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How to Grow Your Instagram: Two Brand Case Studies

Instagram is one of the most critical platforms today for businesses to have a presence on.  The engagement rate is ridiculously high. Forrester says Instagram is the king of social engagement – and it generates 58 times more engagement per user than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per user than Twitter.

It’s the visual social platform where your potential buyers and customers go when they want to look for pretty images – and then, they engage back with and pledge loyalty to a business that presents the visuals they want.

For the millennial generation, it is considered the No. 1 most important social platform.

So, how do you go about building a great Instagram presence?

How to Grow Your Instagram: Two Brand Case Studies

I talked to two users on Instagram that have achieved significant growth and results from their presence. Here are their secrets.

1. Sprout Social: 3,400 Followers Organically and Growing

Here’s what Sprout Social said when I asked for its top organic Instagram growth methods. (Sprout Social is on Instagram @sproutsocial.)

“It’s still growing. Instagram grows every day and the landscape shifts all the time. We’re in it for the long haul, and we’ll never stop analyzing our tactics to put out the best content for our audience and continue to grow our presence.

We focus less on what we do on other networks like Twitter, and Facebook, and more on the personal aspect when we post to Instagram.

We strive to provide an inside look at life at Sprout HQ and how Team Sprout works and plays. We use fun hashtags the whole team can get behind such as #TeamSprout and #SproutandAbout Occasionally, we will add in #socialmedia because we are trying to reach people who love social as much as we do.

Our number one tip to someone starting their business account on Instagram is don’t be afraid of building relationships on Instagram directly by collecting and using user generated content (and asking for permission to do so). Another good thing to keep in mind is taking advantage of geotags. Instagram is a global platform and can really expand your relevancy and reach.”

2. Content Marketing Institute: 500 percent organic growth in the past 18 months

Content Marketing Institute became active on Instagram in January 2012. Here’s what it had to say about how it has grown its presence. (Follow @cmicontent.)

Part of the @cmicontent team enjoying the last night of our annual retreat. #CMWorld

A photo posted by Content Marketing Institute (@cmicontent) on

“We’ve grown our presence on Instagram nearly 500 percent in the last year and a half, to more than  6,300 followers. Our team has experimented with our posting frequency. We have not found a drop-off in engagement when we post more rather than less, so we share photos as often as we can to build brand awareness.
Don’t underestimate the power of your community! #CMWorld is our brand hashtag which is used across social media. This hashtag gives our community members an opportunity to consistently find relevant content in all channels, including Instagram.
Be consistent. Deliver content to your community regularly. Also, have a consistent tone and voice across all social media so your audience truly gets to know your brand and its personality. Consistency builds credibility, proving you are committed to the platform and to your audience.”


Take inspiration from these brand examples and start building your Instagram strategy today. Remember, community and consistency in your presence is key – post great visuals, and engage back with your fans. The results will be worth it.

About the author


Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She founded a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75 at 19 years old. Today, her team has nearly 100 expert content creators on staff, and serves thousands of clients around the world. She's earned her way to the top 30 worldwide content marketers, and has a passion for sharing what she knows in her books and in her online course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia also hosts The Write Podcast on iTunes.


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