Instagram has gone through some big changes in the last 12 months and that means we have
So I had been working on some new strategies and some new techniques and just been playing
around on the app, and I wanted to share with you my new Instagram growth strategy for this
year. Grow Your Instagram Organically By These Tips.
TIPS AND TRICKS | To Grow Your Instagram Organically
And that has had a huge effect on how we quantify success on the Instagram platform, because
it used to be all about vanity metric, which, if you watch this video, you’ll know that
I don’t really love because vanity metrics really don’t tell you much.
And also it was having a huge effect on how creators and anyone using the app was using
it, because people were afraid to post because they were afraid they weren’t going to get
enough vanity metrics, likes, etc.
And also bigger influencers, and people that were trying to grow their followings were
using these reactive tactics to just get likes.
And sometimes that can affect the quality and the intention and the ethics behind what
you’re posting on the platform.
So I’m really excited to see this change, but like I said, it does mean that we have
to adapt a little bit.
So I created a whole bunch of notes.
I’m going to keep looking down just to make sure that I’ve got all of them.
But the first thing is that for me, what trumps your vanity metrics now is your reach.
So the thing that I focus most on when it comes to Instagram now, is I focus on how
much reach is my content getting.
Because that tells you a lot about how much people are valuing your content.
And the more reach you get, the more you’re going to grow your account.
So instead of focusing on things like likes and comments, I’m more focused on creating
content that people are going to be super excited to share, particularly to share on
their stories, because it’s really easy and Instagram’s made it really easy for you to
take somebody else’s post and share it onto your own story.
So I’ve been playing around with that strategy for a little bit now and I’m working on creating
a lot more graphic posts.
And the posts that I know get shared a lot, now this goes back to a point I make often,
which is you have to know your metrics.
So you want to pay attention to, on each individual post, which posts are getting saved the most,
and which posts are getting shared the most, and sent via direct message, or sent to people’s
Because when you figure that out, you know what kind of content to create to get more
shares, because more shares get more reach.
So you really want to pay attention to that metric.
And that is probably the biggest metric I’ll be focusing on.
And so your reach refers to the total number of people who’ve actually seen your content.
Your impressions is how many people have seen your content, times how many times they saw
So it’s a little bit of a crazy number that I don’t really pay attention to.
I’m more so pay attention to reach.
Now if you watch this video, the Instagram algorithm updates, which I made not too long
ago, I talked about the three ranking factors on Instagram, and how all of the social platforms
are pretty similar.
There’s a ranking system on YouTube, there’s a ranking system on Instagram.
So to get your content seen by more people, you have to pay attention to those ranking
signals, which are interest, which is the thing that I’m focused on most now.
It basically means the content that is actually interesting to your audience and is getting
the most time spent on it.
So the other thing that you’re paying attention to is, are you making content that keeps people
on your content?
So if you make a post in your feed, are people actually taking the time to look at it, read
So this comes along with long-form captions, swipe posts.
So getting people to swipe through, that’s been a tactic that I’ve been playing with.
That is huge right now, and making a big difference to the amount of interest that your posts
get because people are spending more time looking at your posts, and that’s what a way
that Instagram values the amount of interest in your content.
So if you make posts that keep people on it for longer in your feed, then it makes a big
The amount of interest you’re getting and the more interest you get, the more Instagram’s
algorithm sees you as an account that they should boost more in the algorithm.
So interest is the thing I’m most interested in.
So things with my face in them, and text graphics, tend to get the most interest.
So those are the things that I’m doubling down on.
So you have to figure out through your analytics, what are the things that you’re looking at
doubling down on.
So the next thing is relationships, which I talked about a lot in my five minutes Instagram
growth video, because that’s a big part of how I use Instagram, is to actually talk to
So I love using my DMs, I love talking to people in the comments, because I know the
more relationships I build, the more authority I have inside of the Instagram algorithm as
And then the next thing is timeliness.
Because, let’s face it, feed posts just don’t get the kind of love that they used to.
And so I am very intentional with my feed post.
I’ve talked about a lot that I don’t post often in my feed, but when I do, I’m very,
very intentional with it, and I want it to be something that’s going to get reach.
And so I put a lot into it, and I made this video on how I post to Instagram, to break
down my whole process that goes behind the feed posts.
So being really intentional with your feed posts, and also understanding the times of
day when your audience is most active and most likely to see your content, because the
feed on Instagram is based on timeliness.
So the most recent posts, or the posts that get seen.
So you want to post at a time when your audience is actually active on the platform, so it
pops up at the top of their feeds, so you get more engagement, etc.
So those are the things you really need to be paying attention to.
And that sets the stage here, but I’m more focused than ever on making content that makes
people stop, stare and read.
That’s really what I want to be creating.
Whether that is a text graphic with a minimal caption, but at least it makes people stare
at the content and read it, and share it.
Or, it’s a picture of me with a long caption that makes people read the actual caption,
again, spend more time there.
Or, it’s a swipe post in a combination of all of those things, where I have more than
one image in the feed post, and people have to swipe through to get the whole story.
Because again, that creates more interest in my content, which creates more authority
in the algorithm.
So the thing that I wanted to touch on when it comes to these quotes and these images,
image graphics and all that stuff is that, I’m trying to focus on creating those graphics
that are generic, I guess, which sounds maybe a little bit weird, but I want to create graphics
that anyone would be happy to share on their feed.
Because you have to take that into consideration, because if you have a certain aesthetic that
is your brand, it makes it less shareable for other people, sometimes.
So I like just sticking with black and white, because I know for me, if I’m going to share
something, generally it’s a black and white quote.
And I like to keep it sort of neutral in the branding, because I’m not apt to share a quote
or a graphic or something on my feed or on my story that’s like turquoise, blue and yellow.
I’m just not.
I find that black and white’s the easiest, and becomes the most shareable thing.
So that’s really what I’m playing around with, and we’re creating a whole bunch of them behind
the scenes for my Instagram account.
And the final thing is, I have found that IGTV is extremely shareable content, and it
is the searchable content on Instagram to a certain extent.
And so I’ve been playing around more with IGTV and I’ve been repurposing a lot of our
content onto HGTV, especially tutorial-based content, because that’s the content, generally,
that creates the most interest and creates the most engagement.
And IGTV, Instagram TV, is something that people tend to share more on their stories,
especially if it’s educational, value-based content.
So, very similar to how you create a YouTube video, you tackle Instagram TV the same way.
I’m seeing a lot of fitness tutorials do really well on Instagram, or makeup tutorials, etc,
or even business tutorials.
Those things are shareable because they’re valuable content.
So IGTV is something else that we’re playing with.
I’m not making specific content, really, for IGTV, but we’re using a lot of our content
from YouTube and from other platforms, repurposed onto that platform.
So the next thing is understanding the different layers of Instagram.
And this is something I’ve done a lot of thinking about, but really there are three layers to
There’s going deep, with people in your stories, and that’s your ephemeral content.
And I use my stories to be more consistent on the platform and to stay active, and to
make sure that I’m still of interest to my audience, because why?
The more interest your audience has in you, the more that you get weighted in the algorithm
in a positive way.
So I use it to stay active, show the behind the scenes of my life, behind the scenes of
my business, do mini-tutorial, share testimonials.
That’s what I use my Instagram stories for.
But the other thing I use it for is I leverage my Instagram stories to drive more engagement
to my post.
So one of my little tactics is that, if I can get more people paying attention to my
Instagram stories, then more people will actually see my posts, because they share my posts
in my Instagram stories.
So my feed posts.
So one thing that I’ve been doing, which I really just love doing, is I give away a Starbucks
gift card randomly.
Oh, you know what that means.
Every time I get another thousand subscribers on Instagram, as a little thank you, the coffee,
the tea, whatever you want at Starbucks is on me.
On my Instagram stories.
And my audience now knows this.
And so a lot of them have turned on their posts notifications for my stories, and for
my Instagram feed posts.
So that means more eyeballs when my content goes up.
So doing random giveaways, random contests on your stories, drives a lot more eyeballs,
and making sure you’re asking your audience to turn on their notifications, so that you
get more eyeballs on your content when it goes live.
So that’s been one of the tactics that’s worked really, really well for me.
So the next thing is your feed, which is wide.
Your feed is the searchable thing and the discoverable thing on Instagram.
Your story is too, to a certain extent, but if you’re really going to get seen on the
popular page and all of that stuff, I would say your feed is where you want to focus more
so than anything.
So I’m, like I said, really intentional with my feed.
I’m also a big proponent of real and raw photos.
I stopped doing brand photoshoots because I found that they just weren’t relatable to
people, and I think that’s what we’re all craving is relatable content.
And keeping people on my content longer.
As I mentioned earlier.
So, swipe posts, long-form captions, graphic posts, etc., to make people really stop, stare
at and read.
That’s my big thing for this new growth strategy.
And recency and timeliness.
So, capitalizing on things as they’re happening at the moment to be sharing about, and knowing
when my audience is active so that I can post when they’re actually going to see it in their
feed and it’s not going to get pushed to the bottom.
So the app that I use for that, which I know some of you don’t like, but it’s worked really
well for me, I’ve never had an issue and it’s called WhenToPost, but you can also go into
your Instagram analytics, and you can see when your audience is most active, and that’s
going to tell you when to post.
So you don’t need to use that app, you can use just Instagram analytics as well.
And then hashtags.
So I’ve talked about my hashtag strategy before, the tool that I use, that I talk about all
the time cause I love it so much is called a flick.tech.
It has been the easiest way for me to figure out how to pick the right hashtags for Instagram.
Now, I pick hashtags for two reasons.
One, to make my content more discoverable and searchable when I post it in my feed,
and two, to actually do outreach to people to join my community.
So if you watch this video on my five-minute growth strategy, you’ll see how I use hashtags
to build my audience by doing outreach.
But in the terms of getting my content found in the feed, I do something, some sort of
a mixture of hashtags really.
And it used to be that it was like, five that were between zero and 50,000 etc., searches
But now I use flick, it just shows me low competition, medium competition and high competition.
So basically I do five low, five medium, and five high competition hashtags, and it’s really
easy to figure out once you get in there.
And then I do really, really hyper-relevant hashtags, even if they’re not showing up in
the low, medium, or high.
I do five of those, and then I do five mega-popular hashtags related to that post.
That’s my little strategy.
I don’t put hashtags on every single post, because sometimes they don’t fit when I do
But I try to use them as much as possible, because it does make a bit of a difference.
And the last layer of Instagram, that I really love and thrive off of, and has been so beneficial
to building real relationships with people, is the DMs.
So I use my DMs on a daily basis.
Shockingly, my DMs are generally pretty clean.
I clean up my inbox pretty regularly, and I’m almost always at inbox zero because I
like responding to people as quickly as possible.
I don’t know how long that’ll last, but it’s just a thing that I do.
So you want to go deep with people in your DMs.
So you have your story, which is where you can go behind the scenes.
You can get a little deeper, a little more nitty-gritty into your day-to-day life and
And then you have your feed, which goes wide, and then you have your DMs, that goes deep.
So that’s where, people who follow you, you send them a DM video and say, “Hey, how’s
So happy you’re here.
Tell me more about you and what you do.”
Building actual relationships.
And that might sound like work, sorry, but work is work and work pays off.
So you have to do the work in order for your relationships and your following to grow.
And I still do this every single day, and it’s been a big factor to why people like
following me on Instagram.
So really, really important to understand that DMs are not something to be forgotten
And while you’re using your stories, you can do things like polls, or asking questions,
and that will get people into your DMs to talk to them more on a deeper level and really
connect with them.
Because that deeper connection is the thing that ultimately grows anything.
It’s not about that vanity, wide-reaching numbers, because you could have a million
followers, but if they don’t care about you or what you do, then you’re going to have
really low engagement on everything you do, and you’re going to get crushed in the algorithm.
So I would rather have a hundred highly-engaged followers that have a million people who don’t
care about any of my content.
So the big thing here is that this doesn’t have to take all of your time.
And I made this video, which I’ve referenced a couple of times on my five minute rule for
Instagram, because I don’t spend a lot of time on the platform.
It can be a scroll hole, and it can be dangerous for me to just go through all the content.
So I made this video to break down how I spend five minutes a day on Instagram to grow my
So make sure you check that out next.
And because reach is so important, the things that you really want to focus on too is your
profile visits and seeing in your Instagram analytics, how many people are visiting your
profile on a weekly basis.
And that should be a metric that goes up every week if you’re doing all of this stuff right.
And that’s a metric to really care about as well.
So your bio should tell people who you are, what you do and how they’re going to benefit
from following you.
They should know exactly who you are within six seconds when they land on your bio.
So take a look at your bio and see how maybe you could tweak it to be more followable.
That’s the word I just made up.
So your reach and your promo visits are really, really important.
Is there anything else I wanted to touch on?
You want the right people to follow you.
That’s the other thing too, is you don’t want a profile that appeases everyone.
You want a profile that is attractive, I guess, to a very specific type of person.
Because if you’re going for that broad audience, again, it’s going to be people who don’t really
know why they’re following you, and therefore you’re not going to get as engaged of a following
as you should.
So you want the right people following you.
So it should be really obvious what type of person should follow you on Instagram, based
on your bio.
So that’s also something to think about, are you want those deep relationships.
You want the right people following you so that you get more engagement, you get more
interest, you get all those ranking signals, and you get your content showing up way more
in the algorithm on Instagram.
So double down on what works.
Pay attention to your metrics on Instagram, just as much as you pay attention to them
on YouTube or anywhere else, because they matter.
And they’re going to be the things that actually grow your account.
So pay close attention.
Also checkout out my other article on technicalwolf