I am constantly going through vicious cycles of absolutely hating Instagram and then there are times where Instagram is my favourite platform to express my creativity. The algorithm can also be a pain, some days I will get 200 impressions and the other I will get 4,000. It can be quite disheartening when you put so much time and effort into your content and receiving nothing from it. In just under a month, I have been able to jump from 2.4k to 3.2k so I thought I would talk through my tips and tricks on how to grow on Instagram and hopefully kick back on that following that is staying at a stand still.
Before we hop in, I just was to illiterate that followers do not matter. If you love doing something numbers should not matter. Just keep being amazing and followers will come, I’ve just put together some tips that may be helpful if you are trying to increase your following and in turn, increase your engagement.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
One of the main pieces of advice I can give you if you want to grow on Instagram is to post consistently. I don’t just mean to your feed, post consistently on your stories, it doesn’t always have to be interesting, it can be little things. I really enjoy stories where they show what they are up to in a day or BTS of creating content so maybe try that. If you post consistently to your stories, others will see that you are posting and will be drawn to your content. In terms of posting on your feed, I would recommend posting around 6 times a week. I try to upload every day where I can but I have Sundays off. Posting regularly will keep your followers engaged and will likely keep them invested in your content and wait for more. Posting consistently also brings new people to your feed everyday which will help you grow faster.
USE THE RIGHT HASHTAGS
If you don’t already use hashtags, USE THEM. On a good day, my hashtags will give me 5,000 impressions on top of the impressions I’ve already gained from being on individuals home pages. This may be different for different people as I’ve seen a lot of people that recommend using all 30 hashtags but talking from experience, this used to clog up my hashtags and in turn, Instagram was seeing this as spam and shadowing my images from these hashtags. For the past couple months, I have been using less hashtags, around the 20-25 mark and my insights have been skyrocketing and are the best they’ve ever been. All I can recommend is that you trail this out on a couple of images. Maybe use all 30 hashtags and then try using 20-23 and see what works best for you!
Another thing I want to mention is make sure you use the right hashtags. Cater all your hashtags to the image you are uploading. I used to have a set list of hashtags I would use on every image and that didn’t work for me. Make sure all the hashtags you are using actually describe the image. So if you your post is about fashion, use hashtags such as: #womenwithstyle, #parisianstyle etc rather than using #lifestyleblogger as it just doesn’t make sense and doesn’t cater to the image. I may write a post all about hashtags if you are interested, please let me know in the comments.
ENGAGE WITH OTHERS
You are not going to grow organically and ‘fast’ if you are not engaging with others. In the first year of blogging I would just upload to Instagram and not really engage with others. Now, I try to put aside a couple of hours a day to engage with other people and really take notice into what they are creating. It is all well and good just commenting “this is beautiful” but I’ve seen you get more follow backs if you really engage in what they are saying in the caption. I also read somewhere that you are more likely to receive a follow if you like a couple of their pictures and comment rather than just liking them. I’ve also found you are more likely to get a follow if you follow, like their photos and comment on their pictures. This shows that you really care about what they are doing rather than the perception that you are just trying to get followers.
UPLOAD TO YOUR STORIES REGULARLY
A common perception I used to have was that I didn’t need to upload to my stories. I felt like I only needed to upload to my stories whenever I was doing something exciting. I love to watch stories where people just have a chat, I feel like this really connects you to your audience and shows you are as normal as everyone. I also love to do Q&A’s every once in a while because this gives my audience the chance to get to know me better which is also an amazing way to connect to your audience. I have also been making the conscious effort to talk on my stories so people can engage and get an understanding of my personality. Just a little tip, ALWAYS type out what you are saying if you are doing a talking vid, 9 times out of 10 people have their phones on silent so this allows your audience to engage without listening.
STICK TO A THEME
Something I’ve definitely found when it comes to my own experience of Instagram, I like to follow individuals whom stick to a particular theme because this draws out to me more. In no means does it have to be a strict theme, my theme at the moment is very neutral based and I like to keep all my images to a similar tone. Another great way to stick to a theme is using a preset or using a consistent editing style. I use the app VSCO when editing my pictures and they have so many options to chose from.
THE CONTENT YOU UPLOAD SHOULD BE HIGH-QUALITY
Another great way to grow on Instagram is to always upload high-quality images. You do not need to have the most expensive camera to create high-quality images. I shoot all of my content on my Iphone XR (I am in the midst of saving for a camera) and I find this takes really crisp and high quality images. The way you edit your pictures can also affect the quality of the image. If you overly sharpen your images, I find this affects the look of the image.
CREATE POSTS THAT ARE ENGAGING & INFORMATIVE
Whenever I upload to my Instagram, I like to make my captions as engaging as possible. I will always add a little question that people can engage in and this really improves the amount of comments I get on each image. This will also improve your engagement rate which brands look for FYI. I have also started integrating some informative posts to my feed. I’ve recently started opening up about my eating disorder and spreading body positivity and these posts are going down really well on there. I feel like it can be really lovely to follow people who are going through similar situations to you and I’m starting to use my platform to spread awareness and educate others. So yeah, try making your posts as engaging and informative as possible and your engagement should skyrocket.
And those are my tips to growing on Instagram. All these tips have come from personal experience so please let me know if you find any of these helpful. Also, follow me on Instagram @chlolaurenblogs to follow me on my journey.
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