Hey STYLEanthropy friends! It’s been quite a long time since my first blogging tips post. Life has a way of throwing unexpected things at you. The last four months were the busiest, stress-inducing, yet exciting times. I went home to the Philippines to finalize purchasing a house. Once I got back, I was off to New York for Fashion Week. And then recently, the husband and I have been house-hunting for our home here in Pittsburgh (if you missed the memo, read here)! I’m not trying to brag, but I’m just proud! Proud of my hard work here on the blog and my social media channels. And of course, super grateful! All these things happening one after the other, is also thanks to all of you who have been supportive of my blogging journey! From the bottom of my heart – THANK YOU! Without you, these things could not be possible. That’s why I love to give back as much as I can. And today, I’m helping out those of you who are new to this blogging journey, or need help in growing their blogging career. Today, we’re talking about how to grow your Instagram!
How To Grow Your Instagram
Let me be clear, growing your Instagram doesn’t happen overnight. Also, I cannot possibly share everything in just one post. Others who are selling programs, classes, and lessons on how to grow your Instagram, provide chapters upon chapters of tips and techniques. Plus, don’t forget the fact that Instagram changes algorithm quite a bit. So let’s break it down and take it slowly but surely. Today, I’m going to share these 6 important things you should be doing to help you grow your Instagram!
1. Take Beautiful Photos and Create a Beautiful Feed
I’ve heard other Instagrammers say they don’t want to waste time on keeping their feed consistent. That life can be a series of random things and that it should be the same with their feed. That not sticking to a theme or color scheme just shows more of their authenticity and real life. While that definitely makes sense, taking crisp and clear photos doesn’t change the fact that whatever you share is real or is true.
Think of your Instagram feed as a magazine or book cover. Will you buy a magazine or book, where the photos are either blurred, too dark you can’t recognize what’s being shown, or just too meh? If you don’t know how awesome that book actually is, and you were just browsing at a book store, will you even bother picking it up? What will make YOU pick up a magazine or book? You know YOUR answer. Now implement that on your Instagram feed.
Now as far as themes and color scheme goes, if it’s not your thing, then fine. My advice is to keep on sharing what you love. Because if you do that, you will notice (or maybe not) that there’s actually a pattern or a theme in what you share after all. Let me explain.
I was watching a fellow blogger’s insta-story one time. And she said she’s not too keen on creating a theme for her feed. She said that she just post whatever she likes – whatever makes her happy. So I went to her feed. And you know what? I found that her feed has a beautiful and consistent theme. She didn’t know that she was actually doing it just by sharing the things that she love. It was consistent because she kept on sharing the same things. She loves blue and it was so apparent on her feed – as if it was intentionally done. She shares Bible verses regularly and uses the same font and color in the photo – again, well done that it looked intentional. So just do you, but like I said earlier, make sure your photos are crisp and clear.
Make your Instagram feed a museum of you.
2. Use Hashtags but Always Switch it up
Hashtags are important if you want your photo to get more reach. But how many hashtags to use?
If I were to write this tip several months back, I would say to use all 30 allowed number of hashtags in an Instagram post. I would also say to put most of the hashtags in the comments section. Today, I’m telling you NOT TO DO those things. Like I mentioned earlier, Insta changes its algorithm a lot. So what worked before may no longer be working now. Some hashtags are banned, and others who use a lot of hashtags don’t get enough reach.
What to do? Pick only a few hashtags that is the MOST RELEVANT to your picture. If you’re showing makeup, then use only the hashtags that are related to makeup. Don’t put #fashionblogger if you’re not even in the picture and you’re just showing a flatlay shot of some lipsticks. Also, try to keep the number of hashtags under 20, 10 even, under 5 would be best.
Just switch it up and don’t do the same thing with all your posts. Sometimes, I use only 3 to 5 hashtags. Other times, I’d use over 10. But try to keep it low as much as possible. Also, switch it up on the placement of hashtags. I find that the most ideal is to put around 3-5 hashtags in the caption and that’s it. Sometimes I would add more hashtags in the comment but I try to avoid it as much as I can to avoid Insta flagging the account as being spammy.
EXTRA: Aside from hashtags, tag brands (if featuring any) and use their hashtags (check their Instagram if they use a special hashtag specific to them). The goal is to get regrammed to get more reach and hopefully gain more followers from the brand!
3. Engage and Start Conversations
Interact with others through likes and comments. Sure, it could be hard work. But you’ll grow more real followers by interacting with fellow ‘grammers! AND PLEASE, be authentic with your comments. Sometimes, I would get a comment that’s totally not related to my post. That tells me that person is using a bot or an app to auto-comment, and that can be a turn-off and can even cause others to unfollow you. So leave more meaningful comments – ones that can start a conversation, and create friendships and lasting followers!
4. Join Facebook Groups
Joining Facebook groups dedicated to Instagram or growing social media can be of great help. Are you in one? These groups post threads where you can share an Instagram post that needs boost. But if you’re not interested in those, I still recommend joining the groups for hearing the latest on Instagram. If the algorithm has changed, most likely someone will share that in the group. So you’re always updated.
5. Follow Wisely
Love your craft. Love your community. Follow people just LIKE YOU and try not to unfollow. What? FYI, this is not the Follow/Unfollow method. Some people do it and personally I’m not a fan. I tried it out to see if it works. And yeah sure, it helps grow a bit, but then I end up not unfollowing because I don’t wanna be called a jerk, ya know? Plus, if you just follow mindlessly, you end up following and getting followed back by the most random of people whom you may have NO CONNECTION at all. Most likely, they are not your target audience. So after awhile, I started cleaning up.
Now, I just follow accounts that are similar to mine. Community over competition, as they say. Wouldn’t you want to be surrounded by other Instagrammers who inspire you? Imagine opening Instagram and seeing only posts that you love. But there’s more to that. Instagram actually shares you more when you follow accounts like yours… even better when you follow the suggested accounts. Because when you do, you’ll see that more people will see you and follow you! Here’s how to do it.
- Start by looking for an account that’s similar to yours – and of course, someone whose feed you like. If you’re a fashion blogger, then look for another fashion blogger in your city, or someone who share the same style or aesthetic. I also try to pick one who has a similar or slightly more number of followers.
- Follow that account.
- Now, next to the follow button, you’ll see an arrow down. Click on that and Instagram will show you suggested accounts for you to follow. I go through 5 to 10 of the accounts to see if I REALLY like to follow any of them.
- Just check their feed quickly and if you like what they post, then follow. I follow about 10 at a time, and it only takes about 10 minutes or less. And after you do this, you’ll see people start following you within the next hour or so like magic. The ones who start following you aren’t even the ones you just followed. It just shows that Instagram likes that you are interacting and following with like-minded ‘grammers and you’re being shown to more people who like the things you post about.
- Now try to do that twice a day, maybe one in the morning or midday, and one at night. It will only take you 20 minutes or less a day, and you’ll see your followers grow.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, try NOT to unfollow. Try? Yup. I hate unfollowing. But sometimes, you need to clean up especially because there is a limit to how many you can follow on Instagram, and that limit is set at 7,500 currently. Anyone who is following over 7,500 was able to do so before this rule was implemented. Instagram sees it as spammy if you are following too many accounts. And eventually, if you keep on following, you might reach that number.
So way before that even happens, try going through the accounts you’re following and be more picky with who you follow. Did you really enjoy or interact with this account that you followed two weeks ago? Did you see a post that turned you off? Think of it as a regular clean up. I go through my feed and if I see something I don’t like, then most likely I’ll unfollow that account. Just don’t follow to unfollow. That’s rude. Follow and engage. Start a relationship. If it doesn’t work, then break it off.
6. Be Consistent
And last but not the least, be consistent… with EVERYTHING. Be consistent with posting. Consistently follow these tips (of course until Insta changes their algorithm again), and hopefully, you’ll see your Instagram start to grow.
That’s all for now. Until the next blogging tips, my friends! Xo.