Wah, the dreaded ‘A’ word is about to come into play. That pesky algorithm has made it even harder for us bloggers to grow on Instagram and it can be SO annoying. I’m so surprised that I’ve gained almost 2,000 followers in the last two months, and I really wanted to share with you some of the methods I used to grow my account!
Nurture the Followers You Already Have
Instagram is kinda complex right now. It’s not just about followers, it’s about engagement- likes and comments. I’m having an issue at the moment in that I’m getting more followers, but they just aren’t seeing my content so my likes aren’t going up that much. The best advice I can give with comments and likes, is to engage with your current followers. Like as many images on your home feed as you can to try and give yourself more exposure to more followers, and comment on other’s pictures to start conversations and make friends most importantly! Most Saturdays I also see a number of bloggers shouting out their favourite accounts on Instagram- this is the best way to show the accounts you’re finding the most inspiration from and it further creates a community within your following.
Oh God no, I’m not talking about paid advertising…I’m talking about self promotion on your other social media channels! Consistency is the key word here, and if you have a Twitter account it’s ideal for you to post every now and again, letting people know they can follow you on Instagram! I sometimes also try and find my new Twitter followers on Instagram- if they know you from another medium, they’re more likely to follow you.
Join Follow Trains on Twitter
A fairly new theme of threads on Twitter, follow trains are one of the best ways of gaining genuine, engaged followers. The way they work is simple- you RT the original follow train tweet, reply with your Instagram (link is best as oppose to just your handle) and follow everyone who’ve replied to the thread before you. Make sure you let those people know you’ve followed them, and also make sure you follow everyone who subsequently follows you! Can’t find a train? Make one yourself! I try and do one at least once a week.
Find People With the Same Interests
For me, I spent a little while last year simply posting images and wondering why no-one was engaging with my content. The amount of people I was following was also pretty low, and I realised a lot of them didnt have the same interests as me so maybe weren’t as engaged. The moment I started following others I realised how talented and inspiring they were, and most of all supportive! So whether you’re posting about fashion, beauty, books or anything in between, go on a search for others with similar interests- your engagement is sure to go up.
Experiment with Posting
There’s no exact science about what is the best time to post or the frequency to post, but do what’s best for you- experiment! The first place to start is by taking a look at your Insights- these can be found on your profile page, indicated by the bar chart icon on the top right hand side of the screen. Scroll down to the ‘followers’ section and that will show you the most popular times your followers are active- for me it’s from 3pm until 9pm.
When it comes to the frequency of posts, again it’s very hard to tell the right number for you, but for me, I post 3 times a day. Morning, lunch time and evening. I would aim to post once a day, or once every other day to begin with, but just remember that consistency is KEY. I would say it’s also quality over quantity though. It’s not a coincidence that I started using a DSLR camera three months ago and my followers spiked- good quality pictures are vital. You don’t have to have a fancy camera however- my iPhone takes really good pictures too- don’t think you have to spend major dollar !
Hashtag, Tag and Locate
They aren’t aesthetically pleasing by any means, but hashtags are ESSENTIAL. You can like and comment on as many pics as you want, but if others can’t find your images then it really can hinder your growth. If you’re hanging in Notting Hill and you’re wearing Topshop, tag them, tag your location and use the relevant hashtags! If you’re stuck on hashtags, have a look at what people similar to your interests are using and if you’re a posting about a brand, research any hashtags they use and you could get re-posted which is fabulous for exposure. Stuck on hashtags? I recommend RiteTag, it’s more geared to Twitter at the moment, but is a good starting point for which ones to use that aren’t shadow banned!
Connecting all of your social media channels is vital! Like I said about promoting your profile on Twitter, Pinterest can also be a good place to expose your images too. Install the browser add-on (which you can find here) and make a pin board of your images- every little helps and the images will all link back to your Instagram.
Instagram’s original ‘point and shoot’ ideals are kind of dead, especially in the blogging world and it’s all about planning and preparation. There are a number of apps you can use to schedule and plan out your Instagram posts- it improves the aesthetics of your feed, and you can also ensure you are posting consistently. Set aside a couple of hours a week to just prep which photos you want to post- it’ll make the world of difference, trust me!- My favourite app to use is Later.
Don’t Follow/ Unfollow
I can’t stress this enough. This method may work in the short term, but in the long term, it’s not a good move. I’ve seen a lot of tweets about people who’ve earned a little bit of rep for doing this over and over. I’ve never tried this method as I find it so irritating when I’m on the receiving end, but I have personally confronted a couple of people who’ve done this! I definitely think you risk your presence on Instagram so I would steer clear of this.
Do you have any tips and tricks? Did you find this post useful?