Ep. 224: Instagram—What to Post and How to GROW Your Following

Instagram Growth Strategies for 2021

These tactics won’t cost you a dime.

To grow organically on Instagram simply means to grow your following for free. Especially for entrepreneurs who may be just starting out, we recommend that you begin by maximizing the potential of your content and reaping the benefits of engaging with other people’s content. You may find it a better strategy than shelling out precious funds to the best service for Instagram growth (whatever that might be).

Organic ways to grow Instagram followers

Some of the best organic Instagram growth can come from leveraging audiences you’ve won using other means and using content you’ve already developed.

Ask people to follow you

Yes, asking people to follow you is that obvious, that easy, and it doesn’t cost any money.

  • Capture your webinar attendees. Luke and Josh deliver value for about an hour but, before closing out, they put up a slide with their accounts and request attendees follow them. They’ve captured hundreds of new Instagram followers this way. You can do the same.
  • Create an email campaign. A simple thing to do is to include a request to follow you, along with your account information, in your email signature. That way your request appears in all your emails. But it’s a passive way to grow your following. You can be more proactive by creating a campaign with a goal to collect “x” number of new followers. Remember, however, to always provide value before asking for something in return.
  • Use Clubhouse to connect. Clubhouse is an invitation-only audio-chat social networking app. Although it has been around for less than a year, it has exploded in popularity. During the episode, Josh explains how it works, but the upshot is it’s become almost a part of the Clubhouse culture for participants to follow each other on Instagram.

Use your Instagram account like you would a business card

It goes without saying that your Instagram account should be included on all your collateral, but you’ll also benefit from thinking about your Instagram account as your new business card. Start giving your Instagram handle to anyone you would typically give a business card to.

The key, however, is to not only give someone your handle but also to get theirs. You’ve been taught to assume the sale. In the same manner, assume they’ll give you their account.

Be poised and ready—pull out your mobile phone while offering your account and then immediately ask for theirs while making eye contact. Enter it into your phone and start to follow them right away. An Instagram growth hack like this one gives you the benefit of engaging with them first.

Grow engagement on Instagram by first engaging with others

This tip is almost as obvious as asking for followers, but if you want users to engage with you, then you need to engage with them.

First, make sure that your profile is not set to private. If you’re going to grow your brand on Instagram, then allowing people to see your posts is one of the most effective ways to encourage people to know, like, and trust you.

Second, get into the habit of posting frequently and, every time you post, engage with the people you follow. Messages will be exchanged and eventually your posts will show up for them and their posts will show up for you.

Additionally, be sure to promote your posts in your story. As Luke has discovered, people who see your posts don’t necessarily see your story, so promoting allows different people to see your content.

Another idea is to send a voice or video direct message (DM) rather than text. Not only does it stand out because so few people do it, but a voice or video DM will also keep people engaged longer and on the platform longer, which is exactly what Instagram wants.

A final idea is a take-over. This is a super cool idea that can get your team and your clients involved to the benefit of all. Ask them to submit their videos and then tag them. At ReminderMedia, we have clients record themselves throughout the day showing what it is they do and how they use our products.

Content that will grow your ‘Gram

Remember that from a business perspective, your Instagram account is there to grow your business. But people don’t only want to hear about your company or services, and coming up with ideas for content that doesn’t have anything to do with your business can be a challenge for some.

You can borrow a solution from Jenna Kutcher, an Instagram influencer, who suggests having five topics, not related to your business, that you can comment on at any time and be authentic while doing it.

To get engagement with your content and have it seen, you can boost it.

You need an Instagram business page to boost, but once you have it, you can pick an audience for your content and then boost it for little money so that they see it on their page. What will begin to happen is people will like your posts, comment on them, and maybe save them. Promote that same content and you’ll begin to get traction, which will encourage others to also like and comment.

Avoid the shortcuts

Maximizing the potential of your content by promoting it and engaging with others are easy ways to grow Instagram followers. They’re also legitimate because they allow you to use the platform the way it was meant to be used. The growth you’ll experience is real and not reliant on having to pay someone to create fake followers or using bots to automatically like posts.

You might be tempted to use these kinds of shortcuts (anything to make life easier, right?), but they eventually waste your money and energy. Instagram rewards engagement, which fake followers and bots don’t provide.

There’s also the notion of tit for tat.

Imagine paying out all kinds of cash to end up marketing to empty accounts. You wouldn’t like it, and it’s guaranteed that brands poised to lose $1.3 billion on shell accounts don’t like it either. Fortunately, Instagram has been cracking down on these behaviors since they violate its terms of service.

Additionally, fake followers can cause you to develop a false sense of security, leading you to believe you have more followers than you do. That can really screw up your analytics, and if your numbers drive your business decisions as they should, you could do yourself and your business some real damage.

Instead, stick with popular content that your audience likes. Encourage reciprocity by engaging with the content of other Instagram users. Think of your Instagram account as your new kind of business card and exchange handles with others. Follow the advice suggested here, and you’ll gain a loyal following.


Key Points

  • To increase the number of followers, strive to leverage your other audiences and other content.
  • When using Instagram, and any social media platform, your goal is to keep people on the platform for as long as possible. Let that goal inform your strategy.
  • Take a tip from Jenna Kutcher, an Instagram influencer, and select five topics you can always post about.
  • Always include a call to action and use analytics to track performance.

Action Item

Start to engage with others by either liking or commenting on their posts every time you are on Instagram.

Connect | Resources

Get made-for-you Instagram posts with your ReminderMedia membership at remindermedia.com/platform.



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