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Tips to Grow Instagram: The Samurai Way

August 30, 2017

 

 

Nowadays, Instagram algorithm is giving everyone a headache. There's a lot of info about instant methods and techniques to grow your account. Let me be directly honest, there's no magic trick here, but there are a couple of tips that can help you if you’re willing to invest a little time and effort.

 

To grow your  Instagram account, you must recognize the most impactful activities on the platform in order to see some growth. First,  you have to be consistent.

 

This guide was created from an analysis of the things that big accounts commonly do. These tips have also helped me grow my own Instagram account.

The speed of your accounts growth will depend on two really important things, reach and retention; mark these two words as your true north star.

 

So lets start with the first one “Reach”

 

In order to increase your reach you must apply consistency as I stated before with these 4 tasks:

 

  • Posts

 

Each post you publish is an opportunity  to gain new followers and reach more people,  so you will want to create as much content as possible.

But how much is enough? First,  you have to find the ideal frequency of posting for your account. Start posting once per day for a week and than increase this to 2 posts per day in the second week. Then,  try again on the third week with 3 posts per day. This will give you enough data to find your ideal frequency. To track your growth and frequency,  you can also use Social Blade, a platform to get a free overview of your growth stats.

 

Another cool tip is  to use an app to plan and schedule your posts ahead of time. For this you can use Later or Onlypult; two platforms that will help with this task

 

  • Hashtags

 

As you know on Instagram, you can use hashtags to easily increase your reach,  but you have to be careful how you use them. Lately, every expert its talking about the shadow ban effect. That is when Instagram decides to ban your posts from a given hashtag  if they feel you've been using it in a spammy way. (Later I will share a post with you about the whole subject).

 

Some will say that you can use up to 30 hashtags on your posts,  but in my own experience its not necessary. It's more important that you choose a couple of hashtags with a lot of reach like #Instagram tags that have more than a million photos uploaded with it.  You also need to choose hashtags that are really related to your product and with less activity since you need to work to appear on the top posts section. There's also another important thing- a lot of times depending on your account's theme, there are community hashtags. For example, there’s one for cat enthusiasts #catlovers and there's one for pretty much every aspect you can think of. You just have to look for it and for this you can use the search tool of the Instagram app.

 

You have to use maybe 1-4 high reach hashtags, a couple of 2 community hashtags and maybe 10 hashtags closely related with your theme and other accounts of the community you’re interested in. The ideal process will be to create 1 to 3 groups of hashtags for the different kind of posts you’ll use for your account.

 

 

  • Interactions

 

There's one thing you need  to understand now; the more  you work to optimize your posts so people who don’t know you can find them, the more you’ll grow your account. Instagram its not just about posting photos, Instagram its a community to share your passions and work through the way you see the world with visual posts. Always try to post quality and not quantity in order to get people's attention.

 

As we mentioned previously,  you have to do your research to find the hashtags and accounts that will interact easily with you because you share the same vision or passions. You also want to try to go and give back some love through their posts with authentic comments and feedback. Remember, its not just about getting likes on your photos! Try to push the conversation and you’ll get more. Once in a while, send DM´s with your thoughts to the accounts you admire the most. Ask them for tips and feedback to improve your game on the platform and stop by on their feeds to give some love in their posts.

 

A lot of experts recommend bots.  Personally,  I'm not a big fan, but if you want to automate something, I recommend that you only do it  with likes on other people posts.Then, if  you’re creating good content they will gladly stop by your account to give love back. Be careful with this, since you have to pay attention on how you program the bot to interact with others without looking spammy.

 

  • Tags

     

    
At some point, when building your presence on Instagram you will realize something really significant. Sincere relationships beat everything else. Don’t be afraid to ask or work for tags in other accounts in your community that are already engaged with.  Also, reach out to other accounts to promote posts,  You can do content collaborations, giveaways and pretty much everything that creates value for others to work with you.  This is really great if you get tags from accounts with high following rates.

 

Once you work to optimize your reach, it's time to work on your strategies to retain your followers and keep them engaged with your content.

 

  • Content Fit

 

The first thing you’ll need to do is to create content that converts every visitor of your feed into a follower.

 

The more useful and relevant your content is, the easier will be to convert these visitors. To create content that your audience will love,  you have to understand and fulfill your audience's needs and to do this you have to do research to learn what they care about. What expectations do they have? What type of content do they prefer?

 

For this, I recommend  that you use a personal research method like the one that the guys at Hubspot use. It consists of a couple of interviews and general knowledge acquired from yours or your team's experience. This will provide you with a clear picture about what your audience cares about.

 

You can also ask directly to your audience using polls in your comments section.

 

  • Grid Visuals

 

Great visuals are the best way to grow your audience.Think about how your post appears within the entire feed or grid, not just as an individual post! You can check accounts like @cathiarivera @zaydavillaseñor @jeffmindell @shopstudiodiy to get a clear idea of what I'm talking about.

 

Pay attention to the main color of your photos to try to  color match when possible  and to be consistent with your visual presence. If you’re just getting started with your account, maybe it will be better to choose a color palette to stick to it when taking photos.

 

Another great tool for this are pattern photos and again try uploading your photos to UNUM or Later to see how your feed will look before posting.

 

Now you know that its possible to grow your account. I'm not going to lie to you, it will take time and effort. But growing a sincere Instagram following will get you better results for the future and yes, its difficult at the beginning; but once your on track nothing will stop you from having a great community around your brand or product. Remember growing is about caring for your followers, creating great content and being consistent with your posting.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this, if you like it please pay us a visit at @dedeawatson and @happymktblog for more great content about personal branding and marketing.

 

 Samuel Chavez is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Consultant with 8 years experience helping brands to find digital growth strategies for their businesses. He loves to write and talk about social media, growth hacking, inbound marketing, SEO and pretty much anything related to digital marketing.

 

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