Struggling with Instagram? Finding it hard to comprehend? Join the club. I started my blog in September and since then I have been building my Instagram account.
I have doubled my followers since my last post Instagram story hacks, if you’d like to read that you can here:
Out of all the social media platforms I am developing content on, Instagram is my favourite. I’m a perfectionist, I love photography and I find the minimalist website design a dream to use…
Anyway, seeing as I’ve doubled my followers in a month I thought I’d share some thoughts on what I’ve learnt, how I’ve done it and some advice I’ve tried from blogs online, but that just didn’t work for me…
Here’s what I’ve learnt.
Find a schedule you can stick too and stick to it. I’ve been doing so much research on this and everyone online says the same thing but seriously, followers favour consistency and so does Instagram.
Week one: I posted photographs everyday, then I read online that you don’t want to wear out your audience so I decided to change my schedule to once every three days.
What happened? I lost followers.
Week three: I began to post every other day and continued with this schedule.
What happened? My follow count grew. Including the days where I wasn’t posting anything.
Make your feed exquisite. Make sure you have an account that you can scroll down and people will say ‘wow’.
That means no images that are out of place, for example no brightly coloured images on a neutral feed. No grainy images that you take at night. Absolutely nothing blurry or poorly planned.
Plan the kind of feed you want and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to delete images with likes if it doesn’t fit into your feed. You can always upload it later with a different filter.
For me I haven’t exactly stuck to these rules. I am a bright person. I love colour so my Instagram feed reflects this. Beige style photographs just aren’t me. Instead I have used my artistic vision to encompass the colour wheel into my feed. I add photographs based on the contrast of my past five images.
For example if I add something purple, next I go for green, then orange. If I need to start a new pallet I upload a photograph with a brilliant white background then I start my next colour wheel such as sand, pink and green.
Be mindful as you upload new images that the images will move. If you plan it perfectly you can avoid any clashes.
You can plan your Instagram feed on apps such as Tailwind, they even have a free trial you can use:
I have a free trial for you. Sign up and when you upgrade, you get £10 off Pinterest and Instagram services, marketing have never been easier…
Mix up plain backgrounds, white backgrounds and images with a lot going on. This gives your feed a lot of difference and contrast. If you just post lots of similar images your audience is going to get bored.
Absolutely use your imagination and think about how your content will look together. For example here is a screen shot of my feed…
Comment on every single comment. Every time someone comments make sure you respond. Even if it’s just a simple emoji. The more activity Instagram perceives a post is getting, the more they’re going to show it to more people.
The way Instagram works is that it shows your post to your warm audience. If it gets a lot of likes or responses, it shows it to a bigger audience and so on, this means every time someone comments on your post, they’re doing you a favour.
Make sure you take the time to comment back. It’s going to help push your post to a bigger audience. Make the algorithm work for you.
Use and utilise your Hashtag’s from a variety of groups. This means use hashtag’s that include some large groups, some medium and some small groups.
What do I mean by this? Well try typing in #photography, right at the top you have:
#photography 648 M posts – this means there are a lot of posts, which ultimately means this is going to be highly competitive. That means when people scroll through the feed your image will be seen for merely a split second.
Mid way down the hashtags you have:
#photographyart 4.6 M posts – this is still quite large but less competitive.
Scroll Down and you find small hashtags such as:
#photographyloversallaround 5000 posts – you are more likely to be seen and gain similar followers like yourself. If you’re just starting out go even smaller.
Also, don’t use banned hashtags, your post won’t be shown to people and you can end up with a ban.
There are some pretty unexpected banned hashtags such as #beautyblogger so be careful and make sure you research hashtags before you use them. You can find a list of banned hashtags here and avoid it affecting your feed:
Your followers don’t just want an image they want an engaging story. The first 130 characters are shown on Instagram so make sure you start your writing with something that hooks the writer and makes them want to read more.
Also the longer someone spends looking at your post the more Instagram counts this as activity and in turn is going to push your content to others which means more likes.
Make sure you write something engaging that connects with your audience. It could be some useful piece of information about the area you’re in, like the best bars to visit. Or it could be a story behind the photograph you’ve taken. Either way make sure it sounds personal as this will encourage your audience to respond.
Don’t forget to include call to action’s too. This could be something like ‘double tap if you like it’, or ‘click the link in my bio’.
Don’t be afraid to give your audience direction. They are much more likely to like that post if you tell them to.
Use a real camera. I love to take photographs on my Iphone but if I upload them to Instagram I make sure they’ve been taken with outdoor lighting during the golden hour. The hour after sunrise or before sunset.
By using a real camera you are showing you are professional. The quality will stand you apart from other users on Instagram.
You don’t have to post every other day like me, just make sure your images are high quality.
I have some tips on photography here:
The more you post the quicker your Instagram account will grow. If you have a lot of photographs stored up or you can post consistently and daily, do it.
The more images to put out there the bigger your following is going to get.
The more hashtags you put out there and the more content you have, the bigger your audience will be just make sure it’s consistent.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I’ve made some mistakes, I’m sure there’s more to come… the point is I’ve uploaded a photo that clashed with my feed and with spelling mistakes in the story and lost followers. I’ve posted nothing for five days and lost followers.
Did it stop my followers from ultimatlely growing? No.
Learn from the things that haven’t worked. Talk to your audience, you could say something like ‘Hey, thanks for your patience while I figure things out.’
I think it makes you seem more human.
Interestingly, I’ve had people unfollow me and then come back after three weeks and follow me again.
You’re just starting out so mistakes are gonna happen. If something goes wrong, just get back up and try again. You got this…
Find a niche and explain what your niche is in your bio.
Your bio is what people are going to read when they come across your feed. I’ve changed mine a few times but this is what I’ve stuck with this month and my followers are really increasing.
Also make sure you have a stunning profile picture. These are what explain to your audience what you’re all about so utilize them.
If you want to collaborate with brands, create content showcasing what you could produce for them. Brands wont approach you if you don’t show them what you can do.
For example say I loved sunglasses and I had a few pairs, I would model some in my photographs and use hashtags such as #sunglasseslover
If you show brands what you can do and what you’re passionate about they’re more likely to approach you. Also if they like the content you make for them they are likely to promote you on their site.
I’ve also asked some brands to promote my blog posts on content I have produced for them. Most of them are happy to oblige.
These are my top ten tips on growing your Instagram following.
Don’t forget to follow my Instagram account: