6 Way to Crush It on Instagram Using Growth Hacking Techniques

6 Way to Crush It on Instagram Using Growth Hacking Techniques

This is what I used to grow my Instagram account to over 140,000 followers. My branded hashtag was used over 11,000 times. What do you want for your Instagram account? Local bloggers, models, niche influencers, loyal customers, and fans all make great options. Create and promote a branded hashtag No Instagram strategy is complete without a solid hashtag play. Take a look at Nike’s branded hashtag. Optimize your Instagram profile and content for search The first five strategies will get people talking about you, sharing your content, and promoting your brand. Your branded searches will increase. The best part is, growth hacking isn’t some kind of “secret sauce.” It’s available for you to use for the benefit of your business. What strategies are you using to grow your Instagram account?

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hack instagram

Some businesses emerge out of nowhere and take off like wildfire.

They capture the world’s attention and get everyone talking about them. The buzz never truly dies off.

We saw it happen with Uber.

We saw it again with Airbnb.

Just take a look at this Google Trends graph for the search terms “Uber” and “Airbnb.” There’s been an exponential increase year over year.

Have you ever wondered how this sudden and rapid growth happens?

Or how these businesses keep their momentum?

I’ll let you in on their strategy.

It’s called growth hacking.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the term. It’s been thrown around a lot lately.

This is what I used to grow my Instagram account to over 140,000 followers. Even though I don’t have an active Instagram account anymore, this article was designed to teach you how to grow yours like I did before.

My results?

  • My Google rankings surged.
  • The number of Google searches for my name increased by over 70%.
  • My branded hashtag was used over 11,000 times.
  • My Instagram account received double the average engagement on each post.

Insane, right?

I already knew first-hand the impact that social media had on SEO. It’s something that I preach about all the time here.

Still, I was amazed by the results I saw.

You don’t typically associate Instagram with SEO. It seems unlikely that a photo-sharing social network would increase your search engine capital.

It can, and I’ll give you all the details.

With the strategies in this article, you can replicate my success.

But before I jump in, I want to give you a crucial bit of advice.

Have a plan of attack

There’s no escaping this.

You need to be ready with a strategy.

You cannot growth hack your way to the top of search engine rankings without knowing what the hack is.

Let’s consider the meaning of growth hacking.

Here’s the textbook definition:

Screen Shot 2017 07 22 at 11.47.51 PM

In short, it’s about achieving astronomical growth quickly. This very focused goal should inform every step that you take.

Hacking often means experimenting with inexpensive strategies.

You have to go off the beaten path and come up with ingenious ways to meet your objectives.

Before you get started, get the details down.

  • What do you want for your Instagram account? We know it’s growth, but how much growth?
  • What exactly does growth mean to you?
  • In what period would you like to achieve your goal?
  • What experiments will you try?
  • How will you put a new spin on an old technique to accelerate the results?

You don’t have to go in blindly.

The strategies I share in this article will help you answer the last two questions.

Ready? Let’s get started.

1. Play the numbers game

People always recommend “quality over quantity.”

I agree. It’s something I preach myself.

When it comes to growth-hacking Instagram, though, your strength is in the numbers.

Dropbox demonstrated this well. Its goal was to increase the number of Dropbox users, so it incentivized current users to bring even more people on board.

Screen Shot 2017 07 23 at 7 23 20 AM

Did that free space cost Dropbox extra money? Most likely.

But when you’re focused on growth, the secondary elements don’t matter. It’s all about growing your numbers.

So, increasing your Instagram followers should be your first objective.


Growth hacking requires a blitz factor. Everyone needs to be talking about you at the same time.

After you build that momentum, you need to scale it.

The surest way to achieve that is to rally up a large following.

Best of all, it’s not difficult to do.

Foundr was able to growth hack its Instagram account to half a million followers in less than a year.

Screen Shot 2017 07 23 at 6.35.49 AM

Make no mistake: you can still have a very targeted approach to Instagram.

After all, you want your followers to be genuinely interested in your brand and what you offer.

That’s the one prerequisite to sustaining your growth.

But what I’m saying is that you need enough reach to create that viral effect.

So, in the strategies we use from here on out, remember that we’re taking a “more is more” approach.

To begin, you need to gain a significant number of the right followers.

Here’s how.

Step #1: Piggy-back on the following of influencers or brands in your niche.

If someone follows an account with the same focus as yours, they’ll likely follow you as well.

This is ideal for getting targeted followers without having to do the legwork.

Plug in your niche hashtag in the search bar on Instagram. I used #socialmediamarketing for this tutorial.

Select the hashtag with the highest number of posts from the drop down menu.

Instagram 1

You’ll get the top posts for that hashtag.

socialmediamarketingtips Instagram photos and videos

Select a few of them to see who posted the photo.

It’s more than likely a popular user, like this guy, who has 13k followers:

Andy Dane Carter andydanecarter Instagram photos and videos 1

Check out that person’s list of followers, then follow them.

Andy Dane Carter andydanecarter Instagram photos and videos

Step #2: Go on a photo-liking and commenting spree.

This is an excellent way to get on the radar of potential fans.

Type in a hashtag related to your business in the search bar. Find a few promising accounts, like their content, and leave thoughtful comments.

Make sure you like and comment on multiple photos. Three is a good number.

You can gain followers this way without necessarily having to do the tacky “follow-for-follow” routine.

Step #3: Post every single day at optimal times.

Content is crucial. If you don’t post every day, you’ll not only lose your current followers, but you won’t attract any new ones.

Like most social media channels, there’s a right time to post your content on Instagram.

If you’ve been active on the platform for a while, you can analyze your data to determine what your audience prefers.

If not, here’s a general idea of optimal times:

Best Times To Post On Social Media According To 20 Studies

Step #4: Use relevant hashtags.

Hashtags are to Instagram what keywords are to Google.

It’s how users find your content, so use lots of them.

Posts that include hashtags have a higher like-to-follower ratio than those that do not.

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You can use up to 30 hashtags. I don’t recommend stuffing your posts with hashtags only, though, so keep your hashtags-to-content ratio balanced.

Including more than 10 hashtags can lead…