Ten Tips for Organic Growth on Instagram

It becomes obvious relatively quickly that gaining traction on Instagram can be at times daunting. You’re pouring heart and soul into your work and posting your best images, but still even then somehow you are not seeing the overall growth as quickly as you would like. 

And here they come again, old friends and worst enemies named frustration and self-doubt as they inevitably creep onto the scene. Especially once you begin to compare your account against others with burgeoning followings. 

As you know lots of variables go into capturing engagement and equally as many questions into what makes the algorithm tick. And while certainly we witness no shortages of best practices scattered about the Internet, some good and some of questionable effectiveness, I see those shared from this video as standing out above the rest. 

Chris Hau, who himself knows a thing or two (or in this case 10) about building an Instagram following, has layered his video with some refreshing best practices that you can apply right away to help jump start your engagement. Ideas like staying consistent within your feed and branding, as well keying in on genuine interaction with other like-minded accounts to name only a few. 

For those of you out there on Instagram's front line, I’d love to hear from you. Do you find that genuine interaction with like-minded accounts helps boomerang back towards the positive growth of your account?

Derrick Ruf's picture

Derrick is a portrait photographer based out of Southeastern, Pa. All in on all things photography related, but his main passion being the photographic capture of us humans via ongoing portraiture work.

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Ugh. Beginning to dislike instagram more and more.

Certainly can be polarizing. I do appreciate the honest straight forward approach in the video towards growth.

Don't get me wrong. I think having options for growth like we do now is great. Hell getting a job traveling and shooting photos/video didn't exist much in the past, so there is that.

That said I have strong feelings about wanting to grow a following but it completely hindering me creatively. I tried it for awhile and got to the point where I felt like I was sacrificing too much. I'm going to make a video about it actually.

I totally agree with you in that if we subscribe to this art form that we love so much simply to cater to a social network, then it’s being done for all the wrong reasons and will lead to an unfulfilling conclusion.

But simply engaging and appreciating the value in being social with other like minded users, letting that be a catalyst for growth can also be a positive. Depends on the expectations you set for it I suppose.

Also looking forward to your video Alex, send it my way when you have finished I’d love to take a look.

Will do!

I don't disagree that talking and interacting with other people is bad in any way. I just found myself doing it for the wrong reasons. Also the number one tip is always "Grid consistency" and I'm like... Okay so I guess I can't post any pictures that aren't edited in this color scheme? Blah

I think these success videos need to be taken with a grain of salt. Not that I have anything close to a large following but I found that when I stopped pandering towards the general non art oriented user base and started shooting a style I appreciate more my following more than doubled in a matter of months. There are creative accounts that will promote your work with credit, it's just important to connect with them using their hashtags. These accounts might be hard to find because they aren't they tend to have less than 50k in followers but they will certainly give you more reach if you get featured.

So gross.

I personally use instagram a lot more than facebook and it became a problem timewise for me back in 2016 so I ended up building an image DB and auto-poster system to do the heavy lifting of posting images with relevant tags and descriptive text.

It can do a whole bunch of neat stuff but prio 1 was too reduce the time i spent uploading images.

You can see it live at http://instagram.com/lightaffaire.photography

If anyone is interested in trying it out on their own feed send me a message here or on instagram.

Sounds cool; although, I'm pretty sure what you're offering or recommending to folks is to populate a DB; that's opposed to [actually] building it...

Sorry but you lost me. The auto poster is easy to use and just works. If you require a solution to keep your social footprint active and growing then its something you can take a look at or not.

For us it was and is a big win in saving time and growing our social footprint.

It also supports twitter, tumblr, flickr etc.

I don't have massive numbers on any of my social platforms and for a while there I was buying into the idea that meant my work was 'good enough'.

The best thing I ever did was to simply stop caring about it. In the big scheme of things, who really cares about the number of followers you have? And more importantly, why should that number influence the way I feel about the work I'm producing?

The indicators I really care about now are past and repeat clients, solid word of mouth turning into future customers and real time referrals.

Personally, while I think social media certainly has it's place there has been too much emphasis placed on it's importance as part of people's business model and as such, it has lost a lot of the innocence which frankly, made it appealing to people in the first place.

It would seem there are forces at work to make "life" the the ultimate immersive gaming experience.

Great tips but...when will I have time to take said photos? When will I have time to edit them? When will I have time to meet with those clients? When will I have time to be with my family? You get the picture. The process seems like another full-time job. That's partly why I haven't jumped on the IG bandwagon. I feel that it would burden and shackle me.