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Digital Marketing 9 min read

12 Stellar Instagram Organic Growth Hacks that Will Drive ROI

Sarah Harris photo

Written by Sarah Harris

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 21 Dec 2022

It often seems impossible to achieve consistent, significant results on Instagram without resorting to paid options. Many small and medium businesses compare themselves to the seemingly effortless success of large brands and high-profile influencers and determine that Instagram organic growth is a waste of time for their brand.

When smaller brands often struggle to achieve results, is it worth trying to earn more organic followers? The good news is that organic reach is still possible for SMBs — you just need the right strategy. 

Start by infusing your Instagram marketing strategy with these 12 organic growth hacks.

1. Set Goals and Learn to Track Your Statistics

Increasing your Instagram organic growth is a great goal, but it’s also pretty vague. Start by clearly defining your goals in a measurable way: How many organic followers do you want to gain? How quickly do you want to meet that goal? Is there a certain conversion rate that means success for you?

Other metrics might include:

  • Increased engagement
  • More traffic to your website
  • Successful hashtag campaigns

If you haven’t done so, convert your Instagram account to a business one. This will give you access to free analytics tools that you can use to track your Instagram marketing strategy.

We put this step first for a reason: Good analytics should never be an afterthought. It’s worth spending a bit of time mastering Meta’s Instagram management tools so you can stay on top of your campaigns and evaluate the success of your campaigns.

2. Accelerate Instagram Organic Growth with Video

Video is unmatched in its ability to start conversations, earn shares, and boost your follower count on Instagram. Think back to your research on other brands — it’s unlikely that you’ve come across successful Instagram marketing strategies that don’t use video heavily. 

Instagram is heavily invested in supporting video content, as clearly shown by the changes to its platform over the years. The good news is that these changes have brought many ways to present videos to your followers, whether by using in-feed videos, Instagram stories, live videos, or Reels. Evaluate your options carefully, select the ideal option for your goals, and don’t be afraid to change things up if you aren’t getting the results you want.

If you aren’t already using video on Instagram, now is the time to start. Here are a few additional tips for using videos to earn more organic followers on Instagram:

Vertical Is King

Instagram is designed for vertical video, since most users scroll on their phones. If you aren’t used to shooting vertically, get some practice. This way, you can present your video content more naturally.

Cross-Promote Video Content

Get the most out of your videos by repurposing them across Instagram. For example, you can take a sixty-second in-feed video and add that to your story. Then, identify a potentially viral moment or two and post these clips to your Reels. Finally, don’t forget to add the videos you share in your story to your story highlights.

Vary Your Content-Length

Short-form video is unique in its ability to grab attention and capture engagement in mere seconds. Many brands enjoy a huge boost to their follower count by capitalizing on this format. With that in mind, you should leverage this trend by leaning into Reels to earn more Instagram organic followers. 

However, it would be a mistake to focus only on short-format videos. Instead, you should create a variety of video content of varying lengths to maximize your approach and build engagement across different demographics. Then, use Instagram management tools to identify which video types perform best for your brand.

3. Share Inspirational Quotes from Influential People

Start conversations and give your brand a reason to interact with influencers. Seek out relevant quotes to your audience, and share them as Instagram posts. Remember to give proper credit by sourcing the quote correctly, tagging the influencer. Who knows? You might even get their attention.

You can also use quotes to start a healthy debate and increase engagement. Don’t forget to add a caption — your followers also want to see your thoughts.

4. Take Part in Conversations

If you can turn an Instagram post into a conversation, that’s a good thing. It’s a good indicator that your content is generating reactions among your target audience. 

But don’t just sit back and watch the comment section grow without you; jump in and engage! People will appreciate the fact that you’re listening to their thoughts. You’ll learn quite a bit about your followers too.

5. Create the Right Hashtags

Instagram hashtags are a powerful tool, but only if used correctly. Too many brands use very popular but generic keywords and get lost in search results, especially since every other Instagram account is using these same keywords.

So use hashtags, but do it strategically. Top Instagram marketing strategies implement unique, memorable, branded hashtags. This is key to making your posts as discoverable as possible.

6. Repurpose Your Tweets

To create a strong presence on Instagram, you must post engaging content regularly. That’s not always easy when you’re also running a business. So consider ways to build up your content with regular posts without doubling your efforts.

Are you active on Twitter? If so, consider taking the interesting thoughts and insights you share on Twitter and repurposing them in image format to share with your Instagram audience.

7. Attract Followers Quickly by Defining Your Brand

Some people will follow your account based on a clever post or two. Others will because they’re already familiar with your brand. However, most will decide to follow you after just a few seconds of checking out your Instagram bio. You need to win these users over quickly. Here are some tips for doing just that:

  • Choose a descriptive name that is easy to search
  • Use relevant keywords in your bio
  • Add up-to-date contact information
  • List your services
  • Make your target audience clear
  • Show your personality

Remember that you need to grab attention quickly if you want to give people a good reason to follow you.

8. Use Stickers to Make Your Stories Engaging

Stickers are a useful Instagram feature that can make your stories more interesting. You can add a sticker to ask a question, poll your audience, or share an emoji slider. These are easy to use and tend to generate increased audience engagement, since they make it easy for your audience to interact with your posts. Someone who may not be inclined to type out a comment can click on your sticker very easily.

9. Follow Your Followers Back

Let your followers know that you value their presence by following them back. If it makes sense, read a few of their posts and like or comment. They’ll appreciate the engagement and be more responsive to your posts in the future.

However, be wary of bots and fake followers. This is an important part of social media community management.

10. Write Great Captions

You should always share your highest-quality videos and images on Instagram. After all, it is primarily a visual platform. However, you shouldn’t ignore the importance of your captions. The best-performing posts will usually pair a great picture with a clever or compelling caption. So take time to write something thoughtful.

11. Invite User-Generated Content

Your content won’t have the same impact on your audience as user-generated content. That’s because people trust their peers more than they trust brands. Also, user-generated content invites a lot of shares and other engagement. 

People feel good when their stories, experiences, and opinions get attention online. So look for brand mentions on Instagram, then share those posts. You can also reach out to your most loyal followers and ask them to share pictures of your products. Combine this with a branded hashtag for even more powerful results when reaching Instagram organic followers.

12. Hold a Giveaway

People love getting something for free. As such, giveaways are an exceptionally effective tool for building a larger audience and creating enthusiasm around your brand. 

Instagram Organic Growth Still Works

Don’t let anyone tell you that chasing organic growth on Instagram is a waste of time. Small and medium businesses can still make an impact with their brand and earn more organic followers on Instagram, even when facing fierce competition. Experienced social media marketing agencies know that Instagram is still a great option, and by following these 12 tips, you can improve your organic reach today.

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Sarah Harris photo

Sarah Harris

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed