Instagram has come a long way in the last few years. Keeping up with how to gain followers, keep engagement, and even make sure your followers see your posts has been an ever changing battle. Compared to a year or two ago, it simply isn’t as easy to get more Instagram followers.

With over 1 billion monthly users, Instagram is still a place I encourage everyone to figure out how to “hack”.  The following article is my Official Colin Can Help Instagram Playbook for 2020. I think these key areas are going to be the success makers for all Instagram brands.


2020 Instagram Playbook:

These are not fool proof ways to get your content out there, but finding the right balance I believe will help brands of all niches.

Key Areas:

1. Create an IGTV series:

As with all updates to Instagram, the more you embrace their new features you are more likely to get more organic reach. Recently they introduced the Series feature to IGTV and using it could really help. Find different ways to work the IGTV Series into your content schedule. Maybe make a weekly or multiple time a week short series related to your niche, find similar clips and lump them into a series. More on IGTV Series to come.

2. Work with micro-influencers

When you think of working with an influencer, many people think of the people with millions of followers, the really well known influencer that also comes with a really high price tag. Not to put down what they do, they clearly have value in their platform but there is an underpriced influencer market; the micro-influencers!
Micro-influencers not only are often much cheaper to work with but they have been proven to have higher engagement rates than larger accounts. Engagement rates are the most important details in working with any type of influencers. If they have a large following that doesn’t interact with the page, the value for advertising with them is much lower than even a 200 person following where 40 of them are engaged.
I recommend trying to develop free collaborations for content and if that doesn’t interest someone you want to create with, ask what price would get the project done for.

3. Instagram isn’t just about photos any more.

When Instagram first began, it was all about photos, filters, and hashtags. As it evolves and “matures”, Instagram has become much more about video and long copy. Even if you want to put up a text graphic, it is beneficial to put a movie file behind it so that it gets more views and engagement.
Not only has the platform become much more motion oriented, the more successful pages are having much longer copy on their posts than in years previous. The more you write, the more authenticity your account has. Start thinking of a post almost like a blog opposed to a quick posting, the copy has great value.

4. Let Instagram Work For You

Have you ever noticed when Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram offer “Suggested People to Follow”. This is a valuable list that many people often overlook. Their algorithms go through profiles that are likely to enjoy what you make, already follow similar pages, and are likely to follow you back. Make sure to go through this list as often as possible and add the people they recommend.
After I follow all of the suggested profiles, I will go through all of the profiles and like / comment on all the things I enjoy on their page. If I do not like the page enough to want to go back to it regularly, I will unfollow if I can not create a relationship with the account holder.
You can also edit your name on your profile to do some keyword optimization. If you are a marketing company, add “marketing” or “advertising” in the name. This will help pull you up in searches for those terms.

5. Utilize your ENTIRE Profile

As mentioned before, using as many of the IG features as possible is recommended. Do not leave out the Highlights, Stories, IGTV Series, IG Live, and optimizing your homepages aesthetics.
People decide almost instantly if they like you, so make sure you are putting out high quality / consistent content.

6. Share more selfies

Not everyone likes taking selfies, myself included. Good news: You DONT HAVE TO TAKE SELFIES to be successful on Instagram. Bad News: By being in front of the camera it really helps build the authenticity of your brand. It helps the viewer put a human connection to your content.
Remember, it is SOCIAL MEDIA. Be social, show off your life, be relatable, show the wins and the losses and people will like you more than you think.

7. Promote your Instagram content on other platforms

This should go without saying. You always want to get people to know all about what you are putting out to the world. You can share the links to posts on Facebook, Twitter, and more platforms.
My favorite ways to promote my Instagram page is to embed plugins into my website, include popular posts in a newsletter, or copying the post link and sharing it in messengers.

8. Collaborate with awesome brands

This can be sharing each others posts, creating content together, having them as podcast guests, and many more. The more people you can connect with and create with, the more you can share each others audiences and help grow each others efforts.
Look for accounts that you like that are in your area if you are looking to do content collabs, or look for similar sized followings if you are looking to share each others content.

10. Get Into the DM’s

This is a time consuming method, but one of my favorites for it’s effectiveness. You can share your posts with any of your followers or non private accounts. You can start a conversation with anyone on a comment or in a DM.
Use these capabilities to send as many messages a day you can until they block those features for a short time.
To not get blocked, do not copy and paste captions and links. Instagram respects your hustle, just doesn’t want the platform to be full of spam.


All of these tactics will help you grow your following if you do them consistently. The only down side to that is it takes a lot of time to keep up with it. For all of my accounts and most of my clients I use a scheduling program to make sure that my posts are posted automatically and I can plan out when content releases.


If you have any other tips for Instagram 2020, let me know!