The Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram Growth

When we talk about Instagram growth , we’re talking about increasing followers to a given Instagram account. The goal of growth is to generate additional traffic that will (among other things) increase engagement, establish your brand, get your content seen, enable you to reach new audiences and help you stay a step ahead of the competition.

There are several methods that can be used to grow an Instagram account, but the most common are i/ organic or earned media (naturally done over time), ii/ paid media (buying placement on sites to link people to your page), and iii/ using bots or similar services. We’ll give you an overview and pros/cons for these three methods, and reveal the best solution for growing your Instagram the right way. 

Let’s dive in!

Organic Growth

Organic growth refers to the process of growing an Instagram account the traditional way; using solid content, hashtags, and activities such as likes, comments, follows, and unfollows. This type of growth puts the “social” in social media, resulting in a community of active, interested followers who actually engage with the accounts they follow.

These followers are more likely to like, comment, click, share, and even create user generated content, which has a 4.5% higher conversion rate (Social Media Today, 2017). Since Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes engagement, it’s beneficial to have followers who are genuinely interested in your account. 

The main drawback to organic growth is that it can be difficult, slow, and takes effort. Between creating and posting quality content, using the right hashtags, researching potential followers and engaging with these accounts regularly, it’s a lot of work. It’s no surprise that many accounts resort to paid growth to bulk up their followers.

Pros Cons
Quality, Targeted Followers Slow Growing
High Engagement Requires Research and Work to Get Going
Greater Potential for User Generated Content Takes Regular Effort to Maintain
Loyal, Interested Community

Paid Media Growth

Paid media growth is when an account places ads on third party sites and platforms to promote their product or service, and in turn, follow their page.

Paid Instagram ads are a popular option for businesses looking to legitimately buy their way to more followers. Instagram’s potential advertising reach is 928 million users, which is a huge pool for brands with the cash to access it (Omnicore, 2020).  

Considering Instagram’s annual advertising revenues are expected to reach 18.16 billion US in 2021 (Statista, 2020), it’s clear that many businesses are taking this route to grow their followings. Unfortunately, paid Instagram ads come with a huge price tag that not every brand can afford.  And since the people attracted to a page through paid ads aren’t necessarily as targeted, the resulting followers tend to be less engaged and loyal.

Pros Cons
Faster Growth Expensive
Requires Little Effort Less Targeted Followers
Can Turn On/Off Any Time Followers Not As Engaged or Loyal

Bots and Fake Followers (Beware!)

Using a service to purchase bots or fake Instagram followers is a tempting option for accounts looking for quick, effortless growth. However, buyers beware: these methods are not only ineffective and a false way to promote your brand, but can also be detrimental to your reputation on Instagram. 

Bots are a type of automation designed to perform activities such as liking, commenting and following on a targeted list of users. Accounts can buy these bots and have them perform activities on their behalf. Seems simple enough, right?

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. There are a number of problems with bots, starting with the fact that they aren’t people! They lack the ability to discern when commenting on posts or following accounts, resulting in low engagement and an increasingly random feed. People don’t like bots and can typically spot fake engagement, which reflects poorly on the account that hired them. It’s also a banned practice by Instagram, and the use of bots can get your account banned or shadowbanned. If that’s not a good enough reason to steer clear, we don’t know what is!

Fake followers are fake Instagram profiles created for the sole purpose of following accounts to boost their follower count. These profiles aren’t associated with real people, and can be easily spotted as fake. Any user can pay to have these accounts follow them to boost their numbers, but doing so can come with a whole host of issues. 

First, the practice of buying followers is against Instagram’s rules. This means that the providers of such services tend to be sketchy, and even if you can find one to work with, you risk being banned for hiring them. Beyond that, fake followers aren’t real people. This means they won’t engage or add value to your account. Since Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes engagement, having a large proportion of fake followers could mean that your content gets shown to less and less of your real followers. 

Add that to the fact that these fake “followers” degrade the quality of your account and will eventually drop off, and the verdict is clear: fake followers are at best a waste of money, and at worst a disaster in the making. 

Pros Cons
Temporarily Boosts Follower Numbers Not Real People
Eventually Drop Off
Users Don’t Like Them
No Engagement
Content Gets Shown Less and Less
Against Instagram’s Terms of Use
Can Get Banned For Using

The Solution: Fully Managed Organic Growth

Most digital marketers agree that organic growth results in the highest quality, most engaged, and most valuable Instagram followers.

Organic growth is easy enough to do, but many businesses fail due to lack of consistent focus and time.

That’s where AiGrow comes in – a dedicated growth manager combined with expert technology, and at a low monthly cost.

Grow your followers, boost engagement, and generate more revenue with AiGrow’s powerful Instagram management service. AiGrow is a complete Instagram growth and engagement solution designed for those who want the authentic followers provided by organic growth, with the ease and confidence knowing that it’s always on, and always working for you.

Simply enter targeting criteria such as hashtags, competitor accounts and/or locations, and the AI system will develop a list of people most likely to follow you.  Then let your AiGrow growth manager engage and get social with those users to drive them to your page.  

Update, October 2021

AiGrow has recently added the Content Creation service (PostMate) which is all you need to get custom content and design plans, plus a personal PostMate delivering weekly content creation and scheduling to keep your Instagram page fresh and relevant.

The result?  Hundreds of new, engaged followers each month for a few dollars a day.

You’ll get daily activity recaps and weekly growth reports, plus direct and dedicated support on all things Instagram.

PLUS Customers also have access to powerful Instagram marketing tools. Take control of your Instagram engagement with post and repost scheduling, DM response management, social listening, URL bio linking, and more!

Grow your Instagram with with targeted followers, and streamline content generation with AiGrow.

We’re so confident that you’ll love our service, we’re giving you your first week of our managed program FREE. That’s a 7 day risk-free trial of a dedicated account manager at no cost to you.

Start free today and experience the luxury of fully managed Instagram growth.

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Zahra Zakipoor
Zahra Zakipoor
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