Imagine being put in a room where you can potentially connect with 1 billion people and tell them all about yourself, your business, or your brand. This may sound like a pipedream, but in reality, we can do this every day in the comfort of our home through a simple app known as Instagram.
Of course, it is not as simple as just downloading the app, starting an account, and waiting around for massive Instagram growth. If you are serious about organically growing your audience on Instagram, you’ll want to expand your reach.
So what is reach, anyway?
Reach is a metric Instagram uses to tell you how many people have seen your posts and account. The more you can convince the algorithm that your content is engaging, valuable, or entertaining, the more reach Instagram will give you.
The algorithm is always changing, and it may seem hard to crack, but here are seven things you should be focusing on to grow your reach on Instagram organically.
Use Reels – In August 2020, Instagram released IG Reels. These are short multi-clip videos, usually 30 seconds or less. Since this is one of their newest features, they will always prioritize them first. Instagram is so committed to hosting reels that they even changed their interface to include a separate tab for them. Since the launch, millions of people have started creating reels, but there are still fewer people creating reels than there are those who watch them. In other words, the demand is high, but the supply is low. This creates a fantastic area of opportunity for you to organically grow your Instagram reach.
Go Live and Use IGTV – All hail 2021! May this be the year that we all get over our fear of going live. It can be nerve-wracking, but to grow your Instagram reach, you’ll want to make a habit of going live at least once a week. Going live on Instagram is the quickest way to beat the algorithm. This is because you “skip the line” and your account is automatically positioned to a place where you’ll be the first thing your followers see when they open the app.
IGTV is another excellent way to grow your reach on Instagram organically. When people watch your videos on IGTV, they tend to stop scrolling and spend more time on your content. This tells the Instagram algorithm that these viewers are enjoying your content, so Instagram will continue to show them more posts from you in the future.
Be Social – It is called social media for a reason, and in the Instagram world, you have to show love to get love. If you want to see organic Instagram growth, make it a habit of coming out of your tiny corner on the internet and socializing. Socialize with your current audience to show instagram that you have a ‘relationship’ with that account so they can continue to show your posts to them.
You should also be engaging (liking, commenting, reacting, and re-sharing) with those who you see as potential followers. Doing this is the social media equivalent of going up to a person in real life to say ‘Hi’ or strike up a conversation. Most people will respond by checking out your profile, returning the same engagement, or they might even follow you.
Create Shareable Content – Focusing on an aesthetically pleasing feed is excellent; however, prioritizing shareability over beauty is vital if you want to grow your Instagram. This is because your followers may like or comment on a pretty picture, but they most likely won’t reshare it. When others reshare your content, they are giving you free and organic promotion where you have the opportunity to reach a newer audience. Infographics, quotes, and screenshotted tweets are some examples of popular shareable content.
Know Your Optimal Posting Times – When you first post something, Instagram will evaluate how well it’s performing before deciding if it’s worth sharing it with more people. Therefore, you’ll want to post when most of your followers are active and can engage with your content. If not, you will basically be speaking to a half-empty room. Optimal posting time will vary for each account, but you will be able to access your metrics if you have an Instagram business account.
Use Stories and all its Benefits – Studies show that users spend more time watching stories than scrolling through feeds. Knowing this, you should be capitalizing on this feature to grow your Instagram reach. Make the most of stories by incorporating the different features available such as the polls, answer box, and quizzes. These features were designed so viewers can continue to engage with your content and build that Instagram ‘relationship’ that tells the algorithm to continue showing them your posts.
Use Hashtags – Since Instagram doesn’t have a very dynamic search engine like Youtube or Google, hashtags will be the easiest way for your target audience to find your content. Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags for each post. The more hashtags you use, the more you increase your potential for people to encounter your post.
When choosing hashtags, split between popular hashtags with over 1 million posts and micro hashtags with less than 100 thousand posts. Popular hashtags are great for getting massive exposure in a very short amount of time. Lesser used hashtags are great for getting a small but steady reach that progresses over time.
Overall, the easiest way to organically grow your Instagram is by creating highly engaging and compelling content while also being social and approachable. Have fun, provide value, and stay consistent, and you will see your reach grow over time. Happy Instagramming!