Simple Ways To Grow Your Instagram 2018 - Hacks, Advice, Trends
Have you ever wondered why some people on Instagram seem to be killing it lately? They have high engagement, thousands of followers, and a community that loves them. Let's stop there.... I just want to put it out there that I certainly don't think I am one of those people, but that doesn't mean that I (and you) don't have the ability to reach such goals! I too struggle from social media anxiety, and am not where I want to be at all with my stats, but I have learned quite a few tips and tricks with what little success I may have so far, and I want to share them with you guys!! 🕺🏼 Below you'll find a few of my favorite, and in my opinion under-utilized, things YOU can do to boost your engagement and overall account performance. Let's get started. 👇🏼
1. Comment Back
This is probably one of the easiest ways to increase your engagement on Instagram, and is often the one thing I see so many people NOT doing. By commenting back to all of your comments, you are not only creating a community of engaged users, but you are also doubling the amount of comments Instagram recognizes on your post. This will "trick" instagram into thinking you have higher engagement, and it will thus push your content to more people. It's a simple thing really, but makes a huge difference. I also just love talking to you guys and commenting back :) That's really what makes posting images fun for me - the community behind them. 🤗
2. Engage With Your Niche
By engaging with other accounts that have similar niches to yours (ie. fashion, travel, photography, fitness, food, etc.) you will tell Instagram what "category" you belong in. Instagram, and pretty much every social/digital media these days, has the ability to recognize things in your images such as animals, places, plants, and more. Even with the combination of image-recognition, your use of hashtags, and the wording you use in your comments, it is simply not enough for Instagram to categorize your account - you also need to engage (like, follow, comment, save) with accounts similar as yours. This way, Instagram can say "Oh, she interacts with mostly fashion accounts.... all her photos have to do with fashion, she's tagging fashion brands, using their hashtags.... she must be a fashion blogger!" Make sense? You will then start to rank on the explore page for fellow fashion bloggers. 🤩🙌🏼
This is another simple way to boost your Instagram account that so many people DON'T do...but they really should! You should be geotagging EVERY photo you post with either your general city, or a specific public location (restaurant, park, neighborhood, etc). Believe it or not, people do search through these geotags, especially when looking for fun things to do in that city or when traveling. Heck, I even look through them sometimes even though I'm a local - I just think it's fun to see what's going on in my city and what people are up to. 🤔💭
4. Local Hashtags
Keeping on the subject of location, you should also be using all of your local hashtags. Of course, only use the ones that are relevant to your niche, but try to include as many as you can to capture the attention of the people in your city! This is how I've made SO MANY connections here in Seattle - by not only using local Seattle hashtags, but also searching through them myself and engaging with those people. It's often how brands find me when searching for local bloggers to attend events, or participate in campaigns. It's how I've heard about meet ups, and met many photographers. Connecting with your local audience and fellow "#igers" is a great first step at building a large influential base for your account. 👩🏼💻#️⃣
5. Research the Explore Page
I love scrolling through the explore page to find content that inspires me, as well as trending hashtags. The explore page is FULL of high performing content....that is why it is on the explore page, so that is where you really should be doing most of your research! I have a few folders in my Saved tab on Instagram that are all for separate things. I save photos where I like the "Pose" - the general composition of the photo OR the literal pose that the person is hitting, that I find interesting or different. I save photos where I like the "OOTD" - purely based on outfit inspiration and looks I'd like to emulate when shopping for clothes. I save photos based on location - if I am traveling to a certain place in the near future, I will save related photos from that place or situation (ie. beach photos if going somewhere beachy, hiking photos if I'm going somewhere outdoorsy). I really hope this is all making sense lol. 🤔 I'm really getting into the nitty gritty of it all, and I hope this is helping! Saving photos for future inspiration is HUGE for me, and really keeps my sense of creativity flowing on days I am feeling stuck on what to post or take photos of. You can also research high performing hashtags on the explore page. When you search through the separate folders at the top of the Explore page ("Style", "Travel", "Beauty", "Food" etc.) you will see hashtags at the top of each one that are trending now, and those are the ones you should be using IF it relates to your content!
1. Build a community. Comment back, engage with your followers, and other similar accounts. You'll make new friends and further build your community, which is really all that Instagram wants - hence it being called a social media.
2. Engage with your local area. Geotag your photos and show off your city! Use local hashtags to show up in searches, and engage with those hashtags to make new connections :)
3. Do your research. Analyze the explore page and figure out exactly what type of content performs well.
Also remember: hashtags should only be relevant to the specific photo, or Instagram will flag you for spam - ie. don't use #foodblogger on a photo of your new manicure because again, the image-recognition already knows what the photo is about, the hashtags are only there to support that, and to serve as a search engine.
I really hope this helps you guys! There are SO many more things I want to write about and tell you about the ins and outs of Instagram, but I think I'll save them for a future post, so let me know if you want a Part 2! I the mean time, make sure to follow me on Instagram if you aren't already! 👇🏼💛
Happy 'gramming everyone!