As I mentioned, likes and follows for the sake of likes and follows are not going to help you in the long run, but there’s nothing wrong with liking, commenting on and following accounts relevant to your own to get some exposure.
Just be sure you’re doing this manually yourself (no bots), and of course, make an effort to be genuine, interesting and NEVER spammy!
You don’t need to write an essay, but referring to the actual post and giving an opinion or asking a question is a good place to start.
Setting aside between half an hour to an hour per day to focus on engaging on Instagram will have a big impact on your growth over time.
Here’s an example from a photo we posted about the rumour that Instagram is getting a 4×4 grid.
In the caption, we addressed the rumour, and some people left genuine comments, partaking in the conversation:
4. Use a variety of relevant hashtags
Hashtags are still a great discoverability tool, but there’s no need to use the full 30 hashtag allowance that Instagram provides.
Rather than using 30 different hashtags on every post (which is pretty time consuming anyways) and running the risk of one of those hashtags being blacklisted, use fewer but better-researched hashtags that clearly reflect your content.
Between 7 – 10 hashtags will definitely be enough. And remember, your content should deliver what your hashtags promise!
It’s also good to keep in mind that the more popular the hashtags you use are, the more competition you’re up against to get your content found. Opt for mid-range or niche hashtags to give yourself a better chance of being discovered – but avoid anything obscure that nobody will be searching for!
5. Promote your Instagram on your other channels
Don’t miss an opportunity to promote your Instagram account organically on your other owned channels. Think specifically about other visual channels such as Tumblr, or those with the potential to reach a large audience, such as Facebook.
You can add a widget to your Facebook page, for example, which actually embeds and displays your Insta feed. Or you can create a post to announce a competition you’re running solely on Instagram, to bring your Facebook audience over to your Instagram account.
You can also embed your Instagram posts in your blog posts, run a pop-up on your site, etc.
Another exciting update is the ability to share Instagram Stories to Facebook. Though businesses don’t yet have access to Facebook Stories, it should hopefully be possible for those with a business account too!
Another tip: Add an Instagram icon to your email signature, so that with every email send you give your readers the chance to discover your Insta profile.