As a content creator, I know how challenging it can be to grow your Instagram account. Especially nowadays!
I know we’re all at the mercy of the ever-changing algorithm. And it can be so frustrating to try to figure it out. Not only that, once we do hack it- it just changes again!
The good news is, there are some Instagram growth tips that have proven to work well over the last 8 years that I’ve been on the app. Since starting with Instagram in 2015, I’ve grown my personal account to almost 400k followers. Plus, I started multiple business accounts that have tens of thousands of followers as well.
I mention this, because all of these accounts were started in very different iterations of Instagram. My personal account was back before “influencer” was even a word. And the business accounts were also staggered over the course of years where stories, highlights, videos, and finally REELS came into play.
The userbase, the features, and algorithm varied a ton between each account creation and growth process. And yet, a few key tools remained constant in my growth strategy.
This post will cover three of my top tips for those of you looking to grow your Instagram account today!
Instagram Hacks To Grow Your Engagement and Following
Consistency is key for so many (maybe all?) components of life. Showing up regularly, fully, and completely will inevitably cause growth.
Let’s talk about it in relation to Instagram itself.
This app is designed to be addictive, and to keep you on the app for as long as possible. This is why the algorithm “rewards” you for doing what it wants. In other words, the more time you spend on the app, the more it will prioritize your content.
I’m not saying block your calendar for the foreseeable future to doom scroll. I’m talking about using your time on the app as a way to actually improve your own account.
In order to effectively grow an account, you need to post regularly.
If you’re just starting, I want you to start cranking out content every single day. As in, posts on the grid every day, as well as stories every day. In an ideal world, you’ll probably be posting twice a day to grow a brand new account. But let’s start with once so you don’t get overwhelmed.
As you post consistently every day, you’ll start to collect data of the best time for you to post. Once you have that data, then stick to a timeframe for your daily posts. This will also improve your engagement and growth.
If all of this sounds overwhelming, or just like too much time- don’t worry! There’s tons of scheduling apps out there (I like Tailwind) that makes this a whole lot easier. If you read my post about batching, then perhaps you’re already on the batch train- meaning you prefer to shoot content one day. Edit another day. Write another day. Schedule to post another day.
Scheduling posts is great, because you can put together 7 posts that you want to go up over the course of the week, without having to manually go into the app and post it yourself. This is also helpful if you’re trying to take social media breaks (I’m all about weekends offline over here), but still want to post consistently.
The scheduling app you use will allow you to choose the exact time you want the post to go out. Make sure to post within your best engagement. If you don’t know, check your analytics (you must have a business account in order to access analytics).
The only downfall of scheduling posts is that this won’t help your personal engagement in the comments, stories, etc. Which leads me to my next point.
2. Don’t Post and Ghost
Remember, Instagram likes it when we spend time on the app. It rewards us for spending time there. So, how can we use this to our advantage, rather than a big distraction of rabbit holes?
Instagram likes it when we’re active after we post, and it seems to help boost content initially. This means, if you post something, don’t do it in a hurry, and then get off of your phone. Try to schedule your posting time during an hour block that you can dedicate to being on the app.
An hour?! Yes, that’s a lot. And, it can also go by really quickly if you’re using it the right away, rather than just numbing out.
First of all, make sure you’re replying to all of the comments that come in within the first hour of posting. I mean, ideally you’re responding to all comments, always– but let’s just start with the first hour, okay.
Next, make sure to share your new post on your story. You can share it directly to your story with some sort of prompt to read or watch what you created. It helps to have some sort of call to action in the story to get people to engage with the post more.
“Comment which one is your favorite!”
Still on the stories, you can also create separate story slides that further piggyback off of your story topic. Whether this is your own content, or you’re sharing others- use this time to post at least 3 stories that are relevant to the topic you just posted about, while continually redirecting people back to the post in a more discreet way.
Assuming you reposted someone else’s content, you can over text with something like:
“This is exactly what I was talking about in my last post!”
Keeping you in the story vortex for a little bit, look at the stories at the top of your feed and engage with them.
Send reactions, dm, or answer question comment boxes. If it’s a high engagement time for you to post, it probably is for other people too. This means there are likely a lot of people online, and if you pop onto their radar- they’re more likely to also engage with your content, as well.
If your hour isn’t up yet, then use the rest of the time to look for inspo for your future posts. Create saved folders of photos, videos, and topics you like to stay organized. Comment on the posts! You never know who will see. I like to also use this time to look through trending Reels, to save templates, music, and concepts that I will use later on.
Remember to that while you’re looking for inspo, you’ll still want to be manning the comments and DMs to keep engagement up on your post.
Next thing you know, the hour will be up in no time!
Pro tip, I like to try to do this on a walk or walking pad. If you are on a walk outside, just make sure you’re still aware of your surroundings 🙂
3. Use Features
Instagram also likes to reward users for using new features when they drop. We all saw the massive push for Reels, which was an obvious one. Instagram would even pay me (and tons of other content creators) just for making Reels! Wild.
The thing is, they have plenty of smaller features that launch pretty regularly. If you’re not sure, you can always follow the Instagram account to make sure you stay in the loop.
Reels were a big feature drop in the battle for popularity over Tiktok. Which was huge in converting the platform from images to primarily video. We’re starting to see the swing back now, as Instagram even admitted they went too hard on the Reels front. But, still, videos have changed the game completely.
Smaller feature launches could be things like stickers or buttons in stories, adding music to static posts, or templates. The point is, when a new feature comes out- use it! Instagram boosts content using their new features, because…advertising.
Regardless of which features are new or not, it’s important for you to use a variety of features in general. This means throw up question boxes, links, and polls in your stories. Create a blend of static posts, carousels, and video content. Maybe hop on a Live once in a while.
Overally, try to diversify the tools you’re using. This will not only make Instagram like you more, but it will also give your account a little more LIFE and texture. And that vibrancy is attractive to your followers, as well as people stumbling upon your account for the very first time.
These 3 tips will be great building blocks to your foundation of growth on Instagram. I just know it!
Good luck, and please do let me know how it goes.