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12 Proven Ways How to Grow Your Instagram & New Features and Updates 2021

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12 Proven Ways How to Grow Your Instagram & New Features and Updates 2021

After Facebook, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms. Being a popular visual-first social media platform, it has over one billion monthly active users and 500 million daily Instagram Stories users.

Individuals and brands are shifting their business decisions to social media. With 3.5 billion active users, without a doubt we can say that Instagram is undeniably a powerful marketing tool and this Blog will focus on how to grow your Instagram in 2021.

Let’s take a closer look at some Instagram statistics as the platform continues to grow and develop.

  • Instagram is used by 23.92 percent of the world’s 4.18 billion active mobile internet users on a monthly basis, which is the same number of people as lives in Europe and North America combined.
  • There were 144 080 000 Instagram users in India in January 2021, which accounted for 10.3% of its entire population.
  • Every month, the app has over 1 billion active users.
  • 8 out of 10 Instagram users follow at least one business.
  • Instagram users spend 53 minutes per day on average, while Facebook users spend 58 minutes.
  • Every day, over 100 million Instagram photos and videos are shared.
  • Every day, 500 million people use Instagram Stories.

What Are the Best Instagram Growth Strategies?

1) Optimize your bio

Instagram Bio

 

If you own a company or have a personal brand, you must create an Instagram business account. This will give you a lot more control over your Instagram account, as well as a plethora of Instagram analytics to help you fine-tune your strategy.

As part of switching to a business account, ensure that you are easily found and that all of your information is correct. Here are some of the most important elements to include in your Instagram bio and profile.

  • Address and contact information (this is important for Geotagging).
  • Specifics about what you do (your value proposition)
  • A special offer or a compelling reason to keep in touch
  • A way to contact you that isn’t Instagram (usually your website)
  • Create shorted links, unique bio link pages for Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat & Clubhouse and get proper statistics of your visitors.

2) Schedule Instagram Posts to Grow Your Following

Schedule post in Instagram

 

When we talk about growing your Instagram, we mostly mean increasing your Instagram follower count.

To increase your Instagram follower count, you must create high-quality content for your posts. However, simply creating posts is insufficient; you must also scale your processes.

We didn’t say “find the best time to post on Instagram.” The truth is that there is no another answer for when to post on Insta in order to reach the highest number of people. However, there are methods for determining the best times for your followers.

First, use Instagram Insights to determine when your target audience is online. From your Instagram business profile, tap the “Insights” button, scroll to “Your Audience,” and then tap “See All.” Scroll to the bottom to find the most active times for your audience.

You should also think about when your content will be most useful. A step-by-step recipe video, for example, may perform better outside of work hours because people are more likely to be cooking. A coffee shop post, on the other hand, might perform well around 2 p.m., when people are in a slump. Experiment with various posting times and keep track of engagement.

3) Hashtags

Hashtag

 

You’ve probably heard that hashtags are important, but chances are you’re not using them properly. The Instagram algorithm is driven by data, and the hashtag strategy can be used to drive follower growth.

You may have heard that 9 or 11 hashtags are the optimal number, or that using too many Instagram hashtags can make you appear spamm        y. The key here is to choose a hashtag that is relevant to the Instagram content you are sharing.

The truth is that if you aren’t using as many hashtags as possible that are relevant to your target audience, you are giving up an opportunity to increase engagement.

This may appear to be a lot of work, but an hour spent developing a hashtag strategy can help you target your audience much more effectively.

When it comes to Instagram hashtags, keep the following in mind:

  • Use all 30 hashtags – the more you use, the greater your engagement.
  • If you don’t want them to be visible, you can hide them with five dots at the bottom
  • Use industry and follower relevant hashtags, take time to research them first
  • Follow hashtags to find out what is most relevant and valuable to that audience.
  • Make use of less popular, long-tail hashtags.
  • Remember that if you only use the most popular hashtags, you’ll quickly get lost in the millions of other posts. Unless you’re a major brand, you’re unlikely to make the Top Posts.

Hashtags help you achieve more likes as well as increase your visibility and reach. Instagram likes are essentially a vote, showing the content resonated with the user in some way.

4) Geotagging

Geotag

 

If you own a business that operates in a specific area, make sure you’re taking advantage of Instagram’s Geotagging capabilities. Most businesses will operate within a specific geographic area, so using geotags is critical if you want to be found by new followers in that area.

Geotagging displays your business address, category, hours of operation, website, and phone number to each Instagram user.

Giving users as much information as possible increases the likelihood that they will want to visit you! It is an important part of any intelligent Insta growth strategy and will help you increase your Instagram audience.

Simply click Add Location when creating a post to do so. Your post is then searchable in that location. This is true for both Insta Stories and posts, so geotagging both can be highly beneficial.

 

5)        Utilize Instagram Reels

 

Instagram reels

 

Instagram Reels is a new way to record 15 to 30-second music-accompanied clips on Instagram.

Instagram Reels may sound familiar because of the new Reels tab that has taken center stage on the Instagram navigation bar. Furthermore, almost everyone compares Instagram Reels to TikTok, which was one of the popular platforms that got banned in India recently. Reels have become a key frontier for organic reach on the app. The more people you reach with your Reels, the higher your chances that follower count and engagement rate will grow.

Instagram’s algorithm continues to favor Reels that check certain boxes.

If you don’t share Instagram Reels in 2021, you could be Missing up a huge opportunity for your brand or business!

6) Insta Stories

Instagram stories

 

Instagram Stories (usually called Insta Stories by users) have become an important part of how the Insta platform has evolved. They began as a clone of Snapchat stories and have since taken over the market.

In 2021, there will have been over 400 million Insta stories posted per day, with over 2 million brands using Insta Stories. The advantage of Insta Stories is obvious: they appear at the top of the app’s main screen and are surrounded by a coloured ring that surrounds the Instagram profile photo. They pick immediate interest for majority users and only take a few seconds to watch.

Instagram Story, more than posts, has the potential to generate interest and engagement quickly. Because they are ephemeral (they disappear entirely within 24 hours), they have a sense of urgency that drives engagement. People can’t help but take a look.

They’re also a great way to show how your brand operates behind the scenes. Throughout the day, you can share amusing, genuine moments from your company, which helps to build personality. Investing in a few simple Insta stories per day can have a significant impact on your audience’s engagement.

7) IGTV Videos 

IGTV 

IGTV, Instagram’s answer to YouTube, is a platform worth using to increase your following and engagement. It’s another way to reach your target audience on a platform where you’ve already made a name for yourself, and it opens the door to increased brand awareness and exposure. IGTV allows you to embed long-form videos in your Instagram profile that last between 15 seconds and 10 minutes (verified accounts can go up to an hour).

There are a few things to consider to give your brand the best chance of IGTV strategy success:

  • To get those engagements and followers, make the video at least one minute long so you can promote it on your feed and draw in the views.
  • when uploading your video, make sure to select ‘post a preview’. Sharing a segment of your video to your feed allows you to reach out to your audience in two ways, increasing your chances of engagement. The viewer will be prompted to watch the rest of the video on IGTV once they have completed the 60-second snippet.

Creating an IGTV series is also a unique approach to interact with your followers while also reaching out to new people.

8) Learn from your Competitors

Instagram Audience

 

With so many businesses flocking to Instagram, it’s critical to keep an eye on your Instagram competitors in order to stay current and competitive. Investigating your competitors might help you make your marketing strategy better and attract new customers and followers. Knowing your Instagram competitors’ strategies is crucial for effective Instagram marketing.

Since your competitors target the same people as you, monitoring their approach allows you to learn their tricks and avoid mistakes. Furthermore, many of your potential new customers are following the accounts of your competitors.

Start by examining what they’re doing successfully and how you can replicate their techniques. You don’t have to mimic their approach to Instagram content or how they interact with their following, but you can learn from it.

Over time, you’ll be able to develop Instagram engagement methods that distinguish you from your competitors. However, learning as much as you can from your competitors’ best practices can pay off in the beginning. Another tactic you can adopt is to first determine which accounts your competitors are following, liking, and commenting on.

Instagram marketing is all about staying current with tools like Insta Reels, Insta Live, and IGTV. A well-balanced Instagram growth strategy includes all of these tools

9) Like, Comment and Respond

Instagram like, share, comment

 

High social media engagement rates serve to raise brand awareness, create social proof that leads to more conversions, and drive visitors to your website, all of which help to enhance sales. Consumers who follow brands on social media are likely to spend up to 75% more on those brands.

If you don’t respond to likes and comments, people will likely skip over your posts and forget about your brand entirely.

Responding to comments is a key step in maintaining consumer engagement and loyalty! Instagram has a 17X higher average engagement rate than Facebook posts and a 33X higher average engagement rate than a Tweet, making it one of the top social media platforms for brands looking to communicate with their fans. Take the time to like other people’s posts, return the favor, and leave a remark.

If you receive a remark on one of your blogs, answer promptly and humanely. Use genuine language and emojis. Be kind and grateful for the opportunities that come your way.

Be engaging if you want a better engagement. It’s a basic formula, but it’s effective.

10) Use Sponsored Posts or Influencer Features

 

Sponsored ads

 

An Instagram sponsored post is content created and published by an influencer on their personal account in exchange for payment.  Influencer marketing has surged in popularity in recent years.

A “paid partnership with [brand name]” banner shows below the user’s name on Instagram sponsored photos. As a result, they are highly visible. Sponsored posts boost the number of people who know about you and are interested in what you have to say.

People are more likely to visit a profile than a link the first time they encounter an Instagram Ad. They will check whether or not you are a legitimate business. They are more likely to see more of your ads the next time you run a campaign after visiting your profile. This increases brand recognition and leads to sales over time.

11) Consistency

Instagram Consistency

 

Consistency is a key to engagement. Higher engagement rates are typically achieved when you consistently upload the type of Instagram content that your audience expects from you.

By publishing to Instagram once or twice a day and remaining consistent, the engagement rate increases significantly. When you post frequently, your audience knows that you’re serious about providing them with quality content on a regular basis. They become accustomed to seeing you in their feed, and you become the “go-to” content creator for the types of entertainment, products, or services you promote.

You’ll establish devoted advocates for your brands if you’re consistent with your followers, which will ultimately affect your bottom line. It takes time to build an engaged Instagram following, and you must be consistent and relentless in your efforts.

12) The Power of DM’s

Direct message in Instagram

 

Last but not the least, Insta DM features have the potential to add significant value to your business by engaging with customers, reinforcing brand virtues, and creating lifelong value with each message sent. It is one of the best kept secrets of Instagram.

Direct Messages on Instagram can be incredibly useful as a brand or business to interact with your customers in a personalized way. Private Instagram conversations are much more likely to result in sales and brand trust.

By engaging with customers, reinforcing brand ideals, and creating lifelong value with each message sent, Instagram DM capabilities have the ability to provide significant value to your business.

What’s New in Instagram-2021

  • Instagram Shops and Instagram Checkout

To allow professional profiles that have an ecommerce to create their own store instead of just tagging their products, Instagram has introduced a new feature i.e., Instagram Shops. Users will be able to complete their transactions without having to leave Instagram. In addition, Insta has developed a Checkout feature that allows users to keep their bank and payment information within the app, making buying faster and easier.

  • TikTok-like Content

In 2021, Instagram looks entirely different than it did few years ago, and TikTok plays an important role in it. We can witness memes, dancing challenges, GIFs, special effects, and much more, in addition to the amazing photographs that made this network famous. Brands need to take note on this as their content needs to be adapted accordingly.

  • Branded Augmented Reality Filters

Instagram’s AR filters open up dozens of new commercial opportunities, such as virtually trying on makeup or clothes, or placing furniture in your home to get a sense of how it would appear in real life.

  • Ads on IGTV

Insta has announced that ads feature will be added to IGTV as well, making it more appealing to influencers trying to monetize their content as well as marketers looking to acquire exposure. As a result, we can anticipate IGTV to become popular in 2021.

  • Instagram Alt text

Instagram has added the ability to add alt text to photographs. As a result, persons with visual impairments will be able to get more out of the social platform.

 

Your Insta account serves as a secondary website for your company. Instagram marketing is one of the most effective business tools in 2021. Taking full advantage of these marketing strategies are tricky too. Out of all the strategies mentioned above which promises to help in increasing your engagement, however, the effectiveness is predicated on one thing: putting them into action. Action matters the most. Implement what you can, monitor how things proceed, and make changes as needed and as with any good resolution, remember that consistency is key — so go at your own pace, and results will follow.

 

Anas Pelassery.

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