Over the last few months I have been trying to get better with Instagram. I want to be able to use my personal Insta account to draw people into my business, as well as develop friendships with other bloggers and creatives. All the while keeping my real-life friends involved and still share not-so-perfect everyday events. As I improve my Instagram skills, I have learned a few things. This goes beyond finding the perfect lighting, changing the filters (or not using any!), and trying to make the photo seem interesting.
I am far from an expert when it comes to social media, but I would like to think I am getting better along the way. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing different things to help you up your Instagram game! Hopefully some of these tips and tricks can help you!
1- Hashtag Shortcuts. One of the best creative mentors I have
stalked followed for over a year now, Natalie, posted some great Instagram tips a few months ago. The hashtag shortcut she mentioned is amazing! Seriously, how did I not think of that sooner- it would have saved so much time. If you have an iPhone, go into your keyboard (settings>general >keyboard>shortcuts) and add similar hashtags in the “phrase” section, and then your shortcut in the “shortcut” section. For example, when I am posting about everyday life, I like to use hashtags like #FlashesOfDelight #PhotosInBetween (from Helene In Between), and #LiveTheLittleThings. I have these hashtags (and a few others) saved under the shortcut “generaltags”. Whenever I type that, the list of hashtags automatically posts. This tip is a LIFESAVER!
read Natalie’s other hashtag tips here
2- Don’t Over Edit. A big mistake I had been making was over-editing. I realized (thanks to Timehop) that my photos didn’t even look real because of the fake blur, crazy filter, and weird frames I had used on every. single. photo. I like to think I have moved on from that and actually post pretty Instas now. While I still use an app to brighten some photos, change the lighting, etc. I do not use preset Instagram filters anymore. Make sure you photos looks real, but vibrant. Using an app like VSCOcam is perfect for this, but I also find the tools within Instagram itself to be helpful.
3- Share Good Content. A picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure you are sharing good “paragraphs” as you upload photos. Think about who you want your audience to be, will the photo of your new makeup resonate with your followers if you are a food blogger? Every now and again it’s fine to change it up some, but if you are looking to share things with a similar audience, try and stick with what they are following you to see.
4-Don’t Over Post. 3 times a day is the maximum amount of photos you should share in a day, while I feel that 1 is ideal and 2 is great. This also means don’t post several photos in a row- I did do this a few times while we were on our honeymoon but that was because I went days without Wifi and wanted to share when I could. If you share several photos in a row, your followers are less likely to “like” or comment on each of them. Fewer photos will encourage more interaction in one space.
5- Use a Custom Hashtag. I know several bloggers and creatives that have come up with their own hashtags for various things. Some of them have been adopted by others and now houses a community, and others are simply meant to compile like photos within their account. It is a great way to gain recognition for something specific. For example, Annie uses #WhereAnniesFeetHaveBeen to post photos of places she goes or things she is doing, each time including her manicured toes and adorable toe rings. This is a hashtag that only Annie uses, but it has become a trend for her. Others like, #ThePrettyPursuit by Annie (it must be the name!) have been adopted by many and now house photos of pretty things in everyday life for many bloggers.
6- Put Hashtags As The First Comment. I always include a few hashtags in the caption of my photos, but the majority I add as the first comment. This was as others comment on your photo, the hashtags disappear, but are still linked to the photo. This helps to keep the caption short and the blue hashtags do not pull away from the rest of the caption or photo. Also- hashtags will only work when posted by you on a photo you have posted.
6- Interact. I have found myself scrolling through my Instagram feed and not “liking” or commenting on a single photo, even if I did like it. It became a habit just to keep up with everything, as soon as I realized that, I started liking more photos and commenting when I had something genuine to say. This goes the same for responding to people that comment on your photos, make sure you are thanking them for stopping by, or for their sweet comment. It’s nice to hear the voice behind the photo.
7- Be Authentic. This goes with everything listed above. Do you want to post an un-styled photo of your new baby niece? I encourage you to do it, especially if it’s showing a real side of your life. As you edit, choose hashtags, and endorse your brand, make sure no matter what you are being true to yourself. This will draw in readers as friends and followers.
Do you have anything to add to these tips? Hopefully they have been helpful!