7 Ways to Organically Grow Your Instagram Following in 2020

Are you looking for tips to grow your Instagram following? Here are a few ways I’ve grown my Instagram audience over the last few years.

One question I get over and over again on Instagram and Instagram stories is:

“How do you organically grow your Instagram following?”

Thank you to the @thehighlyhaute for submitting this question on Instagram stories!

With the major clean up of bots and fake accounts on Instagram, the hunger to organically grow an Instagram following is evident on the app. In 2020, Instagram isn’t afraid to penalize accounts for using third party platforms. I’ve seen accounts that have used third party platforms suffer with engagement or even get blocked from using Instagram all together.

If you’re interested in organically growing your Instagram following, here are a few tips you can try:

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1. Provide valuable content

Your content has to either inspire, educate, or entertain your audience. Whether you take pictures with an iPhone or DSLR, your photos have be able to stop people from scrolling passively on their feeds.

Your captions should extend your message to either inspire, educate, or entertain your Instagram audience. If you’re looking for tips around writing captions, you can also check out 7 Tips to Write Great Instagram Captions.

If you’re goal is to organically grow your Instagram following, you have to give reason for people to follow you. Providing value in their lives is one reason people will follow you. Make sure you’re creating content that brings something to your audience.

 2. Collaborate with other content creators/influencers

If you’re just getting into the influencer world, I recommend connecting with other bloggers and content creators. Chances are there are other people in the same boat as you who are trying to figure out a way to build their following on Instagram.

In 2016, I started attending more Seattle blogging events and asking other aspiring bloggers/Instagrammers out to coffee. Some of those coffee dates blossomed into full on friendships and future projects.

For example, Maddy and I grabbed coffee in January 2019 and decided to do a Galetine’s Day photo shoot in February. My friend Giulia and I also connected through Instagram and then coffee in 2017. Giulia and I have stayed friends even as she moved down to the bay area. Giulia, Karya, and I also have traveled to San Francisco together and we’re all going to Coachella this year!

After every photo shoot, Giulia, Karya, or Maddy and I would all tag each other’s Instagram/blogs. For instance, Maddy would share who I was to her audience and I would share who she was to my audience. Over time, our audiences started to get to know who we were both were. And we noticed that her followers started following me and my followers started following her.

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3. Cross promote your Instagram in your other social channels

Are you on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, or have your own blog? If you have other social channels, I recommend sharing your Instagram posts on those channels.

Tactic #1: Take 30 min a week to pin your Instagram photos to Pinterest

Tactic #2: Embed Instagram photos in your blog post – example: San Francisco’s Most Instagrammable Places

Tactic #3: Tweet out your Instagram posts

One way I know people find my Instagram is through my blog or Pinterest. I’ve had multiple people message me and tell me that they found my photos on Pinterest!

4. Have your brand partners repost you in their Instagram feeds and stories

If you aren’t asking the brands you’re working with the opportunity to be reposted on their feeds, it’s time to ask. I highly recommend asking to see if the brand is open to at least resharing your photos on their Instagram stories.

I usually see a little bump in followers when a brand repost me on their Instagram feed or stories.

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5. Have publications link to your Instagram

If you have the opportunity to be featured on a verified publication like HuffPost, Buzzfeed, or another news outlet, I recommend asking the authors to link back to your Instagram post.

I was featured on my first HuffPost article last year: “How Much Fashion & Beauty Influencers Get Paid per #AD Post” and I asked Austen Tosone to include my Instagram in the article. The other ladies featured in the article also had their Instagrams featured!

6. Engage with followers already engaging with similar accounts

One tactic I’ve used over the years is to engage with followers already engaging with similar fashion/lifestyle accounts. For example, I’ll go through the Seattle bloggers and see which people are commenting on their posts. I’ll go through and select a handful of people who have already commented on a similar account. I’ll like and leave comments on those people’s pages!

Emma's Edition - Seattle Blogger

7. Make sure your bio is complete

This might sound like an obvious tip, but in 2020 I’m still seeing accounts without their name in their bio. Having a complete bio will help potential followers decide whether or not they can decipher who you are in a few seconds. A potential follower will look at your feed, your aesthetic, and see if there’s anything they can relate to you.

Here’s what you’re Instagram bio needs to include:

  • Your name
  • Your location (city or state)
  • Your mission statement or purpose
  • Your email address
  • Your website link

A person might follow you because you’re sharing Instagrammable spots in their city or a person might follow you for fashion inspiration. Make sure your bio highlights what your Instagram is about.

Emma's Edition - Winter outfit ideas

What are your tips to organically grow your Instagram following?

Thank you for reading!

Love,

Emma

Photos: Maddy

3 Comments

  1. February 4, 2020 / 4:16 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful tips <3 🙂 It's definitely been a hard year for growth on Instagram, but I'm hoping with these new strategies, I can grow my following too! Thanks for sharing, Emma!

    XO, Elizabeth T.
    BLOG | YOUTUBE | INSTAGRAM

  2. February 5, 2020 / 6:03 am

    Great tips! I need to go to more blogging events!

  3. February 6, 2020 / 12:22 pm

    Great tips Emma! I learned something new today and that is to post my Instagram post on Pinterest! I didn’t know you can. What a concept! Btw, on IG, would you happen to know how to add those individual circles or categories? At the bottom of someone’s bio on IG, sometimes I see a specific circle for blog or for services or for other things. Any recommendations or suggestions on how to achieve that? Happy Thursday lady!

    Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com

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