One of the social media platforms that I love dearly is Instagram! Lately i’ve been spending quite a while on it. Instagram gives us the easiest way to share bit of our life without having to spend a long time writing a blog post for example. I still love blogging but this summer I found myself so wrapped up in activities with my girls that blogging was left a bit behind.
I have almost 900 followers on Instagram and although this is not a lot compared to other fellow bloggers I prefer it like this. I follow the same people and because there are not that many I can interact and like their photos on a daily basis.
But if you like this social media platform like me and would like to get better, get your pictures liked by everybody even strangers and why not get more followers what do you need to do?
- POST GREAT PHOTOS – You might like sharing pictures with your kids or places you visit…it doesn’t really matter what you share if you do it well. Nobody likes to look at dark or shady pictures so make sure that you photos are clear and with lots of light. If you wouldn’t go on and like the picture you took on somebody else instagram then better try again or don’t post that particular picture on instagram. I like posting pictures with #nofilter but you can always find a filter that you love and make it your own.
Tip: Did you know that the #nofilter hashtag is the most used hashtag on Instagram and Mayfair filter is actually the most successful at encouraging follower interactions?
- #Hashtags increase engagement from followers. You must learn the hashtags that work for you and not use more than 5 or 6 hashtags on each post. I know most people say that the more hashtags a photo/post have the more engagement will get but I find those the most annoying of all. It all depends on what you want to achieve really – more likes or faithful customers.
Tip: If you want to take the advice and post more hashtags rather than less you should create hashtags “clouds” for different categories of the photos you post. I use the “Notes” photos in my Iphone. Create clouds to save time and ensure that you are using hashtags each and every time you post a photo. See example of hashtags for flowers above.
- Engage – Like with any other social media platform engagement is the MOST IMPORTANT! You might publish lots and lots of photos but if you don’t like other people photos or follow the people that follow you they will not comeback to like your photos and simply unfollow you too. Instagram is no longer the social media platform where people were selflessly liked your photos – it is transforming and becoming more like Twitter in my opinion. This is why I like having less followers that like my photos than more that are there just to chase a like on their photos. So if you want to keep your followers like their photos and comment on them, go through your feed and like the photos of those you follow. For each hashtag you use on the photo you post like at least 5 other photos that use the same hashtag even if those are not from people you follow. They might become your followers because of your effort. Stay away from spammy accounts as this will only hurt you and you really don’t want spam follow and like your pics.
Tip: Don’t follow all the people that follow you. Check their accounts first to make sure you like their photos or if they look like spam. If they are spam then you should block them.
- Don’t be a spammer! – This one is very related with the above – never use unnecessary/irrelevant hashtags just for the sake of a few more likes. It’s simply annoying to find pictures that not relate with the actual hashtag. Also don’t post the same photos multiple times or don’t constantly post photos of your products or blog posts. Try and be a bit creative. Show your followers what is happening behind the scenes of your blog or/and business. Posting things your followers don’t find interesting could only result in losing followers/likers.
NEWS: Recently Hootsuite added Instagram so you can now schedule your posts on your account and manage multiple accounts. However my advice with this would be for you to continue using pictures you take with your phone. If you and others start styling your photos than…I think Instagram will definitely lose its charm.
- Know when is the best to post pictures/videos – I noticed that Sunday and Monday I get the most interaction on my pictures/videos. I post a lot more pictures that photos though…I am not sure why the engagement is higher these two days. It might be the fact that people have more time to go through there phone during these two days, but if you like more likes and followers post pictures on Sundays and Mondays with a high number of hashtags. It doesn’t matter when you post morning, lunch or evening the result should be the same. However when it comes to videos things are different. Apparently videos posted between 8 pm and 8 am have the highest number of interactions. I don’t remember where I heard that but I will definitely try it and let you know if it works.
Other tips that and links that you might find useful:
- Whenever possible utilize natural light – you will need to do less editing and you will have a more natural feel to them.
- If you are going to snap now and post later take 10-15 photos from different angles so that you will have where to choose from. You don’t want to not have what to post later because the only picture you took is blurred.
- Use the FOCUS option on your phone. If you have an Iphone hold down on the area you want to focus on what you’re shooting – your phone will ‘lock’ into focus.
- Double click a photo to like it.
Do you have any other tips on how we can get better at using Instagram? I think you should really pay attention to this platform and more too if you didn’t until now. It is definitely transforming as there are lots of small companies and bloggers that transformed their feed into a “interactiv mini blog” and I think that more and more companies will start using this platform even more than they did it before.