At the recent meetup in LA, I was asked several blogging questions and decided to make the next few blogging tips posts focused on answering some of those questions and offering tips in areas I was asked about frequently.
That being said, here's a few simple tips to keep in mind when growing your Instagram following and that have worked for me:
1. Do share your personality
Post images that reflect who you are and your lifestyle. Let your captions say what you want them to say and give people a glimpse into your life!
Here's an example of Paola from @blankitinerary– she always does a great job of writing her captions that are literally how she is, I love that about her account.
2. Do be engaged with others
Write back to comments if people ask questions and make sure to like and comment on other peoples photos as well. You want to be approachable. Also comment and like accounts that are in similar niches to yours to be a contributor to the community and not just a self-promoter.
3. Do use hashtags
I always put my hashtags in the second comment, and after I get a few comments they're covered up. I definitely think they help as long as they're specific to the photo…not the super general ones. I've used them since I've started and I'll continue to do so.
4. Do become a resource
Offer value on your page whether it's where to find an item, where to eat, where to go, etc. Make your followers want to continue following you because the resources you offer.
5. Do know your audience
Testing out different pictures (full bodies, flat lays, etc.) that will get the highest engagement. If your engagement is low and you've been doing it for awhile, try switching things up and trying what else works. I use Iconosquare to see my best posting times, highest engaged photos, etc.
1. Don't buy followers, likes, comments…
Don't do it. You may think people won't notice but it's pretty evident to spot. It's also not fair to brands who are expecting a certain reach and are being put in front of fake followers. I think it's an ethical thing and something I'm just not cool with. When I work with a brand I want them to know what they see is what they get- they're not being fooled that I'm something I'm not. If you aren't growing, take that as a sign to try other things rather than opt to buy engagement from fake accounts.
2. Don't obsess over feed layout
Don't get me wrong, I used to be like this. I would never post two outfits in a row because I was worried about what my grid looked like. I got over that about 3 months ago and since then I've been growing faster than when I was consumed with what my grid looks like. Instead, I focus on making sure each photo has a consistent filter, offers value and is relatable. Plus it took the stress out of me finding “filler photos”. Now I'm more focused on promoting my blog posts and showing my daily life.
3. Don’t post low quality photos
An overly pixelated photo is not great to look at and it just looks a bit unprofessional. Always take your photos with a clear camera phone or make sure if you resize a pro camera photo it still keeps a clear image look.
4. Don't over post
Maybe if there's a special event and you want to post more than usual that's fine, but overall as a general rule, space out your photos during the day so you aren't bombarding your followers. I keep mine to usually 3-4 a day, sometimes 5 but I try to make sure there's at least 2 hours in between each one. So if I know I'll be posting more that day than usual, I just post my first photo earlier than usual.
5. Don’t sell out
No matter if a brand is offering you free clothes, an amazing rate or a cool trip. If it doesn't fit your brand and if you truly don't love it, decline the offer or simply don't respond. Time is money and you want to be investing your time and efforts only with products you stand behind 100%.