How to Organically Grow a Travel Instagram Account in 2022

It’s no secret that in 2022, the Instagram algorithm isn’t nearly as generous as it was 4 or 5 years ago. That being said, it takes a little more effort on our end to grow an Instagram account than just posting frequently and using hashtags.

Here is everything you need to know to grow your Instagram by the thousands in 2022:

Reels

Ever since Instagram launched its reels feature in August 2020, accounts have been BLOWING UP due to their reels consistently going viral.

Flashforward to July 2021, and Instagram officially announced it is no longer focusing on photo content, but video content. Short-form video content is alllllll the rage right now thanks to Tik Tok, and its popularity has slowly weaved itself into the online marketing world.

In efforts to compete with the insane reach anyone can get on Tik Tok, Instagram has been pushing out reels content in a similar manner. Gone are the days where you have to spend 8 hours a day engaging, participating in pods, and giveaways. If you focus on video content – especially reels – and stay CONSISTENT with it, you are likely to see a huge increase in reach and in turn, audience growth.

How to get more views on your reels

Some of the best-performing reels I’ve posted to my travel Instagram account, @the.petite.wanderer

I’ve found that utilizing trends is what gets the most traction on reels. These video trends typically originate on Tik Tok, and slowly make their way over into Instagram reels.

You can easily find trends by scrolling through reels on Instagram. Every so often, I’ll allocate about 30 minutes or so to scrolling through IG reels and paying attention to trending sounds that I could potentially put my own twist on. The key is to take a trending sound and create a reel with it that is relevant to your niche. I’ve found relatable content to work best with trends, as they are super sharable. And of course, the algorithm will continue to push out content that gets more shares, likes, comments, and saves. Create short, trendy, and relatable reels and you should start seeing traction. The best part about these types of reels is that they are SO easy to record and require little to no editing.

Educational reels tend to also gain traction – especially if what you are teaching is a hack or tip that is unique (the goal is to blow your audience’s minds!). If you can offer How-to tutorials, tips, hacks, etc., in a quick and punchy video format, you will see an explosion of views in your reels.

I personally have gone viral 5 times in just one month by posting educational reels that provide interesting facts about some of the places I have visited. My most successful reel has gained over 40 Million views and resulted in 20,000 new followers for my account.

Engagement

Engaging on Instagram in a nutshell consists of liking and commenting on other people’s Instagram content. Unfortunately, it is highly underutilized as a tactic due to its time-consuming nature.

Here’s why consistent engagement is so effective: When you take the time to leave likes and comments on an ideal customer’s Instagram posts, your profile will pop up in their notifications tab. AKA – free advertising.

Quite often, when someone sees that YOU took the time to leave some love on their Instagram, they’ll take the time to check out YOUR Instagram and see what you’re all about – and if they like what they see, they’ll give you a follow.

WHERE TO FIND THE RIGHT ACCOUNTS TO ENGAGE WITH

Engaging on Instagram IS an effective money-making activity to do on a daily basis – IF you engage with the right profiles that fit your Ideal Customer Avatar.

This is why it’s crucial to get inside the minds of your ideal client and understand where they are hanging out on Instagram.

HERE ARE A FEW WAYS TO FIND THE RIGHT ACCOUNTS TO ENGAGE WITH:

  • Who are they following and engaging with?
    • What type of accounts are your ideal clients following? Most likely, it’s other accounts in your niche. Look at the accounts that are liking and commenting on their posts and engage with them.
  • What hashtags are they using?
    • Which hashtags is your target audience using on their Instagram posts? Example: If your ideal client is a female traveler like mine, you’d search for female travel-related hashtags like #dametraveler, #sheisnotlost, #girlslovetravel, etc.
  • What locations are they tagging?
    • As a travel account, this is likely the least relevant of the three ways to find ideal accounts to engage with. However, if you search some of the most “Instagram famous” locations such as Positano, Paris, Bali, Cappadocia, etc., you will likely find a lot of good accounts to engage with.

Post Quality Content (over quantity)

In 2020, Instagram rewards top-notch, high-quality content. A few years ago, more frequent posting DID result in significantly faster growth, but this tactic is pretty much a waste of time nowadays.

Don’t worry about posting every single day on Instagram if you don’t have the time. Instead, post 2-3 pieces of HIGH-QUALITY content per week that speaks directly to your ideal client and provides value to them in some way.

Stuck on content ideas? Ask your followers what topics they want to learn more about! This will ensure that you are actually posting content your ideal clients want to see, and no what you *think* they want to see. Use the story poll feature for them to vote on content topics, or reach out directly to your most engaged followers via DM.

Use Smaller, Niche-Related Hashtags

If you’re using hashtags that have 1M+ posts, your posts are going to get buried within seconds of posting. Instead, start using smaller, niche hashtags to avoid getting lost in a sea of Instagram posts.

Avoid using hashtags with over 500,000 posts – you’ll get buried under the amount of traffic and most likely won’t rank under “top posts” UNLESS you have extremely high engagement.

Example:

❌#femaleentrepreneur (3M posts)

-> Instead, try #fempire (170K posts)

❌#lifecoach (7.2M posts)

-> Instead, try #lifecoachforwomen (273K posts)

Ps… Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags – no more, no less. ALWAYS use all 30 (no, contrary to the rumor, Instagram won’t see using 30 hashtags as “spammy”).

Remain as Visible & Consistent as Possible

Is this you: You post every day to Instagram one week, then once or twice the next, and then totally fall off the week after, etc.?

Posting inconsistently is one of the WORST things you can do for your follower growth in 2022. With the amount of noise happening on Instagram, it’s necessary to stay as visible as possible by consistently showing up in your follower’s feeds. You’ve worked so hard to build up that following, and you don’t want your followers to forget about you.

By no means does this mean you have to be posting every single day to Instagram. Instead, aim to post anywhere between 2-5 times per week

If you are offering business products/services on your Instagram: “Do I need a lot of followers to get more sales in my business?”

I want you to know that at the end of the day, your Instagram follower number will NOT equate to more sales.

I made 0 sales the first several months into my business, even though I already had thousands of followers when I first started my business.

I put together an entire FREE masterclass to show you how I’ve been able to make $10,000+ months in my business from Instagram. Click here to watch the masterclass!

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hey, i'm kerry!

I'm a travel blogger and founder of my web & brand design studio, Kerry Ireland Creative Studio. I'm currently living the laptop lifestyle and am passionate towards helping others do the same.

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