Some people grow their Instagram accounts to make money, and some do it to share their lives with the world, but whatever your reason for growing an account might be, the process can be tedious.
The good news is that you can use different strategies to speed up building your following and get more engagement on your posts. Unlike when you first started using Instagram, hashtags are no longer as effective in helping you grow your account.
It’s now a lot more important to focus on other ways to increase engagement and build your audience to get people interested in what you’re doing or selling.
Why Hashtags Don’t Work
You’re probably familiar with hashtags. You see them everywhere on Instagram and other social media, especially when you use a popular tag like #love or #tbt.
Hashtags help Instagram understand your content and help them categorize it. But they don’t increase the number of people who see your posts.
That’s according to Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram at Facebook. Mosseri said that while some people think hashtags are essential for growing an audience, he doesn’t believe they make much difference in terms of views or contributions (the number of likes, comments, shares, and saves).
We can also point out that using popular hashtags can make your content disappear among hundreds or thousands of other pictures that use the same tags. So it’s hard for users to find anything interesting from multiple sources under one hashtag.
Here are things you should try because hashtags aren’t working anymore:
Use location tags in your posts
If you’re running a business or promoting something, the location tag is a great way to show where your product or service is located. You can also use it if you have an event and want people in the area to know about it. The same goes for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations: If someone sees one of your photos while they’re nearby, they’ll be more likely to stop by!
It can be tempting to focus on hashtags when growing your Instagram community, but other ways work just as well—and may even be better. Take advantage of these tips and give yourself an edge over competitors who don’t realize how effective these tricks are!
Do your research and see what other people in your niche are posting
* Do your research and see what other people in your niche are posting.
* Look for trends in your niche, like seasonal topics or holidays that may lend themselves well to a certain hashtag.
* Look for posts with a lot of engagement.
Engage with your audience by asking questions
There are two ways to engage with your audience on Instagram: by asking them questions or allowing them to engage with you. Use the Instagram Direct feature to ask questions. The direct message feature on Instagram is a great way to interact with your followers and potential customers in a private setting. For example, if you sell running shoes and want to know what kind of running shoes people wear for running marathons, you could ask that question directly in a direct message (DM). If someone responds by telling you what kind of shoes they wear, they may also answer any questions related to this topic later in the DM conversation.
Ask relevant questions that elicit responses from your followers/customers. Think about what type of content would get people engaged enough so they’re willing to respond? What kind of conversations would make people want more information from me? These are important things when trying out some new engagement tactics!
Run a giveaway or contest
If you’re looking for ways to grow your Instagram following without hashtags, running a giveaway or contest is one of the best things. People love free stuff and will follow you so that they have a chance at winning something. You don’t even have to give away anything super expensive—even something small like an iTunes gift card or a box of chocolates will attract people who want to win it.
When someone follows your account to enter the giveaway, they’ll see all your posts when they log onto Instagram. This allows them to engage with you more deeply and potentially make an emotional connection with what you’re posting and learn more about who you are as an individual (and, therefore, what kind of brand voice works best).
Additionally, running contests also help get people talking about whatever product/service/cause that they’re trying to promote. For instance, if someone wins a $100 Amazon gift card and uses their prize money on something like dog food? They might then post about their pet on social media, which could lead others to think, “oh wow, I never knew anyone else loved dogs this much!”
Create an Instagram Stories highlight reel to let your audience know what they can expect from you
This is a great way to give your followers a preview of your content and make it easy to find what they want. The best part is that you can easily edit the video with free video editing software.
You’ll show your Instagram handle for the first few seconds and then present your full name. This will help people remember who you are if they forget later on in life.
Next, start by listing some of your most popular posts from last year or even earlier this year! Be sure to use low-quality videos with terrible sound quality to look more authentic—don’t worry about being too flashy here! Everyone knows that Instagram stars don’t have time for fancy editing techniques anyway, right? Right!?
Ask for a follow in your bio
This is the best way to grow your Instagram following. When people visit your profile, they see what you like and what you’re into.
Here are some ideas:
Add a link to your bio that says “Follow me” or something similar that clearly shows the post’s intent (and doesn’t look spammy). You can also write “Follow me on Instagram,” another way of saying the same thing.
Ask for follow-in post captions. For example, say, “Follow me on Instagram.” It’s less direct than other options here, but it works well if done correctly and tastefully.
Reply to all the comments you get
When you reply to comments, you listen to your audience and care about them. When a user sees that you’re replying to their comment, they will feel more connected with you as a brand. The more people feel connected with your brand, the more likely they will become loyal customers or supporters of yours.
Replying to comments also shows that you are professional and know how to handle complaints or feedback positively. This can help build trust with potential customers because they know if there were ever an issue with a product/service purchased from your business, there would be someone there willing to help fix any problems as quickly as possible!
You can use live video to interact with your audience and promote different aspects of your brand. For example, if you’re a fashion blogger or retailer, go live when hosting a runway show with some of the models who wear your clothes. You could also go live for a product launch event or an exclusive sale that only runs for a limited time (like an in-store event). If you run an eCommerce store and launch new products on Instagram, use live video to share information about the new items before they’re available in stores.
If these scenarios don’t fit your business model, think about using live video as part of another type of promotion: contests! Contests have been around since humans realized they could write down words by pressing buttons on things called computers—but there is still no better platform than Instagram for hosting them!
The possibilities are endless for running giveaways and contests on social media platforms like Instagram; the important thing is that whatever contest you choose fits well within your niche community, so people will want to enter it!
Use Instagram Insights to improve your strategy
Instagram Insights is your best friend for growing a strong brand. It should be the first place you go after launching an Instagram account. Because we’re going for organic growth here, analyzing your following interests and behaviors is important so that you can tailor your content accordingly.
You might discover that people love videos of kittens but hate photos of food porn—or maybe they love both? Either way, if this insight helps you refine what type of content you’re creating moving forward (and where), then it’s worth paying attention to!
And while this type of information can help guide your strategy as an influencer or brand manager at any stage in the game (newly launched or established), there are two occasions when using this tool will be especially beneficial: early on when trying to grow an audience and later on when trying to stay relevant with a large one!
Tease your followers with a new product or service launch
You can tease your followers with a new product or service launch. This can be done in several ways, but the most impactful is sharing a sneak peek of what’s coming up.
A sneak peek will give them an idea of what is coming and get them excited about it. You could also give them a preview of the product or service, which gives them an even better idea of what they are getting themselves into.
If you want to give more information about your upcoming release, you could use this method because it provides more detail about your upcoming launch than just giving a sneak will do on its own.
Create an influencer marketing campaign
Influencer marketing is when a brand works with an influential person or group to promote its product. Influencers are often thought of as celebrities, but they can also be entertainers, athletes, bloggers, and regular people who have a large following on social media platforms like Instagram. Influencers create content about products or services for companies in exchange for monetary compensation or free products.
The benefits of working with influencers include:
* They are trusted brands in their own right and can encourage trust from potential customers by sharing their experiences using the product or service you provide
* They have built-in audiences who will see your content and may choose to purchase what you’re selling based on what the influencer recommends.
There are different reasons that someone might grow an Instagram account, but it is possible to do so if you have enough patience. One of the biggest keys to growing your Instagram account is patience, which we all need more of. Hasn’t it ever felt like you were waiting for something to happen or someone to respond?
The truth is that life is full of waiting. Waiting in lines at the grocery store, waiting while your food cooks in the microwave or oven, waiting for a movie to start at the theatre, the list goes on and on! And yes—even growing an Instagram account can take some time.
We hope these tips have helped you think of ways to grow your Instagram account. There are many things you can do to improve your engagement, but the most important thing is that they fit in with who you are and what kind of message you want to communicate. This means considering how much time it will take and whether it’s something your audience would want from you before implementing any strategy for growth.