, an artist or belong to the creative world), then of course you need to take attention here.
#9 Publish stunning and attractive high quality images
The KEY trigger for someone to LIKE a random image seen on Instagram, is that image is attractive to that particular person. Mostly this will be the basic reason for just liking a post.
If you need awesome photos for your Instagram (or for your brand or blog) make sure to check out Style Stock Society to get thousands of stunning images!
#10 Publish interesting and quality text, that your audience valueThe second KEY for someone to Like a random post, is the caption of that image. But the main KEY for someone to COMMENT is the text! (Instagram LOVES comments and will give you a better rank- exposure).
#11 Publish at the right timeMainly publish at times when your audience is connected, just check your insights if you have a business account. Bust basically I used to post at the same times everyday. This way, your audience will know went to expect your content.
#12 Post once a dayThis is not a fixed rule but it worked for me and I noticed the previous week that when I posted more than 2 images a day, the engagement or like per post dropped. (Definitely this has to do with he algorithm because I remember in the past the good thing was like 3 or even 4 posts a day….). In case you need to express yourself more than once a day, go ahead and use Stories galore!!!
#13 Repost and mention people you like
Repost needs to be done with other apps outside Instagram , don’t forget you MUST mention the account where you are taking the image from! The app I use for reposting is Repost For Instagram.
Also you can mention people on your own images, but just don just mention people randomly! it’s a bit annoying when you mention people for no reason.
Another interesting thing to do is recommend (or brag about) an account that you really like (a.k.a. shout out), explaining why you recommend that account (take this as part of your daily acts of random kindness )
#14 Take sometime every day to really be SOCIAL
I was a little bit obsessed (I must confess) maybe you have other duties, and don’t have all the time to be on Instagram, but find time just to be social (not posting) just liking, commenting, replaying comments, searching hashtags you are interested in, follow new people…
#15 Focus more in real, honest, thoughtful communications
When you are on Insta for being social, it really gets addictive in a positive way: you want to connect to catch up with your tribe! When you have that feeling, the magic is already happening! And most likely the feeling is reciprocated, and it all starts to grow bigger and bigger….
#16 Take time and effort to choose, create and edit the images
Use quality images, with a quality message, use tools and apps to get the best of your images, like for editing or adding texts, etc.
#17 Take time to create texts and Hashtags
Sit down to write a draft with the text to your caption. Be careful with the grammar. Create a MEANINGFUL and interesting text for your audience, with a friendly language. Add calls to action, like for example asking a question about the topic you are talking about. Check this article that with help you a lot creating engaging texts: How To Create Catchy Headlines That Steal Your Audience’s Attention.
After that, try to figure out the most appropriate hashtag for your image and your text.
#18 Use mid-range popular hashtags, related with your content
Find the hashtags more appropriate for your image and your caption. (Instagram hates people using hashtags as spam, actually it has a new feature to notify when someone is using a hashtags with irrelevant content). Be careful and check your hashtags because there a some banned hashtags (sometimes only for 24 hours)
How to check if a hashtag is banned: go to the magnifier icon search that hashtag, and if there are no results, that hashtag is banned right now (don’t use it!).
You can use up to 30 hashtags. I heard the nes algorithm doesn’t like using all of them… I disagree. But you need to use more specific hashtags (and not the popular ones) maybe jus one or 2 very popular.
#19 Put the hashtag in your caption (not in the comments)
I am not sure if its good or not, but it was what I did and it worked for me. You can find lots of people saying you must insert your hashtags in the first comment to avoid look very spammy….
What I do: I put all my hashtags at the end of my caption after a long column of points
#20 Follow hashtags of your interest
In the same way you follow people, do follow hashtags that matter to you or you are interested in. Be active with the content of that hashtags when they appear on your newsfeed.
#21 Check hashtags of your interest to follow new people
A very important part of growing your following is directly proportional to the amount of people you follow. But you have to follow wisely and consistently (i.e. stuff you really like or are interested in).
The best place to find new people to follow: your favoruite hashtags!!!
#22 Give them 24 hours to follow you back. If not, decide if unfollow them
Pretty self explanatory. If you do not want to unfollow, just white list them on your app to avoid accidental unfollow.
#23 Eventually you will come across with a (NATURAL) group of friends; really be friends with them (comment. like, etc)
Actually, that is the spirit of Instagram and the reason why it was created! Instagram want to recover that essence in its new algorithms and that’s why this tip beats the rest. And you know what? for you as an user, this is when you enjoy having Instagram: building relationships that add value!
#24 READ THE EBOOK “CRUSHING INSTAGRAM”
If you want to access the VIP content, those bonus tips and tactics to crush it on Instagram, including my personal daily routine and the key to unlock the algorithm.
Things to consider
- I become a little bit (very!) obsessed with Instagram. The week you will start to see significant increasing in the number of followers is about by second week after starting getting “obsessed” with Instagram.
- Things that are GREAT for increasing your engagement and following but I really didn’t do too much: Stories. Videos , Live.
In brief, the ultimate secret of beating the new Instagram algorithm is:
FOCUS ON YOUR CONTENT AND ON BEING SOCIAL, AND FORGET ABOUT THE NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS: funnily enough this will make you gain more followers!!
Do you use Instagram on a regular basis?
Please leave comments and let me know if you have any stories or questions.
Thank you for reading!!!!