Instagram makes up a huge part of the social media world. With its millions of users, ability to make your profile as beautiful as you dream, and amazing community of supportive followers, it’s easy to see why Instagram is such a big way bloggers, photographers and the like grow their viewership.
Recently, my Instagram followers have been increasing pretty rapidly! It’s exciting, but also nerve-racking. Seeing the support and love from my followers has been inspiring and motivating to keep going, but the pressure of continuing to create content that will be a hit with the majority of people who have decided to hit that follow button, can be a lot to deal with!
I’ve come up with some tips, tricks and my suggestions for the best and most helpful apps to use, in order to continuously grow your own Instagram account!
Tip #1 – Post Consistently (but not too often)
This is definitely something that I’ve learnt recently. Like many others, I also have a personal Instagram account (that I genuinely forgot about until this moment, oops. Sorry real life friends and family). If I went out and did something exciting one day, I would post 10 or more pictures in a row from that day. Now, this is okay if you have a personal account that you aren’t necessarily trying to grow your followers on. But if you have an account that is linked to your blog or business, posting consistently throughout the day is crucial.
Try posting 3 or 4 times per day, spread out over a 24 hour period. This way, your followers won’t think that you’re trying to clog up their feed, and you’ll have a greater chance of being noticed in a positive way.
Click here to download an app I found that helps determine the best times of the day to post. It’s called Prime for Instagram and it basically calculates information from your account and lets you know when users are online and most active, and therefore the most beneficial times to post!
Tip #2 – Engage With Your Followers
Engaging with your followers is crucial! It lets them know that you’re not just in it for your own personal gain, but you’re also supportive of their successes and goals as well. Spend 5 or 10 minutes, a few times a day, scrolling through your feed, liking and commenting on photos that appeal to you. Don’t copy and paste the same comment, that isn’t even relevant to the particular photo you’re commenting on. It’s pretty obvious when people do this, and it’s more irritating than anything. So posting comments on photos that you genuinely enjoy, will show people that you care!
Tip #3 – Utilise Hashtags (Go on a liking spree!)
You know those hashtags you add to the end of each photo you post? Click on one of them. Done that? Great. Now scroll through and like as many as you can until your thumb cramps up. This will bring in a new wave of traffic to your Instagram account, and therefore, you’ll gain a great deal of new followers by doing so! Liking and commenting on photos that are included in your own niche is a great tool in attracting traffic, and will also show people that you care enough to show their accounts some love!
Tip #4 – Include an Activity in your Post!
I don’t mean asking your followers to do 100 push ups or run 5kms. I’m talking about engaging them further in your post, by getting them to tag a friend or like the post if they have been to a particular destination. This will get their attention and give them a reason to ultimately attract other people to your account, by tagging their friends and spreading the word.
For example: If you have a travel account (like myself! Check it out here) post a photo of your favourite city or country of 2016, and ask your followers to tag a friend who they would love to visit that place with!
Tip #5 – Keep an Eye on Your Followers & Unfollowers
I suggest downloading an app called InstaReport (this is what I use, personally). It will tell you who has recently followed you and who has unfollowed you. This is a good way to keep track of the people you’re following, and making sure you aren’t following accounts that rarely post, or are only following you for the follow back. I like to keep the number of people I am following to under 1,000. However, I am constantly finding new and beautiful accounts that I can’t scroll past, and have to click that follow button!
Tip #6 – Post Beautiful Pictures
I’ve tried and tested dozens of Instagram photo editing apps in my time. But I’ve recently discovered one that has made me disregard everything else. It’s called Phonto. And it has the only filter I use on my photos. There are dozens of filters available to use for free, and you also have the option to unlock others at a cost. The app’s main purpose is for adding text to photos (which I’ve done a few times, and have been pleasantly surprised with how easy and beautiful it looks!).
Tip #7 – Schedule Your Posts
There are tons of apps out there that lets you schedule posts for Instagram. I have tried a few out, Planoly and Hootsuite. Both have their pros and cons, however due to my retail work schedule, I was never near my phone when I received the notifications that my photo was ready to post. So now I have my own schedule! I post a photo when I wake up each morning, another on my lunch break (or around lunch time if I have a day off), and then around 8 or 9pm (which happens to be a prime time for me to post!). I feel like this is a lot more personal, and as I’ve gotten into the habit of posting anyway, there’s no need for me to put extra time into scheduling.
However, for people who work from home and have to dedicate their time to a lot of other projects, using an Instagram scheduling app is an extremely helpful tool to have.
Tip #8 – Don’t Be Discouraged
I know it’s easy to feel unmotivated and discouraged when things feel like they aren’t changing or growing. But don’t let it get you down! There are millions and millions of people who use social media – especially Instagram! – and you’re bound to lose a few people here and there. Either they delete their account, or change theirs and unfollow those people who don’t fit into their niche anymore. Just keep doing what you’re doing, and eventually you’ll have a dedicated and supportive group of people who genuinely love what you post!
I still have a long way to go, but I’m starting to dedicate a lot of my time to my Instagram account, and it’s definitely paying off!