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#instaanimals #animalsmood #cuteanimal #animals_in_world #animalsaddict
#instaanimal #fortheanimals #animalshots #animale ##animalworld

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#excellent_animals #animalonearth #animalviews #animals_illife #animal_in_world #animalfacts #awesomeanimals #animalsoninstagram
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#animals #instaanimals #cuteanimals
#animals_in_world #excellent_animals
#animalonearth

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#animal #animallovers #animalworld #animalviews
#animalfacts

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#animallover #animalsofinstagram #instaanimal
#animalslife #ig_cutestanimals

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#animalphotography #instaanimals #animals_in_world
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LAST UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 3 2020

Instagram Organic Growth Strategies & Best Practices

Content is updated every month to reflect all the latest working growth hacks for maximum results! Make sure to check monthly to find out which strategies are still actively working - particularly after an Instagram update.

  • How To Optimise Your Profile

  • What Type Of Content To Post

  • How To Increase Engagement

  • How To Design Beautiful Posts

  • Content Design Templates

  • Monthly Growth Strategies

  • How To Use Hashtags Properly

  • Comment & DM Templates

NEW UPDATE: Instagram Growth Strategies
How To Optimise Your Profile: October 2020
What Type Of Content To Post: October 2020
Growth Hacks: October 2020
How To Increase Engagement: October 2020
How To Use Hashtags Properly: October 2020
How To Measure Success: October 2020
Download Design Templates: October 2020
Comment & DM Templates: October 2020

How To Optimise Your Profile

Learn what makes a gripping profile & how to build one. These are the 6 key areas you must focus on.

Your Profile Picture

The profile picture needs to stand out in itself.

Go with a 2000x2000px, 300 DPI image.

It will never be displayed in size more than a thumbtack so we want to keep it professional, clean and easy to remember.

People associate your profile picture more to you, even more so than your name. Create a unique, fun & lasting impression.

1. The profile picture needs to stand out in itself.

2. Clear visibility and contrast. Stands out as a personal brand.

3. Clear contrast, stands out as a brand. Leaves a lasting image.

Selecting Your Username

This is crucial as you will be tied to this for the foreseeable future. If you are a brand go with the brand name.

If you choose to opt for personal branding, go with something that has your full name or at least your first/last name.

Avoid underscore, dots, special characters in general. Adding words like I, the, am, etc. is alright as long as it doesn’t deviate from your name.

Adding keywords from your niche: marketing, mindset, design etc. is also a great idea.

  • Iamthemonk : Easy to remember, no special characters, on brand with his content

    Stevenmellor : Real full name, easy to associate, most people can’t find their names, adding the, who, Etc. before your name is fine

affloatHQ : Difficult to remember, no real meaning

Me.the.awesome : Too long, too many special characters

People don’t like to type out random words, so probability of finding these accounts is low

Selecting Your Name

This should be a combination of your first name & your niche.

E.g. Design, Blog, Branding, Marketing, Chef, etc. As per the recent update, the name is what is displayed to your contacts when you drop them a DM and not your username.

Example - "David · Mindset | Design" Use keywords that are easier to understand and commonly used, it boosts your search-ability. People will find your profile easily. Branding, Marketing, Social Media are all good keywords.

Writing Your Bio

This is the make or break section. You need to give people as much knowledge on you as you can or an intriguing enough reason to follow you. When you are just starting out this becomes a prerequisite to entice someone to follow you. Break it down into 4 lines. Use emojis to stand out.

  • Line 1: Introduce yourself or what you do

  • Line 2: Explain why people should follow you

  • Line 3: Give them a social proof of yourself or establish credibility

  • Line 4: Call to action, ask them to drop you a DM if you are looking for clients or to visit your website that you link below or simply message you for a light hearted conversation.

Website Link

You only get 1 website to link. You can use aggregators here that help you add multiple links. It is a good idea to have something from the start. Even if it’s a basic website or a link aggregator with Calendly links or where else to find you on (LinkedIn/Facebook). You can choose to use free websites like linktree or taplink to add multiple links for websites/products you sell etc and link that here. This needs to be a relevant link. You can’t just paste a random URL here expecting people to know what it signifies or who it is for.

Creating Your Highlights

These are a great way to showcase a few special stories that you make throughout your profile.“About You” or the brand, giving data about you. Highlights establishing your credibility are a good idea.Could also be something as simple as highlighting what’s in the website that you linked in your profile. You can also make highlights for the services you offer. Try to limit highlight count to 5-6. It gives a sense of importance.Make popping highlight covers that match your brand colours.

What Type Of Content To Post

Content is King. The prime reason for anyone’s growth. Generating content is pretty easy.
Teehee. Just kidding, this is going to be the biggest challenge. There are multiple sources you can tap into for idea generation, I wouldn’t recommend these when you are just starting out though because early stages you need to be as authentic as possible. I will list down a few sources towards the end of this chapter for you to use when you experience burn out.

3 Golden Rules

Is it in my niche? If not, how can I tweak it to fit my niche?

Does it give my audience something to think about or act on?

Make it enjoyable, positive and fun. Invoke emotion that’s how you SELL.

Types Of Content

Content on Instagram can be of multiple types. We will talk about the 4 major types here:

• Story
• Single Photos
Carousel
Videos/IGTV

I’ll explain why carousels have a star next to them when we get to carousels. Markers to identify different post types highlighted on the right.

Stories

The ease with which you can create a story makes it a boon and a bane. Here are the do’s and don'ts of IG stories:

  • 1. Use to promote a new post, give a slight teaser or the actual post to tap on.

  • 2. Re-share shares of your posts to promote behaviour to get other people to share your story as well.

  • 3. Use new stickers that come up (Stay Home/Small Business Support/Polls/Questions), these make IG think you are extremely active and sometimes also gives you an extra boost as these new stickers are bundled up as a separate preview story for everyone.

  • 4. Competitions/Tag games (these are a fun way to utilize stories and gives people a little insight into your life)

  • 5. Quick update about recent happenings/changes/something exciting coming up etc.

  • 1. Don’t overdo the reshares please, nobody likes to tap throughmore than 3 reshares of the SAME post.

  • 2. Don’t shout-out random profiles that come to you saying “Hey bro could you give me a shout-out? I’ll do it for you too”. That does not pan out well. If that person posts about cats and your profile is about dogs, you get the point right? You’ve deviated from your core niche, NEVER do that with ANY content.

Single Post

These are to be used as filler content pieces. When you do not have significant time to come up with your core content which will revolve around carousels or videos.

Ideas for single photos:

  • A worldwide occasion

  • Celebrate something on a personal front

  • Quote or a milestone post [1k/2k followers etc]

  • Experiencing burn out? Make a single post.

  • Stick to your overall theme, we will cover this in the design section as well.

Carousels

These are now the star of the show.
Instagram is removing likes from the platform. So the important metrics are comments and saves. Major reasons to use carousels:

1. Being a carousel, more of ten than not a save is triggered. Since, it is a post that has information spanning across 10 slides.

2. Content that encourages the viewer to drop a comment. Since there are a lot of slides to utilize you can include a CTA or a comment provoking message in between.

3. Generally a good idea to use for stories, long messages, lists, tools, etc. That does not mean you will have text heavy carousels. People just want to swipe through and read seamlessly.

4. Golden rule of thumb. Give them 10-12 word lines in every slide. If there’s extra fluff (try to remove it), if you can’t place the rest such that they are secondary and the message gets across well enough even if they don’t read it.

5. Carousels rank easily on Explore page.

6. Increases time spent by user on your profiles post (as they have to swipe through the entire thing), so Instagram thinks you are someone that should be promoted.

7. Shows the effort you put in to anyone visiting your profile, more chances of conversion from a visit to a follower.

Videos & IGTV

I would personally encourage anyone that has the skills to edit videos and also the time, to work on this.

1. Create videos over 2 minutes at the very least.

2. The preview image for the video should align to your overall page/brand theme.

3. IG has recently announced the addition of ads to videos and IGTV, thereby giving a chance for you to monetize on this with your content.

4. Video preview image matches overall theme. Doesn’t cause a disparity in the theme. Also caters to the same niche.

Latest Growth Hacks & Essentials

Here we will use all the key areas highlighted above and I’ll allocate a percentage of focus to each of these areas depending on the milestone. I’ll also elaborate the experiments to run until you advance to the next milestone.Before we begin I want to state CONSISTENCY is the one key factor to the outcome.

Things To Avoid

General Guard Rails that Apply, ABSOLUTELY AVOID these:

  • Don’t ask for shoutouts, nobody likes an incessant baby that wants othersto showcase their work. Be self-reliant. Establish yourself people willshare your posts themselves.

  • Don’t ask for follow for follow. It’s frankly the worst thing you can do tolose credibility. I’ll detail a better way to build connections.

  • Don’t leave half hearted comments. “Nice post bro”, “Great content!”. Howwould you like if you spend 2 hours researching and making a post andyou get that comment? I bet not so much!

  • Only post when you can reply back to at least 50% of the comments youreceive. While replying try to ask inquisitive questions to generate acomment back again.

  • Don’t DM your post to people so that they can engage with it, noengagement groups, no link shares. Be patient!

Consistent Uploads

I cannot stress how important consistency has been to the growth of
every content creator that brags a tremendous growth rate.

  • All your followers might not be shown content immediately at the time of making the post.

  • If you post everyday, you double your chances of reaching more people.

  • If one post doesn’t do well, it can ride in the wave of another posts reach, as when people visit your profile they tend to look around neighboring posts.

  • It also accustoms people, to look forward to your post everyday.

  • Coming up with a post and design every single day will increase your efficiency to design, create content and reduce the effort spent as well.

NEW: Story Views Hack

You can easily double or triple your average story views. How?

  • Instagram is always coming up with new stickers. Why it’s important? All stories with that sticker are shown as a separate story highlight on every followers profile. Support Small Business/Stay At Home etc.Use those stickers, cover them up with your post. And voila you’ve just added a preview of your post which is shared with everyone.

    Recent stickers that were launched and were leveraged by a few smart people.This borders on unethical sometimes, which is why I’d refrain from overdoing it and using these infrequently.

Suggested Accounts

  • When you’re not following someone, there’s a tiny arrow next to them. When you click, it suggests similar accounts to you.

  • It is based on multiple factors like the similarity of profile pictures, similarity of IG usernames, and how much they interact with each other.

  • But there is more to it, the answer is the keywords in your name + bio. You’re more likely to be suggested on profiles that use the same keywords.

  • You can’t change your name more than 2-3 times per 14 days. But your bio, you can switch up every day. Go find accounts that are on IG steroids and gaining followers rapidly. Pick up keywords from their profile that you can add to your bio without making it confusing.

  • Let’s say an “Instagram Expert” is doing well. You can add something like “New to Instagram, learning from Experts”. Be clever about this.

Best Time To Post

Instagram gives you audience activity according to your local time zone.
If you use Creator Studio (FREE app by Facebook) it will show you audience activity according to PST (Pacific Time). Which one do you rely on? Neither.

  • Why? You need to know that there will be certain people that interact with your posts who will form the bigger chunk of your engagement. You need to post at the time most of these TRUE FANS are online.

  • How? If you know they come from a specific time zone, check the highest activity time for that time zone on Google and post then.
    If most of them come from different time zones, you can’t hone in on their time zone.

  • We advise you experiment with 4 time slots when you can be online to reply to the comments you receive back. Even if you can take out 15 minutes to reply to the comments it is good enough.

Geo-Tagging Locations

We provide you with recommended Geo Locations on your dashboard that are currently trending.

  • Geotags are locations that you can add to your posts while posting them. These location metrics show up in insights as shown on the side.

  • They are important because Instagram provides support for people to find posts by location. So people can view your posts by location as well.

  • These locations help you reach & target audiences in areas that you aren’t present at. At
    IG only reports top 4 impression metrics. Now the other metrics are much higher so location isn’t reported. But every extra impression counts.

Follow/Unfollow Method

One of the oldest tricks in the book! How to tell if an account is likely to follow you back

  • Follow users followers that have an account similar to yours. E.g. if you look similar to Justin Bieber, follow the people who have liked his recent post

  • Follow people who have LIKED a post, not people who simply FOLLOW the user. A lot of users have fake or inactive followers, whereas people who are liking their posts are far more likely to be active, engaging fans.

  • After following them, like 1-2 of their posts or even drop a comment for a high conversion rate.

  • Follow users who have a reasonable follower to follow ratio. If someone has 2,000 followers and follows 50 people, it is likely they only follow their close friends and won't follow you back. Also avoid anyone with under 100 following or followers.

  • DO NOT GO ON FOLLOWING SPREES! This will eventually get your account blocked and allow you to do nothing after 1-2 weeks. Be methodical and choose who you follow very carefully based on these factors

  • Avoid fake accounts or account that seem illegitimate. Typically, they have strange profile pictures or bios designed to promote other accounts. They are a waste of a follow.

Explore Bouncing

Once you see that a post has made it to EXPLORE on your post insights.Stop replying to comments on that post.

Space them out, in intervals of 4-6 hours, reply to 2-3 comments that’s it, usually asking questions to get a comment back.

Why?We want it to stay longer in the explore area so that more people can see it. I have taken a lot of posts up from 100 on explore to 5k+ with this technique.

How To Increase Engagement

Engagement is Queen. The secondary reason for growth. This is by far the most crucial part for someone that is just starting out on Instagram. It is also the most time consuming. Instagram is a social media platform. You need to be social, extremely social when you are a newbie that nobody knows.

External Engagement

Find people in your niche that are already doing well and have a massive following

  • 1. Start following them.

  • 2. Turn on post notifications for their posts.

  • 3. Monitor their comment section and interact with people there. Bonus: Ask questions, leave witty remarks, answer questions, etc. for other people.

  • 4. Leave a thoughtful comment yourself. These act as back-links to your profile, you drop crumbs here and there for people to follow you back to your profile.

  • 5. The comment needs to be an answer to a question they’ve asked, a well crafted comment after reading the post in entirety.

  • 6. Find true fans: Convert true fans of big creators into true fans of yours, answer their comments or leave witty remarks about their DP or photos etc, guide them to your profile with these comments. Drop them DMs if you think it’ll help convert them.

  • 7. The comment cannot be something like “Nice post”, random emoji or thanks for making this post. This puts people off about your entire vibe so quickly. It’s a give and take relationship, you give value, you get value.

    True Fan Signs:

    1. Respectful comment.
    2. Appreciates effort.
    3. Invokes emotion.
    4. Knows what the post is about, genuinely read or skimmed through.

    Just Wants A Follower Signs:

    1. Random emoji.
    2. Literally one word.
    3. Engaging for engagement sake.

Internal Engagement

This is what you do internally within your own account. Have to keep your hour house in order to move ahead.

  • Reply to every comment on your posts. Don’t do it half-heartedly at least not in the early stages. Treat your followers as genuine customers and care about their queries and comments equally.

  • Send voice DMs to new followers (only if they have a public profile), a voice DM is a personalized voice note thanking them for checking out your profile and appreciating their support.

  • You can also save a quick reply text message in case you are not comfortable with a voice DM initially. Thanking them for following you, for their support and you hope to serve them with more valuable information in the future.

  • Reply to every DM that you get, try and interact with people that wish to know you, get to know them. Understand their vision. Ask them questions if you feel they are reciprocating well. Helps you become a part of a larger online community.

  • Flag DMs in case you have to follow up with someone in the future or if you just want to remember to interacting with someone occassionally. Can be easily done as shown below.

Engagement Groups

Coming Soon

Comment Exchange

Coming Soon

Like Exchange

Coming Soon

How To Use Hashtags Properly

Hashtags are lottery tickets. Hashtags are used to reach out to more people on Instagram that don’t follow you but follow the hashtag you posted under. Your profile is also ranked under hashtags.

IMPORTANT: If you start using hashtags, give at least 15-20 posts a try with different hashtags sets before dismissing the method off. Instagram keeps boosting your profile up the ladder in hashtag performance.

This is why you need to be persistent with using hashtags. It may take a few tries before they start working, but once they do - they will become consistently effective and get you crazy results every time! Some of our clients went from reaching 100-200 users with hashtags to getting a 70-100K reach consistently!

Rules For Hashtags

  • Limit of 5 hashtags on posts.

  • Choose hashtags depending on account size and the engagement you get. We provide you with recommendations on this.

  • Try not to repeat hashtags with consecutive posts.

  • Make 4-5 sets of 5 hashtags each (that you rotate between each week) and add 5 more depending on the content (caption/topic specific hashtags) you make.

  • Use hashtags relevant to the content you are making even if they aren't in your niche, use caption and images as references to use for choosing hashtags.

    We provide you with a range of niches so you can select the most relevant hashtags based either on your post or profile.

How To Hide Your Hashtags

Posts with too many hashtags can come across as too cluttered. So we came up with a way to get all the benefits of using lots of hashtags, without all the downsides.

  • 1. Open Notes on your phone

  • 2. Type a dot • then press “Return”.  Repeat 5 times.

  • 3. Place your list of hashtags right underneath the 5th dot.

  • 4.Copy the text, line breaks and all.

  • 5. After editing your captionn, paste the text you copied in step 4 underneath your caption with the hashtags included.

How To Measure Success

Whenever we run an experiment we want to judge it based on a few metrics to evaluate what works well and what doesn’t.

Working Well

  • There is an increase in likes + comments per post.

  • There is a spike in profile visits.

  • Post is shared more than others.

  • Post is saved more than others.

  • Increase in daily new follower count. This is what good, consistent growth should look like:

Not Working Well

  • Decrease in profile visits.

  • Decrease in engagement (likes + comments).

  • You cannot sustain the high quality design variation/content that you pushed out initially, its okay to dial back down a little in this case.

To Keep In Mind

  • Every experiment is to be evaluated on a 2 week basis. If you try a new design style, try it for at least 2 weeks. If you try a new keywords in your hashtag sets, give it at least 14 days.

  • Metrics to determine post effectiveness are to be noted down after a 24 hour period (from the time of making the post). Metrics you need to carefully monitor are: Impressions, Reach, Comments, Saves, Likes L(ikes are being removed but still used in engagement calculations currently).

  • Important metric to keep a track of is daily net follower growth. Net because people unfollow as well. If unfollow count is high either you’re involved in follow for follow, buying followers or your content isn’t good enough. Refer content section to improve.

  • Important metric to keep a track of is daily net follower growth. Net because people unfollow as well. If unfollow count is high either you’re involved in follow for follow, buying followers or your content isn’t good enough. Refer content section to improve.

Download Design Templates

You need to treat your Instagram like it’s a brand. Not just any brand. A 6 figure brand. How?

Download Our Monthly Template

Download Monthly Photoshop template

Use keywords like “This”, “Secret”, “How”, “Why”, in your hooks. They are intriguing and out of sheer curiosity people decide to go through your post.

Facing difficulty aligning the post to your brand colour? Here are a few color tricks you can use:

1. Create a new layer with your color and set blending mode > color

2. Set image to black and white but use shapes in your brand color to add that familiar feel.

3. Set the background as your brand color and place your text and add a stroke to the image you use. Add quotes or one liners that are share worthy. If you scroll through my feed you’ll find plenty of impactful quotes in the posts. People share them very quickly often subconsciously.

How To Treat Your Brand

You need to have a consistent focus on the brand feel, tone of voice, content. You don’t see brands like Nike post about cars using colours of some other brand right? Pick your brand colour/colours and adhere to them.

This builds a sense of familiarity within your customer base. Whenever a post pops up with your colours they immediately know it’s your post.

If you are experimenting with design make sure you gradually build up to the variation or use a milestone or single post to create a minor demarcation in the change of style.

5 Design Rules

1. Established Brand Colours

2. Variations between posts as minute as possible

3. Profile picture matches brand

4. Highlights are brand coloured

5. A sense of uniformity

Best Practices

General best practices that you should adhere to:

1. Do not stray from your theme and brand colours, if you want to change something up. Build up to it gradually, use a milestone or a single post to demarcate the change.

2. Your tone of voice is also associated closely with your brand (design), try to stay consistent with it.

3. Hooks (which is Cover Image of Carousel, Preview Image of video or a Single Post) need to be gripping, captivating and scroll stopping (people just keep scrolling IG until your post pops up and makes them want to stop cos the hook is on fire!).

Copy & Paste Hashtags

Comment & DM Templates

DM Templates

Genuine First DM Template – To Someone You Want to Convert

Hey [name], I just came across your post on [topic] and I think you’ve brought up some invaluable points, especially the one about [keyword]. I’ll be looking forward to your future posts for sure.

Genuine First DM Template – To
Your Own New Follower

Hey [name], thank you so much for following me. I hope that you like my work and I am able to serve you with some insightful posts in the future. If you have any feedback for me, please don’t hesitate to let me know.You may choose to send it as a voice DM as well.

Comment Templates

Genuine Comment Template On Other User's Posts

Oh wow, I loved what you had to say about [keyword]. Especially the part about [keyword]. However, if I may add, I think [suggest/question/ask something] Do it politely.

Genuine Reply To A Comment On Your Own Post Template

Thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate you taking the time out to go through my post. Are there any key takeaways for you from this/Anything that you would like to add/Please feel free to DM me in case you have any feedback. Don’t use the same thing on everyone. Try to vary.

Copy & Paste Templates