How to Grow Your Following & Engagement On Instagram
Not too long ago I wrote How to Increase Your Instagram Marketing Game and since then I broke 30,000 Instagram followers! In the beginning, this was a very slow and steady process, putting everything I know into play: hashtags, tags, engagement, etc.
Since I've been focusing on Instagram engagement, I've seen it grow over time! I love receiving comments and interacting with followers who have the same interests as myself and are looking to grow too! Here are some tips on how I grew my Instagram engagement and how you can too!
FIND AND ESTABLISH YOUR NICHE
When I first started my blog and Instagram, it was all very varied and non-centric. Think about what your focus is and what defines you. Some general niches are beauty, lifestyle, fitness, fashion, or food. These are all great categories to start with, but can you be more specific?
Think about your location or the followers who subscribe to you. Do you all have something in common? You will quickly start gaining new followers if you are more specific.
WOULD YOU RATHER FOLLOW:
- Jane Doe Food Blogger
- Jane Doe Dessert Blogger
USE HASHTAGS TO FIND NEW ACCOUNTS
Speaking of hashtags, try to find inspiration from other accounts that are like yours. Find some you'd like to follow by searching hashtags in your niche. Look through the hashtag and engage with those accounts that are similar to yours, this is a great way to break the ice and grow your community!
A good technique is to follow accounts that have similar or less followers than you do because they are more likely to engage and follow back than bigger accounts. Find bigger accounts to keep you inspired and follow those as well in order to stay on top of what those accounts are posting. Both of these will help you increase engagement and up your Instagram game!
DONT BUY FOLLOWERS
I can always tell when Instagram accounts buy their followers. Please don't do this!! Fake accounts do not engage with yours and are a serious waste of money. It also makes you look super phony to accounts that might be following you because they want to increase their engagement as well! If you see an account that has a lot of followers but all the comments say: nice! love this! and a bunch of emojis, this is very likely bought and they will not engage with you.
Just like everything, Instagram takes hard work and a lot of engagement and effort in order to get the results you are looking for, buying followers or likes will not get you where you want to be.
I have found that many brands I work with are always willing to do giveaways with me! Some influencers do giveaway loops to increase their following, but I have found that many of these loops increase your followers with people looking for freebies instead of people who care about your content. By doing giveaways with brands, people who are already following my account are open to tag other users and encourage them to enter, which I prefer.
By giving back to followers, they will stay engaged with your content and want to stay subscribed to your content. If they are already following you, odds are they are interested in what you have to give away, and there's more genuine interest in you and your content.
There are tons of apps you can download to keep track of who is following you. If you are looking for more followers and you want to increase your engagement, it's important to keep track of accounts that follow and unfollow. One technique that people use (and it's important to be aware of) is following your account so you can follow them and then they will follow back.
If you ever follow an account that has unfollowed you, there are ways to track this so you are not over following people that aren't willing to engage with you. I personally don't mind if there are accounts that unfollow me because I love the accounts I follow! When you don't worry so much about your numbers and focus more on your content and your followers they are more likely to stay anyways.
Some popular apps are: Followers+
I personally love: Reports+
Comments pods are EVERYTHING to keeping your Instagram alive. Ever since I discovered them they have changed the game for me forever! Once you start using comment pods, you'll see more engagement on your Instagram and other users will be inclined to start a conversation with you when they see all the comments on your post. Being part of a pod also helps expand your community and find other bloggers who are just like you!
Consistency is vital to increasing your Instagram Engagement. The key is to find a schedule and stick to it. Your followers can't forget about you, so consider posting at least once a day. Don't post more than 3 times a day or you will be spammy, find when your accounts get the most engagement and post around those times. My account gets the most engagement around 8-9 AM and PM, so I try to post around those times to maximize views.
To find your peak times, turn your profile into a business account, your insights will pop up at the top of your profile next to your username, and then you can see all of your stats including peak times.
FIND YOUR THEME AND STICK TO IT!
This might be the hardest thing to do for just about everyone including myself! Finding your theme is so important to create an Instagram worthy of a follower. My theme hasn't been perfected yet, but generally, the colors are White, Black, and Marble, just like my blog.
Here I will help you find your theme!
1. http://colorkuler.com/ < This will help you find your natural Instagram Palette
2. Download the app VSCO to find 3 filters that go with these colors or highlight these colors.
3. Write down what your posts are and in what pattern you'd like to upload
4. Download an Instagram planning app to see your Instagram layout before you upload. I like the app: PREVIEW
Top Tip: Find card stock or tiles from craft stores, or buy fabric that you can use as backgrounds for your instagram. This will ensure you always have a consistent color feed no matter where you are or what you are photographing!
I love trying to create an Instagram theme. It’s tricky but fun! Mine is not perfect but it WORKS. Just having a similar background and color scheme in each photo posted is super helpful! When it comes to styling photos I like to use card stock from craft stores and tile that I can find at my local Home Depot! These are seriously awesome, cheap options! It really works!
A lot of my content is created by using my iphone or my Canon camera. Both of these work great, and depending on my pictures I usually don't need to edit unless I am theming them to my filter.
Here are some items I have invested in:
Instagram captions are everything! Try to write relevant captions that go with what your pictures are saying. Dont' be afraid to get personal as well, and write captions that tell your story. If you can be sincere, motivating, and/or funny, these are just some captions that get people engaged. A call of action is of utmost importance in your caption. Ask your followers questions that will make them want to answer and don't forget to like and comment back once they do.
MEMBERSHIPS I LIVE BY!