Let’s be real for just a second — when it comes right down to it, Instagram is a lot of work. Of course you could take the easy route and just buy followers and participate in follow for follow groups / hashtags — and that’s great if you just want numbers. But, if you’re trying to build a business or drive traffic, that is not going to give you the following that you need to be successful.
Do not focus on numbers. Focus on these five easy steps.
1. Be Creative with your caption.
As we all know coming up with clever and creative captions can be soooo hard! Here we go already with the clichés but, honestly practice makes perfect. Over time you will realize what works and what simply doesn’t.
People want to relate to author when they’re reading. Try something new by taking a second to utilize the talk to text option on your cell phone. Quickly start a note and just pretend like you’re talking to a friend. You might just be surprised by the results and if you can create relatability to a few more users by a simply utilizing talk to text, that’s a win.
Personally, I’m a big believer in old cliché sayings because they hold a lot of truth — so keep it short and sweet. I’ll admit when I’m really excited about a post or pushing a blog I’m proud of, I tend to go a bit overboard.
Most importantly, end it with something to draw in interaction; punny captions, asking questions, or tag a friend lines are a really great way to get people commenting! Example, tag a friend you’d take here! That simple line will increase comments on your photos.
2. Hashtags are way more powerful than you think.
According to the experts ~70% (66.5 Million) of pictures posted without hashtags are going unseen every single day. On the flip side, posts with hashtags draw in 12.6% more engagement! That’s insanely H U G E when it comes to the gram. If you stop and think about the fact that there’s 95 million pictures posted to Instagram daily, you’ll want to #StepUpYourGame.
Why Hashtags? Well, in case you haven’t noticed lately, people are not following people anymore; they’re following hashtags. So in order for your one photo to remain active on feeds, you will want to make sure that you’re being as specific as possible with your hashtags.
For example, if I post a picture of my #dog – that’s pretty broad right? But, if I swap that out for #blacklab I’m more likely to gain engagement from users who were actively trolling the gram specifically for black labs. If the picture is dope and the context is good, people might just click on your profile to check out more photos, follow, and engage with other photos.
**If you want to track your hashtags I highly encourage you to create your own!! Add in #AshhMonster and I’ll be sure to show you some love.
3. Tagging featured accounts or brands that you’re using is an excellent way to add exposure to your photos.
Don’t be shy, tag away bay bay. The picture above is one of the many photos I posted last month from my trip to Bermuda. I tagged 16-20 different accounts on a few photos and within a three days of posting, I had several of my photos added to large accounts from Bermuda, on their stories and feeds where my IG account was tagged in the photo and in the comments!!
Talk about great engagement and exposure without all the extra effort! Remember brands are bigger than you!! So whatever you’re wearing, tag it. Not only is a Regram great exposure but people troll through tagged photos of large accounts all the time. That leads us back to — if the picture is dope and the context is good, people might just click on your profile to check out more photos, follow, and engage with other photos.
4. Stay active by posting every day and engaging with your followers.
Is there a perfect time to post on Instagram? Yes, but that depends on your following. Something to consider — are all of your followers even in the same time zone?
For me, I try to post once a day around 9 am. That way my followers will be able the new post throughout the entire day. This also gives me the opportunity to engage with my followers by replying to their comments and questions.
If you have flipped your Instagram into a business account you can use Instagram’s analytics to determine the best time to post for each day of the week. Or, there’s always the old fashioned way of posting the same photo during different times to see which one receives the most interaction. . . but, ain’t nobody got time for that!
Always, always, always make an effort to reply to the comments!! Not creative? No problem, pick one of the following; where, what, when, how, or why. Where exactly was the photo taken? What were you doing there? When is the best time to go? How did you get there? Why did you go? Did you have to hike a secret trail? Was in on the map? Maybe it was listed as a top place to see on awesome blog or did a local suggest it? How did you feel before/during/after the experience?
Be sure to return the #love to your top engagers!!
5. Quality photos matter the most.
Try to create or capture an image that everyone else hasn’t already seen a thousand times. We’ve all been there trying to capture the perfect shot while people stare at you, muttering “what is she doing”. You must remain shamelessly creative. Just shoot em a quick smile and say, “not now chief, I’m in the fuckin zone”. Bonus points if you know where that’s from.
Seriously though, Instagram is obviously a visual platform; so unless you want people to keep scrolling past your posts you will need to spend a wee bit of time touching up your photos. You want to catch their eye and do justice to the beauty you were able to experience.
Left or Right?
Quality > Quantity.
Click on either one to find out how to edit your photos using a F R E E app!! Yes, F R E E ! !
Trust me, you do not need to be a professional photographer to post quality photos!!