How to grow your Instagram profile organically

June 15, 2023
15 min read
Key results: 1.1 million impressions
Alja Skrt posing for Samsung campaign

Table of contents

Create valuable content for you customers

71% of businesses  use Instagram to market their products and services. To stand out from the competition, it's important to have a clear story that resonates with your target audience. According to a recent study, users engage more with accounts that have a consistent visual aesthetic. Therefore, it's important to create a consistent look and feel for your brand.

  • Decide what your story is.
  • Create 3-5 content areas that support the broader narrative.
  • Refuse to publish anything that does not fit into your story.
  • Post this content consistently.

💡 Let me give you an example of a company that sells organic skincare products:

"Our mission is to empower women to feel confident and beautiful in their own skin by providing them with high-quality, organic skincare products that are both effective and sustainable.  We're not just selling skincare products - we're promoting a lifestyle that's healthy for both you and the planet."

Based on this story, the company could create content around topics such as natural ingredients, sustainable packaging, and the benefits of organic skincare. They could also share customer testimonials and educational content about the impact of skincare products on the environment. By consistently posting content that aligns with their story, they'll be more likely to attract and retain customers who share their values.

Research your space

Find out what types of content get the most organic engagement and reach.

Use Instagram Insights to track your performance and find out which posts get the most response.

90% of Instagram users follow at least one business on the platform. Discover neighbouring brands that can help you reach new audiences and accelerate your growth. Use brands you know to discover neighbouring brands you don't know yet. Study their content.

Search for relevant hashtags to learn what powerful content looks like. Hashtags can help you reach a wider audience and increase your brand's visibility. However, it's important that you use them strategically and only use relevant hashtags in your posts.

Instagram "predicts" what content you'll like and interact with in the future based on your past behaviour. There are three key ranking signals (interest, recency and relationship) that can help you optimise your content and increase your chances of appearing in your followers' feeds.

  • Interest — Instagram uses past behavior to "predict" which content you'll enjoy seeing and engaging with in the future.
  • Recency — Recent posts are prioritized above older posts.
  • Relationship — Instagram prioritizes content from accounts you interact with frequently.

Optimise your posting strategy

Your Instagram profile is like a mini website for your brand.

Steps to optimise it:

  1. Username: Add your business name to the front of the username for SEO reasons. Make sure it's clear and easy to remember.
  2. Name and description: Add relevant industry keywords to the name field to increase searchability. Use the description to give a brief overview of what your brand is all about and what value you provide to your customers.
  3. Highlights: Show your best stories (results, valuable tips, PR). Use highlight covers that are visually appealing and relevant to your brand.
  4. Home feed: For evergreen content that accurately reflects your brand and the specific value you provide. Posts should complement each other to create a cohesive grid and aesthetic. Use high-quality images and videos, and make sure the captions are engaging and relevant.
  5. Profile picture: Use a high-quality image that represents your brand, such as your logo.
  6. Contact information: Make it easy for customers to contact you by including your email address, phone number, or website link.
  7. Call-to-action (CTA): Use a clear CTA in your bio to encourage visitors to take action, such as "Shop now" or "Sign up for our newsletter."
  8. Hashtags: Use relevant hashtags in your bio to increase your visibility and reach new audiences.
  9. Link in bio: Use a link in your bio to direct visitors to your website, online store, or other social media profiles.
  10. Branded content: If you collaborate with other brands or influencers, make sure to tag them in your posts and use the branded content tool to comply with Instagram's guidelines.
  11. Story highlights: Use highlights to showcase your best stories and give visitors a better understanding of your brand and what you offer.
  12. Analytics: Use Instagram Insights to track your performance and see what's working and what's not. Use this data to optimize your content and improve your engagement.
  13. Consistency: Make sure your profile is consistent across all your social media platforms and website. Use the same branding, messaging, and visuals to create a cohesive brand identity.
  14. Interaction: Interact with your followers and other accounts on Instagram by liking and commenting on their posts, responding to comments on your own posts, and participating in conversations and hashtags related to your industry.
  15. Stay up-to-date: Keep up with the latest Instagram trends, features, and updates to stay relevant and keep your profile fresh and engaging.

Post content that engages people

Experiment with different types of content to find out what works best for your brand. These include:

  • Feed posts: These are your standard posts that appear on your profile grid. They can include photos, videos, or carousels of multiple images.
  • Reels: These are short, 15-30 second videos that are displayed on a separate Reels tab on your profile. They can be a great way to showcase your brand's personality and creativity.
  • Stories: These are short-lived posts that appear at the top of your followers' feeds. They can include photos, videos, or text overlays, and are a great way to share behind-the-scenes moments and connect with your audience in a more personal way.
  • Highlights: These are collections of your best Stories that you can save to your profile for ongoing viewing. They can be a great way to showcase your brand's products or services, or to provide valuable information or inspiration to your followers.
  • How-tos: These are instructional posts or videos that show your followers how to do something. They can be a great way to provide value to your audience and position your brand as an authority in your industry.

Increase reach and get more followers

Remember that people who visit your profile page are more likely to follow you if:

  • They understand your value without having to think much. (make it obvious what you do)
  • They can identify with a particular topic that matches their interests. (they believe in same thing as you such as organic products for example)
  • They feel that your profile is genuine, active and focused on the target audience and not on themselves. (don’t just sell, give value)

Be the life of the party and Interact with brands and personal accounts

Allocate at least 20 minutes per day to interact with other accounts such as brands, influencers and their followers:

  • Make sure you like and reply to comments on your brand page.
  • Keep an eye on neighbouring brands.
  • Interact with stories and reels.
  • Like and comment on your followers' posts.

Use Instagram Ads as a added helper

While organic growth is important, Instagram ads can also be a powerful tool to grow your profile. You can create targeted ads that reach your ideal audience and drive traffic to your profile. This can be particularly useful if you're launching a new product or running a special promotion. However, I want to make it clear that this will only help grow your following if you ensure that you're adding value to the people who see your ads and visit your profile.

With these tips, you are well on your way to growing your Instagram profile organically. Remember to create valuable content, research your space, optimise your posting strategy, interact with other accounts, and do not forget to have fun!

With a little effort and creativity, you are sure to attract and retain followers who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.

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