Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms, with more than one billion active monthly users across the globe. If you want to stand out from the crowd and really foster a community that creates loyal followers and brand evangelists, you’ve got to make an effort to get the job done. Use these seven methods to get organic Instagram growth. Craft a Killer Bio Your bio, and overall profile, are the first thing people see when they find you. The bio is the only place where links will be active, so it’s important to tell people who you are, what they can expect to find, and how they will benefit from following your account. When you’re effective at conveying this message, you’ll get a higher number of people who are clicking the link in your bio – driving traffic to your website or current offer. If you cannot demonstrate what people will get when they are willing to follow you – they likely won’t. But most importantly, you have to cultivate a feed that follows through on your promises if you expect the followers to stick around for the long term. Consider Your Overall Feed Image Yes, the photos and video you share on Instagram matter, but so does the overall feed image and theme. If each of your posts tell a story, the entire feed needs to be treated as a novel. Why? Because when people first decide to follow you, they are looking at your feed as a whole, not just the individual images. Crafting your Instagram to follow a theme that resonates with your brand is vital to your success on the platform. This means staying consistent with your photography and filters, too. Create a Visual Chain When it is time to post a new image on Instagram, think about how it looks with your previous and third previous posts. Every new photo you post appears next to the last photo you posted, and right above the third one. These are the ones that must visually match to create a consistent and balanced look for that overall feed image. Focusing on this saves you time because you only have to focus on how the picture looks in that set of three, rather than the entire feed. Make sure the colors match and there’s a balance between heavy and simply photos. If your old images don’t fit, delete them. You can see which of your posts receive the most engaging by tracking your Instagram analytics. Develop an Editorial Calendar Part of standing out from the crowd involves consistently posting new content. One of the ways to make sure this happens is to create an editorial calendar. There’s no set frequency with which you should post – it all depends on what you can do and what your audience will respond to. H&M posts twice a day, but Nike posts about once a week. What matters is the consistency, so whatever you set up is what your audience will come to expect. Setting up a calendar ensures you can better follow a theme for your feed aesthetic and that you won’t unexpectedly run out of content – and allows you to schedule your posts in advance so you don’t have to manually do it every day. Make Your Instagram Shoppable If you sell any kind of tangible product, on images that showcase your products, people need to be able to click to buy your product. It takes a bit of effort to set this up, but when people don’t have to go back to your website to buy, you’ll definitely get more sales. The process begins with creating a product catalog on your Facebook that’s linked to your Instagram. Use Instagram Stories If you’re not using Instagram Stories, you should be. It shows your followers what you’re up to between posts, draws in additional followers, and it’s a fun way to show off your brand. Learning how to make Instagram Stories work for you is another aspect of Instagram entirely, since the Stories you post on Instagram are only live for 24 hours. Thanks to Stories Highlights, however, you can take Stories you’ve had on your account in the past and highlight them in various categories at the top of your profile. Become a Content Curator There are a number of laser-targeted Instagram accounts that only share content on a select few topics, such as weight loss/healthy eating, dogs, cats, beauty, makeup, hair, etc. This approach makes it easy to grow a highly targeted following. As a content curator, you’re branding yourself as an expert, and building to influencer status. This isn’t necessarily an ideal approach for businesses who have a product or service to promote, but using a variation of this style can still help you establish expertise and credibility in your niche, which helps to build a targeted following who trusts you. Ultimately, no matter what niche or industry you’re in, you can stand out in a number of ways. Just don’t get stuck in a rut doing the same thing over and over. You’ll want to mix things up from time to time to keep your audience interested. If you need ideas about where to start, check out your competition and see what posts have the most engagement. Aim for a similar approach, but be sure to highlight what makes you different from your competitors.