Social media has completely changed the blogging game. I’m by no means any expert, but I wanted to share Instagram tips I have picked up along the way.
It’s kind of crazy to think about a time when social media didn’t come into play. Our friendships were probably much more simple and we didn’t waste as much time as we do now. I still remember when Instagram first came out! I took note of what all the other “Instagrammers” put in their bio and did the same: age, relationship status (LOL) and sports I played.
Needless to say, this changed pretty soon once everyone caught on to Instagram’s existence. Throughout the years, Instagram has soared to become mostly everyone’s favorite social media platform, with YouTube, Facebook and Twitter trailing behind. I’ve always loved taking photos, so it seemed only natural to love Insta the most.
Even way before I took an interest in blogging, I was very into taking photos that I thought would be interesting and different for my followers. Remember that color splash app? Yeah, I was allllll about that! When I decided to start Molly on the Move, I chose to only have one Insta rather than mess around with two. I have personally always been happy with that decision, but know others feel differently. If this is something you’re messing around with, think about how often you post to your personal one, if the two will ever collide and how much you care about mixing the two.
The reason I chose to talk about my Instagram tips is not because it is my favorite social media platform, but because influencers NEED to be on this app to be successful. And they need to be using it well. Most brands turn to Instagram to see not just how many followers an influencer has, but what they typically post about, and how their audience reacts. If you aren’t utilizing Instagram to the best of its ability, you are falling behind your competition.
I am going to share below what has worked for me. While some think they can sit back and let the photos speak for themselves, that never really worked for me. So, looking back on a little under my two years (!!!!) of blogging, let me tell you about the Instagram tips I have picked up along the way:
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Just like with a blog, people are creatures of habit and like to know when to expect a post. Whether it is once a week on a Monday morning, or every lunch break and right before bed, pick some times you know you can deliver content. It’s ok to miss a few times, but if your followers know when to expect you, they will usually go and look at your profile in case they think they somehow missed it.
ENGAGE ENGAGE ENGAGE
This applies not only in the caption, but also throughout the whole app. I always try to post a question or two in my feed, but also spend time afterwards answering comments as quickly as possible and heading to hashtags. I will talk about hashtags in a bit, but if I have time, I engage with the hashtags I used for 30 minutes. This means I am liking, commenting and following others I discovered through my hashtags. This will increase engagement on your recent post and hopefully bump it up to the top of other’s feeds as well as in the discover section.
I know I just said be consistent with your posts even if it is once a week, but I would strongly encourage everyone to post at least five times a week. The more you post, the more likely people are to find your profile. My one rule though? Never post a picture just to post something. Make sure each and every post has a purpose!
Do not underestimate the power of a hashtag. Spend some time doing research to find out which ones are best for your niche. Pro tip: look to see what other Instagrammers are using, then see which related ones pop up at the top after selecting one. People really do use these and look through them to find new accounts to follow. Use #markedonthemove to share all of your favorite places and new discoveries- you might be featured on my feed if you do! 🙂
I am infatuated with Instagram because you can tell stories through beautiful pictures and easily connect with others. There’s no limit to what you can say, and you get the added benefit of using images to capture the attention of others. Have I mentioned around here that I met two of my dearest friends through Instagram? In addition to them, I have been able to establish what I consider “my tribe”- a group of women who faithfully like and comment on most of my pictures! I feel as if I know them and hope to meet them all in person some day. Start by finding others you really admire, and comment on their photos frequently.
EDIT ALL YOUR PICTURES SIMILARLY
Another one you probably hear often, and it is true. When I consider following someone, I look to their feed to see if I like all of their photos, not only the one that initially caught my eye. A feed that flows and has all types of posts intertwined is what gets me to follow; the consistent editing gives your feed an organized, well-thought look. The more it flows, the more someone will want to take part in it!
TARGET BIG ACCOUNTS
Remember when I said comment on pictures from those you admire? This works two ways- the first is those within your niche and similar following to establish your tribe. The second is those accounts that you aspire to have a feed like. If they have the same personality and photos, start commenting on all their photos! If you admire their feed, chances are, your ideal audience is following that account. If they keep seeing your name pop up, they will eventually click to your feed, hopefully like what they see and FOLLOW!
I personally have to plan my feed ahead of time pretty well since I work all day and then come home to work on my blog, but I know this isn’t the case for everyone. If I could post more in real-time I would, but until I can, planning my feed one week at a time is my last tip!