Instagram can be a frustrating game. You get excited about the photos you take while out and post them on your page. When you go to check how they’re doing later, the engagement is less than satisfying. You may also be struggling to gain new followers even though you think your pictures are amazing.
I built my Instagram up from scratch just last year and already have over 30,000 followers with a good amount of engagement. Today I’m sharing my tips on what’s helped me and will help get your engagement up as well!
Only Share Your Best Photos
It’s better to share a few high quality photos a few times a week than post mediocre ones every day. Once your feed starts filling up, people will be quickly looking over the first nine that show up to decide if they should follow you or not. You want all of those pictures to wow them and convince them to follow you, so don’t post any pictures you’re not proud of. If it’s blurry, too dark, etc. skip it and go out to take better pictures.
Engage With Other Accounts
I spend time every single day commenting on other people’s pictures that I follow, as well as finding new accounts to engage with. This lets people know you’re active on Instagram and they might be curious enough to check out your page. If they like what they see, they might grace you with a comment and/or follow you in return.
Have Variety in the Color of Your Feed
Pictures of the ocean and colorful sunsets are beautiful, but no one wants to see the same picture every single day. Try to mix up the order of your pictures so there’s more variety. In the example above, you can see I tried to space out pictures of the blue ocean, green landscape, and colorful buildings. It’s more visually appealing to the eye this way, and people will be more inclined to follow you.
Use Hashtags Specific to the Area
Far too often I see people posting just a few generic hashtags, such as #travel or #picture. If you look these up, millions of people are posting pictures with the same hashtags, so your picture will get swallowed up in the sea of images. Look up hashtags commonly used in the area you’re in to stand out more. For example, a few ones specific to Seattle are #igers_seattle and #pnwanderland. You’ll connect with other locals and have a better chance of being featured in the “top 9” for each hashtag, thus promoting your account even more.
Follower Bigger Accounts That You Respect
There’s no better people to learn from than professional photographers and bloggers who have made it big. See what strategies they’re using, whether it’s certain hashtags or certain angles to their shots. Sometimes they’ll even put tips in their captions for how they got the photo, which will help you with your own picture taking.
Have Your Caption Tell a Story
When I first started posting on Instagram, I was completely guilty of using captions such as “beautiful sunset” or even worse, no caption at all. Be creative and tell the story behind your picture. What were you doing in this moment, how were you feeling, etc. It makes you more of a “person” and not just a regular account so people can connect with you better.
Think Outside the Box
Everyone takes a picture of the Eiffel Tower head on. Play around with your shots and figure out how you can put a new spin on it. Maybe that’s from the back of it, or going up in a building to have a higher view of it. Make your picture different than everyone else’s to stand out. You can also look up hashtags for what you’re trying to take a picture of to see how others have captured it.
Add Your Location to Posts
In addition to using hashtags, make sure to use the geotag feature to add your location. It allows users to quickly see where you are instead of having to scan through your hashtags. You’ll also improve your chances of being discovered by others searching for accounts in the same area.
Schedule Your Posts in Advance
There’s several scheduling apps you can use for Instagram, but I personally Hootsuite has been a lifesaver. It’s saved me so much time on daily postings. Pick out your photos for the week and spend time organizing what order they’ll go in, and write a thoughtful captain for each one. Make sure to include plenty of hashtags and pick out only the best pictures from your batch. This will make posting to Instagram throughout the week fast and easy.
Most Importantly, Have Fun!
It’s easy to get caught up in the game of how many likes and comments you have per picture, but it’s not worth it if you don’t enjoy it. Play around with your images to see what types tend to do better. My account personally does best with landscape photos, which is perfect because I also enjoy taking them. Don’t force yourself to post pictures of subjects you’re not interested in. This should be enjoyable after all!
Still looking for more advice, or interested in a personal consultation? Schedule a one-on-one with me so I can help you reach your Instagrams goals! Email me today at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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