Instagram growth has been a difficult thing for a while now. The algorithm might have messed us around a little but there is a few ways that you can keep top of your game and engage your followers more than usual. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed my Instagram growth and engagement has improved and thought I’d share my tips with you..
I do want to stress before starting that your follower count does not determine your worth as a blogger. I mean, granted if you have 100k on Instagram then you’ve got a bigger reach than someone with only 30k but ultimately, engagement matters the most. Whats the point of having all of those people following you when barely any of them like or comment on your posts!? I’d rather build a small community that enjoy the content I’m creating, than have a number of followers and feel like I’m posting into outer space. So, heres my tips for building a little community and keeping your followers coming back for more.
1. Post frequently.
I try and post 1-3 times a day and schedule my content as early as I can. At any given time, I’ve always got at least 8 posts captioned and ready to go. UNUM is a great app for planning posts – allowing you to set reminders, plan your feed and save captions to drop straight to the gram. It might sound like a lot of effort for an Instagram account but it means that when I come to post, I press a couple of buttons and I’m done. All of my captioning is done while I’m watching TV or before I fall asleep – not eating in to my work time at all!
2. Connect your Facebook page.. yep, Facebook!
Linking your Facebook page allows you to transform into a business account which is a great way of tracking your insights. Insights are kept in the top right corner of your profile, the button that looks like a line graph and allow you to monitor business-y bits and Instagram growth. You can find out everything from your most engaging times, follower growth, follower gender/location, most engaging posts and even see how many people have been saving your posts.
3. Make the most of stories.
Stories are a great way for followers to get to know you a little better. Its a much more stripped back approach and lets you share what you’re getting up to (exciting or otherwise) alongside outfits, parcels that arrive and general musings. If you have a business account then the swipe up feature works too so you can optimise the traffic between your platforms – sharing blogposts, videos or even linking your #ootd.
4. What do your followers love to see?
Use your insights to keep up with which posts are the most engaging. I usually set mine to show me the engagement over 30 days to show the top performing images based on likes and saves.Obviously only post images that you love but this is a great way to see what your followers are loving and which images will go down best. Being consistent with a style of imagery is working for me at the moment because my followers know what to expect.
5. Post when people are online.
Last one to do with Facebook linking, I promise! Theres a handy tab within insights that shows you the times/days of the week when your followers are likely to be double tapping away. It might actually shock you because often followers are in different countries so browsing at different times. For example, 2am is often a good time for me because I have a good American following who obviously browse differently due to time zones. I try to stick to 1-3 images a day and post before 9am and after 8pm, then some time during the day – people seeing means your Instagram growth has a higher chance!
6. Keep your captions chirpy!
Build a relationship and show an interest in the people that show an interest in you. I try and reflect my personality into my captions whether its chatting about a new bag, asking about weekend plans or something else. On each post it also helps to comment back, have a conversation and be friendly.
7. Hashtag wisely.
There are tons of hashtags floating around with some more popular than others. Whenever you post an image, give it a few hashtags to expand your reach. Someone might be browsing a certain hashtag (lets say, #winterstyle), come across your feed and end up following you. But keep them relevant – you don’t want to be hashtagging #fashionblogger on an image of the beach but you might choose to hashtag #paradise, #summerholiday, #travelblogger or other popular ones! I try and mix up my hashtags on each post and avoid general ones like #ootd, #fashionblogger and others which are heavily saturated.
8. Avoid the engagement pods – they do more harm than good!
Instagram engagement pods are the latest way to try and beat the algorithm. Its basically where a group of ‘grammers share recently posted images and like/comment on each others posts to help improve engagement. It seems like a great idea and does work, but its rumoured that Instagram has caught on! So you’re actually doing more harm than good. I was in two groups earlier in 2017 but after a couple of weeks, went my own way. Admittedly my engagement dropped slightly at first but now I’m gaining more natural comments and my audience are much more vocal and double tap happy.
9. Engage with other people.. properly.
Please, please don’t be someone who leaves dull comments like ‘love this’ or ‘great outfit’ because it doesn’t enhance a conversation and seems quite spammy. I’m much more likely to check out someones profile. Make every comment friendly and genuine because after all, thats the kind of comment that we love to receive so why shouldn’t we dish them out?
10. Share the love!
If I ever see a blogger posting #ad to instagram, I will always engage to help them out. As should we all. They’re obviously working hard to secure collaborations and just because its a paid image, it doesn’t make it any less great than others in their feed. Brands do check the numbers on paid posts so its always nice to help others out – plus if you do it for them, they’re more likely to return the favour!
Thats essentially a few things that I have been changing on my own account recently to try and improve Instagram growth and engagement but I’d love to know if you have any other tips because after all, sharing is caring! I hoped you enjoyed my tips for Instagram growth and improving engagement..