Instagram Growth Hacking

Instagram Best Practices to Grow Your Account Organically

Best organic growth techniques to grow your Instagram

Here are 20 Instagram Do’s & Don’ts to help you optimize your account growth.  By implementing Instagram best practices into your social media strategy you will gain more followers and increase engagement.

Instagram Don’ts

1. Don’t be afraid to be creative when it comes to content

Experiment!  It is important to find out what works and what doesn’t work.  You’ll never know unless you try new things approaches with your content.  This doesn’t mean to completely overhaul your strategy, but it does mean to once a week try to slip in a new perspective or angle to approaching what you are posting.  This keeps your content exciting and fresh, plus you’ll be able to see what types of content resonate most with your audience.

2. Don’t leave disingenuous comments

We get it, there are a lot of bot services out there, but just because you’re using a bot service doesn’t mean you have to act like one.  Put more effort into comments and act like a human, not a bot. BEEP BEEP BEEP DERP.  A lot of businesses forget that followers are not just numbers.  Behind every screen there is a human being and we can all tell when someone is not being authentic even in the digital medium, so it’s important to always be true to yourself and treat others as you would yourself.

3. Don’t try to sell something on your first interaction with users

Nobody likes those people at the mall trying to sell you lotions and face creams when you walk past them, we avoid them like the plague (Especially if there is no free sample!).  Same thing goes for marketing on Instagram, don’t go for the hardsell right away. Foster on building a relationship with your new followers to warm them up and the sale will come naturally as they go through your sales funnel.

4. Don’t forget Instagram is a SOCIAL media platform before a marketing platform

Instagram is a SOCIAL media platform.  People are on Instagram to connect with other people which means that they want to connect with you!  Engage in conversations, ask questions, be curious about your community, and foster a place of open dialogue by showing your other followers you are active by responding to comments.  This will encourage building a healthy community around your offering.  This also goes for the content you post.  Focusing on your offerings in all of your posts is not the highest use of Instagram.  A good rule of thumb is the 80/20 rule of value and promotion.  This means that 80% of your posts should be providing value to your audience and 20% should be promotional.

5. Don’t ignore other influencers in your niche

It’s good to keep a pulse on what others in your space are doing so you could see what is working and what isn’t working for them.  This can help you pivot your own campaign and or inspire your latest and greatest post or campaign.

6. Don’t post sensitive or divisive information

This is an obvious one, but seriously don’t post sensitive information like personal addresses, credit card info, and passwords.  This will never fall in your favor.  However, this can be extended to private views held by employees or founders of a business.  It’s your personal decision if you want to use your business to express an opinion, but what we have seen is that by doing so you alienate part of the market you are trying to reach.  If that is not a concern feel free to use your business as a political platform, but we advise staying away from divisive topics.

7. Don’t post more than 3 times a day

Posting more than 3 times a day can be a little obnoxious.  It’s like the person at a party who won’t stop talking. If you post too often it might turn your followers off as you are hogging up their newsfeed.  Try to keep it below 3 posts a day and stay on your followers good side.

8. Don’t copy other people’s post’s

If you’re going to repost something from someone, be sure to credit them.  Don’t just straight out copy and paste it. Always give credit where credit is due!  In fact it’s even better if you reach out to the original poster to ask if you can repost before doing so.  More often than not they will give you their blessings.

9. Don’t be afraid to show your face

People like knowing who’s behind the keyboard.  This creates a personal connection with your followers.  Just go easy on the selfies. Keep it professional and relatable to your brand.  There is no stronger connection than the windows of your soul, your eyes.  Images with faces produce 38% more likes on Instagram.

10. Don’t forget to share your content to other social media platforms

Instagram makes it easy to share your content on Instagram to your other social media platforms.  If you have Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr, make sure they are set up inside Instagram, all it takes is one click and you can manage all of your accounts from one place.


Instagram Do’s

1. Do post daily

You will want to post content at least 3-5 times a week.  However, if you can manage posting once per day it will yield the best results.

2. Do contests & sales for promotions

Contests are a great way to bring in new followers to your account. If you’re an e-commerce store, you can easily giveaway one of your items. You could also do a cross-promotion with one or more other shops and giveaway a bundle pack. Or, you could participate in an Instaloop giveaway. Make sure you use tags like #giveaway, #contest, and #win to attract users to your contest.

Additionally, think about the ask in terms of how users will enter your contest. Asking users to repost a photo is a very large ask, and may alienate some users. Asking users to tag a friend who might want to enter the contest in the comments is an easier ask, and allows you to follow up with the users who were tagged.

Make sure that you’re transparent with your contest. Let your followers know how and when you will select the winner. It’s best if you can get a photo from the winner proving that they received the item.

Additionally, be aware that you may lose some followers after a contest. After all, some people may only be following you to enter the contest. The best way to keep those followers is to have engaging and insightful content so they want to keep following you.

3. Do collaborate and cross promote

Reach out to other influential Instagrammers that are in your space or have overlapping demographics.  By teaming up with other Instagrammer’s in the same niche you will be able to trade traffic by cross promoting each other.  You can also just outright buy ad space in the form of a promoted post on another persons feed.  It’s best to work with other accounts that have a similar amount of followers otherwise you may be rejected.  i.e. It will be more difficult for an account with 10k followers to do a cross promotion with an account that has 100k followers than it is for a 10k account to approach a 15k account.

4. Do use high quality and relevant hashtags

Find hashtags that aren’t completely oversaturated and overused.  These hashtags tend to have a lot of riff raff in them that aren’t even related to the actual hashtag.  Use a variation of hashtags that have a low, medium, and high range when it comes to usage. Mix it up and see which works the best for your posts.  We recommend a range of 25-75k, 75-150k, and 150-500k.  You can do a few over 500k, but those will be difficult to rank in if you have less than 5,000 likes per post.

5. Do engage with your audience

Don’t get lost focusing solely on gaining new followers.  It is important that you are engaging with your current follower base by liking and commenting back.  Building a rapport with your followers makes for lasting relationships and builds follower loyalty.  Make sure to dedicate some time to check your comments and direct messages at least once per day so you can respond to your community.

6. Do monitor your statistics (Business Profiles)

Theres a lot to learn from your data.  Find out the best times to post and pay close attention to your demographics.  This data can help you tailor make ad campaigns and promotions to reach your audience more effectively.

7. Do follow brands & influencers that are in your niche

Pay close attention to other accounts that are already successful in your niche.  These could be other businesses, influencers, or brands that have gained a large following your target demographic.  There is plenty to learn from the strategies that they employ and the content they post.  You can also target their followers with engagement campaigns.

8. Do create high quality content

CONTENT IS KING.  If you have a boring account all the automated tools and celebrity shout outs in the world will not help you grow.  Content is by far the most important thing on Instagram. Create value by providing your followers with inspiration, insightful captions, or information that can help improve their lives. Whether it’s a visual aesthetic, a service, a product, or knowledge, make sure what you post is valuable.  Use a high quality camera to take photos, test out captions, and monitor what gets the most engagement for you. Create quality content and the followers will come in droves.

9. Do pay attention to what your followers are saying

Sometimes it’s not all about you.  It’s important to listen to insight from your followers.  By listening to them and making necessary changes, your community will notice and thank you for it.  Thus building a stronger rapport with them.  One strategy you can employ is requesting feedback or putting a poll up and asking your followers to voice their choice in the comments below.  This will encourage community engagement and you will receive valuable information for the growth of your account.

10. Do create a call to action

Try posting a strong call-to-action encouraging people to follow you, like the post, or visit the link in your bio in your captions.  By adding in a call-to-action, your followers will be 25% more likely to follow through on that action than without it.

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More About Social Sensei

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