If you’re still utilizing organic Instagram growth strategies from last year, you may have noticed a decline in your business’ organic reach and engagement.
As Instagram continues to evolve, your agency or business must continue to adopt new growth strategies to keep the momentum going.
Marketers have been left something to desire with the available Instagram marketing tools. The platform has some unique traits that have made it a bit trickier of a beast to master.
For one, up until Feb. 2021, there weren’t many legitimate fully-functional marketing tools for Instagram available. Many were spammy nonsense that usually resulted in a flagged IG account.
If that wasn’t discouraging enough, marketers have traditionally struggled to drive link clicks and conversions from Instagram. With only one decent way to add a link to Instagram Story posts, the “Swipe Up” option, which is exclusive for accounts with 10k+ followers. Most businesses have been left with the “Link in bio” option, which is generally an ineffective method.
Alas, the Instagram lead gen drought has ended! As official Messenger Partners, MobileMonkey was able to have dibs on utilizing the new API-friendly Feb. 2021 Instagram update.
Already how to grow your Instagram in 2021 is looking a lot different than 2020. Are you keeping up? By the end of this article, you will be all up-to-date on the best Instagram growth strategies.
Get ready to revive your dying Instagram page or launch a new wildly popular and magnetic business account!
How to Get More Followers on Instagram
Do “Likes” and “Followers” really matter to businesses?
Yes! Of course, so long as they are meaningful. If you’re a restaurant in Boston, you probably won’t be benefiting from an uptick in action from users in Russia. 🤔
The key to climbing to the top of the newsfeed, and staying on top, as with everything in social media, is engagement. Essentially, Likes help your posts reach more people.
That is, if the Likes are legit. Instagram’s algo AI is turbo smart. Fake or paid engagement tactics, like so many Instagram growth services out there, are not going to help.
Marketers might fuss over what is considered “growth” anymore, to some extent, but we should all be able to agree that it’s more engaged followers and more targeted traffic to your business pages.
That’s where the autoresponders and Instagram DM and mention auto-reply tools really shine, effectively guiding your leads through a sales funnel or whatever lead gen strategy you use.
Build Your Community
To be successful on Instagram, you have to invest resources into interacting with and being proactive about conversational marketing (and then follow up for 10X more conversions using conversational remarketing, a highly effective retargeting strategy).
It doesn’t matter if you are a small business owner just starting out or a massive agency or corporation with a fleet of social media marketers managing multiple accounts, the practice and tools remain the same.
You might say Instagram is a pretty level playing field, especially when you consider leveraging hashtag marketing and organic Instagram growth hacks.
Actually, this advice works beyond Instagram. If you want to build a community that genuinely cares about your company and products or services, put in a few minutes every day to like, comment, and give thanks and respect to your followers.
Not only that, but by engaging with the trending hashtags for your target audience, you will gain followers on Instagram that are likely interested in your brand. It’s like putting a lead gen kettle on simmer, slowly and consistently filling your sales funnels.
But who wants “simmering” leads… go for boiling-over hot! What marketer wouldn’t want leads that are literally sending you a DM looking for your products or services?
One more rhetorical question, what marketer wouldn’t want to instantly reply with a lead capturing chat drip sequence to said DMs?
Which brings us to our first and best organic Instagram growth strategy, instant DM replies to drive traffic to your landing pages.
Best Organic Instagram Growth Strategies
You want growth without having to waste money or your credibility on a scammy “organic Instagram growth service.”
Of course, there are legitimate folks out there selling Instagram growth services. But we can all likely agree that the scams are a persistent player in the game of social media marketing land.
These 16 best organic Instagram growth strategies are all 100% approved by Instagram. In fact, as Messenger Partners, MobileMonkey’s Instagram tools are certifiably awesome and safe to use.
Best Organic Instagram Growth Strategy #1 – Create Instant Replies to Incoming DMs
As social media grows bigger and becomes more saturated, people are gravitating towards direct messaging and the more one-on-one or intimate features of social channels. But you don’t have to take my word for it, even Gary Vee agrees.
“Instagram DM (Direct Message) is the single biggest networking or business development opportunity of this decade.”– Gary Vaynerchuck
If you have a significant following, just hearing the words “instant” and “DMs” in the same sentence is probably exciting.
Understandable, considering the Instagram DM inbox has been an arbitrary tool in general, and a tough nut to crack for most marketers, until the Feb. 2021 API marriage with Facebook Messenger.
instantly reply when people DM your Instagram Page
Now, you can auto-reply to DMs and streamline your overflowing DM inbox into one master omnichannel inbox with OmniChat®. The MobileMonkey Instagram Bot is going to change influencers’ lives, or at least make their social media manager’s job easier.
The first time someone sends you a DM you can send them an instant welcome message. MobileMonkey lets you instantly reply when people DM your Instagram Page and lets you send a welcome message on their first DM.
Here’s another example:
Best Organic Instagram Growth Strategy #2 – Post High-Quality Content
Successful IG accounts have good engagement because they create and provide high-quality content.
Whether the content is compelling and dynamic imagery, or links to thought leadership articles, or making things easy on your followers with new technology (like Messenger chatbot for Instagram).
The key to good content that spurs organic engagement on Instagram is being helpful.
A simple positive message or inspirational quote can drive more engagement than a sophisticated analysis or self-promoting post.
Earn your followers’ trust with helpful resources and recommendations before you ask them to engage with your brand.
Just like cold calls work, maybe 1% of the time (if that), cold prospecting on social media is similar. You have to develop a repertoire before leaning into your services and product offerings.
Best Organic Instagram Growth Strategy #3 – Auto-respond to Comments
All of these Instagram growth strategies are going to improve your engagement, without fail, guaranteed.
The organic way of doing anything on social media involves engagement.
It’s just the way the algorithms work.
If you want your posts to be seen in newsfeeds, you’re going to have to either be glued to your phone, ready to pounce on every commenter and DM, or utilize a chatbot. MobileMonkey was one of the first to offer approved Instagram tools with this capability.
But everyone hates bots! This isn’t that type of chatbot. 🤖🚫
MobileMonkey offers a unique conversational chatbot that only responds when engaged first. On Instagram, this can be in the form of a comment on a post, a mention in a Story, or a Direct Message (DM).
No spammy practices, just honest and prompt customer support — the type of chatbots people want. Over 63 percent of people would consider messaging an online chatbot to communicate with a business or brand, according to Mindshare.
Not to mention the thirty-seven percent of Americans who say they are willing to make a purchase through a chatbot, according to DigitasLBi.
Enough? Not yet.
- According to a survey by OpenMarket, 75% of customers prefer to text or chat with businesses.
- 53% of customers would rather chat with businesses to solve problems more quickly. (Ovum).
- 55% of customers are more likely to do business with a company if they can text them (LivePerson).
Once a user triggers the autoresponder, the Instagram chatbot follows a conversational sequence that can capture emails, drive traffic to your website, trigger a live agent takeover, follow-up and remarket, and much more.
Best Organic Instagram Growth Strategy #4 – Post at the Best Time
Almost every research study points to the same general optimal time to post for businesses.
The best time of day to post on Instagram is during the business week, around midday. This is when you’re going to consistently have the highest engagement.
You should be posting and engaging on Instagram during business hours — by utilizing social media scheduling software like Later or Sprout Social, of course.
You can post on the weekends, too, but just don’t flood your followers’ Instagram feeds with useless content, always make it meaningful and make sure that your Instagram posts are on-brand.
Best Organic Instagram Growth Strategy #5 – Be Responsive
If you’re not responding to DMs and mentions, you are not using Instagram correctly.
You will never experience organic Instagram growth without engaging with your audience. The moment you start responding to people, is the moment your page is going to start blowing up. It’s that simple… sort of.
There is no chance for failure when you post quality content and respond to comments and mentions. This good Instagram hygiene alone will keep your clients’ or brand’s accounts afloat.
Finally you can forego hiring multiple VAs to respond from their mobile phones to your DMs. With the OmniChat® inbox they are all neatly organized and ready to be assigned out to anyone on a PC, Mac, or any device.
But, it takes more if you want the explosive organic Instagram growth promised in the title of this article. You have to be proactive.
Enter Instagram hashtag marketing.
Best Organic Instagram Growth Strategy #6 – Use Hashtag Marketing
There is probably no better way to organically grow your reach, engagement, and following on Instagram than by utilizing effective hashtag marketing tactics.
Hashtags run deep. Don’t always go after the big fish. Some popular hashtags are so established and heavily utilized that you have an infinitely small chance to rank on that hashtag’s page.
So, instead of attacking every Instagram post with #marketing (appx. 52 million posts), opt for something more granular or niche like #growthmarketingtips (appx. 1,500 posts). This will be more effective.
Consider your target demographics and what hashtags they might be interested in following. If you are trying to sell small batch organic tofu in Portland, Oregon, it is logical you would use hashtags like #portlandvegans and #veganportland, etc.
Best Organic Instagram Growth Strategy #7 – Use Hashtag and Geolocation Stickers on Instagram Stories
Hashtag marketing isn’t limited to captions and comments.
Instagram Stories have become wildly popular. It’s a more raw and organic way to share content. Stories flow like… a story, when done correctly. Follow Instagram Stories best practices and you can’t go wrong tapping into this growth channel.
- Digital agencies are reporting up to 2-3X more engagement with Instagram Stories versus other post types.
- Over one-third of Stories with the most views are posted by businesses.
- 81% of people utilize Instagram to inform their purchases for products and services.
Besides hashtags, you can add geolocation tags and links to Instagram Stories! Adding a link to Instagram Stories is easy with MobileMonkey.
Geolocation tags will get you in front of an exponentially wider audience. Every person who is curious to see what’s happening in a certain location, and taps your tagged locale, will potentially see your post.
Best Organic Instagram Growth Strategy #8 – Use a Comment Guard
Once you start doing well on Instagram, you’re going to want help managing the action.
While you could hire a pricey social media manager, it might be within your wheelhouse to take advantage of MobileMonkey’s Instagram messenger tools, which can automatically respond to designated keywords in your comments.
Setting up a comment guard (shown above) will help you in your efforts.
With Comment Autoresponders, you will add a link to your Instagram posts and automatically respond when a follower comments.
Instagram Comment Autoresponders help marketers send Instagram audiences through custom-tailored marketing funnels with automated efficiency.
You won’t sound robotic either. This feature can (and should) be customized and applied to individual and specific posts. You can set up your Instagram comment bots for keyword and keyphrase recognition.
MobileMonkey helps guide your followers through an intelligent funnel, directing them to your website or to any asset you’d like to show them, since you’ll hopefully be providing valuable information to those who engage with you.
If you’re not able to respond to DMs, mentions, and comments, this will end up being a HUGE missed opportunity, not to mention become a poor reflection of you and your business’s customer service capabilities and professionalism.
Best Organic Instagram Growth Strategy #9 – Develop an Eye for Visual Storytelling and a Voice to Accompany It
It’s easy to spot an amateur on Instagram.
The platform has its roots in, and is essentially all about the visual experience. If you aren’t a DSLR photography hobbyist, just use your smartphone for optimized photos, filters, and effects.
Instagram has been a great space for creatives and anyone with an artistic eye. It can also be attributed to the rise in influencer stardom.
With over one billion monthly active users on Instagram, it has become a powerful space for brand awareness and reaching new market audiences for businesses.
What really sets apart the most influential brands and influencers is their ability to tie their photography in with their captions in a way that intrigues without screaming “look at me, look at me!” or being overly flashy.
This is where you develop an Instagram style. In your writing as well as your imagery.
Consider your grid, how the “big picture” of your Instagram page might look, and strategize accordingly. Your grid is also a fantastic way to tell an ongoing narrative that keeps users engaged, waiting for the next post or story.
Best Organic Instagram Growth Strategy #10 – Promotions, Contests, and Influencer Marketing
Make sure that you mix up your content to skyrocket your organic Instagram growth, which means providing promotions and contests to boost interest and engagement.
On Instagram, millennials are the top demographic, and only 1% reportedly trust advertisements. What’s the answer? Instagram influencer marketing of course!
Try to collaborate with influencers whenever you can — and this might mean micro-influencers as well as nano-influencers.
Nano-influencers(1,000 to 10,000 followers) have a smaller and more niche/targeted following than, say, Kylie Jenner who is a mega influencer (over 5 million followers).
Nano-influencers often garner a higher engagement rate of 7.2% compared to the 1.1% engagement rate of accounts in the 100,000 followers domain.
You can also provide discounts for your products and/or services, which will help attract new followers to your Instagram page.
This practice/tactic will help establish trust in your business or organization.
Instagram influencers are extremely resourceful — they can (and will) talk about and rave about your business while posting subtle (or not-so-subtle) content about your brand to their followers, which will help you continue your organic Instagram growth.
The question on most marketers and business owner’s minds is:
“What’s the point of having organic Instagram growth without that growth translating in dollars?”
Organic Instagram growth is all about having a plan for the long haul while taking small methodical steps toward your goals every single day.
If you only do one thing suggested from this article, sign up with MobileMonkey for the most consistent and automated organic Instagram growth.