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It’s not easy to grow a real, authentic following on Instagram. In fact, the days where you can post a few pieces of content a week as a business and expect to see high engagement is totally gone. Now, having an Instagram is a GIVEN and your profile won’t even get noticed if your content is less than great.

The biggest question our agency gets on a daily basis is “How do I grow my Instagram?.” It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new client or a current client, they’re all asking us how they can accomplish a coveted feed.

Build an identity

The truth is there’s a lot of ways you can grow it: buy followers, pay someone to do manual engagement, work with influencers etc. But none of that matters (and some of that you shouldn’t even be doing) if your feed doesn’t have an identity and character to it. A lot of brands we work with may have 30,000 followers but then they find they’re stagnant for years because the algorithm has changed, they grew when the platform just started and they haven’t created an identity strategy for getting the feed to look like what we’ve all come to expect it should look like, which is basically perfection. Every time a potential client comes to us with the ask for a proposal on Instagram content creation, we do two things:

  1. Audit their current Instagram
  2. Ideate what they should be doing, and deliver some initial concepts

And every time we audit their account in the first step, there are four common mistakes I point out.

Four common Instagram mistakes

I can tell who posted the content on the company Instagram.

Maybe it was their 22-year old college intern Jessica or their daughter who was trying to help. Do you know how I can tell when I do an audit? Tone and voice inconsistencies. If you want followers, you have to create a tone and voice guideline for everyone to follow or you don’t have a consistent brand identity on the platform. I should never know who posted — and if I do, you’ve got brand consistency problems, my friend.

The feed clearly has no aesthetic or color strategy.

There are all types of filters being used and none of the photos make sense together. Your target customer would not hit the follow button after seeing the feed for just a few seconds because it’s not attractive to look at. Use one filter, have a color palette, and keep the photography consistent. You have to use the platform the way it was has evolved to be used.

There are way too many quote posts.

Unless you’re an account that only delivers memes to your audience, quotes should be used sparingly and with the solid intention behind it. If you expect your audience to engage with you simply because you’ve posted the same quote they’ve seen other places 1000’s of times, you haven’t thought your strategy completely through. If you’re going to post quotes at all, create a consistent template to use each time you post. Your Instagram shouldn’t be a curation of content, it’s a feed you create.

Most people aren’t posting nearly enough to see any ROI.

You should be posting almost every day if you actually want a return. This platform is SATURATED. You won’t see growth with a 3 day a week content strategy because there’s too much to compete with. If you want your potential customer to recognize your brand on Instagram and hit the “follow button,” you have to get competitive and that means more content, but GOOD content.

So if you’re struggling with Instagram, there’s still hope; we have tons of ideas that can help change the trajectory of your following and your overall engagement strategy. Reach out to our team via our contact page, and let’s talk brands and things!