16 Proven Instagram Growth Strategies: Secrets to Skyrocket Your Followers

16 Proven Instagram Growth Strategies: Secrets to Skyrocket Your Followers
Photo by Free Walking Tour Salzburg / Unsplash

Social media can be an incredibly powerful tool for growing an audience and promoting your brand. But it can also feel like shouting into the void if you don't know how to leverage it properly.

In this post, I'll be breaking down 16 secrets from a popular YouTube video that helped one influencer gain over 870,000 Instagram followers.

These tips cover everything from optimizing your profile, engaging with your audience, utilizing hashtags, cross-promoting content, and more. Even if you're not on Instagram specifically, many of these strategies can be applied to other social platforms too.

Let's dive in!

1. Understand How the Algorithm Works

The first secret is understanding how platform algorithms work and using that to your advantage.

Many people think algorithms are out to get them or suppress their content. But in reality, algorithms are designed to show users the content they're most likely to enjoy.

So if your posts aren't getting promoted, there are two likely reasons:

A) The algorithm lacks data to understand who will like your content. This means you need to manually get your content in front of the right people first to build up that data.

B) The algorithm HAS enough data, and that data shows people aren't enjoying your content. So you need to adjust your strategy and posts accordingly.

Once you embrace the algorithm as a tool rather than an enemy, you can unlock huge organic reach. Provide value to your audience, and the algorithm will reward you in kind.

2. Ask People to Engage

Actively asking people to engage with your content is an easy way to boost algorithmic reach.

Even a simple call to action like "Double tap if you agree!" or "Tag a friend who would love this!" can increase engagement.

Higher engagement metrics signal to the algorithm that people are enjoying your content. So in return, the platform shows your posts to more users who would appreciate it.

The more specific your calls to action, the better. Give people clear direction on how to engage rather than just saying "let me know your thoughts below!"

3. Share Why People Should Follow You

To grow your audience, you need to communicate the value you provide. Why should someone follow your account?

Many influencers are fuzzy on their niche or what makes them unique. Without a clear value proposition, it's hard to attract and retain followers.

Get crystal clear on what people gain by following you. Do you share amazing recipes? Fitness motivation? Fashion inspiration? Helpful business tips?

Then feature this value prominently across your profile and posts so visitors immediately understand what makes you worth a follow.

4. Use 3-10 Hashtags Per Post

Hashtags can still be helpful for discoverability and SEO, though their power has diminished over time.

The key is using a targeted amount per post. Anywhere from 3-10 is ideal - not too few, not too many.

5. Put Hashtags In Captions, Not Comments

Additionally, put hashtags in your caption rather than comment section. Hashtags in comments do nothing for reach or engagement.

6. Check If You're Shadowbanned

Sometimes accounts get "shadowbanned" where platforms secretly restrict your reach. This isn't super common, but it happens.

You can check your account status in your Instagram settings. If you do have an issue, it will explain what to fix to get back in the algorithm's good graces!

In most cases though, poor reach simply means your content needs improvement.

7. Rethink Linking to Your Bio

Many influencers constantly promote their "link in bio" for people to click. But this kills conversions.

Very few users will see your post, click your profile, find your link tree, and click through to take action.

Instead, tell people to comment or DM you a specific word to get access. This makes taking action much simpler.

You can then DM them links directly. This results in:

  • More users taking action since it's easier
  • Increased engagement on your posts from comments
  • Higher conversions in DMs vs. indirect link clicking

I've created a full tutorial on setting up this DM conversion system which I'll link below!

8. Engage With Niche Big Accounts

Find 10 large accounts with your target audience and regularly engage with their content. Turn on notifications so you see when they post.

Leave genuine, thoughtful comments on their posts. This gets you in front of similar users who may follow you as well.

It's an easy way to gain relevant new followers who are already interested in your niche.

9. Repurpose Content Across Multiple Platforms

Take your videos, images, written posts and repurpose them across TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest etc.

This takes minimal extra effort but exponentially grows your reach.

Spending 30 mins to create a video? Spend 3 more minutes clipping it for TikTok or creating a thumbnail for YouTube.

Just don't forget to link these platforms together in your bios/descriptions. This allows audiences to cross-pollinate across sites.

10. Repurpose Your Own Evergreen Content

Look at your top older posts from 3+ months ago. Give them new life by reposting or sharing them!

If it did well originally, it's clearly valuable evergreen content. Many of your new followers likely haven't seen it yet.

In the example given, the account had:

  • 10k followers when they posted it originally
  • 30% of followers saw it then (3k people)
  • They've since grown to 20k followers
  • Only 15% of current base (3k people) saw it

So 17k followers are new and haven't been exposed to this proven content! It deserves to be seen again.

11. Post Consistently

The algorithm rewards consistency. At first, commit to a posting cadence that's on the lighter side for you.

If you can truly handle 5x a week, start with just 3-4x a week. This creates wiggle room.

Once you've stuck to that initial cadence for 2-3 weeks easily, start bumping it up. Slow and steady consistency wins the race!

Use a tool like Viral Finder to see the top content from influencers in your industry.

Look at what topics and formats resonate. This gives you ideas for content that could work well for your audience too.

Put your own spin on the core concepts. Don't copy directly, but draw inspiration from what's already proven.

13. Gradually Increase Your Output

Posting more content is one of the simplest growth tactics.

Let's say you currently reach 5k people and gain 30 followers per post. If you increase your output by 20%, you'll gain 20% more followers!

More content means more opportunities to reach and engage users. This compounds over time.

14. Run Paid Ads

Assuming your account is business-focused, paid ads are a no-brainer way to supplement organic growth.

Create a stellar piece of content like an educational reel. Pay to boost it to your ideal audience.

This brings in targeted followers and potential leads cost-effectively. Retarget them later to convert.

Paid growth sets you up for long-term organic success. It can feel intimidating, but it works. Start small if needed!

15. Optimize Your Profile Highlights

Refresh your highlights to share more about yourself and your best content offerings.

This helps new visitors see who you are at a glance. It also nurtures new followers into loyal fans.

Delete outdated highlights like travel galleries or food pics. Feature your best work and free value you provide instead.

16. Join Relevant Facebook Groups and Subreddits

Look for Facebook groups and subreddits related to your niche. Engage regularly by answering questions, offering advice, etc.

Position yourself as an expert. Include a link to your Instagram account in your bio so group members can follow you.

This taps into built-in audiences of people already passionate about your niche. Just make sure to actively participate rather than spam self-promotion.

Putting It All Together

There you have it - 16 secrets to explosive Instagram growth!

It may seem like a lot, but start implementing just a few at a time. Momentum will build up as each strategy compounds.

Be consistent, stick to your posting schedule, constantly provide value, and strategically expand your reach across platforms.

Repurpose evergreen content and promote your best offerings. Interact with your community and influencers in your space. Experiment with paid ads.

Do all these things, and your account growth will take off faster than you ever imagined!

For anyone looking to grow their brand and business on social media, I highly recommend watching the full YouTube video this was based on.

The creator reveals even more helpful details that I didn't have room to include here. It's full of actionable tips to boost your Instagram or any platform.

What key takeaways resonated most with you from this post and video? What growth strategies do you plan to try first? Let me know in the comments!

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