It’s no secret that I LOVE Instagram. I have two accounts and I love interacting with people on Instagram, it’s definitely my favorite social media site. But, it wasn’t until I took Helene Sula’s (from Helene in Between) course Instagram For Success that I realized that there was so much more I could be doing with my Instagram and my blog.
I follow quite a bit of people on Instagram and sometimes I’m a little baffled at those who are trying to sell a product, but even though they’ve had their account for years they still have only around 100 followers. (Don’t get me wrong, 100 followers is a lot better than just 1 follower, and you can make money regardless of how many followers you have, but it still baffled me) I would look at their pages and say to myself “Oh, if they just did this… or that… they could have so much more engagement or even more success.” I’m currently working on my own Instagram course that will help others who are so close but aren’t quite sure what to do yet. (That’s coming soon) But today I wanted to share a few of things I’ve done to grow my following on Instagram, increase engagement and really make a difference.
Tell A Story
Tell YOUR story. Even though Instagram is all pictures, and is often the very best of ourselves, on my personal account I try to be as honest as possible. I talk about the good days and the bad days of living with anxiety. I share my triumphs and my bad hair days. On my personal account, I am telling my story, when you tell a story on Instagram, people are willing to follow and you and stick around.
Engage with Your Followers!
Respond to comments! Comment on other photos! Like other photos! This has been one of the easiest things for me to do. If I’m waiting in line somewhere I’ll pull open Instagram and comment/like a few photos. This simple task can make a huge difference! I’ve also seen that the more engagement I give, the more I receive! (I guess along with this I should mention the follow/unfollow thing… I don’t even know what it’s called. But I know that it takes so much time. Following so many people, and then unfollowing the ones who don’t follow you back, or unfollowing everyone. Dang… This takes so much time. I’d rather be engaging with my followers and other Insta users. I prefer to like and comment on photos and then follow people whose photo’s I love. I know that the follow/unfollow method can give you more followers and possibly faster than the other way, but for me the time that it takes just isn’t worth it.)
Update your Bio
Did you know that most people who see your Instagram account will be there for less than a minute? Your bio is one of the first things they will see. What do you do? What are you selling? What’s your story? Make your bio count! I’ve posted some pictures of bios that I think are great examples, mimic these to help you get started!
Your Photos Matter
You want your feed to be aesthetically pleasing. Bright and white seem to be in, but you don’t have to have an almost all white feed to be noticed on Instagram! Be consistent in how you edit your photos. True, bright photos do get noticed more, so make them bright. But most of all, make sure they represent you. I remember a time when I felt SOOO bogged down by my Instagram feed. It wasn’t fun to post and when I took pictures I ‘made sure they would look good in my feed’ and true, I still do a little bit of that now. But I’ve relaxed on that, and now I focus on posting pictures that are meaningful to me, are pleasing to look at, and help me tell my story. I take almost all of my photos on my iPhone 6s because I can’t afford a nicer camera right now. But there are editing apps that can help even phone photos look good. (I used Snapseed and AColorStory) I love following accounts with beautiful photos. They inspire me and encourage me to take my own beautiful photos.
Post at the Best time!
Connect your Instagram account to Facebook to get Instagram Analytics. I LOVE THESE! I try to post at a time when I know more of my followers will be online so that I know my photos will be seen by more people. This is really simple, but it makes a world of difference instead of trying to guess and post whenever.
This year I have a goal to get to 5,000 followers on my personal Instagram by the end of the year. It may be possible to get even more, but for now, I know this is something I can work towards every single day.
Whether that’s once a day or 2-3 times a day or once every few days. You want to be posting often and keeping it consistent!
A lot of these things I just started doing consistently. For about seven months my personal account sat right around 700 followers. This didn’t upset me, but I realized I was missing out on a lot of growth opportunities that I had. But, I made the switch from a private account and starting doing these things. And within one week I was up to 850 followers. These things are simple, but they can make a huge difference in your Instagram game. What do you do to organically grow your following?