Ah, Instagram. The algorithm mystery constantly haunts us as we try to improve our stats and get seen on the platform. I can't say I never suffered from different emotions towards Insta: lack of inspiration, laziness, not knowing what direction to go in, and trying the organic approach. These are some and definitely not all the emotions that I felt while trying to hack the Instagram algorithm and find people that actually like me for my content.
As I've been going through my Insta trials and tribulations, I have figured out a few sure-fire ways to get seen on the gram and increase your engagement and following. These are all things I do personally and they work for me, there is no "recipe to success" when it comes to Instagram and you have to really try and test what works for you and tailor it to fit your needs. I'd also like to add on that I am not even an actual fan of some of these things I have tried but they have actually worked so I will list them here and you can figure out your own way and how you'd like to grow your Instagram presence and following.
Without further ado: Here's how I grew my Instagram by 10K in one Month!
Let's Start With Content
Content is king? Um. YES.
Fortunately, content is also free! Here is what I did when I started feeling that Instagram fatigue and not knowing what else to do on Instagram to get those likes and comments. (Do you want my first born, Instagram?? It sure feels like it!!!)
Polls on Instagram Stories
I always thought that by posting content I loved, people would come and flock to my Instagram. After all, I can do no wrong, right? My content was in my eyes, the best, and I couldn't do any better. I loved flat lays and all white backgrounds of product shots; basically I was as boring as it got. I hated putting my face on Instagram because I felt like I was not a beauty expert, so taking shots of products was so nice to me, and I personally loved my instagram.
After months of little to no engagement, I decided to start polling on my Instagram stories. I asked questions to my followers such as: Do you want to see more of my face? Do you like beauty posts or fashion posts? Do you like indoor or outdoor? Do you like this color or that color?
Polls saved my Instagram from becoming stale, and I started creating content that my followers were actually voting for and helping inspire me to create.
Make Your Story Beautiful
I started following accounts that were in the millions. As I followed and learned about them (furiously, might I add) I realized their stories were well thought out and had graphics, hashtags, tags, and interesting edits. This is no more complicated than downloading an app for Instagram stories! My favorite apps are Hype Type to create animated lettering, and Canva for image editing with font layovers. While you are learning how to use these apps to your advantage, think of a color story you want to use consistently. Always use the same typeface or colors and make your story cohesive. Remember that you are sharing your life with your followers and they are watching your story to feel entertained. So entertain them with beautiful content, polls, and even give them value by providing something.
My stories grew in views when I started sharing my blog posts on how to grow engagement on Instagram. People were actually responding to my stories and visiting my blog!
Is Lightroom Worth It or Necessary
Sigh. This is one I've fought for what feels like ages. I honestly did not think it was necessary at all. I thought that Facetune and VSCO would get me to the thousands of followers I believed I deserved. Honestly, Lightroom or photoshop are totally necessary and I will tell you why.
All Instagram is, is a database of pictures. We are constantly looking at pictures on the platform all day and some of these images are more visually pleasing than others. If you are constantly using the same filters as everyone else and taking low-quality photos, people who come across your Instagram will never follow you! Frustrating, I know, but until I invested in a nice camera, lighting, and Lightroom, my Instagram did not say anything. Here is the difference between VSCO lees and Lightroom Lees:
Here is how I finally got my pictures on the explore page. I was happy with my followers but not happy at all with my engagement! The trick to joining engagement groups is that you engage on each others photos in order to "break" the Instagram algorithm and possibly trend on the explore page! If you are interested in reading more on this, head over to: Step by Step Guide to Growing Your Instagram Engagement
Finally, the way I increased my following by 10K in a month: Giveaways!
Giveaways seriously helped me increase my following and showed me that by finding an audience that was interested in the items I was giving away, they would by default be interested in my content and stick around, and I was right! I held a giveaway with some items that I could identify my brand with: makeup, fashion, tech, and the follows came flooding in! When the giveaway ended, the followers barely unfollowed and I got my money's worth in my opinion. Now I know this is not the ideal way to gain followers, but for those asking yourself if giveaways work, they do, but ONLY if you have the right content in place and you are ready to grow your audience. If you try to join giveaways without having a voice and quality content, any followers you gain from giveaways will unfollow you and you will lose your money. So how much money did I spend on giveaways to gain my 10K? The answer: $450 usd.
I hope this all resonates with you and encourages you to increase your engagement by using some of these techniques. As a blog reader, I'd like to invite you to my next Instagram Giveaway via Influencer Elite!
Click Here to Find Out More About My Next Instagram Giveaway!
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