Instagram has the potential to be an absolute game changer for bloggers. But your followers won’t just appear out of thin air. A killer Instagram strategy is key to growing your account and creating a solid community of loving followers.
Instagram is my favorite social media platform. Not only does it allow me to let my creativity shine, it has also introduced me to some of the most amazing like-minded people around the globe. It’s a place to share, but also become inspired.
All of my Instagram techniques, from photography to editing, I learned from accounts that were a few steps ahead of me. It’s one of the most magical places for those who want to continually learn and grow their creativity. And for bloggers, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Whatever you blog about, you can make Instagram work for you. Food blogger? Post pictures of your delicious recipes, behind-the-scenes kitchen photos, snaps at your favorite restaurants and cafés. Beauty blogger? People love to see makeup flat lays, selfies of specific looks like a smokey eye, photos from beauty events, etc.
If you haven’t jumped on the Instagram bandwagon, or need some advice on growing your account, I’m breaking down exactly how to create a winning Instagram strategy in 5 simple steps!
1. Create a Killer Bio
Your bio is one of the first things people see when they visit your Instagram profile. If you’re a blogger, it’s important that your bio gives people a taste of what you do, what types of things they’ll find on your feed, plus a little bit of your personality.
A good bio will be the difference between someone taking a short glimpse and leaving your account, and stopping to think “oh wow, I want to be her friend!” You don’t need to (and shouldn’t) make it appealing to everyone. You want to attract your tribe and people who crave what you’re putting out there. Just like your blog, make sure your Instagram bio targets your ideal audience, and has some of your charisma.
And don’t forget to link to your blog in your bio! How else are people going to find it? Instagram makes this super easy, because they allow you to add your website to your profile. Click the ‘Edit Profile’ button and you’ll see a space to add a link to your blog.
2. Photo Editing
Photo editing and filters are key to an eye-catching Instagram feed. I used to only use the filters that were provided by Instagram, but then I was introduced to photo editing apps and they changed my life.
My favorite is PicTapGo. Not only does it have tons of awesome filters to choose from, you can also pick the strength of the filter so your photos don’t look over-edited. Editing your photos can bring life into them. They can go from dark to bright, dull to crisp, or harsh to airy in a matter of seconds. If you want a gorgeous Instagram feed, filters are essential.
One of the best ways to get your Instagram account out there for the world to see is by using hashtags. The limit for hashtags on Instagram is 30, and I suggest using as many as you can. People search hashtags to find other bloggers in their niche and to gawk at beautiful photos. If you’re not using hashtags, you’re missing out on the potential for people who aren’t your followers to see your pictures.
But make sure to use relevant hashtags. If you post a photo of makeup, don’t use the hashtag #foodie (even if you are a foodie) just to get more hashtags in.
If you want to find hashtags that are popular and relevant to your photo, I have an easy trick for you! Let’s use the makeup example again. Go to the search bar on Instagram, and under tags, type in ‘makeup’. It will bring up the top makeup related hashtags. Use these!
You can also get more detailed. Let’s say one of the products in your photo is glitter eyeshadow. Instead of only hashtagging #eyeshadow, try #goldglittereyeshadow, or whatever colour you have. This way, if someone is specifically looking for a photo with gold glitter eyeshadow, they may find your photo!
Engagement will be key to your Instagram success. Once I started to take the time to engage with other bloggers on Instagram, this is when I really saw my account grow. If you comment on other bloggers’ photos, they’re more likely to check out your page, and comment and follow if they like what they see!
Just like hashtags, there’s a simple way to find bloggers in your niche to engage with. Let’s say you’re a fashion blogger who wants to connect with other fashion bloggers. Go to the Instagram search bar, under hashtags search #fashionblogger, or you can get more specific and search #(your city)fashionblogger to find bloggers in your area.
This will bring up everyone who has posted with that hashtag. You can scroll through and comment on the photos that you really love and that stand out to you. Don’t just post generic comments like ‘cool’ or ‘very nice’, you might get mistaken for a bot! Make your comments thoughtful, so they know you’re sincere. This will make it more likely for them to hop over to your account and show you some love.
5. All About Posting
You want to post consistently to Instagram, but you don’t want to overdo it. I’ve unfollowed people who post way too much, and I know other people who have done the same. I would suggest posting at least once a day to keep your account active, and up to three times at the most. If you have a bunch of photos you want to post from the same day or event, spread them out over the week, it will give you more content to work with.
I always post my Instagram photos live, but some people love scheduling tools like Hootsuite to schedule their posts. If you know you won’t have time to post during the day, or are really forgetful, a scheduling app will work great for you!
With Hootsuite, you can compose your text and photo, and choose between three options, ‘send now’, ‘schedule’ or ‘autoschedule’. If you choose to schedule the post, you will receive a push notification on your phone at the set time, which will prompt you to review the post, open it in Instagram, complete any image edits and paste your caption. It’s super handy and efficient!
Creating an effective Instagram strategy doesn’t have to be hard. Implement these 5 tricks and watch your account and followers grow on the daily!
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