I started my Little B & Me account over two years ago now & whilst I started off completely growing naturally, for the purposes if SEO & other reasons I will use the word ORGANIC instead of natural.
After a while I found with numerous algorithm changes by the powers that be at Instagram my likes were subsiding. I joined pods but found them useless after a while & then I found my feet in large ‘like groups’ (Im sure theres a better name for them but I don’t know one)
My ideas of how to use instagram organically fell by the wayside & I used these groups day in day out until a week or two ago.

Like Groups/ Support Groups
Why did I use these? Originally I won’t lie I wanted to increase my stats for standings of work. Considering majority of times PR companies look for numbers rather than quality of work or other influence.
The groups worked for so long & I cannot bad mouth them as they helped me find my footing with Instagram.

So if you aren’t already aware there are groups knocking around with ‘INSTAGRAM INSTANTS’ ‘LIKE ALL’ ‘COMMENT ON ALL’ style posts. They help you inflate your likes or comments.
Instants are threads that are open for a set amount of time, usually 15 minutes, within that time you can add your link then you are to get to work liking everyone elses link. It was claimed that there was a 15 minute window where depending on the amount of LIKES you received it would increase your chances of being found ‘organically’ on the search thread, that will be seen by everyone around the world. Depending on the stuff they like of course.
Back in the good old days of Instagram, around 1 to 2 years ago I did notice that it helped, this year I saw my organic likes completely disappear & followers stall.

It got to the point where I was using these groups just to get likes on my images. I have no issue with this but I started to hate not having any natural engagement.

Before you think I’m putting this groups down thats the last thing I’m doing. My personal group is a mini community which I am immensely proud of. They’ve helped me through some pants times & in turn I do my best to help them.
We naturally help each other outside of posts which I find amazing, Organics seem to be totally against us to the point of being overly nasty about our ways.
Our group would regularly go above the posts by commenting, sharing & supporting. We never used apps to do our likes for ours, in fact I frown upon such apps & do not allow them in the group.

Why go natural now?
I went completely cold turkey on my groups. I left the majority of them. In my personal opinion there are only 2 large ones worth joining mine & the American (larger) equivalent, others allow users not to take part properly & jump on the backs of people who miss one link. Failing to support those who use such groups fairly.
I was fed up with panicking about missing INSTANTS, fed up with having to have my links ready even when I was absolutely shattered to the point of tears & fed up with the worry of having the ‘right shot’.

I wanted a natural following & natural likes. I found INSTAGRAM was limiting my posts, hiding them & something was completely messed up with my following. I had heard of shadow banning but honestly just thought it was bull but now I completely believe it.
I don’t even blame them for limiting our posts if we use groups, however they should be running Instagram more fairly like it was years back. They need to centre on people buying followers rather than like groups. 10000’S followers = money.

What happened when you went NATTY BAE?
Sorry I do love that word natty. My likes rocketed, well I was stuck at 2800 for months… Once I went ‘natty/organic’ my followers stuck & I am now back up to my original 3,000! I will loose a few throughout the day which are FOLLOW/UNFOLLOWERS but I will increase over the day so you don’t notice them too much.
I won’t lie to you.. My first post bummed, it got around 40 natural likes. I could have cried & I thought I’d made a HUGE mistake. I stuck with it though & over the week my posts have increased.
One of my selfies got 180 plus organic likes, I couldn’t believe it. Thank you Chun Li & boobs! This is a huge deal considering sometimes when I joined in Instants I didn’t even get that many likes, even though of course more likes were owed but never received.

I’ve noticed my older posts are now being found randomly by non followers & I’m gaining likes on old posts. My new posts are still gaining likes days later where before the amount of likes I got in that day is what stayed, I never got continued interest on my posts.
I had a year old post found yesterday, A year of posting at least once a day so I am so pleased.

How to use Instagram organically
By no means has my account gone absolutely crazy or super popular but it does seem at this current moment in time it certainly is the way to go.
So how should you do it? As much as I love my groups & want to support them, WHICH I STILL DO.
I recommend you:
• Stop from posting on those styles of groups, for IG purposes, I’m not sure of the repercussions on other social media platforms.
• Make sure to interact with EVERY new post that comes up on your ‘following feed’, pay close attention to giving genuine comments out too. Especially if the other person is a high ranking influencer.
• Follow around 5 people a day & once their posts come up in your following feed, like them.
• DO NOT play follow/unfollow. That’s just a massive douche move.
• INTERACT. I will interact with around 10 posts per time I log in that aren’t from my followers. The rest of the time every time I use my phone I will catch up on every post my followers have made. Please note this is pretty easy for me as I only follow 500 people & love interacting with them.
• STAY AWAY from apps, follow/unfollow, like apps, bots etc.
• Post daily with decent hashtags.

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, just SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER! You will grow through support, putting others down & not interacting with them won’t get you anywhere.

** PLEASE NOTE ** This blog will be updated as & when I find out more.
I am also not claiming this will work for you but I wish to share my findings to help others & not just keep them to myself.

Feel free to keep an eye on my interaction, comments & followers!

I’ve written about Instagram before, check it out here: https://littlebandme.co.uk/health-lifestyle/sorry-for-the-mess-chasing-instagram-perfection/