Using Instagram to effectively grow your business or your brand, you need to build a solid base of Instagram followers. It can be very difficult for you to figure out how exactly to make that happen. You can take a shortcut and try buying followers and bots but in the long run, they won’t do you any favors.  Spending money on the account, when the expense becomes too much, you’ll see how the past engagement and success was a lie.

You’ll see an influencer get a spike of followers then a sudden drop. Buying followers will only have you see that you’ve been talking to yourself in the past.  The only true Instagram followers are real people who actually care and want to engage with you and your brand or business. With the help of YouTuber and millennial life coach Vanessa Lau, here are five tips do organically grow your Instagram followers.

Tip 1: Change Your Name for SEO Purposes

SEO = Search Engine Optimization

Put your name and business or brand in your bio. If you have a business or a service. Maybe you just want to be seen. You should capitalize on the name section because it will allow you to have a higher ranking in SEO. Realistically no one will search your name hen they don’t know you. When people are searching for a service or business, they will search for it and your name will appear.

Vanessa Lau showed her Instagram, and you can see that her name with her job right next to it.

Vanessa- Millennial Biz Coach

An ideal heading

Tip 2: Write Captions that Convert

It’s really easy to post a meaningless emoji or song lyric but you have a chance to really add depth to your Instagram account. Something Vanessa love to teach her clients when speaking on Instagram, is yes, the picture is important because it attracts people. It will make people stop scrolling and pay attention, but the caption will pull them in and keep them.

Vanessa Lau compares captions to dating: “First you’re attracted to the look, but then you decide to actually date them… because of personality.”

Lau uses her Instagram captions as deep vulnerable mini blog. She speaks on the private conversations her captions have sparked. Some people do use Instagram for vanity and measure success by likes and comments, but she likes to see how many direct messages she receives.  Explains that most of clients have found her not the other way around.

If you have a business or a brand to see people who actually engaging with you privately are the main lead. Most of the clients you want to have are the ones who have an interest in you.

Vanessa says to live by Know, Like & Trust. It is important when trying to sell product or creating a community to follow you.

Know: You want people to know you/your business.

Like: You want them to like you because your posts.

Trust:  You want them to trust your opinion even if you just want an audience.

Tip 3: Mixing the sizes of Hashtags

Nowadays hashtags are kind of cringe, but they can actually be the key to growing your Instagram. It allows people to find you and allows you to increase your reach. However, people tend to use big generic hashtags. Hashtags like #make-up, #business are commonly used and the results of them will be massive. “By the time you post using it will disappear from that hashtag explore page.” Lau explains.

Vanessa recommends mixing up hashtag sizes and do hashtag research.

Rule of Thumb:

Very small: under < 50k

Small: under < 100k

Medium: under < 500k

Large: over > 500k

You want to focus your effort on 80% of your hashtags to fit into the small or medium because those are the tags that many communities and they have loyalties to those tags.  Increase your chance of you staying on the explore page.

Tip 4: Rotate Hashtags

A big mistake many make are reusing the same hashtag. If you continue to reuse the same hashtag Instagram will mark your content as spam. Meaning a lot less on the feed for your followers. Be careful.

Vanessa’s advice on how to rotate:

  1. Do your research on hashtags
  2. Mix up between small, medium, and large.
  3. Have a note. Either in your phone or written out somewhere.
  4. Make different hashtag groups that have various hashtag size. So, then you can easily rotate between the different groups.

Every time Vanessa posts, she can easily copy and paste the different groups. She can keep track of the groups that she is using. She said this method causes less stress on what hashtag to post but also makes an effort to not continuously reuse the same hashtags every time. Also, the reach will be maximized.

Tip 5: Community Engagement

Very time consuming and can be exhausting but if you want to grow, you have to put that energy into it. The reasons this is important is one, algorithm. The more people engage with you, that shows Instagram that your content is what your followers want to see and increases your chances of showing up in your feed. The second reason, the more you interact the more your reach will increase, especially if you interact with people who aren’t following you yet.

You can automate it or have someone to do it for you, but it could get awkward fast. When your page interacts with someone and they reach out and you don’t who they are. You will lose that genuine connection. If you have a business and you want clients, you have to be active.

It’s also important to make sure people can actually see your content. The algorithm largely depends on when these are posted. You can’t post too late or too early and expect people to find it on their timeline. Around noon is the perfect time for a post.

Vanessa explains how Instagram allows you to follow hashtags. This allows future clients or even you can follow hashtags that allow you to see the people that have things in common with you. It allows engagement without having to actively search for people.

Are you interested in more technological tips?