Oh Instagram, the mysterious, the wonderful, the irritating, the life consuming app we all love to hate.
I have to say i’ve always been an Instagram lover. Since the days of posting blurry, out of focus photos with some sort of ‘cool’ border, my heart has been set. It’s 100% my favourite social app.
I love seeing little insights into people’s days, or what outfit they’re wearing to go shopping, and of course most of all, what they’re eating. And that’s exactly what I love doing with my own account, talking to my followers about my day and showing them little snippets of my life.
There are so many Instagrammers I admire, I can look at their accounts and end up scrolling back to a cosy Thursday back in 2008. Because their feeds are so beautiful! They make life look gorgeous and of course their captions usually make me laugh. To name a few who inspire me; @imlaurabradshaw, @hannahfgale, @jesschamilton, @bethsandland. I could go on for a while longer … but i’ll get to the point.
Until January this year, i’ve never really taken Instagram ‘seriously’. I’ve always loved taking a great photo and sharing it, but that was the extent of it. It has never been with any other intention than to just post a photo I particularly like. And maybe i’d put an emoji as the caption because ya know, cute.
With my blog really getting started, I’ve decided to start putting a little more thought into my Instagram.
I should say before I go on, Instagram is a passion for me, and a passion I think some people just don’t get. (You can see in my recent post my full views on this as well as other thoughts about becoming a blogger.) So when I say i’m making more effort with my account, that’s something that excites me! I enjoy creating the content I love as well as finding new accounts to follow. It’s in no way shape or form a chore.
Since changing my Instagram ways in 2018, I have had an unbelievable response. It’s been so encouraging to see my follower count DOUBLED, and my daily interactions going up by like 23,000%. I’ve also found some stunning new accounts, and connected with so many like minded, lovely bloggers.
I know Instagram can be a real challenge sometimes, with the dreaded algorithm and ridiculous follow-unfollowers (EYE ROLL), so I thought it might be useful to share a few of the things i’ve been doing so far to improve my insta game, so here goes!
1. Create content you love
One thing that has become incredibly apparent, is that your followers want to see content that your passionate about. One of my favourite things to post is food photos, and my followers know it. I can talk for pages about the breakfast I just had, or the huge hot chocolate I downed, and it’s also what I love photographing. Your passion will be your best content, simply because you spend time doing what you love, therefore getting it just right.
2. Engage, Engage, Engage
I’ve never realised how much things could change until I started properly interacting with other users. There’s a few ways I engage on Instagram:
- Comment as much as you can. If I see a photo I really like, i’ll make a conscious effort to let them know. This is great because one, it can really make someones day and two, hopefully they’ll see your name pop up and remember the support you’ve given.
- Reply to stories. This is a really nice way of starting conversations and getting to know the people your connected with.
- Do weekly shout outs. Take a screen shot of a few of your favourite accounts feeds and post them in your story. You’ll likely get a lovely message from the people you’ve tagged and it shows others you’re a supportive and a loyal follower.
3. Remember your followers
With the Instagram game, it can often be easy to focus on getting new followers all the time. What i’ve learnt is that actually focussing on the followers you have, can in the end lead you to gaining more.
If you’re frequently liking, commenting, engaging with your followers, they’re less likely to unfollow, and are more likely to show the support back. I’ve been doing this a lot lately and as a result have made some really great connections. I’ll often get shouted out on stories, and I’d say I get a pretty decent amount of interaction on my photos.
(I’m starting to feel like i’m bragging here, I promise i’m not!)
4. Use stories
This comes very naturally to me, the moment a plate of food appears in-front of me I get the irresistible urge to post to my stories. I’ve started talking more to my followers which means they get to know me more. It’s also great to use polls to ask your followers what content they particularly like, or even what snack they think you should have.
5. Think about your captions
I cannot begin to tell you how much this has changed the way I Instagram. When I post a photo, the caption will often tell a little story. Usually just about what i’ve done with my day, or very possibly what i’m going to make for dinner. More often than not, i’ll ask a question in my caption and usually I get quite a few lovely responses. By telling a story in your caption, people have the chance to properly get to know you as well as hearing about what you’ve been up to.
When people comment a response to your photo, it can really boost you page and feed so other users are more likely to come across it. More engagement, more views.
As i’m coming up to 1000 words here, I feel like I should probably stop, even though I really could go on … for now, i’ll leave it there.
If you’ve found this helpful, let me know and i’ll do a part two!
The last thing I want to say is thank you. Thank you to all the lovely new faces on my Instagram account, thank you for all the comments, and thank you for being so accepting of me.
If you’re dying to know what i’ve had for breakfast, or what movie i’m watching in the bath, here’s where you can find me – @estherwyse
What are your top tips for Instagram?