All of the changes to Instagram are old news – we know how flippin’ annoying they are when you’re trying to grow a profile! At the start of this year I was on around 3,800 followers, now I’ve just passed 8,000! I wanted to go through what worked for me and what I notice helps me increase my following and engagement.
Everyone has their opinions on pods, but for me they’re just a reminder to like/ comment on the accounts I love and show support to others in the blogging community. I can happily say I love all of the profiles and girls that I interact with from the pods I’m a part of, and I think that’s the key to them being a success. With pods I noticed that more and more people commented on my photos and ended up interacting with them, which in turn led to people finding my profile and following.
The more you put out there, the more content there is for people to like and engage with. I try my best to upload between 5- 10 times a week, if I have images that I love I will upload them, and there have been the odd occasions if I’m travelling that I’ll upload 2 or even 3 times a day. Having said that I’ve realised this year that it’s all about quality over quantity, so finding that balance is really important. I’ll never upload something if I’m not 100% happy with it.
Posting more lifestyle content/ content different to my blog
I’ve always liked sharing what I’m up to and non-blog related content on my Instagram, but I’ve been putting more effort into that recently and it has really payed off. The Instagram accounts I love the most are those that share a little about themselves aswel as their passion, whether it be beauty, fashion or travel. Alongside this I’ve been using different hashtags and ultimately reaching different people who then find my profile and follow.
Being honest, I’ve found uploading the odd selfie here and there and a couple of outfit photos to be super helpful. I’m not sure why but I think it makes things just a little more personal, you almost know a little more about someone if you know what they look like which I think makes a difference!
Engaging with other profiles you love, don’t just scroll
This links back to pods and how being active on Instagram really helps to increase your own following. I realised that I was just scrolling through Instagram without taking the time to comment on my favourite photos, not only is it amazing to support others but it actually ends up helping out your own profile too! If your Instagram is within a certain niche like beauty, engage with similar profiles.
Using relevant hashtags
It was only recently that I realised using the same hashtags over and over can actually lead to you being shadowbanned. Now I spend more time looking into certain hashtags and making sure I’m using the most effective possible. You can use up to 30 which I would say is your best bet to reach more people. Using hashtags that are relevant to any brands in the image is something I always do too, especially if it’s a picture of me wearing a particular product from a brand.
Leading on from the last point, another way for brands to see your images is by tagging them in the photo and description whilst using the relevant hashtags. When a big brand re posts my image and links back to my profile I usually see an increase in followers. I always make sure to tag a brand I’m mentioning but the retailer I purchased/ received the product from or one that stocks the brand. For example I posted a picture of the Urban Decay Naked Palettes, tagged FeelUnique and they have asked if they can repost the image. This way my content is more likely to be shared by the brands that usually have 100K+ followers.
Uploading to Instagram stories as much as possible
I saw a statistic recently showing that only 50% of instagram users actually use instagram stories, but the rate of those watching them is much higher – so there’s less competition! I try to upload something most days, even if like today it’s just a picture of my morning coffee, it’s almost like a little behind the scenes and well worth putting some time and effort into. I wouldn’t recommend using Instagram stories to promote a new image going up on your profile, unless it’s a giveaway or something along those lines.
Geotag/ tagging locations in posts and instagram stories
This is only something I’ve been doing recently but it’s made such a difference. If I’m visiting some where new I always tag the location in my images and in my instagram stories too. If you tag the location in your story a lot of the time it can end up in the general story for that area, I did this recently and over 1000 people watched my story – usually it’s around 600. So a really big difference.
Promoting my Instagram in other places
I try not to it too much but probably around 2-3 times a week I’ll promote my Instagram via twitter. I upload a collage of my recent Instagram images and a link to my profile which seems to go down quite well. I love using the #bbloggers on twitter to reach more people that way.
Keeping a little note of what content my followers liked most
I try not to think about this too much as I do generally just post photos that I love, but I have noticed that certain types of photos seem to do better than others for me. The photos that always do well for me are surprisingly outfit photos (I wouldn’t call myself fashionable in the slightest but hey ho), in particular if I’m abroad or going to an event. I always take into consideration the time I’ve posted with this aswel as I’ve noticed that can make a difference for me.
As I mentioned in the intro, these are just the things that have worked well for me. I think there’s definitely still ways to grow on Instagram and it’s not worth giving up on just yet!