People will weep and complain that the algorithm is throttling them etc etc, without actually knowing if the algorithm is actually doing that. The one advantage of this obscurity is that it is incredibly hard to game the system. No one actually knows what they are doing. No one can tell you exactly, for sure, a step-by-step successful strategy for Instagram. There are as many different strategies as there are users.
But, despite saying this, there are some things that will always help your Instagram page grow consistently.
1- Use carousel posts
Carousel posts are simply posts that have more than one image in them, users swipe left to see them. You can put up to 10 images now. These posts are great for driving engagement, as users spend more time on them as they have more to see, and also they need to tap the photo to see what is next.
According to Hootsuite, carrousel posts drive 3x the engagement and 1.4x the reach of other post types.
2- Put Instagram story stickers
Instagram stories have a wide variety of interactive stickers you can use. these stickers range from polls, questions, sliders, to time stamps, countdowns. These stickers are a fun, engaging, and awesome way to get feedback from your target audience.
If your audience interacts with your stories this tells the Instagram algorithm that manages who sees your content that they are worth showing to more people
3- Pay attention to hashtags
Hashtags are primarily used for post categorisation. Swap your hashtags around regularly to make sure that they match the content of your post. There is currently a debate going on about whether using the full set of 30 hashtags or only using a few is the most successful. If you use all 30 hashtags then your post will pop up in the recent under more categories. But then there is a rumor that the algorithm punishes the use of all 30 hashtags with less reach. This last assumption is neither confirmed nor denied so do with that as you will.
4- Interact with members of your community online
When you tap on a hashtag Instagram will take you to all the other posts under that hashtag. If you look at the top posts section they will all have a lot of likes and will probably be from already successful accounts. If you go to the recent section you will get the most recent sets of posts regardless of the size of the account. Interact with those posts in a positive manner and you are more likely to get known in the community and that interaction will mean more people will come back to check out your account.
5- Check Instagram Analytics
under the Instagram insights tab you can see rough statistics about your audience. This can help you understand which of your posts performs best and what type of content your followers enjoy seeing from you. Of course, being exactly accurate about what posts do best can be a little difficult since the data is quite simple, but it can help you point in the right direction
Instagram purposely keeps its algorithms a secret so as to prevent anyone from gaming the system. Because of this, no one can give you a surefire, exact step-by-step way to grow your accounts. There are simply methods that have been tested and over time have bought slow-burn success.
Remember kids, people promising you instant overnight social media success are the same people selling the overpriced courses. The only real way, apart from the lucky ones, is to turn up every day with something of value to give your audience.
Good luck fellow plodders!