Instagram as a social media network is huge, it has more than one billion users and user engagement levels are through the roof. A staggering 80 percent of users follow a business account on Instagram, so it’s no wonder that business owners, marketeers and influencers love using the platform to market themselves, their products, service and the lifestyle they can offer.

How do you grow you Instagram following without buying fake followers? An authentic follower base is crucial, there is absolutely no point in buying followers just so you can sit there smirking that you’ve just gained 10k followers if they’re not real people or actually interested in the content you’re working hard to produce. Whether you want to promote a personal or business account, we’ve worked out some strategies which will help you to grow your Instagram following and increase user engagement.

Frequency and Consistency of Posts:

You can almost double your follower growth rate by moving from less than one post per week to 1-6 posts a week. You can more than double your follower growth rate again by moving from posting 1-6 times per week to once or more per day. Major brands post on average of 1.5 times per day, so if you aim to follow the same rule you should do well.

While this is a general rule to follow, it may not work best for you. If you start by posting several times a day, and then slowly trail off to just a couple of posts per week, you will likely see your rate of user engagement decline. So while it is best to post often, it is also important to be able to keep up with a consistent amount of posts. If you cannot foresee being able to keep up with multiple postings a day, then it is better to do less and stay consistent.

Try videos, live videos, and Stories:

Instagram started out purely and simply as a photo-sharing social media network; however, over the years it has grown way beyond being a photo gallery. Live video streaming, video clips and probably most popular – Stories that last just 24 hours and provide a place for questions, polls and interaction. Instagram now provides a platform for individuals and companies to create various types of content to engage their fans and grow their following.

Here are a few compelling reasons to try posting these new content types:

  • The average engagement for videos is growing faster than the average engagement for images
  • When you go live on Instagram, you will appear right at the front of the Stories feed
  • More than 400 million people use Instagram Stories every day
  • Fifty-seven percent of brands believe that stories have been “Somewhat effective” or “Very effective” as a part of their social media strategy.

Research and use relevant Hashtags:

We recently wrote a blog post all about Hashtags and their importance. The right hashtags and even tagging a location will help to expose your image to a large and targeted audience, and Instagram users don’t seem to get hashtag fatigue in the same way they might on other networks. Plus, it’s even possible to follow a hashtag now!

Simply Measured did two studies and found that Instagram posts with both hashtags and a location tag get the highest average engagement. In other words, hashtags could be your best bet for growing a fast following on Instagram.

So how do you decide which hashtags to use on your post? We love the tool Display Purposes, it’s free and shows popular hashtags based on your keywords – do be mindful this is a global tool so some tags may not be relevant in your market area.

Display Purposes Hashtag Generator for Instagram and Social Media

Enlist a Social Media Management Agency:

Managing your own social media channel seems like an easy process to start with, but soon becomes challenging, especially when you’re a small business and don’t have a dedicated marketing team. An agency like Media Jelly in Norwich manage Instagram accounts for many individuals and businesses across the UK. 

How does it work I hear you ask… It’s simple, we can get involved at various levels from building your social media marketing strategy, generating content, scheduling posts at optimal times for the best impact and even fully manage your account responding to comments and messages and interacting with your audience / expanded potential audiences.

We’ve recently launched our Instagram Growth package, which is a month-by-month service specifically designed to grow your following organically, we’ll work with you to define your target audience and from there you can watch your follower count increase. You’re not buying followers, there’s no spam accounts, these are real people who are genuinely interested in your content. Get started before 31 May 2020 and enjoy monthly subscription of just £25 + VAT per month for a whole year, if you’re not convinced, you can cancel at any time!