7 Ridiculously Useful Tips To Triple Your Instagram Engagement
Your blog is your brand. It's a representation of who you are, what you do and how you help others."No matter how indirectly it may be". And your social platforms are an extension of that blog and that brand. Over the past 2 months, I have been experimenting with my Instagram account to create a more cohesive message and visual appeal.The Results...mwuahhh. I literally tripled my follow count & my engagement rate shot through the roof.. and still going strong. And I will share with you EXACTLY HOW I DID IT!!
But trying to stand out of the crowd can be more difficult than it may seem, especially on social media. Now starting an Instagram account from scratch takes time to grow,and if you have started one but you see no progress, here are 7 ways to improve your account,make yourself stand out, which will eventually lead to collaborations from brands & other social participants, as well as grow your traffic.
1- BE AUTHENTIC. If there is one thing I have learnt is that trying to make your feed look like the next bloggers,instamate et al's own will result in burn out!!The thrill is high in the beginning, however, there will come a time when you will feel like the content you are producing seems make believe. I mean yes, that's what the majority of social media ultimately is.. A Facade...but if you put in some real character of who you are and what you enjoy doing, the executing process comes easier.
2- SELL YOUR MESSAGE. There are 4 key areas where you can make yourself standout. YOUR NAME, YOUR BIO, YOUR LINK, AND YOUR CAPTION!!! If you were to go to my profile, you will instantaneously notice these 4 things. Something I never maximised on before. After studying some of the top profiles I follow, I began to notice some key components Every one of them had a contact info email or a link to their freshest blog post, or their captions were long and well thought out, or their name made you aware of exactly what they did. KEY tip- your username and your name are different. Your username is your @... and your name you could use as your profession if you may, such as Fashion Blogger.
3-HAVE A COHESIVE THEME & FEED.Guilty Guilty GUILTY!! When I started instagramming "can I say that word" one year ago, yes only one year, I had no direction and experimented a lot with different "themes". I tried the faded out look, I tried the color combo look, I tried the face pic-feetpic-quote look. But it became a bit tedious to keep up with trying to find the right setting. lighting, colors etc all the time.So I began to experiment with the black and white (face pic-quote-feet pic) look "love b&w"and added a pop of color here and there. That was when the action started. All profiles have a sense of individuality which represents the person behind it. And sometimes there will be trials & errors.Take the time to figure out what works for you as well as what viewers respond to better.
4- BE ENGAGING. I think we have all heard this a bazillion times, but being engaging is much more than just liking a photo. Use HASHTAGS RELATED to what you post and what your profile is about. For example, if you tag #styleblogger under a motivational quote, yes you will receive a like, BUT what are the chances of that liker returning to your profile or a brand sending you an email? Engagement also includes, taking the time to comment on like feeds and profiles, responding to comments on your photos, sharing something you love. This can all improve your growth rate as well as make you stand out. It all contributes to your aesthetic.
5- SPEAKING OF HASHTAGS. Oh this one for me was a killer. But I recently learnt this trick. Ok you ready? First - take one hashtag that you normally use and search for relating hashtags. Here's a trick I learnt from a course which made a WHOLE lot of difference. "WRITE THIS DOWN - ONLY USE HASHTAGS WITH UP TO 300,000 POSTS". Sounds stupid right, because you want your post in the popular niche. Guess what, if you use a hashtag with 1 million posts, chances are your small account post will be BURIED beneath all of that. YOU WILL NOT STAND OUT. Instagram is about competition. Standing out of a crowd of similar, relatable posts, hence the hashtag. I challenge you to find 30 hashtags with 1,000 - 200,000 posts, save them in an email or a note on your phone and right now, copy and paste them beneath your photo. Then come back to report the progress. Key tip -USE ALL YOUR 30 HASHTAGS!! A very important aspect I learnt from Alex Tooby - The Instagram Guru as I have dubbed her. Implementing the tips from her course showed me how much I was under utilizing my hashtags, and since using them I have quadrupled my engagement & tripled my following in 2 months!!!!
5.b - HASHTAG WORLD PART 2 -Ok, so here's another trick I learnt. Since Instagram only allows 30 hashtags at a time per post, here's what you can do. INTERCHANGE! Of course there are more than 30 related words per post, let's say you post a photo now, the engagement is fairly good. Experiment and change those hashtags in about 5 hours or a day per post. After a while, your photo goes lower the recent post feed, so you need to refresh the engagement. This is somewhat like Pinterest's repining an image game. What I also like to do is post my interchanged hashtags in the COMMENTS section of my post and not the actual caption. Key tip - SOMETIMES if you're lucky,you don't even have to delete your captioned area hashtags, provided that you have already gotten some engagement aka comments beneath said post. Sometimes...
6- POST ON THE REGULAR. And by that I mean REGULAR. Look there are millions of users on Instagram, and you want to be part of the known ones on there.. Right. Only one way to do that. BE ACTIVE!! It's like abs, you want them, you got to work out regularly. Create a posting schedule for yourself AFTER you pay attention to your engagement rate. Meaning, pay attention to the times you post and what the engagement is like. For me I post 3 times a day - 6 .a.m. AST, 10ish p.m. AST and sometime during the day between 10 and 12. Based on my message, my purpose, and my account these are the best times for me. And for everyone it's different & if you want to grow your account you need to pay attention to fine details like this.
7 - QUALITY MATTERS. Of course the best way to ensure that your follow count & engagement remains consistent and ever growing is to use high quality photos. Because of it's visual appeal you want to ensure that you present just that. Instagram has the capacity to not only post photos, but also videos. If you don't have a good camera, shoot in natural light. Get comfortable getting into the most awkward positions and situations if you want that perfect shot. Get near a window, go outside, and if you are lucky to have umbrella lights, even more perfect. Quality is key.
BONUS- DON'T TAKE IT TOO SERIOUS. You know these instagrammers who take the numbers game super serious. Don't be one of those. I have gotten a TONNNN of emails from Instagram marketers or whatever they are called which goes something like this "Hi there...I love your profile...I see that you have been putting a lot of effort into it. It's amazing ...I am ...from ...company and I can help you gain 1000.. REAL followers in a week....". Look, you will receive emails like these and let me tell you one thing.. WHAT IS THE POINT OF 10000 FOLLOWERS, IF YOUR POSTS GETS 3 LIKES. Are you sending the message to ROBOTS or real people. Pleaseeeee as tempting as it seems, for $10, please don't fall for that cult. Use that money to purchase a mail-chimp subscription instead or something useful.
Now these are not FOOLPROOF tactics I am sharing with you, These are tactics which worked for me, and got me a few brand deals, and side gigs for local companies. If you are new to the platform and would like to grow your audience organically and authentically whilst making an impact and opening doors of opportunity for yourself; try these.