So you want to gain Instagram followers organically but everything you've tried just doesn't seem to be working. Maybe it's because of the Instagram algorithm changes? Or why are you suddenly experiencing a drop in engagement and new followers? Could it be your hashtags? Or maybe it's your posts?
I get it. It can be so frustrating when everything you’re trying just doesn’t seem to be working. Trust me, I’ve been there. and I’ve wondered about these exact same things. So, let’s address some of these common issues and see what we can do about them, shall we?
1. I feel like my pictures aren’t pretty enough. That’s why I’m not getting more likes and follows.
Oh, I know too well how you feel - I’m not a professional photographer by any means, and in the beginning, I often felt intimidated by all the incredibly beautiful posts on Instagram and asked myself - how am I ever going to compete with those?
Well, my friend, yes - Instagram is a visual platform and therefore sharing beautiful content is essential. But it’s also about connecting with your followers. Building these connections and showing your personality can make such a difference and attract many new followers. So how do you do that? Easy! Through your captions, comments and replies!
And as regards your pictures? First of all, practice makes perfect - search for that spot in your home and harness that natural light! Invest in a few props (they don’t have to be expensive - you can find amazing stuff at flea markets or on etsy.com). Practice your plating skills (have you taken my free course yet?).
And otherwise, there’s nothing wrong with using stock photos (Librestock is my absolute favourite source of free stock photos, it compares 47 other free stock photo websites and gives you the best results!), or feature other user’s pictures (if you do, make sure you ask for permission first and tag and mention them in your post!!).
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2. The people who follow me aren’t really part of my ideal audience (or they’re mainly my competition).
That’s because you’re not attracting the right people! And that, my friend, is probably mainly due to the hashtags you’re using! Ever since the algorithm changes, hashtags are your number 1 way of being found by new accounts and to gain Instagram followers, so you need to use them wisely!
First of all, you don’t want to use hashtags that are too big (like #foodporn), and by that, I mean hashtags that have more than one million posts attached to them! Why? Because your post will disappear in a stream of new posts within seconds and no-one is going to see yours! You also don’t want to use hashtags that are too small, simply because not a lot of people are using them.
You also don’t want to use very general hashtags such as #love, they won’t attract your target audience. Make sure you use hashtags that either describe your business, your niche or your target market.
*Note: if you're getting a lot of bot comments like "nice" or "great post" it's probably because the hashtags you're using are too big! Over popular hashtags are generally the ones targeted by bots.
3. Ever since the new algorithm, my engagement has gone down and I find it difficult to gain Instagram followers.
The Instagram algorithm changes have definitely changed the game. But honestly, by changing your strategy you can definitely make it work for you and grow your engagement, get more likes, and gain Instagram followers! Instead of showing posts in a chronological order, your Instagram feed now shows the posts that it thinks are most interesting to you, and that’s based on your previous engagement. So if you engage a lot with another account by liking and commenting on their posts, then the chances of their posts appearing in your feed increase. So knowing this, you need to keep in mind that what you want to do is to encourage other users to engage with you!
How do you do that? Here are some tips:
- Ask questions! This is such a simple yet effective way of getting more comments on your posts! If you're posting a picture of your meal, why not simply ask people about what they're having today?
- Use calls to action in your captions! A simple "hands up if you agree" can be so effective yet it's a very subtle way of asking for a comment!
- Reply to each comment! And don't just post 10 emojis - leave meaningful replies!
- The same goes for leaving comments on other user's pictures! Taking the time to actually leave a personalized, positive comment instead of just a "love"️ makes such a difference!
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Do you have any other problems you're struggling with on Instagram? Let me know in the comments below!