Lately I’ve been getting a lot of questions about tips for growing your Instagram account. I wouldn’t call myself an expert on this topic by any means. However, I can share with you a few tips that have helped me along the way. When I first started my blog and Instagram it was more fitness and lifestyle focused but a lot has changed since then (obviously).
It has taken A LOT of trial and error and even more patience to get me where I am right now but here are the top 5 things that have shown me the most results:
Define Your Audience
This is probably the number one thing that I struggled with at first. Every single blog post and YouTube article I read had this listed as the first step towards building an engaged audience. I took it as generic advice for the most part and wrote it off but boy was I wrong.
When I first started out, I would post gym selfies, videos, quotes, food – you name it. Nothing I shared really defined who I was, who I was trying to help or what type of audience I wanted to attract. People like other people that they can relate to. Decide what pieces of yourself you’d like to share and take photos and write captions to speak to other people who might also be interested in those things. Knowing what type of content to create and who you are creating it for is critical to growing your instagram following.
Create a Cohesive Theme
Another thing that can really help with growing your instagram is creating a cohesive theme. Having a cohesive theme helps make knowing what to take pictures of so much easier. It also helps your following to recognize you. When I first started my account I used the filters within Instagram on my photos and called it a day. As time went on, I started using the VSCO app to edit my photos and eventually moved on to using Lightroom and purchased a few presets. It took me a while to finally find ones that I really felt were my style and worked well with my photos.
I started using the New York Preset pack from Dreamy Presets a few months ago and it has made a huge difference in the way my feed looks. Their presets are really easy to use but I still make some of adjustments to make them “my own”. Here are some examples of before and after’s:
I love how they enhance my photos. Also, they’ve just released 3 new preset packs and are offering 15% off today only with code: ERIKA15. If you’re interested this is a great deal so act fast.
Plan Your Feed in Advance
There is a saying “stressed work is never your best work” and I couldn’t agree more. To help maintain your cohesive feed, use an app to help plan your instagram feed in advance. There are a few great options out there but the two that I’d personally recommend are either UNUM (this is what I use) or Planoly. I only use the free versions but they do have paid options as well.
Most of these apps also include analytics to help you see which content performed the best and when your best posting times are.
Engage and Interact with Others
This is super important for growing your instagram account! I’m not saying to go out and start spamming people with comments and DMs because nobody likes that. (Meaning, don’t leave random comments that are irrelevant to the photo/caption or a string of emojis. And don’t DM people telling them you’ve liked some of their photos and that they should like yours now too and other “spammy” things of this nature. This really has happened to me!)
But you should interact with accounts that you genuinely find interesting and that share similar types of photos or “content” to yours. I’ve met some great online “friends” this way.
If you aren’t interacting with others, they won’t know you exist. Sometimes larger accounts won’t notice a “like” so leave them a genuine and friendly comment to let them know you like their content. Occasionally they may even comment back, you never know :o) However, don’t take it personally if they don’t.
Also, try to respond to as many of your own comments and DMs as you can. If you are putting yourself out there as a resource, you should try to be available to your audience.
Study Your Analytics
If you have a business account there are tons of great insights available to you within the app. Also, the website Fohr card has some really cool analytics for you. Basically, analyze what’s working and what’s not and adjust your strategies accordingly.
Through my analytics, I’ve found out that my audience does not like food or fitness photos so I save those things for stories and the blog exclusively.
BONUS: Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Growing your instagram is no walk in the park anymore. It definitely takes time, effort and strategy to get ahead. It’s also so hard to not get caught up with who has more followers, likes or comments than you do. But remember, these things do not matter at the end of the day. You can not define your self worth based upon this silly little app. I know that can be easier said than done sometimes.
People will likely unfollow you from time to time and they may even leave rude or downright creepy comments but you can’t let that get you down. Just do your best to produce your best possible content and interact with the right kinds of people. The right people will always find you.