HARSH TRUTHS ON WHY YOU’RE NOT GROWING ON INSTAGRAM

SauceFromVeli
6 min readJan 16, 2023

Almost every other day I talk to artists, brand owners as I often see people claiming that they’re “doing everything right” but still not growing their Instagram following steadily.

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Here’s some inconvenient news: if you were doing everything right, you would be growing.

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In many aspects, Instagram growth is about subtleties, details. And each one counts.

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There are many elements that play a pivotal role when it comes to steady Instagram growth, being that I’d like to present a list of some harsh but common truths on why you may not be leveraging the results that you’re looking for:

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1- You’re not posting as frequently as you should be

Consistency is one of the most important things in life.

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If you’re not putting out content frequently, you won’t be contributing to one of your roles as an Instagram user. See, it’s Instagram’s goal to retain as many users in the platform for as long as possible.

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If you’re not putting out content, you’re not an added value (in the eyes of Instagram’s algorithm), to the platform, as you’re not providing more content for users to consume and prolong their stay in the platform.

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It’s not by chance that the top performing pages on Instagram are, for the most part, posting on a daily basis.

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In any social media platform, it is highly recommendable to post every day, preferably at the same time. This will enable you to build enough momentum to raise your page’s health score and to provide a new audience, as well as your current audience, with fresh content to consume and added reasons to stay a follower — they will know that they can expect more from you.

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Posting frequently doesn’t only play a huge role algorithmically, it mainly plays a role within your page’s perceived value in the eyes of your audience and, of course, in the eyes of brands that will be more likely to approach you for a collaboration.

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2- You’re not using Instagram’s features enough, or effectively

This applies to feed and stories.

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Using Instagram’s features is essential in what concerns your posts’ reach potential, as well as how engaging they can be.

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For instance, on your Instagram stories, make sure to be creative — add features like polls, quizzes, and many more — don’t overdo it, though, it’s all about balance and adequacy.

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This doesn’t imply, by any means, that you should be using Instagram’s features in every story, repeatedly, without context.

Make sure to be intentional and creative. But, most importantly, pull your audience in, show them that you count on them to participate on your page’s “life”.

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The same applies on your feed posts — use location tags, tag other pages that may find your post to be relatable or interesting in any particular way.

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Also, focus on your content output’s variety. Don’t just always post static pictures. Go for vids, reels, IGTV, live videos on your stories, etc. This will add as positive unpredictability component to your page’s perceived value from your current and from your new audience.

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3- Your page’s niche categorization is poor

Your page’s Niche Categorization consists in the niche category that Instagram’s algorithm inserts your page in.

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If your page’s niche categorization is on point, your posts are more likely to be spread to a targeted audience whose pages have the same niche categorization — thus, are interested in the same of content, as they exclusively, or almost exclusively, interact with pages in your niche as well.

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Getting your niche categorization on point is one of the key elements that enable you to increase your reach and engagement quality.

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If you’re posting content without any pattern, without any niche-focused strategy, your page will be too confusing and its niche categorization will be compromised.

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How do I know that my page’s niche categorization is on point?

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Simply check out your explore page. If only content that has to do with your niche shows up, then you’re good!

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Essentially, it should look like a feed of a page in your niche.

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What to do to improve your page’s niche categorization:

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  • Exclusively interact with pages that belong to your niche;

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  • Exclusively post content that is related to your niche;

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  • Exclusively visit pages that are related to your niche;

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  • Exclusively use niche-related and location relevant hashtags;

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Make sure that your niche categorization is on point from the day that you create your page, otherwise your health score can be harmed and your page’s reach potential and, consequently, growth potential, will be severely compromised.

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Benefits of effective niche categorization:

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Having your page’s niche categorization on point benefits your page the following ways:

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  • Your posts are more likely to feature in the explore page of people who are already interested in your niche, therefore in the type of content that you share;

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  • Your content will be recommended to users that interact / engage with content pages which niche categorisation is like yours (pages that exist within your niche).

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  • In consequence, your reach and engagement quality will improve, contributing to a more targeted follower-gain.

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4- You’re not applying the best methods

If you think you can grow your way through follow / unfollow, shoutout for shoutout or through just posting and waiting to see what happens every day, your chances of success are diminished.

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The best method for Instagram growth (if you’re looking for targeted followers in mass), is Instagram ads, namely Instagram story ads.

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If you’re not applying them, your growth pace will be much lower than with any other method that prevails these days.

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It may be harsh and not pretty to hear but investing money for your Instagram page’s growth is what works the best.

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If you have the budget, you should’ve started running Instagram ads yesterday. Make the most of them while they’re shockingly powerful. If you know how to do it with expertise, you’ll be able to grow upwards of 10k+ followers per month, such as I’ve been doing for hundreds of clients for the past years.

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If you don’t have the budget, make sure your content output is outstanding and that you proactively engage with your audience, as you’ll be purely relying on organic growth, which is, in many cases, insufficient to sustain the growth levels that you may be aiming at or dreaming of.

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5- Your content’s quality is poor

As simple as this — if your content is blurry and bad looking, you’re probably not succeeding on Instagram.

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Content is (almost) everything, being that no matter how good your surrounding strategy is, if your content sucks, aesthetically wise, your page isn’t going to go far.

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Another equally important aspect has to do with knowing what your audience wants to see from your page.

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No matter how good or bad your content quality is, on an aesthetical level, if it’s not corresponding to what your audience wants or is expecting from you, it won’t receive the attention and the feedback that you may be striving for.

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Equally, if you’re not enjoying or being visibly passionate about the content you share, your audience will easily perceive it as non-organic, in a very subtle sense.

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Focus on your content output before anything else. It’s absolutely key and should be regarded as such from the moment you start running your page.

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6- You’re not being social within the platform

Social media platforms are made for people to socialize with each other on each of their respective virtual world.

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That’s where their name comes from.

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Being social in the platform is about establishing networking relationships with users within the same niche, engaging with your audience and acting like a business and a consumer.

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Acting like a business stands for putting out what you’re about. Acting like a consumer… well… the name says it all — it’s about consuming content (preferably, niche-related content, so that your page’s niche categorization is on point).

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What a huge chunk of Instagram users do is posting here and there and that’s that.

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And that isn’t enough for you to be able to establish a closer relationship with your audience and to create an actual sense of community around it.

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Make sure to pay close attention to all these aspects and watch how your page’s performance will improve.

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Hope that this was insightful! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions!

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SauceFromVeli

| Music Journalist | Creative Marketing |Web3 | https://linktr.ee/saucefromvelitv . Life. Society. Tech & More💜| Humanitarian & Philosopher