Here are eight quick ways to improve your Instagram engagement and grow your followers.
I’m in no way claiming to be #InstaFamous, but I do get asked frequently for advice and tips on how to improve your Instagram – how to take nice photos, create a cohesive look, where to find resources, which filters to use. It helps that my daytime job is a social media manager, so I’m always reading news about updates and optimization. I find it fascinating how implementing different tactics can effect an Instagram profile, such as using a business profile or not (I’ve been reading that a lot of people are switching back to non-business profiles).
Here are some general tips to help you quickly improve your Instagram, including finding inspiration, upping your engagement, and getting a cohesive feed.
Find Similar Content Creators.
I enjoy seeing beautiful content and interacting with similar creators. One way I do this is by looking at the tagged photos of brands that I love. For example, Kate Spade. I check out their tagged photos, then comment & like photos I actually like (that’s the key), and new follow profiles that stand out to me. I do this with genuine intentions. I don’t engage with profiles or photos that I don’t enjoy because that doesn’t create a positive or real community. Genuine interaction will turn into supportive and symbiotic ‘Instagram friendships’.
Use the Same Filter.
This really helps with creating a cohesive look to your Instagram feed. Even if the photos don’t have the same colour scheme, the filter can be the similarity among the photos. Play around with filters and photo editing to test out what works for your personal brand and feed. It took me almost 2 years to find a combination that I like, so don’t feel like you have to commit to the first combo you try.
Places that I like to look: Pinterest, Google images, Tumblr, and physical magazines. I also use the bookmark feature on Instagram to save photos that I like. Here are some of my favourite Instagram accounts to follow. Most social media management platforms have blogs that push out excellent, idea-generating content. Planoly, Hootsuite, and Iconosquare are a few that I check often. Which leads into the next point…
Those same publications I mentioned above also post content that teaches you about Instagram and how to optimize. Best part: they have the budgets to do the research, and we can benefit for free! Attend webinars, watch interviews, and listen to podcasts. Soak it all in.
Post quality photos.
I’m not saying you have to go out and buy a DSLR. Alyssa Lenore mainly uses an iPhone to take photos, and if you look at her account, it’s stunning. Tip: don’t over sharpen your photos when editing. It makes them grainy and blurry.
“Themes” aren’t everything.
Post photos that you love! At the end of the day, my Instagram is for me, so if a post doesn’t quite match, I’ll find a way to post it anyways. This can be applied to company profiles as well! If you are posting content that doesn’t have value but is “on-theme”, you’re not likely to see engagement or increased followers. A pretty Instagram is nice, but people need a reason to follow you.
Write down when you get a lot of engagement on your photos, which styles perform the best, ideas for posts etc. You’ll probably notice some trends.
Don’t copy or compare.
Oscar Wilde said that “imitation is the greatest form of flattery” and there is some truth to that. I think in some way, “Instagrammers” copy styles, layouts or filters from each other. Make your posts your own and share your world, not someone else’s. We draw inspiration from each other but always remember – people post on their Instagram what they want people to see or perceive about them.
I’m still trying to figure out the Instagram algorithm, but for myself, I have found these tips helpful. I always recommend testing things out for yourself, because not every tip will work for your profile or audience.
Curious what apps I use to edit photos, gather statistics, and manage my account? Check out Part Two of this Instagram series.
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