Ah this is a difficult one isn't it? Probably one of the hardest channels to grow yet the one I expect many of us use the most. We've all been there, spending hours on curating what feels like a pretty darn good 'grid' only to lose 20 followers overnight. The problem with Instagram is that it's too much of a numbers game and this results in a horrendous amount of 'follow/unfollow' activity. I'm not saying it's bad to unfollow someone if you've fallen out of love with their pictures or feel that the pictures posted make you feel worse about yourself (100% please unfollow if that's the case!) but before reading on...promise me you won't be one of 'those' people.
I don't have a massive following on Instagram, I totally fell out of love with it last year and never really put in the effort but the last couple of months I've been putting a bit more focus onto the channel and have noticed a nice little increase in followers - up to 100 a week (before the unfollows :'( ). So I thought I'd share a few (honest) tips with you guys.
Frequency and Timing
This is something that takes a bit of trial and error and I'm still experimenting a bit. I now post every day around 7:50 in the morning - if you think about it, when are people looking at their phones the most? Not at work, not necessarily at home but on the bus/train/whatever on the way to work! So think about your target audience and when they're likely to be watching - during lunchtime perhaps if you audience are likely to be 9-5ers - 12:30 post fits right in. Also try and post every day, this really will keep engagement up.
Engage with your feed
This is probably the biggest major source of growth for followers, just go through your feed and comment and like on others photos - try not to be too spammy about it (yes we all get a bit lazy but just an emoji isn't really that great is it?). Do this for 15 mins in the morning and 15mins in the evening and you will see some love returned. If you're going off-feed (searching by hashtags) then focus your energy on liking and commenting on feeds that are more similar to yours as you're more likely to get engagement reciprocated.
Engage with your followers
Instagram have added a nice little feature that allows you to like peoples' comments. In the morning before work I go through new comments and click the like button - and then comment back with a thank you to those who put the effort into it (i.e. the ones that are more than an emoji). This is also a great way to start a conversation and shows brands a much higher level of engagement (if you want to work with them that is).
Have a 'theme' but don't worry too much about it
We can all get very hung up on having our grid looking perfect, however, it's important to remember that those who have that 'perfect theme' are usually full-time bloggers and have the time to put into it. If you want to post every day and keep engagement high, keep your filter the same and the rough look and feel the same but don't worry too much about perfection - otherwise you'll only post once a week and not really get any engagement back, pretty feed or not.!
Just do you
Don't try to be like someone else or imitate someone else's feed. I love my more 'minimal' feed but I don't know anyone else's that is exactly like it - mine is often quite bright with bluer hues and I love it! Trying to imitate someone else's feed and style is tiring and the true you just won't come through. I remember the moment I relaxed about trying to be like everyone else and embraced my own not-like-yours theme, it's made me enjoy the platform so much more!
What are your tips for growing your Instagram?
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