5 Tips for Organically Growing your Instagram -2019 Instagram Updates

Top 5 Tips for Organically Growing Your Instagram Channel in 2019 -with the latest Instagram Updates

Organically grow your Instagram Channel

Instagram is the most dynamic social media platform known for it’s visual feed that allows users to share photos & videos, and it’s famous # (Hashtag) system to easily seek out topics of interest, categorize, and now, follow tags too!

It’s ability to innovate and integrate popularize features like hashtag system, business advertising, “24 hr Stories” like snaps from SnapChat, video portal, shopping cart*, sharing post on to other social media platforms, built in user friendly analytics, and Facebook integration… has earned it’s spot as the most favored social media platform with 4X most engagement than any other platforms.

And long before Instagram opened it’s API for advertising, there have been several different approach to growing your social media channel using existing features, and approach on Instagram.

Here are our top 5 Tips to help you organically grow your Instagram Channel in 2019 with the updated features – there are so many! Lets Go:

Tip 1: Picture is worth a thousand words -don’t write a thousand words on the picture.

It’s a visual platform, so use it as it is meant to be used. One too many times, posts with paragraph of writing surface on Instagram. That’s a big NO, NO. A picture is worth a thousand words! Use that to your advantage. Be intentional with your visual post, so as to highlight specific moment* and tell a story on it’s own. The caption is complimentary, the image should be able to stand on it’s own.

Take a moment to brighten up, clarify the content in your picture, and whatever it is that you want to showcase fits within the square. There are several tools to help you with this. Your personal feed is showcased in a grid of 3 column so choosing a signature “filter”, colors or pattern of post e.g. one video, two photos can also make you stand out!

Tools: Try Snapseed for editing your pictures further, and Canva if you want to stay within the square dimension and add some neat graphics. Both are available as apps for mobile use ;P

Tip 2: Hashtag it up! But keep it relevant.

If you are looking for organic reach, take advantage of Instagram’s hashtags on every post. Take a moment and think about all the hashtags you would like to use to draw in users who would find your post interesting.

For instance, if you are posting a picture of “coffee” in the hopes to draw in people who love coffee, then try hastags like #coffeeaddicts (6.4 m)) #coffeelovers (10 mil) #caffeinefix (350k) – did you notice that Insta gives you the number of times a hashtag has been used if you simply typing it into search on Instagram platform or while simply typing it up on the platform! Use this information to your advantage as well by using popular hashtags along with suggested ones.

Fun Fact: Instagram takes up to 30 #hastags and that’s it per post!

It’s always wise to fill up your post with at least 10 hashtags, 30 hashtags if you can come up with relevant tags. No one wants to see a dog picture while searching for an ice cream per se. Be part of the good fight against the IRRELEVANT tags…. Argh. Adding irrelevant tags in the hopes to get more visibility defeats the purpose of hashtag system to find relevant content.

So, use tags that are relevant to your post to get relevant, quality traffic to your Instagram profile.

Latest Update: Now you can add # and user tag on to your bio, so use this opportunity to do so! It makes it that much easier to find your feed. Instagram’s latest update also allows users to follow #hastags , for instance if you want to follow latest posts in fashion, you can follow the actual #fashion and your feed will automatically showcase posts with #fashion

Tip 3: Story Time!

Nothing says “Insta” like a good “Instant” story letting your audience know what you are up to!

Given that you are posting interesting stories (for your audience, and not yourself*), you will attract more followers who will now know that you post interesting stories, therefore are more likely to follow you. The “story” feature also allows you to play with fun effects, and live streaming.

Announce ahead of time that you will be doing the live streaming on “specific topic” or if you are somewhere interesting showcase “live stream of the event” as a special treat to your audience. The live stream can be used powerfully if you plan ahead for interviewing segment, or if you are an artist, cook, or fitness enthusiast then take your audience with you in your moment per se – engage and give tips while painting live, cooking, or exercising specific body part* - keep it interesting.

If you aren’t ready for live stream yet, then stick with stories. They are 15 seconds.

With the latest story feature, and live streaming, it is highly recommended that you use stories to give followers inside scope into interesting events, thoughts, and familiarize them to your account. Keep it visually entertaining as well. Follow simple protocols like vertical handling since it’s used widely on mobile screen, hold the camera still, and if you are adding audio -record accordingly. With the fun bits within the story feature like the ability to add gifs, stickers, and ask questions (poll) etc. make sure to play around with these to make your video interactive and entertaining! There are functional bits as well including the location and # that you can add on to the story, make sure to do this every time.

Note: Make 1-3 announcements before doing a live stream beforehand to get higher engagement and attendance during the stream itself. Invest in a mobile phone stand if you think you will be getting in the habit of doing live streams more often. You will thank me later.

Tip 4: Focus on a Niche & stay on message consistently

It pays to focus on a niche. Personal brands tend to exhibit more trouble while picking a niche to focus on. While a business is generally focused on a niche industry or classification to begin with, personal brands are affiliated with a personality. And generally a person has a wide variety of events, interests, items to share from their everyday life. 1: 3 rule for posting one overarching niche to 3 overlapping ones can help you stay on message.

In the arena of personal branding you have to experiment with posts, start with the 1:3 rule where you post your main interest and overlapping secondary interests ( up to 3 posts) and then see if you are able to stay on message.

According to Youtuber Sabby BG TV, it's best to dive three level down into a niche, for instance if you are going to do a baking focused channel, go second level deeper to vegan ingredients for instance, then third layer deeper to cupcakes for capturing audience early on.

You are not limited to these parameters, think of it as an experiment and follow a niche for one month and see how you feel about it, you have full freedom in choosing what to do next.

Note: Using the same filter for every post can give your feed a cohesive look despite the content you are posting.

Lastly, stay consistent with your posting habits and stay on message with similar format, voice, style to build familiarity with the audience.

Tip 5: Create a social media plan around "Like to Follower" Ratio

Experiment with like to follower, what that means is - see how many likes you need to give out to get one follower. And one you find this ratio you can replicate it.

For instance, let's say for every 10 likes I give out to new users that fall under my target segment I get 1 follower that means my "like to follower" ratio is 10:1.

Now If I want 10 followers I need to give out 100 likes.

This method works best once you have established your feed, filled it up with some content that reflect a niche. The main reason we suggest like to follower approach is because when you like someone's post they are most likely to check out your feed. And if they find your feed engaging, they will follow. But to count on this to work, you do need to plan ahead and create visually appealing feed with content that fall into the "ideal" follower's interest.

Formula: Think of it like sales, where you are able to replicate sales ratio once you know how many people you need to talk to, in order to get one sale. The same is applied here.

Note: While Follow to follow is known to give the best result however it is not recommended if you are truly looking to build long term following.


Active Engagement is a rule of thumb for a new Instagram account looking to grow their channel, make some effort to engage with audience, never leave a comment unanswered or without a like. And be generous with your likes with the target market you would like yourself to be followed by.

Leverage Microinfluencers in your industry. Micro-influencers are rising influencers in process with 1K or more followers. Engaging in a post on their feed, or better yet, a post itself on their feed with your user tag can draw audience interested in similar things to your feed. Your chances are higher with micro-influencer and they will appreciate active engagement. So build rapport with multiple micro-influencers to overlap relevant audience from several sources.

And as always stay authentic to your brand. The easiest way to attract your tribe is to be yourself!

Thank you for reading our top 5 tips for organically growing your Instagram channel! If you like to learn more, stay tuned for weekly blog post.

We would love to hear from you on Instagram

About Social Sherpa

Social Sherpa

Social Sherpa focuses on social media marketing & more! to increase your reach and connect you with your audience.

If you would like to learn more about Instagram Marketing, let us know!