Since Facebook has bought Instagram, a lot has changed. Not only is it still gaining momentum, bringing in real cash payment flows to it’s owners, with so many brands being more interested in investing in advertising on it’s platform and engaging millions and millions of users a month. You can be rest assured that Instagram is here to stay.

Being so, it has been a lot more difficult to grow your following organically. However, it is still doable. And here is how to do it:

1. Defining who it is you are

Through my experience using Instagram, we have come to know that there are plenty of profiles that are mixing anything from food, children to travel altogether, which will not work. Define who it is you actually are and stick to only that. If you love mixing things up altogether, create another separate Instagram account for each of those categories.

2. Gaining followers

It has always been about giving & receiving on Instagram. Give & take. Start by following accounts that you think may be interested in following you back. It’s all but a numbers game with Instagram. If you can follow at least 450 people a day, there’s a possibility that 30% of those accounts will follow you back. You will hit your following limit quick with this process so make sure that you unfollow certain accounts after a couple days whom of which may not follow you back. You can track this with apps such as CrowdFire.

3. Organically gain more post likes

Do some research. Look through all the photos on your account and see which had the most likes & comments. Find out why those images click most with your audience. How can you start incorporating more images such as those into your Instagram feed?

A. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

Edit your profile, leaving only the best images. No one cares to follow an account with thousands of images of cats when you are actually trying to sell fashion.

B. WHEN RELEVANT, TAG PEOPLE IN YOUR PHOTOS

This will ensure that those users will be notified of the tag and allow them to check the image they were tagged on. Give them a chance to either like your images back, follow you or re-post and share your image/account with their following.

C. REGRAMMING YOUR FANS

Your biggest supporters are your fans, your followers. Strengthen and build your community by sharing images that your followers tagged you on with you Brand. But before doing so, be sure to ask them for permission. You may also start a campaign by soliciting user generated content that focuses or demonstrates your brand through the consumer’s vision of it.

4. Receive real comments.

Social media is a two-way street. Real comments are crucial.  The closer you are with your fans the better.

A. CALL TO ACTION IMAGES

Get your fans engaged by questioning them to take further action. For example: “In the comments below, share your favourite book and why?”

B. ENCOURAGE YOUR FANS TO TAKE ACTION

It’s as simple as asking them to Tag a friend or two in the comments to a post they may agree on. Or for example, on a post, add a quote saying “It’s difficult to follow your dream. It’s a tragedy not to.” Then in your caption tell your followers: “LIKE or SHARE if you agree then tag a friend who is following their dreams”

5. Never ever buy following, likes or comments

Do you really want to be banned by Instagram after spending so much time and MONEY growing your account because your bought your fans? It doesn’t take long for Instagram to take notice when accounts are buying fakes. Your hashtags may not even be seen shown in feeds or on the explore page with Instagram’s new algorithm because you have fake accounts on your profile. And, you’re asking for trouble if you’re trying to get deals with other brands.

There are many times we see profiles who have 80K followers and 50 likes per photo on average, a lot of people know that these fans/followers were paid for. Same goes  with comments and likes. We’ve seen accounts having 30 photos & each image has almost exactly 1000 likes. That doesn’t seem odd to you, right? Brand managers will know that too.

At the end of it all, even if you decide to cheat the system by purchasing your growth on Instagram, it just becomes way too expensive and it takes too much out of your time. Why waste it?

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