Instagram tips for organic growth part 2

Instagram is all about inspiration, connection and real engagement and that’s exactly why I started my account, and love social media. You can read more about this in my earlier posts The Positive Power of Instagram and Instagram do’s and don’ts for organic growth part 1.

I am an online marketeer and social media manager and enjoy Instagram a lot, therefore I’d love to help you have more fun with it as well and share my experiences and lessons learnt with fellow IGers!

This is the 15th month for my @authenticchica account and I have over 28,000 followers now, gained only with organic growth, engagement and below tips.


In addition to previous article in which you read how to set up your account, what to do and especially what not to do, hereby the following tips and my favourite tools to help you out:



As mentioned before engagement of social influencers is becoming more and more important to companies, as they have learnt that follower amounts can be bought and they prefer to work with accounts with valuable followers for their target group. This can be determined by looking at the interaction and engagement rate.

  • You can calculate both by dividing the average amount of likes and comments through your total amount of followers. For me that would be 980/28,400 x 100% is 3,5% and 120/28,400 x  100% is 0,4%, so my ER is 3,5+0,4 = 3,9%
  • In general brands are looking for figures from at least 3-5%, although the more followers you get the more difficult this will be to maintain. A lot of people (or bots) will follow you just because you are ‘’big’’ and will stay inactive after that, these are called ghost followers. When I had up to 10K followers my engagement rate even used to be in between 15-20%.
  • In general the more you like of others and the more active you are the more likes you will probably get as well. But the shorter the time is in between your postings the lower the likes per picture will be.
  • Also very important is the interaction with your followers for the company/brand to see that you have real influence and a loyal fan base. If this fan base is also in the right country and age group for that brand and is engaging with the info you give, this will certainly help get better results for their campaign and collab.
  • Having ‘’only 10K followers’’, but engaging ones with more than 50 comments on average per post can be far more valuable to a brand than an account with 100K followers and only 5-10 comments per post.
  • There are so many factors that help make a post successful and engaging. As said in my previous Instagram blog you have to post quality pictures, use many and the right hash tags for people to find your pic, post on the right times and be active directly after you posted for more engagement and exposure. This can all be researched by using analyzing sites like Iconosquare and will be different for every account, as everyone has their own target group, style and branding.

Therefore make sure you know what kind of followers you want to attract, which lifestyle appeals to them and what story you want to tell and should tell with your account to attract them!

AuthenticChica account overview 2  AuthenticChica account overview



  • Determine your goal and objective for your account so you know more clearly which pictures match with that.
  • Post inspiring pictures, Instagram is an inspiration platform, so make sure to produce unique content which will generate positive feelings with the people who see your picture!
  • Create your own style and something people can recognize your pictures with, this can be a style of photography, perspective, re-occurring accessory, special look or editing style/ filter, just find something unique which represents your taste and sense of style! More about this in my next blogpost Instagram tips part 3 as well.



  • Be very critical of your pictures and make sure they’re always clear and inspiring. You can look for inspiration in similar and successful bigger accounts to see what kind of pics work for them.
  • A lot of people are not critical enough of their own account and don’t look at it as a whole, but if you really want to grow you should! Make sure the overview looks nice and once in a while delete pics which don’t fit the story you want to tell after all, which look unclear or are not up to standard anymore.
  • Enhance your pictures with Instagram filters and standard editing tools according to the needs of the pic to make it look even better. I always adjust at least the balance, brightness and contrast a bit, and prefer fresh filters like Lark and Juno to highlight the unique features and colors of the pic.
  • But there are also many great phone editing apps to make your picture pop even more. My favourites are Snapseed, VSCO and Photo Editor.
  • Experiment with these to make your pictures stand out and create something unique to make them recognizable.



  • As mentioned in my previous post this is very important to get found and you should always use a combination of specific but also more popular #.
  • It takes a bit of work but really helps! Just search in the Instagram hashtag search bar for key hashtag terms in your theme/niche to find more similar # and always check how many times they have been used already.
  • Apply several relevant hashtags per picture as well to reach specific target groups that like these kind of pictures.
  • Make sure to look up the right # in advance and save them as lists in your notepad to paste in the comments immediately after you posted.
  • To do this more effectively you can also download the free phone apps: Let’s tag or Magnify for Instagram, or other similar apps depending if you have an Ios or Android phone.



  • Next to using a specific # of bigger accounts for a chance to be featured, it’s also a good idea to tag these accounts in the picture to give them and extra sign that you would like to be featured, as they will get a notice of this.
  • You can tag up to 20 accounts in the picture and look for the accounts that say in their bio that you can use a # for a chance to be featured.
  • If you want to build your popularity and want people to notice your account then you should definitely want to get featured! By tagging big accounts in your pics they will be posted in the ‘’photos of you section’’ of their account and possibly get noticed by their thousands of followers as well.
  • And if the account features and reposts your pic with a tag and mention to your account you will gain major exposure and followers for sure! Especially when you get featured by accounts with several 100K or even millions of followers. Imagine if only 0,5% of these will follow you because of this…
  • Make sure not to spam or stalk others by randomly tagging them, this can be quite annoying if people are not open to this and can even be a reason for them to block you!

Good accounts to tag for features are:

Wonderful_PlacesCnTravelerWeAreTravelGirlsBeautifulHotelsBeautifulDestinations  and LuxuryWorldTraveler for example.

We are travel girls

And always use local accounts for the destination you are posting pictures of as well, for example: Ig_EuropaSuper_FranceIgersLondon and so on…

More great accounts to tag for features in a following Instagram blog post next month, so stay tuned!



  • There is no right amount to follow, but the more people you follow the more you will get noticed and the more people will follow you, although on average only 20-30% will actually follow back.
  • So if you are still building your account make sure to follow more people per day to get more followers and make sure to look for accounts matching yours.
  • Remember that Instagram is a social platform and like you, many people (on average 65%) will feel flattered when you follow them!
  • Keep your follower/following ratio balanced, you can follow up to 7,500 people maximum, but I think this looks a bit desperate. Also I don’t follow/unfollow and will almost never unfollow people that follow me back, so I try to keep my ratio around 5-10% following opposed to my followers.
  • When you are building your account following up to 30-50% is still effective and representative (for example if you have 10K followers, you could follow about 3-5K people yourself).
  • Follow accounts relevant to your target group and decide which ones inspire you, who your role models are and follow those too.

Inspiring accounts for me to follow are:

(Just click on below pics to go to their account, see more and follow them)



When an unassuming cafe turns out to have this forest in the back… honey I'm home! 🙌🏼🍃

A post shared by Geneva Vanderzeil (@apairandaspare) on



Vienna, Austria 📆 May 2011 #travel #austria #vienna

A post shared by Alex Block (@alexblock) on



More inspiring accounts and Instagram tips and tricks in another blog post next month, so stay tuned!

Are we Insta friends already? Just click on the pic below, follow and make sure to leave a comment, I am always happy to hear your feedback and connect!


Or find me on:

Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Bloglovin and Stumbleupon.

What do you think about these how to tips, did they make your Instagram strategy clearer and can you apply them to your account to grow and increase your engagement? Very curious to hear how this went and if you need any more tips!

You can always contact me directly by mail:

Or leave a comment below…

About Authentic Chica

Traveler, wanderer and explorer from the Netherlands, with a special love for authenticity, while keeping it chic. With a passion for traveling, lust for exploring, heart for holidays and an eye for beautiful things. Find out about my tips on how to find the perfect traveling combination of authentic chicness.
Gallery | This entry was posted in blogposts, personal, social media & travel tips and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Instagram tips for organic growth part 2

  1. Sarah says:

    Great tips!! Right now I’m just trying to get to the 2,500 goal (currently at half that), so this has been very helpful. I’ve been sort of guessing and learning by trial and error up until now 🙂


    • Hi Sarah, so great to hear that and really hope you can benefit of my tips, what’s your IG name? And did you read the previous post part 1 too? Def usefull to use both as a checklist, good luck and have fun with it! xx Naomi


  2. OUTFITTY says:

    Thank you so much! It really helps. 🙂 love this!


  3. HI Naomi,
    It is indeed a joy to land here today via Mary’s fb page,
    Good to go thru the lovely posts here, Oh my you have wonderful and eye capturing pics all over
    with a lot of tips to pick along. I appreciate your idea in which you present things in a different way
    i love it
    Keep sharing
    May you have a great day
    I joined you in Instagram today 🙂
    Keep sharing
    ~ Philip

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Philip, such a nice comment and happy ypu found me that you like the blog, I really hope it will help you. What’s your IG name? Make sure to read part 1 as well, so you can benefit fully! xxx


  4. Hi Naomi,
    Love your name. This post was super helpful this morning. Thanks for sharing. I also checked the other post and followed you as well. Hope to connect more. The travels must be exciting.


    • Thanx Ruth, yr too kind! Happy to connect on IG as well and nice that u like it! I love traveling and sharing my passion for exploring and photography with the world! Contact me anytime if you need tips, xxx


  5. Really useful tips Naomi! It sounds so easy: IG is a social medium. But I think a lot of people forget that they actually have to be social to get noticed and to be liked. Since a couple of months I enjoy IG more because I don’t only see it as a tool for my blog and my photos, but also as a place to meet new travelers, travel bloggers and digital nomads. Your first post also really helped with that, so thanks a lot! 🙂


    • Hey Jess,

      Thanx so much for your nice feedback and really happy to hear that! I love how you are growing on IG and to see how your gallery is improving so much, although your pics were always wonderful individually already! Happy to inspire and help out and hope to meet again for coffee soon, xxx


  6. savourbytina says:

    Dear Naomi,

    Wow such an inspiring post! Thanks a lot for tagging me in it, as you know I’m kind of new in this. I will read the first part and the third part which is coming up too!

    Much love,

    Tina –


    • Thnx Tina, happy to hear that! I really hope u can benefit from my tips, and even wrote 3 blogs about it, also one with the positive sides of IG to me and many inspiring other accounts. Maybe u will like that one too! Good luck and let me know whenever you need more tips or help✌💋

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Loved all your tips! I need to learn to be more critical of my own posts. Could I ask what preffed filters you have in vsco? There are sooo many options! I always get lost after a few tries.


    • Hey Ari, thnx so much for your nice comment and u know I’m there for you whenever u want to optimize yr account together right? I love snapseed the most and sometimes use the drama feature, but also the color corrections…so helpful! VSCO is also nice but don’t use that a lot. If I do I just try per pic what works best and write those filters down…but it really depends on the sort of pic and color tones for me. Good luck💋💋💋

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Eliannah says:

    Love your tips, I had a feeling about some of these dos and don’ts but it’s good to hear it from a pro! I only have around 500 followers but I always notice more engagement on posts where I provide inspiration for my followers (good lighting helps too!).


    • Yes indeed girl, quality pics and good lighting is def key, but all tips together will give u more exposure so new people will see your pics as well! Hope it helps, keep me posted!! Amd btw what’s your ig name? Xx Naomi


  9. George says:

    Helpful post. I have just started a travel blog and I would use the tips for sure. Your comments about my blog will also be very appreciated…


  10. Great post! I think you always do a great job with your ig posts and make them so personable and easy to connect with. I always struggle with captions.. I think that’s why I just don’t like posting often.. 😛 But it’s an area I’m hoping to work on.


    • Hi Esther, how nice to see you here as well and love your ig posts.
      You don’t always have to write a lot in the caption, I know I’m a long caption writer but not every one likes that. U can always write a quote or some funny or descriptive words about the picture as well and keep it short…I like that too👌! Anyways keep up the good work and thnx for the nice compliment dear💋💋💋


  11. Sigrid Hoek says:

    Weer zo’n fijne post! Goede tips en helemaal mee eens, veel mensen zijn niet kritisch genoeg. Wat betreft het taggen van andere accounts…ik word momenteel echt dagelijks door een stuk of 8 accounts in de foto getagd. Zo irritant!! Moet nog even uitzoeken wat ik daar mee moet, want dit schiet niet op 😦 Tnx again xxx


    • Thanx meis, leuk om te horen dat je de post goed vindt en natuurlijk doe jij dit allemaal al! Maar heel vervelend idd als je steeds willekeurig getagd wordt. Toevallig was ik vandaag 8x getagd door dezelfde persoon, dus heb ik die toch maar geblokt…blijkbaar de enige oplossing..:( Maar zie het ook als een compliment! Keep up the good work! xx


  12. Great post, thanks for the good tips!


  13. Great post! We are currently working towards that 1k goal and posts like this are so helpful and inspiring!


    • So cool!!! I remember my 1k so well and celebrated every 5k after that!! It gets easier but still happy with every mile stone. I hope my blogs will help u accelerate and make sure to real all parts to make yr account grow for u and have fun with it! Xxx


  14. Always great to read your tips! Thanks a lot! I know how much work this is. Keep it up! xx


  15. Hi:
    My name is Witek Kowalski. I come from Poland but have a lot of friends in Holland because of my 13 years of Nike corporate experience. I am fighting now for more exposure on instagram at @wkinspirations. It seems that I follow all your tips and give very good content. It seems that I just have to be patient to see results (now 200 followers after 3,5 months). I have developed a new travel destination recommendation project at
    I am a passionate culture and heritage traveler for 35 years. What you do is my dream job after 30 years of corporate life. I am also a mentor and business consultant.
    I wonder how you can help me with my IG and lead generation. Looking at your visited destinations, I can help you in planning your next trips for free. My marketing budget is limited (I run a FB campaign in Canada and US now) but who knows in the future.
    Witek Kowalski
    WK Travel Inspirations


    • Hi Witold,

      Thanx for reaching out and just followed you on Instagram!
      I would love to help you grow faster, as this is definitely possible. Just let me know if you’re interested in this..

      Xxx Naomi


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