Unless you’ve been on a full-blown digital detox these past couple of months, you surely heard about the post that beat Kylie Jenner for the most likes on Instagram. When the @world_record_egg was hatched on January 4, Jenner had over 18 million likes on a photo of the influencer with her daughter. In just nine days, the egg (which now goes by Eugene) smashed that record. Today world_record_egg has whipped up more than 52 million likes (and counting) on its original post and boasts over 10 million followers.
The most encouraging part of this story? The account’s explosive growth was 100% organic. So how exactly did a photo of a simple brown egg against a white background topple one of Instagram’s most influential influencers? Let’s crack this viral post wide open to see what lessons we can learn about organic growth on social media:
- It was sharable. Well, maybe not at first sight. But the idea of coming together to set a world record was a mighty motivator. Now more than 10 million followers are part of a viral movement.
- It encouraged UGC. Branded hashtags, including #LikeTheEgg, #EggSoldiers and #EggGang, established a strong sense of community and made it easy for Instagram users to participate in the conversation, spreading it to every corner of the social network.
- It was discoverable. The account pushed this UGC out through Instagram Stories to make the content discoverable to non-followers, which inspired them to become followers.
Those are three Grade A (sorry, had to do it!) tactics to boost organic growth on social media—but we’ve got a few of our own tips to share to help you increase followers on all of the social networks where your brand maintains an active presence:
- Gather intel from insights. By studying your social analytics, you’ll know what’s working (and vice versa). Use that data to inform what to post, when and how frequently so you can build a rock-solid content calendar. After all, content that resonates with an audience is the purest way to gain followers.
- Boost reach with hashtags. Besides branded hashtags, we recommend adding some with mass-appeal that are already generating high traffic. Doing this makes your post discoverable to a MUCH larger audience of engaged users who will want to follow your brand. Just remember to keep these hashtags relevant to your content. #Love may have over 1.2 billion posts on Instagram but, if it has no relation to your post, it’ll come across as inauthentic—a big no-no. One of our go-to resources here at Dana for finding relevant, reach-boosting hashtags is best-hashtags.com.
- Invite interaction—then interact. You can ask a question or post a poll to get your followers commenting. Just make sure to keep the conversation going by replying to their comments. An engaged audience is far more likely to stick around as followers as well as share your posts with their followers. It’s the digital age’s version of word-of-mouth.
- Leverage brand ambassadors. Think you don’t have any? Look around. Employees make the best brand ambassadors. By inviting staff to share your posts to their personal feeds, you amplify your reach exponentially—especially now that the Facebook algorithm prioritizes content from friends and family and pay-to-play posts over organic content from brands.
Of course, the landscape is always shifting and the strategies that increase your organic growth on social media today might not work in a few months…or even a few weeks. (Again, we’re looking at you and your sneaky algorithm updates, Facebook!)
That’s why Dana stays on top of every change and innovation. Our specialized social media team is available to help you in any capacity needed—whether that’s working hand-in-hand with your social media manager to develop on-brand strategies and content calendars or partnering with your marketing department to deliver full-service social media planning and execution. Want to explore all the possibilities? Contact Lynn Kaniper at 609.466.9187 x 117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.