Instagram has become one of the most effective platforms for salons and spas to share their talent and expertise in the beauty and wellness industries. With over 800 million monthly active users and the highest engagement of any social media platform, Instagram must be approached strategically to attract and engage users online.

5 Ways to Organically Grow Your Instagram

Growing your Instagram following takes nurturing, consistency, and research. Here are five key aspects that should be part of your strategy to foster long-term growth for your account:

Do Your Research

Take the time to research other successful Instagram accounts that post similar content. Study at least 10 accounts and note the following:

  • What hashtags are they using?
  • What type of content are they sharing?
  • Who are they following?
  • What accounts are they tagging in their posts?
  • What strategy are they using to engage followers?

Gaining followers on Instagram isn’t about reinventing the wheel. It’s about understanding what engages your audience and then adapting that type of content to fit your unique brand. Researching what’s already working can greatly assist with developing a successful strategy for growth.

Utilize Your Insights

Instagram’s built-in Insights tool for Business Accounts allows you to better understand your audience and the success of your posts. Insights allow you to better tailor your content based on demographics, the best time of day to post, and what types of posts receive the most engagement. Utilize this information to constantly adapt your feed and the growth will follow.

Haven’t converted your page to a Business Account yet? Go to the settings wheel on your profile page, and choose the last option under ‘Account’ which is ‘Switch to Business Profile.’ Instagram will then walk you through the steps to switch over so you can start taking advantage of the extra benefits a Business Account provides.

Implement Hashtags, Tags, Mentions, and Locations

Instagram has several features that allow users to find relevant content. Utilizing hashtags, tags, mentions, and locations ensure that your content reaches the feeds of the right audience.

Hashtags. During your research, you should have discovered the top hashtags that your peers are using. Keep a note in your phone with necessary hashtags to accompany each post. Don’t forget to include hashtags for brands, accounts that repost content, as well as local hashtags.

Account Tags. When posting an image, don’t forget to tag brands used directly on the image. To be featured you can tag accounts like American Salon, Modern Salon, and Behind the Chair. Once you’ve tagged an account, your post will live in the tagged tab of their Instagram account, which is a great way to expand your reach.

Mentions. Similar to tags, mentions are a great way to get someone’s attention in your caption. However, these mentions do not live anywhere beyond the caption, so mainly utilize it to engage in conversation in the comments.

Locations. Always tag the location of your salon in your posts, and ask that your team and clients do the same. This will curate your work across accounts to be tied to your location on Instagram. Furthermore, if you tag your town in your Instagram stories, they will now show up to anyone in the area at the top of the ‘Search’ section.

Commit to Your ‘Look’

The most successful accounts on Instagram stick to one color palette and usually use only one filter. Decide what you want your ‘look’ to be and stick to it. This also goes for your posts that include any graphic design. The idea is that a user should be able to scroll through their Instagram and instantly be able to recognize that the post came from you without looking at anything else besides the picture.

Instagram now allows you to ‘archive’ posts, meaning you can hide them from your feed without permanently deleting them. This can help you get rid of some of your posts that don’t fit your brand style.

Put Aside Time to Engage

To grow on social media, you must be social! Engaging with other users, while time-consuming, is one of the most effective ways to grow your following. We recommend using Gary V’s $1.80 Instagram strategy:

  1. Find 10 relevant hashtags (which you should already have from your research)
  2. Find 9 posts within each hashtag where you can leave your “two cents.” Don’t just choose the first nine, but ones that speak to you, where you can leave valuable and meaningful comments.
  3. Repeat for all 10 hashtags.
  4. Repeat this entire process a few times a week.

Don’t forget to engage with your own comments and mentions, too! Studies show that users tend to unfollow companies that won’t answer them on social media.

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