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How to Grow Your Following + Engagement On Instagram
Roses_n_rose recently shared a few Instagram engagement tips in my Facebook group “Boss Girl Bloggers” and it inspired me to create a second “How to Grow an Engaging Instagram” blog post for you all!
It has been about two months…I think…since I shared my last one and since then my account has grown over 2,000 followers more. I know some of you may be thinking “okay that’s not a lot.” But for me it’s huge! I started growing my account in April of this year (2017), it is now the end of August and my account has grown by over 4,000. That’s a lot for me in a shortish amount of time!
My favorite part is that my Instagram is FILLED with engagement. I love receiving comments and interacting with other beautiful human beings like yourselves! So, here I am putting this post together for you because I want to help you grow, succeed and achieve your engaged Instagram that you deserve!
ESTABLISH YOUR NICHE
What is it that you like to post about? Health/fitness? Beauty/fashion? Everyday life? Your kids? What makes you happy to talk about and post about? This is important when it comes to Instagram! You want to keep your Instagram filled with only things that YOU love! Don’t worry about what everyone else loves.
Keep it real! Keep it you!
If you are loving what you post, others will attract to that and love it too! BUT another reason why you should figure out what it is that you love posting about, is so that you can interact with others who post about the same things as you!
How Do You Find Those In Your Niche?
Easy peasy! Search hashtags!
For instance, if you are a lifestyle blogger, search the #Lifestyleblogger for other lifestyle bloggers! Follow and engage with those similar to you! Chances are they are going to engage back. People are more likely to engage back if they have the same interests as you! This is an awesome way to find others to follow too!
When it comes to following, i’ve noticed that if I follow someone who has thousands more followers than I do, they probably won’t follow or engage back. If I stick to those who have around the same amount or a little less followers than me, they will almost always engage or follow back!
BUT REMEMBER don’t focus too much on your numbers, ENGAGEMENT IS SO IMPORTANT
Like they say,
“You’d rather have one best friend who cares than 20 friends who don’t care.”
It’s the same thing when it comes to your following. Why would you want 20,000 followers who never like or comment on anything you post? I’d rather have 1,000 who do like and comment on my posts! NO FAKE FRIENDS PLEASE.
DON’T EVER PURCHASE YOUR FOLLOWERS
Please, PLEASE DO NOT. It is a waste of money and it only brings followers who are ghosts. They will most likely NEVER interact with your photos. You can often times tell when an account has purchased their followers because they will have a high following but barely any engagement! How does someone with over 10,000 followers only get 25 likes? It just doesn’t make sense. Or those who have 25,000 followers with not even 50 likes. WE SEE YOU. Those followers aren’t organic or genuine. SAVE YOUR MONEY. Don’t buy followers.
I don’t know if I am the only one who doesn’t care for them, but I just don’t. I find that it’s kind of like buying your followers but not as bad. You will get a few followers who care for your posts, don’t get me wrong. BUT you will also get a lot of followers who only came for the free gift. They want to win what you are giving away. They probably won’t ever interact with your content, or they probably will unfollow after the giveaway has ended. I just don’t find loop giveaways to bring genuine followers. It may not be the case for everyone, I just can’t bring myself to spend money this way.
What I do recommend is teaming up with a brand and doing a giveaway that way! It’s nice to give back to those who already do follow and it may also attract followers in the same niche as you. I find more success from those who have done this, rather than loop giveaways. Some may disagree with me and that’s totally fine!!!
You have probably heard A LOT of chatter about how to see who is following you back or not! There is an actual app for this. BUT DON’T GET DISTRACTED. Sometimes it’s okay to follow feeds that you love even if they don’t follow you back! Don’t worry so much on your numbers and focus more on making those who do follow you stay! Also, there are a lot of faulty apps out there that will tell you someone has unfollowed when they really haven’t so please be careful!
The app I use is called: Followers+
I know a lot of people will say don’t waste your time in comment pods but, I actually have found them to be SO helpful! It really get’s the comment juices rolling. I feel as if people are more likely to comment on a photo that gets attention than one that doesn’t. I am a part of about 3 GOOD comment pods on instagram as well as the facebook group I created that is a “large” comment pod for my Boss Girl Bloggers. Here.
What is a comment pod?
It is a group message on Instagram with a max of 15 people. Each time you have a new post on Instagram you would share, “New Post” in the Instagram group message. Please do not share your actual photos in these pods, it creates risks (rumor or not, better safe than sorry).
Then everyone in the pod will go and like and comment on your new Instagram post. It’s a fun way to help support one another and try to work around Instagram’s algorithms. I really love them! It’s a lot of work to keep up with though! You must be dedicated! Nothing is more frustrating than being in a comment pod with people who do not reciprocate. DON’T BE LIKE THEM. (: I have met some amazing ladies through comment pods!! I love supporting.
This is really important! I like to post on Instagram at least twice a day but I strive for three times a day. ALSO space out your posts by at least 3-4 hours. If you double post within an hour, it may come off spammy and have a negative rather than positive effect. If you are only posting every other day or once a week, I promise your engagement will be lower and it will be a slower growing process.
HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH CONTENT TO POST?
This is always a most asked question! Trust me, I have a full time job too so I know it can be tricky finding the time to take photos. What I choose to do is, on my day off, plan out a photo shoot where I style and take photos for that upcoming week! That way I know I will have content no matter what! Even if I don’t have time to take photos on days that I work. I will take photos in different outfits, with different looks. I also will style all sorts of products that I know I want to talk about that week! Planning ahead is always a positive!
I love trying to create an Instagram theme. It’s tricky but fun! Mine is not perfect but it WORKS. Just having a similar background and color scheme in each photo posted is super helpful! When it comes to styling photos I like to use card stock from craft stores and tile that I can find at my local Home Depot! These are seriously awesome, cheap options! It really works!
I find that bright and bold colors stand out a lot more! However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a grey and black theme. I will share with you a few different looks.
Here are a few of my favorite themes on Instagram, and a little sneak peak of my Instagram.
It is important that you produce high quality content. I’m not saying you need a super expensive camera, but it’s not a bad idea to invest in one! OR even invest in equipment!
I bought soft box lighting and a ring light! I couldn’t be more happy about this purchase! It has made such a difference in the quality of my photos.
These are exactly what I use:
You can also invest in a DSLR camera! Pricey but worth it!
I use my Iphone7Plus for most of my photos though!
Oh yes, the hash tags. I know how awful they can look. I like to hide my hashtags but I also like to keep my hash tags in my caption. I find that I have better engagement when it’s in my caption. I don’t know if that’s the way it works for everyone else, but it’s just my personal preference.
I will hide my captions by using periods. You must use periods in order for it to work.
(insert caption here)
(insert hashtags here)
It’s a great way to hide them a little! It Makes it look neater and more aesthetically pleasing.
When it comes to using hashtags, make sure you use hashtags that are targeted towards your niche.
#lifestyleblogger #lifestyleblog #lifestyle #Life #LivingLife #HappyLife #DailyLife #LifeWithMe #OnTheGo #LovingLife #Today #TodayOnTheBlog #LifeBlog #MyDay #Living #Positivity #DailyInspo
#Beauty #BeautyBlog #BB #MakeupAddict #MakeupJunkie #Makeup #Favorites #MyObsessions #InstaHaul #InstaMakeup #MakeupArtist #Makeover #BeautyFavorites #BeautyObsessed #Glam #LookOfTheDay #LookOfTheNight #Glamorous #Beautiful #GoingOut #NightOut #BeautyFinds #BeautyGuru #MakeupQueen #MakeupLook #EyeLook #Lippie #LipstickQueen #BeautyOnTheBlog
#Fashion #Style #StyleBlog #BloggerStyle #BlogStyle #LookOfTheDay #LookOfTheNight #FashionFinds #FashionFavorites #StyleIt #Fashionista #FashionBlogger #Lookbook #Looks #Flaunt #Favorites #FashionQueen #Stylist
#Workout #GetFit #Fit #Healthy #HealthBlog #Fitness #GetFitWithMe #EatGoodFeelGood #Motivation #Motivate #GetMotivated #OnTheMove #FitBlogger #FitnessBlogger #HealthQueen #HealthAddict #HealthJunkie #GetInShape #Inspiration #Gains
#Travel #Traveler #Explore #Explorer #Wanderlust #Wander #Wanderer #OnTheGo #Adventure #Adventurous #WildChild #WildAndFree #Freedom #TravelBlog #TravelBlogger #ExploreTheWorld #Nature #TheViews #SightSeeing #Beautiful #Wild
These are some examples! There are so many hashtags out there! Get creative (:
Promote your Instagram on facebook groups where you are ALLOWED to promote it. Most facebook groups will have a weekly thread where you can leave your link and engage with others on the thread. I love threads like this! The threads that can be difficult are follow for follow threads. The reason these are more risky is because not everyone follows the rules, and second, you end up following those who you aren’t even interested in to begin with.
You want to make sure you are following those who you are genuinely interested in. If you aren’t vegan and never will be and follow someone who only posts about being vegan, what’s the point? You know what I mean! Plus it will bring a lot of followers who may not be interested in your content either, leaving you with ghost followers. (followers who don’t interact).
If someone comments on your photo, comment on one of theirs! Also, answer their comment! Nothing better than feeling noticed and appreciated. Be a friend. No one wants to engage with someone who doesn’t acknowledge them. That’s like saying hi to someone and having them walk right by you. It’s sort of a slap in the face.
Another important way to establish connections is by interacting with those you follow already. Go through your feed daily and comment on those you follow’s posts. Engaging with others will bring engagement back.
CREATE ENGAGING CAPTIONS
This is serious! PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS. I noticed a HUGE increase in engagement when I created engaging captions.
What I mean by this is, make your captions connect on a personal level. Don’t be afraid to get deep. MOTIVATE, and CAPTURE your audience. Also ask questions! It’s really simple! If you ask a question, someone will answer and that will create engagement on your photos! Tell a story through your Instagram. Inspire through your Instagram.
This is for fashion/beauty bloggers. I joined style collective because a fellow blogger recommended it to me for Instagram engagement. She was so right! It’s a beautiful community of ladies. You can find others to follow on Instagram and they all connect with one another through using the hashtag #SCSister #StyleCollective #SCLOVE I found amazing ladies via style collective and they also have meet ups all the time! Great way to establish conenctions.
These are all ways that I transformed my Instagram by 4,000 + followers with higher engagement within only 4 1/2 months! It’s possible if you put the work in! I hope these help you, and feel free to ask me any questions!!
Until next time,