Do you want to know the real reason we are writing this post? As SEO experts, we always build our blog content based on keyword research. Are you curious to know what people are Googling about Instagram? They are searching for “how to get more followers on Instagram” an average of over 27,000 times a month. Say what!?
Of course this is a vanity metric and we all know we don’t really want more followers. What we really want is credibility and sales. Right? In the Instagram world this means followers. The higher the number, the “better” you are. Well friend, that simply isn’t true. Our business has been thriving and books have been full prior to ever having a thousand Instagram followers. The same is true for our clients!
Naturally, let’s take a fun spin on this post and chat about how to get more followers on Instagram… organically! It is our passion and mission in life to help small business owners and entrepreneurs understand that you don’t need an ads budget to successfully market your business, fill your books and sell your products. You just need an organic strategy and clear brand vision. So, let’s dig in!
What should you focus on instead of Instagram followers?
Gaining followers is just a vanity metric. After-all, what’s the point of having thousands of followers if none of them convert? In fact, if your ratio of engagement and followers doesn’t line up — for example you have lots of followers and very little engagement — that is a clear sign to Instagram that you are not creating content worthy enough to drive engagement (or that you bought followers — yikes!). Therefore dropping your reach in their algorithm.
Instead we want to shift the mindset to engagement growth and not how to grow my Instagram followers. In turn you will indeed see growth, by organically serving your current audience and creating thumb-stopping content.
Increase your engagement
Engagement refers to things like comments, shares, likes and saves. The goal with every post is to have a high engagement rate because that indicates to the algorithm that people like that post. Engagement can be anything from a comment to a video view or re-watch or even a swipe through a carousel. Some engagements are more valued than others like comments and video rewatches versus a simple double tap to like the post.
The key to increasing your engagement on Instagram is to tell your followers what you want them to do. It’s that simple! We are in such a habit loop on Instagram of scrolling that if we don’t grab their attention with a strong hook and tell them what to do with a strong call to action, you are going to miss the boat on lots of engagement.
Key Takeaway: Every single post must have a call to action.
Create rich content
Creating rich content on Instagram means using various forms of media. Here are just some examples of what Instagram offers:
- Static Posts
- Videos (formerly IGTV)
- Instagram Guides
One of the keys to organically getting more followers on Instagram is to diversify your content. Mix it up friends! People get bored easily, so you need to keep them on their toes by using various forms of media to catch their attention.
Serve your current audience
Your content should serve the needs of your audience. What are they struggling with? What answers are they looking for? How do you provide a solution to their problem? Your content should address these and give value! Show your audience that you know what you’re talking about, and they will start to come to you as the expert, because that is exactly what you are!
If you aren’t sure what your audience is looking for, then we suggest creating an audience survey. We recently talked all about this on our Podcast and how this information is incredibly influential in not only creating content but also diversifying our offerings.
Spoiler alert: you are going to want to start creating Reels!
Part of growing organically is reaching new followers, and Reels is the best way to do it. Pop into your Instagram insights for a moment. Click on “accounts reached” and peek at your followers and non-followers ratio alongisde your “content reach”. Here’s what ours looks like:
Do you see the impact Reels can have on your Instagram growth!? It’s the opportunity to get your face in front of a new audience, get more followers and grow authentically. If you’ve never posted a reel, we urge you to post one today with one of these easy no-face reel ideas! We’ve even included reel templates for you to steal, all built in our favorite tool, Canva.
Whether you’re embracing the change or not, video content is
king queen, and that is what’s showing up on your future audience’s feed. Reels and high-value posts must be part of your Instagram content strategy if you want to see organic growth and reach new people within your audience.
How to grow your Instagram following, organically
With all that said, we hope you understand that followers are NOT the most important metric and reason for the platform. But we also know that you likely still want to see this number grow. So with that in mind, here are things you should focus on.
Understand your audience intimately
You should know your audience better than they know themselves. The good and the bad alongside their struggles and dreams. You need to know what they will resonate with and then serve them that content. If it sounds like you need to be a wizard… you kinda do! So put on the goofy hat and get to work.
The goal is to anticipate their needs and struggles, speak in their language and provide them solutions to their problems. This all goes back to that audience survey and building that client avatar. This brand-building step is so important when it comes to building trust with the right audience. Because ultimately, that trust is what actually converts — not your follower number! If you aren’t organically getting more followers on Instagram and constantly seeing low engagement, this might be your issue.
Ah, the age-old question: “How often should I post on Instagram?” Rather than asking yourself this question, you should ask yourself the following: “How quickly do I want to grow, and how consistent can I be?”
Consider you want to run a marathon… (it’s not our jam, but hey, the analogy works!). The more often you train, coupled with consistency, the quicker you will be ready to hit the starting line. Instagram is the same way. The more often you consistently show up, the quicker you will see growth.
Incorporating video content
We hate to break it to you, but yes, you need to create Reels if you want to grow on the ‘Gram. We know it can be scary to put yourself out there on video, but Reels is the preferred media type when it comes to reaching non-followers on Instagram. Therefore, It’s one of the fastest ways to grow organically.
Have a content strategy plan
Gone are the days when you could throw together a quick post of your breakfast and share it with the world. You need to have a strategic plan in place for your content. Oh and those pretty templates you see on Etsy? Those wont solve your problems either. The ‘Gram is so much more than pretty pictures these days, you need rich content that serves your audience.
Good news: This is what we do! Creating pillars is one of our favorite done-for-you projects. Send us a message if you’re interested in working with us to get a content strategy in place for your business!
Engage, engage, and engage some more.
Give the engagement you want to receive. That is our motto! Leave a nice comment on someone’s post that actually answers the call to action they asked. Don’t leave generic messages or even worse, a simple emoji.
Genuine connection leads to organic growth. Show your audience that you care about them and what they’re posting. These comments spread far beyond just the profile owner too. Everyone else who engages with this post will also see your comment. Your audience is much wider than you may imagine. Think of it like this: the comment space on Instagram is like a mini-billboard of brand awareness when done correctly.
The final word on how to get more followers on Instagram
Whatever you do, never, ever, ever pay for followers. Paying for followers is the quickest way to kill your Instagram growth. We’ve heard several stories of entrepreneurs who try to cheat the system and cut corners by buying followers. Newsflash, they are STILL trying to dig themselves out of that hole, even years later. There’s no tricking an uber-smart algorithm. Focus on organic and honest growth, and you’ll see much better results over time than if you paid for your following.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to get to work growing your Instagram following organically, the right way! Start with a plan to improve your engagement, and in turn, you’ll naturally see an increase in your followers. Yes, real organic growth that converts is possible with the strategies we’ve shared in this blog. How do we know? Because we are living proof of it!
If you need some help getting this strategy in place, we are your Duo. Just send us a message so we can chat about you and your business goals!