• Michelle Hughes

How to Organically Grow Your Instagram Business Accounts

Growing any social media account can prove a tricky task. Whether your goal is to expand your community or sell product...increasing your engagement rate is not as easy as following an account and (hoping) they'll follow back.

We've highlighted some main ideas below:

1) Engage with your community. This means following your competitors and individual accounts that still fall under your niche. Not only will Instagram take note of who you're following, but when you follow likeminded accounts the chances of Instagram recommending your page to a similar user increases. Keep in mind, however, that it is best to follow accounts you genuinely plan to continue following. Using the ''Follow for Follow'' or other ''Follow to Unfollow'' techniques are not only mischievous but ineffective. Not only are you wasting your time, but your time could be better spent engaging with users you actually want to build a genuine relationship with.

2) Put effort into your aesthetics and page layout. When it comes to social media, first impressions matter more than anything. Regardless if your mission is honest, an ugly or ''busy'' feed is a big turnoff. When drafting your posts, consider creating a mood board of fonts and colors that align with your vision. From there, draft at least 3 different variations of a graphic to promote consistency.

Apps like Canva are easy to use and offer many free resources.

3) Post on a schedule. By committing to a schedule, your followers will subconsciously take note of when you post and how often. If your content is good, and if you continue to post at your peak engagement times, the more likely it is for new users to engage.

4) Remember: it isn't about ''likes'' or ''follower count.'' While these numbers can prove insightful, relying exclusively on such data to track growth can led to misinformation and confusion. The real data is in the rate of engagement, rate of exposure, and your rate of shares and direct messages.

How do you know when you're doing it right? One sign you're building a community would be those in your community actively responding to your posts or IG story. This is not to be confused with a heart-eye emoji or your typical three-word compliments like ''This is good!'' The comments you want to address (and look for) include any comments that reveal your audience is paying attention.

5) Always look for ways to improve, cultivate, or inspire. Whether it's a short series or your current style Instagram graphics, there is always room for improvement when it comes to social media content.

How do you know when it's time to change things up? If you:

  • Feel like creating content is more often a ''job'' than ''motivating.''

  • Feel like social media is no longer ''worth the effort.''

  • Feel like social media is distracting or even ''in the way'' of other tasks.

  • Notice your engagement has changed for the worse in the past month.

...it's probably time to take a breather, step back, and reevaluate.

6) Implement hashtags. On Instagram, you can use up to 30 hashtags in the comment section. While some may only find a need to use only 10 - 15 hashtags, implementing the full 30 can lead to an increase in exposure, discovery, and even new followings.

Be wise with your hashtag groups. Avoid hashtags that do not directly correlate with your niche. Also worth avoiding is using too many ''popular'' hashtags (hashtags that range from 10,000 + posts). Generally speaking, you want to use a mix of the non-popular and popular to ensure your posts are seen.


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