By Lauren | June 17, 2018 | 0 Comment
Instagram is such a powerful branding tool for bloggers. In 2018, people are visual people. They don’t want to read a novel about you, but they do like pretty pictures and videos, so Instagram lends itself perfectly to how we consume content.
One of the biggest questions I get working in social media is: “How on earth do I grow my followers?”. People seem so caught up with their followers number going up and down, and I don’t blame them, this is partly what social media is all about. However, i’m sorry to say, but getting thousands of followers over night is now next to impossible.
Back in the day in Instagram’s early days, it used to be easier, there was no fancy algorithm holding you back and many of those bloggers with huge accounts out there were lucky enough to start at a good time. So my biggest piece of advice is to first off, not focus so much on the numbers, instead, focus on some of the below tips to help build your brand and network.
Using tools like Planoly can help you think about what your feed looks like before you have to publish your content. Why is this important? Have you ever visited an account that just looks so damn good because they’ve really thought about their colour scheme/palette? There’s a reason for this! Not only does it look beautiful, but people want to follow people that consistently deliver beautiful content, not just the odd nice photo. A couple good examples of people who consistently organize their feeds with a beautiful palette:
These bloggers create and post content to please our eyeballs, if you can’t tell. Random Acts of Pastel for example uses the pastel colour palette and carries that through in every photo she posts. Also ensuring your layout flows nicely is important. For example, if you have a very busy photo with a lot going on, you may balance that out by posting a photo that is simpler and balances out the busy-ness of the previous photo. Planoly helps you play around with your visuals to figure out what works for you.
Posting regularly is everything when it comes to any social network. Not only do people find it pointless to follow someone who hardly ever posts, but also with Instagram’s algorithm that only sometimes delivers your content in your favour, it’s important to regularly post on the platform to stand out and be seen. Posting daily is ideal, so space out your content, and make sure it lasts.
For me, I find this challenging with my travel blog since I’m not always traveling, but even though I’m excited to post ALL my photos as soon as I take them from a trip, I keep them and spread them out over the months following my trip so I always have content!
All social networks are focusing more and more on engagement over anything else. Followers are nice, but followers mean nothing if they’re not engaging with your content. Make sure that you are producing content that people engage with. Use Instagram analytics to dive into what types of photos your audience is engaging with the post to help you figure out the types of content you should be posting. You can also ask questions in your captions to help encourage conversations.
Another component of this is making sure that you are engaging too. Like other people’s photos, comment on them, follow hashtags and interact with new people that may not follow you, follow other and new accounts. Engagement is what’s going to help attract more and more people to your account.
Instagram stories are a fantastic way to engage with your audience and create live, real-time content aside from your daily photo(s) you share. Stories can also attract people to your profile, which is incredibly helpful when the algorithm picks and chooses what photos show in people’s feeds. Someone may not see your new photo you posted, but may see your stories.
Also ensure that you are using hashtags, mentions and geo-locations in your stories. This can help get your stories into hashtag and location feeds that often have way more followers. Getting this content in front of new eyeballs means the potential of getting new followers!
Hi everyone! It’s @twirltheglobe here and I’ll be taking over @girlslovetravel for the next couple of days to show you a bit of my recent solo trip to #Portugal! . This shot was taken in Nepal a few years ago. Growing up I was a competitive dancer and that’s where my blog name, Twirl The Globe comes from. I have photos of me doing this pose in so many different countries! . What were your passions before you fell in love with travel growing up? 💃🏼 . #GLTlove #GirlsLoveTravel #Nepal
I find this to be one of the most valuable ways for me to build my Instagram account, especially in 2018 where it seems next to impossible to attract followers and have them stay (yes, I see you following and unfollowing me).
I collaborated with a travel tour company in December after my trip to Morocco where I took over their stories to show their audience all about my Morocco trip for the week. I got over 500 followers from this takeover and I knew I was onto something. When I headed to Portugal earlier this month, I reached out to some other accounts that were bigger than mine that may be interested in me taking over their accounts. I landed with a takeover with Girls Love Travel where I took over their account for three days showing their audience my trip to Portugal, and again, ended up with a few more hundred followers. And not just any followers, followers that were actually in my niche and part of my target audience.
Look for brands you can collaborate with, and that have larger following than you but a similar audience. This is a great way to get in front of new eyes and attract new followers!
Growing your Instagram account can seem like an impossible challenge, however, it’s possible. Focus on quality and consistent content and look for unique ways to produce and create content that your audience (or future audience) want to see!
What are some of your tips? Share them below in the comments!