Instagram is fast becoming one of the most popular and most used social networking sites out there, and I don’t know about you, but I’m hooked! I neglected Instagram for a really long time and didn’t really get all of the fuss, but lately I’ve been working hard to post photos I’m proud of and to network more. Think of Instagram as a mini portfolio for your blog, it lets you showcase a snapshot of your content in an app that literally everyone uses. Far more people use it than Bloglovin, people will actually see it (unlike Facebook), and it’s generally just one of the most effective ways to get your blog out there. If you follow me @LydiaRoseSmyth (shameless self-promotion right there) then you might have noticed that my follower count has been going up lately, so I thought I’d share a few of my tips on how to improve your feed and get a few more followers…
Establish a Theme
This by far is the most important thing when it comes to Instagram. If you take a look at the feeds you love or people who are ‘successful’ on Instagram then you will realise that they tend to have some kind of ‘theme’ going on. People love consistency and a feed that fits altogether with similar colours looks so much more visually appealing and interesting than one with random photos that don’t really connect. Personally, I tend to go for really bright photos of makeup and fashion and feature a lot of bright pinks in my images. Since I’ve kept it consistent my likes and followers have gone up crazy amounts! The best way to do this is to use the same filter or editing programme on your images. My images that don’t use filters, but use Instagram’s built in tweaking tools (highlights, brightness, contrast etc), though, are always the ones I’m most happy with.
Post Frequently At Peak Times & Use Hashtags
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On top of keeping your images consistent, the best way to grow your following is to post multiple times a day. Just like blogging, if you don’t post regularly your followers will lose interest and follow other people who upload consistently. To keep on top of this, I tend to take a lot of my flat lays all at once when I’m in a creative mood and upload them throughout the week so I always have something to upload. Although this might seem obvious, if you want your account to be seen by more people then it’s worth uploading at peak user times. Think about the times that you’re most likely to be scrolling through your phone – when you just wake up, on your lunch break, and late in the evening, these tend to be the best times to post. Hashtags are the many way people are going to discover your feed, so always be sure to hashtag #fbloggers or #bbloggers.
So this is a bit of a difficult subject when it comes to Instagram, but nobody can deny that it’s one of the best ways to get your account seen. If you’ve ever wondered how so many bloggers have a huge following, often they are featured by major brands regularly. A few months ago Primark gave me a shoutout and my followers went up by 1,000 over night – mental, right?! To increase your chances of being featured, make sure to tag brands in your images and use their hashtags. Otherwise, you can always do shoutouts with other Instagrammers you like, but be careful not to over-spam your feed with this. People follow you because they like your feed – not for you to be constantly promoting other accounts. To avoid being spammy, pick one of their photos which fits in well with your feed and suggest to your followers that they might like their account. Do not spam other bloggers with SFS – send them a direct message, it’s far less annoying.
Think back to when you first started your blog, how did you start getting followers? For me it was being really active in the Twitter chats and getting involved with the community. Instagram is exactly the same! Browse hashtags, comment and like other people’s photos, and start engaging with people. It’s important not to do this soley for the sake of getting followers, though. If you leave genuine comments you are far more likely to build up relationships with other bloggers and they will check your feed out that way, not because you’ve clearly used their comment section to promote yourself!
So these are my main tips, I hope it helped! Are you addicted to Instagram? Do you have any more tips to share?
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