I love Instagram! There are endless possibilities and opportunities on the app if you know where to look. I’m so lucky to have a supportive community that enjoys my content and helps me to grow. I wanted to share a few Instagram tips and advice that I’ve used to grow my following organically. (I’ll be using these tips in 2021!)
My Instagram Experience
But first, let me give you a quick rundown of my Instagram experience for my planner business account, The Imani Michelle! I started my Instagram account as @planwithimani_ on December 16, 2019. I posted content occasionally and didn’t put much effort into growing the account. My low engagement rate and follower count reflected my lack of effort and hard work. Somehow, I attained 1,000 followers in May 2020. This milestone encouraged me to be consistent with my platform. I strategized and implemented plans and content that helped me grow to over 7,500 followers as of the date of this post! That growth is amazing, especially within our unique niche.
Three Essential Tips and Advice for Instagram Growth
Here are a few techniques and methods I used to grow my Instagram following:
Did you know that you can use up to 30 hashtags on your Instagram posts? I don’t think I’ve ever used all 30 in one post. But I’ve employed various hashtag strategies. First, I stopped using hashtags that have millions of posts already. This tip is especially important for smaller accounts because it decreases your chances of visibility. Yes — people may see your content under the “Recent” category of the hashtag. But what happens if Instagram decides to disengage the Recent tab again?
Also, another favorite trick of mine is to use a few hashtags in the story that I share my in-feed posts!
Update 12/05/2020: Instagram justified the removal of the Recent tab for hashtags as avoiding misinformation around the 2020 United States election. The election occurred over one month ago. Despite the missing Recent tab, I still receive more impressions from hashtags than I do from the Explore page and other sources. Hashtags are still important!
I participated in a few Instagram consistency challenges that required me to post a video or photo on Instagram every day. Sounds spammy? Not quite. Here’s why: The Instagram algorithm is tricky. Chances are that the followers who see one in-feed post in the morning won’t see the second in-feed post in the evening. Plus, your followers who do see all of your posts won’t mind if you are posting quality content.
My page experienced the highest growth when I posted everyday, including weekends. I made sure to post quality content and to engage with other accounts in my niche. I also posted at different times everyday to get more data to determine the best time for me to post on my page.
Don’t fret if you can’t post every day. Be sure to be consistent, even if you post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of every week. Also, you can always be active on Instagram stories to build community and connect with your audience on the days you don’t post in-feed content.
Analytics changed the game for me. In fact, the game changer wasn’t the analytics; instead, it was how I reviewed and studied my analytics that changed the game. It’s my secret weapon to my growth. I review and study my analytics weekly and monthly. The numbers help me to discover what’s working and what’s not working on my page. Remember when I talked about quality content? Your analytics will show you what your followers like and need.
One important insight I review weekly and monthly is the number of saves per post. (I review this insight on the Instagram app!) I want to see the posts with the highest saves because saves indicate value. When you know what your followers value, you can create more content to address that value.
Nevertheless, there are several apps, websites, and programs that provide you with Instagram analytics. One of my favorites is Later! The website provides in-depth analytics and the best time to post on your pages. Plus, their blog is one of the best social media blogs I read on a consistent basis. Check out other Instagram-related posts here.
These are just a few of the Instagram tips and advice that I use for growth! Do you have any questions about these tips? Add them in the comment box below or feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.
Update 12/05/2020: Instagram continues to favor video content. Capitalize on this trend! Use your Instagram stories, IGTV, reels, Instagram Live, and video content in your in-feed to your advantage!