Fundamental growth mechanisms

Engagement Aug 11, 2020

How To Successfully Grow a Page on Instagram? Let's go straight to the facts and how-tos.

1. Posting quality content

When it comes to Instagram growth, posting quality content is definitely a primordial aspect of it. It may sound obvious, but there are significant factors that are worth being elucidated. Quality content is not just about content that’s good looking.

If you want to grow your account quickly and consistently, you have to post viral content. That has to be the motto as for what quality content stands for, in this area. If your goal is to grow as quickly and consistently as possible, you will sometimes have to put away your own taste, if you’re running a reposting page. This may happen because there will be content that you don’t particularly appreciate, aesthetically wise or conceptually wise. Keep in mind that posting viral content will increase the chances of your page showing up on the explore and, therefore, gaining more followers, faster.

You may be wondering what this type of content is about – don’t you worry, I’m here to explain:

How to find / create viral content

In order to find viral content, if you’re running a reposting page, carefully and judiciously follow these steps:

  1. Find the best-performing pages on your niche.
  2. Analyse their first 20 posts.
  3. Calculate the average number of likes of those posts.
  4. Multiply that by 1.5 and you will reach the minimum value in terms of virality. Any post that surpasses this value, can be worthy of reposting.

If you are a content creator, here’s how to create effective content:

  1. Analyze the type of content successful creators’ pages are posting.
  2. See what type of content is performing best for them and apply that into your page. Recreate what is working for them, without taking away your own originality.
  3. Make sure that the graphic and aesthetic quality of your posts is on point. If necessary, invest in better equipment, such as cameras, and learn media editing. If you want to succeed as a content creator, you’ll most likely have to invest money on these types of things. As mentioned, it’s key that your content’s quality is ideal.
  4. Experiment new ways of presenting your content. Try anything, from doing videos to post at different places, angles and times of the day. This can be substantial when it comes to getting a reference of your audience’s reaction and adhesion to your posts and, therefore, see what works better. It’s all about trying out different ways of producing content and experimenting dissimilar types of delivering it. It can be whatever fills your cup the most, as long as it’s effective in terms of virality, if your main goal is, again, to grow your page as fast and consistently as possible.

Last but not least, all the content you search, and use has to match with your niche. If it doesn’t match your niche, don’t use it at all. Not only will it damage your page categorisation, but also compromise its branding, image and credibility before your followers. This may seem tempting to do, sometimes, if you enjoy a certain picture or video, or if it has lots of popularity, engagement or impact, you could think to yourself, for a moment, that you could repost it for your own page’s good. I mean, it’s captivating for whatever reason it may be, and it looks pretty viral, right?

Even if that’s the case, don’t do it. Think about how you’d react if a page you followed and knew what kind of content to expect from it, posted a random video that had nothing to do with its theme. Even if you actually enjoyed it, it would still look weird and incongruent that it happened, considering the nature of the page itself. Having that said, I insist that you remember to ALWAYS stick to your niche. It’s something I can’t say enough, as it’s absolutely crucial throughout the whole process, from day 1 on.

2. How often you should post

Instagram Feed Posts

First off, always prioritize quality over quantity. It’s preferable to post quality pics or videos once a day than four or five low quality ones. Having that said, the amount of times you should post on a daily basis, depends on any time constraints that may preclude you from posting and on how your audience reacts to the frequency of you posting. We personally post once a day and we massively focus on finding absolute top quality content for our clients. It makes a huge difference when it comes to engagement and follower-gain.

We usually post 1 video for every 3 posts, as we’re noticing that Instagram videos are easily reaching the explore page for us and, consequently, making our clients' pages grow at a faster rate than exclusively with static pics. Usually, we do it at midday or at 6 pm, as it’s a commonly active part of the day for Instagrammers. I suggest you post at least once a day. If your followers react well, feel free to post twice a day at a maximum. Here’s an exception: - Let’s say you post a pic in the morning. If that same pic becomes viral, it’s likely that it will keep bringing engagement and followers for several hours. If that’s the case, do not post again that day, you’re good to go. Let that pic yield to its potential.

Instagram Stories (Instastories)

Now that I’ve covered the main points of Instagram posts, it’s time to teach you the basics about Instagram stories. What are Instastories? Instastories are a feature that enables you to share various photos and videos that appear in a slideshow format. Everything you post as an Instastory will disappear in 24 hours.

How often you should post them: You should post at least one Instastory a day. You can post pictures or short videos. Again, make sure they’re high quality and, preferably, related to your niche.

They’re a very important tool and you must use it to maximize your engagement levels. There is, in fact, such a thing as Viral Instastories as well. Use all features Instagram has to offer and be aware that every little detail influences your outcome, when it comes to growth and engagement. Once again, if you post an Instastory, more people will spend more time on Instagram, watching your content. As mentioned many times before, the Instagram algorithm helps your page growing because you’re causing more time consumption from a specific audience.

3. Writing the Caption

Here’s another fundamental pillar of the Instagram growth game. By writing a caption, your main goal is to describe the post you’ve shared and to encourage people to engage with it. This is relevant because more engagement usually equals more followers (more growth), because it increases your chances of hitting the explore page and, consequently, the virality of your posts.

3.1 Let’s start off with Instastories:

The ultimate key to go viral on Instastories, is to use as many Instagram features as you can, as long as it makes sense and is adequate. Here are the features you should use on an Instastory:

Polls: they are absolutely preponderant when it comes to making people engage on your Instastories. A poll is applicable as a CTA to your Instastories, as you should ask questions depending on the context of the picture or video you’re posting, such as “Would you like to go to this beach?” and form polls containing options such as “Yes | No” or go for “Do you prefer Summer or Winter?” and do a poll with “Summer | Winter”.

These CTA’s will compel people to choose an option and, consequently, interact with your Instastory, which increases its engagement levels and viral potential. Regardless, don’t always go for polls, as you don’t want to be too predictable or repetitive with your stories. Be original!

Location tags: not only to contextualize the location of the video / pic you’re sharing, but also for it to be diffused to an audience that’s localized in that specific place or searching about it.

• Tag other pages: this can make the owners respond to your Instastory via DM, which also improves your viral potential score.

• Tag the author: He / she may dm you as a response, or at least, as a form of acknowledgement, which again, increases your virality score. People will usually appreciate it if you do so, because you are also exposing their content and that grants them more popularity.

3.2 Instagram Posts

Here’s the most commonly used structure of a successful caption for Instagram Posts:

  • A Concise, short description of the post
  • A Call to Action (CTA), such as “Yes or No?” /// “Rate it 1-10!” /// “Would you…"
  • A CTA referring to your account, such as “Follow @username for daily travel pics!”
  • Credit to the photographer, such as “(Camera Emoji: @username)” • If the photographer is Unknown, do: “(Camera Emoji: Unknown – DM for Credit)”
  • Hashtags

Hashtags are a powerful tool to grow your engagement towards your audience. If you use the right hashtags, your posts will reach a wider audience. A hashtag is a keyword that’s preceded by the hash symbol (#), written in a post, in order to facilitate its search-ability. It is embedded into the whole social network so that it can be searched and found by everyone, even if they’re not your followers. This means your content will be accessible to all other users interested in similar topics who search for your hashtag. Choosing the right hashtag can considerably increase the reach of your social media posts to thousands of potential followers.

Types of Hashtags

There are two types of Hashtags:

1- Popular Hashtags: Biggest, most popular hashtags on Instagram. They usually range from about 1 million to 1 billion publications. (E.g.: #love /// #instagood /// #awesome /// #tb)

There’s a common misconception that the “biggest hashtags” are the ones that allow you better exposure. 35 The truth is that you shouldn’t use these kind of hashtags, as they’re too saturated and overly used, and their level of competition is too high.

2- Top Hashtags: More specific hashtags that shall be applied according to the context of your post. They’re destined for a more restrict audience, that is actually looking for the type of content you’re sharing. This is why you should use these.

Efficient Hashtag Research Hashtags require a careful research before being applied. Make sure you choose the niche-related, post-related and (when coherent and necessary), location-related hashtags, so they produce the desired effects.

Also, keep in mind that every niche has different hashtags. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be confined to a short list to choose from.

You can always use your imagination and methodology to search for effective hashtags that are related to your content. Here’s how to do an efficient hashtag research, after Instagram's most recent algorithm changes:

  1. Calculate the average amount of likes your content generates.
  2. Decide the number of hashtags you’re going to use for each post. I personally use 17-27 hashtags per post.
  3. Search for 3 pages in your niche whose top 3 posts have a similar amount of likes to yours.
  4. Search for 3 pages in your niche whose top 3 posts have fewer engagement than yours.
  5. Search for 3 pages in your niche whose top 3 posts have a little more likes than your average.

Once you’ve went through those steps, apply the hashtags on your post and add your personal hashtag, if you wish. This will generally result in your content appearing more often in the top posts section, increasing its exposure to a wider audience.

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