You Can Still Grow Organically on Instagram in 2019
Follow these three steps every day
Saying that you can still grow organically on Instagram in 2019 isn’t an unpopular opinion, but it’s a controversial statement.
Everyone in the industry seems to be very pessimistic about Instagram right now. Engagement with the platform is declining, the competition is getting harder, and overall, growth appears to be more challenging than it used to be.
Questions worth asking.
What are you doing to grow on Instagram?
Do you have a growth strategy?
Are you just hoping people will find your profile and then magically decide to follow you?
If you’re hoping people will find and follow you because your content is excellent, growing will take a crazy, long time. Countless YouTube videos and Medium stories point to the importance of quality content — it makes you grow on the platform.
It’s hard to disagree with this school of thought, but quality content is hugely overrated. I believe posting quality content shouldn’t be part of your growth strategy, it should only be the norm.
Those that take Instagram seriously post pictures using a top-of-the-line smartphone (at minimum), an expensive DSLR, or a mirrorless camera.
Nowadays, the norm on Instagram is high-quality pictures with interest, tasteful editing (in an external app — don’t waste time on Instagram’s tool), depth of field, slow shutter speeds, and so on. Everyone who takes Instagram seriously is either a decent photographer or able to hire an actual photographer.
Therefore, quality content shouldn’t be a way to differentiate yourself. It’s simply the norm.
Let’s talk about discoverability. Although hashtags allow your post to be searchable, it’s unlikely someone will find your profile while wading through a sea of hashtagged posts (unless your post has high engagement).
Hashtags help your already engaging content gain more visibility, but shouldn’t be the primary source of traffic for your content — it’s not sustainable and stable enough.
Hashtags help you go viral. That’s a fact. If you’re the top post of a hashtag, there’s a better chance more people are engaging with the piece, which may start trending on another hashtag, and so on.
Although going viral is an amazing way to gain traffic and followers, it’s unpredictable, and shouldn’t be relied on as a guaranteed source of traffic.
In short, every time one of your posts goes viral, consider it a bonus!
A Three-Step Plan to Grow Organically on Instagram
I’m going to tell you how to gain a stable source of traffic on your Instagram profile and posts. This method does work and will not be affected by algorithm updates, new features, or even the fact that Instagram wants to get rid of the number of likes.
This method will always work.
- Find people in your niche. Search by hashtags, locations, or anything else that will uncover content from people that might be interested in your profile.
- Leave a thoughtful and engaging comment on their posts. Leave a genuine comment on every post. If the post asks for your opinion, give it. If the post asks for advice, provide some. If the post is celebratory, tell them how much of a good job they’ve done. Show your interest and be empathetic. As much as possible, show you’re not a bot commenting on random photos. Make every comment unique and thoughtful.
- Follow these steps for 15 minutes every day. You need to be consistent if you want results. You will get more results by following steps one and two for 15 minutes every day than for one hour, once a week. Consistency pays off on social media. Trust me.
People don’t care about likes anymore. And if they do, they shouldn’t. It’s a matter of months before Instagram decides to hide the number of likes a post receives.
Nor do people care about followers — most follows come from mass following bots that unfollow users two days later.
However, not everyone leaves authentic comments on the platform either. Doing so is a nice and easy way to differentiate yourself. It’s also an excellent way to show who you are and that you care about your audience and your niche.
You’ll make a much more powerful impression by leaving genuine and thoughtful comments on posts than focusing on high-quality content. (Reminder: high-quality content is the norm if you want Instagram as a serious source of traffic for your business.)
Don’t believe this three-step method works? Give it a try for 15 minutes per day for two weeks.
I promise you’ll get better results than you initially expected. It’s time to stop blaming the algorithm or the competition. It’s time to start doing, and that plan is real.
Do you feel like you tried everything to grow on social media and especially Instagram? Hopefully, what follows will be the last thing you will have to do to reach your goals.
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