As a disclaimer, I have around 3,200 followers. I am not an influencer, but I have managed to grow my account, which at one point – could barely make it to 100. I generally receive anywhere from 300-450 likes, per photo.
These tips that I want to share, have helped me tremendously, over the past couple of weeks.
Know your niche
You probably read that with rolled eyes. I am not asking you to decide on whether you are beauty, fashion or lifestyle. I think you need to decide exactly what it is, that people are going to get, from looking at your page.
My Instagram, for example, is called Lauzieslifestyle. It was set up to document my progress into health and fitness, which now includes my modelling photos. I use my captions (more on them later) to be motivational.
You have to ask whether you want to be inspirational, helpful, humorous, educational or relatable. What is it, that people are going to get from your account?
Find your style
I personally, don’t like the idea of editing my images in a similar style, but if you are looking to grow your account, this can significantly help. Because Instagram is so over saturated, when you have a particular look, you become memorable.
Decide on what backgrounds you want to use, what camera angles and what editing tools; generally try to stick to them. Let’s say you have a food account. Are you going to post images from the side, or from looking down? Is your food going to be minimal and simplistic, or is it going to be bursting full of colour?
Every once in a while, it’s nice to switch things up, though it helps to have a look that people can recognise you by. It’s like blogging; when you go on a person’s page, you expect certain posts from that person.
Have a straightforward bio
For a professional look, I quite like using the bullet point emoticons, and writing a few things that I want to share with my audience.
I don’t like when people fill their bio with emoticons – smiley faces, lipsticks, flowers etc, and I am not keen on writing phrases such as: “don’t follow to unfollow”. Yes, that is annoying, but writing it down, comes across almost aggressive, in my opinion.
In addition, stay clear of angry messages or egotistical. Sometimes I read things like “I’m not just anybody”; “don’t judge me – your opinions are irrelevant” and, “I’m a nice person, but cross me and I’ll do wrong”. If you are viewing yourself as a brand, or wanting to develop your Instagram with your blog, these messages read personal. I think it is better to always come across approachable, because you don’t want people to turn away; left feeling offended, or in disagreement.
Utilise your captions
I know Instagram is a photo sharing site and long captions can be frustrating to read. But I noticed, that people love to post motivational quotes, yet they rarely mention positivity in their actual captions.
I like to find a good quote, and then write a personal message alongside. Maybe people may do this, but to me, it sets me apart.
Captions are a perfect way to draw in your viewers – especially one’s that you are hoping, will click onto your blog. Instead of just writing: check out my blog post, give them an extra reason too. Share a cosmetic tip, or fitness advice. Let them put some trust in your writing, to then want to find out more.
Even if you are posting about your personal, daily life, maybe add humour or information, about the place that you are showing. It doesn’t have to be long and full on, it should be quick and enticing.
Some people like to add their hashtag’s into the comment section – to hide them, and others like to use none at all, because hashtags can be seen as “desperate”.
I find that whole notion ridiculous. If you do want to grow your account, it makes complete sense to use them, and to use as many as you can. The fact is, the more hashtag’s, the more opportunities to have your photos seen. There is nothing wrong, with wanting to expand your audience.
I like to do a couple of full stops underneath my caption..
To help break up the hashtags from the writing. The set Instagram limit is 30. Make sure you know the most popular hashtags. You can do a google search to find this. If you are a fitness account, type in popular fitness hashtags for Instagram etc.
As well as knowing the best hashtags for your niche, it’s good to know general, commonly used ones – #love, #instapic, #photo, #me, #instagood, #positivevibes etc.
At the beginning, I was so worried about adding people, because I thought it wouldn’t look good. Usually you either see someone – one day delete a huge amount of followers, or go round and do the follow to unfollow.
On the other hand, I do suggest you have more followers, than people who you are following. If you are following far more, people will wonder why, others are not following you back.
Many accounts who went on to follow people, now have 6k, that they are following. In return, they have 20k followers – and growing. The more people who see your account, the people will know about it.
What’s funny, is that I have recently gone round adding people, and I have more “fans”, than I did previously. I am not saying you need to follow every person that follows you, or to never unfollow someone, but don’t be afraid to put your account out there. There are dozens of unfollower apps, to help check your numbers. And yes, I do occasionally unfollow people – but not immediately. If you are unfollowing, do be sure to keep following, or you can end up being less popular.
Appreciate your supporters
Just like blogging, how nice is it, when you have been putting your energy into supporting someone, and they show the support back.
What I like to do, is go onto my likes, and anyone following me, that has liked the photo, I go onto their page and like some back. This works with captions as well. What you want, is to grow friendships.
Again like blogging, it’s nice to have people you know. When it comes down to it, you can have as many followers as you want, but if you don’t receive many likes, and if your comments are not genuine, who is really connecting to your page?
Always be genuine and try to connect back to people. If a follower leaves a detailed, well-thought out message, leave one back. I have made the most amazing connections and friendships through Instagram.
Don’t just rely on hashtags. Like other people’s images and try to leave thoughtful messages. Interact with a variety of followers, to see the kind of people that respond.
I think it’s best not to go either way. Don’t post lots in one day, but don’t wait weeks for a new post. Many big accounts, end up posting every couple of days. See what works for you. If you find yourself losing many followers – posting daily, than cut back on your posting. The same applies vice-versa.
It’s worth mentioning, that not everyone will be a fan of your page. Do not let it get to you! Some accounts have lots of followers, because they have been posting for years. Some delete their old photos, which makes it look like they have just instantly gained many followers. Others, use tools to get fake followers to build up their account. Do not compare your page. Find your niche and keep interacting.
The last tip, make sure it’s obvious, as to what kind of account you are. You do not have to be fashion, beauty or fitness. There are successful accounts on books, travel, animals, interior design etc. When a person views your page, do your images immediately tell them, what your niche is?
These are the best tips, that I believe that I could give. Do you have any of your own that you would like to share? Please comment and let me know.