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How to grow your Instagram engagement and audience

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Written by: Matt Lillywhite

You don’t need to be a selfie queen or an amazing photographer to grow your audience on Instagram. Instead, a lot of the growth is focused on strategy. Here are some strategies to help you with your Instagram engagement and growth.

Optimize your hashtags

Hashtags are undoubtedly a great way to get discovered by new people and potentially gain more followers. Try and use tags with less than 10 million posts – so that your content actually has a chance of being viewed. So find 10-25 tags that have a decent amount of popularity within your niche, and use them within the comments of your post. If you’re struggling to find good tags, I would highly recommend downloading the application FocalMark to your phone. It basically allows you to select the niche, location etc of your post, and then generates good tags for your post based on the information you provide.

Develop influencer relationships

Develop relationships with accounts that have a large following in order to generate “power likes” on your post. When loads of profiles with high follower counts like your post, Instagram’s algorithm will view it is a really good piece of content, and therefore put it into their followers explore page. This basically allows thousands of people to potentially discover your content, and therefore increase your follower count if the content is good. The other technique for “hacking” the Instagram algorithm is engaging with your comments. Every single one. If a piece of content has loads of engagement, then Instagram will again view it as good content, and therefore distribute it to more people.

Collaborate with other users

Collaborations are definitely one of my favorite ways to grow on Instagram. This may be collaborations with other content creators, curators, or even brand partnerships. The essence of “shouting each other out” allows the opportunity for promotion crossover, and therefore an increase in follower counts when the other person sends their audience to you. For example, if you are a producer, you could partner with a club on Instagram and do a “takeover”. This is basically a marketing tactic in which the producer would use the Instagram account of the club for 24 hours. As the collaboration is mutually beneficial for both parties, you would be allowing each others audience to discover the other party.

Engage with your niche

In order to optimize your growth, you need to be paying attention to your audience demographics. If you have a business page, go to analytics, and take a few hours to understand the personality of your audience. This may include traits like their age, location, gender, and the hours in which they are most active. Once you have this knowledge, you can deploy that against your content in order to get the most likes, and therefore exposure. Finally, my suggestion is to engage with other posts. This popular technique has many names – but was recently titled the “$1,80 strategy” by Gary Vee. When you comment a piece of value on a post, imagine that being your “10 cents”. Now do that with at least 18 posts per hashtag, and you’ll have dropped $1.80 in value with every tag you engage with. It’s worth noting that saying “cool” or a simple emoji don’t really count as engaging comments. After all, nobody is going to pay attention to that. Instead, try and engage with the content creator. eg. If they took a photo in Times Square, ask them what they thought of their time in New York City. By commenting on loads of posts every day, it allows more people to discover your account, and potentially follow if they like your content. Engage with people’s content, and some people will engage back via your content. Good luck in your quest.



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