Organic Instagram Growth
Getting your feet wet on Instagram is easy, but growing your channel is not.
Anyone could gain a hundred or more followers in a matter of weeks provided that they connect with friends and post good photos.
But if you have a project with your channel – a bookstagram, a marketing channel, or a fashion photoblog – then you have to ensure steady Instagram account growth that lands you opportunities.
And that is not easy, especially if you think that Instagram has recently changed its algorithm to improve user experience and make it harder for organic growth hackers to “game” the system.
Reaching 5k+ followers within the first 12 months of your account is not impossible if you have a strategy in action.
For this guide, I interviewed 3 Instagram superstars to share their secrets to earn your first five thousand followers in a year or less.
Carlos Trillo’s 3-Step Strategy to Grow 5k+ Instagram Followers Organically Within 12 months
Carlos Trillo, CEO & Co-Founder of Evinex says that it’s totally possible to achieve 5,000 followers in 12 months if you follow a good 3-step strategy to attract, convert and retain your followers.
“These are the three most important steps that we follow to consistently achieve 5,000 new followers in 12 months.” — Carlos Trillo
Step 1: Engagement
“The best way for a new account to attract new followers is to engage and interact with Instagram users that are not followers yet.
“We look for users that are actively participating in Instagram and that we think will be interested in the brand and the content that we post, and we interact with them.
“It’s not about liking or commenting just to get a follower. It’s about being real and genuine and create a relationship with the user so eventually they can be interested in you.”
Step 2: Conversion
“The next step after catching users’ attention is converting them into followers. Your profile is critical in this process. We make sure to optimize the profile very well and to use all the profile features available.
“We have noticed that having an attractive bio, Highlights and nice content increases our conversion rates.
“We also see an increase in the conversion rate when we have more content and more real followers, because that works as social proof.”
Step 3: Retaining Followers
“The last step is retaining the followers. The content is the most important part of this process. We create content that is relevant to our followers and catches their attention. We make sure to publish posts and stories regularly and interact with our followers if they engage with our content. We also make sure to interact with our followers’ content to keep the relationship.
“These three steps are still working nowadays to consistently achieve a daily average growth of 15 to 20 followers per day. We have started with this new client account in October and we got 440 followers on the first month following these steps.”
Trillo proudly shared the statistics:
Now that’s good stuff, isn’t it?
FitBeauty’s Secret to Earning 6k+ Followers In A Few Months: Understanding Demographics and Connecting Emotionally
FitBeauty Australia played it smart.
Their Instagram account earned 6k+ followers months before the website even launched!
In Ben Jesinowski’s words, CEO of FitBeauty:
“We essentially wanted the IG to show the brand as well as the brand’s direction.”
How FitBeauty did it is the whole point.
1. Understand Your Demographics
“We’ve been generating all sorts of content from the get-go. Being strict with the demographic we’re trying to attract; the content was created to provide a personality behind the business. In my experience of owning businesses prior to this, it’s paramount to get your socials (especially Instagram) running from the first steps.”
2. The Emotional Connection
“Each industry is completely different. If, say, you were creating an Instagram channel for lawyers or doctors, speak to either professional and find out the hilarity in their roles (PG rated of course).
“With FITBEAUTY, it was very much understanding what we all think about when it comes to our skin. What are the main things that make us feel emotional – happy, sad, frustrated, what do we laugh at without being too cynical?
“So my first practical tip would be to be human. You’re not posting for robots. You’re literally posting to connect with other people, so be honest, be open and be realistic.”
3. Yes to Humor… But In the Right Context
“You can be funny in the wrong way, like being grandiose or forced in some way. People see right through, you can instantly lose a follower if you’re trying too hard.”
4. Don’t Be Salesy
“Another really important step is don’t sell too much. Your followers know who you are: if they don’t by doing a scroll or two, they should. Pushing sales and selling points is unnecessary for businesses who know their product works. That’s my experience anyway.”
REV MED Earned 10k Organic Instagram Followers In Just 15 days
Well, REV MED achieved some enviable success here: 10k followers in just 15 days!
Syed M. Rizvi is the proud Founder and Educator at REV MED, and he reports some incredible stats:
“Our teaching platform secures an impressive 300-700 followers a day, with a 4-5% engagement rate. We were an overnight success because we tapped into a niche that was dry, and we gave it life! I successfully utilized what Instagram offers [to understand] how to interpret its algorithms. I have had nights with a growth of 1,800 followers.”
Leverage Hashtags and Instagram Stories for Engagement
“Focus highly on stories and engage with your audience on a daily basis, using stories with at least 4 story posts running everyday. Many people don’t know that hashtagging on stories is crucial for increasing engagement. If you land on major hashtags, your following will increase in a matter of seconds and you’ll be surprised to see the result.”
Syed shares a practical example:
“For our daily Q&A we use Instagram’s Quiz feature and plug in 3 hashtags written out and camouflaged into the background so people can’t see what hashtag you are using, and so it doesn’t take away from the image/video on your story.
“Next, we add username sticker to every story we post. This is for when you ranked in a hashtag and you want random users who surf in the hashtag to have a place to click to land on your page. These are just a few tricks and tips out of many that will increase your daily follower count, and in a matter of a week of daily practice, you’ll hit the 1k, 5k or 10k milestones that you wish to see. “
To Sum It Up
The secret recipe to earn more than 5,000 organic followers on Instagram boils down to:
- Accurately select your target audience and demographics. You want to attract the right people!
- Set up your Instagram account for success: have a great bio, create stories and Highlights, post often (up to 4 photos a day)
- Engage with Instagram users, whether they follow you or not (hint: active non followers are the hidden gem!)
- Be human and focus on creating authentic relationships to grow brand awareness. Respond to comments and messages to retain your followers and build trust.
- Use kind humor in your photos and stories. Show emotion and encourage emotion in your followers and visitors.
- Don’t forget hashtags! They are a critical tool to reach your audience outside of your immediate network (i.e. your existing community).
- Getting more followers will earn you more followers. That’s the benefit of social proof!
- Promote your stuff but don’t be too salesy (that’s a big turnoff for the average user)
What’s YOUR follower growth success tip on Instagram? Let us know in the comments!
By Luana Spinetti, enthusiastic B2B Copywriter and Consultant for the Marketing and Tech industry since 2009. Also a cartoonist for hire since 2004.