Who knew what started as a photosharing app would become one of the most crucial platforms for marketers?
So, how did it happen?
Besides personal accounts for family interaction, Instagram has over 200 million businesses on the platform.
But more business accounts also mean more competition and effort to be among the best. Thus, Instagram growth hacking is essential to reach more potential customers than competitors.
Did you know when you Google “Instagram Growth Hacks,” it shows over 11 million results in less than one second?
But finding hacks that actually work is a challenge!
So, we have combined 15 secret Instagram growth hacking tactics with promised results.
Let’s take you through all of them briefly.
Table of Contents
- What Does Instagram Growth Hacking Mean?
- 15 Working Hacks for Instagram Growth
- Follow Back Your Followers
- Know Who Your Audience Is
- Post at the Right Time
- Tag People
- Write an Instagram Bio and Add a Link in Bio
- Use Hashtags for Your Niche
- Create Reels
- Make Your Instagram Feed Shoppable
- Use Third-Party Apps to Create Eye-Catching Content
- Partner with Micro-Influencers and Brands
- Engage with Your Followers
- Make Instagram Analytics Your Best Friend
- Create Content Pillars
- Add the Right Captions
- Run IG Ads
What Does Instagram Growth Hacking Mean?
Using strategies and techniques to gain followers quickly on Instagram is called growth hacking.
The presence of hundreds and thousands of brands on social media has led to a popularity war. Every brand, especially those working in similar niches, wants to surpass others in terms of popularity, followers, and engagement.
Instagram hacks for organic growth are excellent for building a brand image on Instagram. It allows you to be discovered and recognized on the platform. Digital marketing experts emphasize planned, targeted, and well-executed Instagram growth hacking strategies to get desired results.
15 Working Hacks for Instagram Growth
1. Follow Back Your Followers
Follow-for-follow is a common practice in the Instagram community. Many people follow those back who follow their accounts.
Similarly, business accounts can also follow their followers back to show that you think of them as family more than customers. Sentiments are essential to business and allow you to connect to the audience more closely.
Professional Instagram growth hacker helps you see what kind of content your followers like and share on their profiles and create content that catches their attention.
Image Source: Boostlikes
2. Know Who Your Audience Is
As previously mentioned, following back your followers can help you understand what your audience wants.
Sometimes, they follow you through a sponsored ad or one post that interests them. But will they continue to follow your account?
A GoodFirms' Social Media Usage Survey mentioned that 85.12% of the participants unfollowed at least one brand or person on Instagram.
Thus, it is important to understand your audience and post content that compels them to like, comment, share, and save it.
User insights and demographic data on social media are crucial growth hack Instagram to learn about your audience. You can check the male-female ratio, age, location, and content they are more inclined towards. We’ve mentioned more about Instagram Analytics for you here.
This data can help you understand your audience and create relevant content to improve engagement on your posts.
Image Source: Hootsuite
3. Post at the Right Time
Every Instagram user who has failed to gather attention to particular posts can relate to the importance of posting at the right time.
Being a social media influencer, or a brand with a social presence, we all understand how necessary it is to post at the right time.
Instagram prioritizes recency. So, the most critical element to keep in mind is to post when your user is online. But you must remember that you should not post multiple posts a day to keep up with the algorithm.
So, what is the right time to post on Instagram?
11 am on Wednesdays is the “prime time” to share your content for maximum reach.
Users check Instagram usually between 9 am to 2 pm, Monday to Saturday. However, higher engagements are seen at 7 pm on Sunday specifically.
More precisely, the best time to post content on Instagram during the week is:
- Monday 12 pm
- Tuesday 09 am
- Wednesday 11 am
- Thursday 12 pm
- Friday 02 pm
- Saturday 09 am
Nonetheless, reels get engagement from 9 am to 12 pm throughout the week, Monday to Thursday.
The perfect time for Instagram growth hacking may vary from brand to brand. Test and trial to see which time works best for you.
Image Source: Hootsuite
4. Tag People
Sometimes, brands and influencers tag a lot of profiles in their posts. It may seem excessive, but it helps them reach more potential customers.
Reports show that more than 11 tags on an Instagram post provide a median engagement of around 150.
When you tag a person on your social media post or mention them in the caption, they receive a notification. Then, they head to see where they are tagged and are likely to share the content if they find it interesting.
Eventually, people on their profile also see the post, and you may get a few shares from their followers. It works as a domino effect. While you may think it is an old tactic, tagging is one of the most widely used Instagram growth hacks in 2022.
The best part is that the engagement difference on various posts also gives you an idea of what your audience likes. While you mention the same accounts on different posts, the engagement may differ. You can also use it as a testing method to put your time and effort into more exciting content.
Image Source: Tech Crunch
5. Write a Killer Instagram Bio and Add a Link in Bio to your Profile
Did you know that your Instagram bio can increase your credibility?
If not, let us tell you how.
Around 2 billion accounts on Instagram mean 2 billion different bios for every profile. Most personal accounts follow an informal bio pattern mentioning their birthday, zodiac, interests, etc.
But, influencers and businesses can use this bio to create a solid brand image that shows they know what you are doing. The Instagram bio should be short and precise and describe your brand's features. Don’t forget to add elements that enable the users to relate to your brand.
A good Instagram bio is among the top Instagram hacks for organic growth. It attracts the audience, looks professional, and connects to the user.
Thus, knowing what to write in your Instagram bio is critical.
Many users used to complain that the feature of adding only one link restricts them from putting all the information in the bio. However, now you can add up to 5 links, but that may be insufficient if you need more. Link-in-bio tools are your savior to add all your links in one and put it in your Instagram bio.
Image Source: WordStream
6. Use Hashtags for Your Niche
Instagram growth hacking is quite technical if you want to make the best out of it. The more you want your account to perform better, the more attention to detail is required.
And this is why Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags to your post.
30 is a lot, and that is why many Instagram users ask, "how many hashtags to use in posts?"
A study by Sprout Social showed that posts with 1-3 hashtags garnered better reach than 10+ hashtags. Contrarily, posts with 7 to 15 hashtags had better engagement.
Create your Own Branded Hashtag
"What's the need for a unique branded hashtag when there are already thousands of hashtags on Instagram?"
Having a hashtag unique to your brand establishes credibility and makes you the leader instead of the follower. The right hashtag has the ability to blend in with posts of other accounts in the same niche.
An interesting, out-of-the-box, yet connective hashtag ignites interest in your content, and you gain more followers.
You can create a few particular hashtags for your brand and then one for each campaign. It allows you to test a few different secret Instagram growth hacking hashtag options, and who knows, some might go viral!
Image Source: Jumper Media
7. Create Reels
If you thought you could only reach people who follow you or interact with hashtags on your posts, you are in for a shocker!
It won’t be an exaggeration to call reels “the best feature of Instagram so far.”
Instagram reels allow you to be seen by people who do not follow you. And Instagram algorithm favors reels. Reels are like Instagram stories; just better!
While stories vanish after 24 hours, reels stay on the platform until you delete them. You can be as creative and experimental with reels as you want. Follow Instagram growth hacking and plan your content based on success rates.
Recently, Instagram has introduced a feature that lets you convert your reels into ads.
The eligibility criteria for boosting your reels include the following:
- A video of less than 60 seconds.
- 9:16 aspect ratio (filmed vertically).
At the same time, you cannot boost reels that use any copyrighted music, filters, GIFs, etc.
Related reading: 7 Best Mobile Video Editing Apps.
Image Source: Urdesignmag
8. Make Your Instagram Feed Shoppable
It has been less than two years since Instagram introduced the 'Instagram Shopping' feature, yet around 130 million people use Instagram Shopping.
Instagram shopping is the best way to promote your eCommerce business and make sales through Instagram. Users identify shoppable posts by the bag icon that shows on the posts.
Bonus Tip: Learn to set up your Instagram shop here.
In case you are looking for an easy way to create shoppable blocks and bring traffic to multiple social media with the Lift. Bio tool is your savior!
Try it yourself to see how simple yet efficient it is.
9. Use Third-Party Apps to Create Eye-Catching Content
The only way to ensure high engagement after optimizing your Instagram account is to create content that no one can ignore.
Third-party apps are ideal Instagram growth hacks in 2022 for creating Instagram stories, IGTV videos, scheduling posts, and attracting more users.
You can add effects and tune the colors of your images using Snapseed or Lightroom. Similarly, SproutSocial is a widely opted service for managing posts and growing your audience. Furthermore, Lift: Story Maker is the perfect app to create stories that make a difference. It enables you to create a Brand kit with elements of your choice. Remove background, add music, customize the background, put in text and stickers, or delete unwanted features from existing templates—all in one app.
Download Lift: Story Maker to see how it elevates your Instagram stories.
10. Partner with Micro-Influencers and Brands
Influencer marketing is equally important for everyone, whether a small brand or a big name. It is one of the most important factors in Instagram's growth hacking.
Influencers on social media are categorized into five categories: nano influencers, micro-influencers, power influencers, mega influencers, and celebrities.
Among all the different groups of influencers, celebrities are top-tier. Yet, the majority of marketers prefer working with micro-influencers.
That is because micro-influencers have better engagement rates than others on Instagram.
Image Source: Revive Digital
11. Engage with Your Followers
No brand can become a familiar name until they interact with its followers. Engagement is the main purpose of Instagram growth hacks, as it brings more people to trust your brand.
Many brands launch interactive, engaging activities for their Instagram followers to stay in their memory. Asking for opinions and generating polls in stories shows that you care about what they think about your brand. Instagram giveaways and live sessions have also become popular in the past years.
Connecting to your followers and customers makes you stand out among other brands that do not give that interactive feel.
Image Source: MobileAppDaily
12. Make Instagram Analytics Your Best Friend
Instagram analytics are essential to every Instagrammer looking for secrets of Instagram growth hacking. Analytics gives you a thorough insight into the audiences' activity and interaction with your account.
It is not only an Instagram hack for organic growth but a trusted source to learn about how your account is performing.
Instagram analytics allow you to track Instagram posts for up to 12 months.
You can check the likes, comments, reach, demographics, and everything you need to know. It also enables you to dig further and find out about the interests of your followers.
A seasoned marketer can help you understand everything about Instagram analytics to use them for boosting your business.
Image Source: Later
13. Create Content Pillars
Social media pillars are the themes, topics, or strategies you decide to work around for your business. They are extensively used in content marketing and social media marketing.
The social media content pillars contribute positively to achieving your goals when you plan content around your business.
Marketers often miss this important aspect of Instagram's growth. Yet, their place in Instagram growth hacks in 2022 cannot be ignored.
A few factors that can help you curate your content pillar strategy include understanding the following:
- Content your audience appreciates.
- What the viewers are looking for.
- Offering solutions using your products or services.
- Content relevant to the interests of your audience.
- Your followers’ pain point.
Fig Source: Pinterest
14. Add the Right Captions
Captions are considered an essential element for Instagram growth. They do not only help you with optimization, but interesting captions attract viewers. Shorter captions are typically a favorite among Instagram users to convey their message. However, you may also add longer captions depending on the content.
For example, you run a story-telling account. You will come across many such profiles that post long captions, but they are so engaging that you stop to read them. On the other hand, short fashion captions and quotes are more suitable for an apparel brand. You may add questions or interactive elements to your captions to improve engagement.
The right caption for your Instagram depends on the content you post and your viewers. Keep an eye on your competitors and see what kind of captions perform well for them. Follow a similar strategy for your account and makes changes as needed.
15. Run IG Ads
Did anyone tell you about Instagram or IG Ads to boost engagements and following on your account? We will not call it secret Instagram growth hacking as it is a common feature available for everyone. But influencers and brands on Instagram do not use IG Ads as well as they should.
Many marketers emphasize organic growth, which is undeniably the best way to grow your account without spending money. But what if you are not able to bring your content to the limelight? In such situations, investing little in paid marketing is essential. When you choose the right kind of IG Ads for your business, you can make the best out of them with the least investment.
Instagram offers a wide range of ads, so you can select the one that suits your business model the best. You can choose from the following:
- Image ads
- Video ads
- Story ads
- Reel ads
- Carousel ads
- Shopping ads
- Explore ads
Each of these ads is more suited for one business than the other. And only your marketer can decide that for your brand. Study your viewers and see what engages them the most to choose the right ad type for your business.
Fig Source: Vimeo
The Bottom Line
Instagram is a vital social media platform for any business today. Most young people between the age of 25 to 34 make up around half of the total Instagram users. Thus, many marketers target Instagram growth hacking to boost their following and engagements on the platform. Understanding your audience and creating relevant content on IGTV and reels can help you become popular among users. Furthermore, collaborating with influencers and tracking Instagram analytics are critical for Instagram growth.
Use these Instagram growth hacks to boost your business on Instagram efficiently!