How to Build An Instagram Following – my tips

I’ve had lots of compliments on my Instagram lately; it’s very nice to know my followers have taken notice as I have made some changes that have dramatically increased by following, as well as engagement levels. But it’s not as easy as just posting a pretty picture. There’s a process to it which took me a number of months to figure out. And along the way I discovered some myths about the platform when it comes to gaining a bigger following.

Firstly, you don’t post every picture on your camera roll; volume does not create loyalty. It has to be more curated so think of it like your own little gallery that you get to manage, and for which you choose the pictures you hang. Secondly, timing is everything. There is no point in posting a picture anytime, especially since Instagram has changed it’s algorithm which no longer posts images based on a timeline. You need to examine when you have the highest engagement, and that takes some research to discover patterns. Both of these myths, I have challenged this year and found what I think will work best for me and my followers, and thankfully it’s working. So if you want to tackle Instagram as a platform for promoting whatever it is you do, here are some ideas for you consider.

The Image itself

Boots of dreams at the @topshop AW16 preview this morning. #love #instafashion #fbloggers #topshop ##AW16 #trends #love

A photo posted by Lorna Claire Weightman (@styleisleirl) on

Look back at your feed and see which pictures were the most popular. Which got the most likes and comments? What works with the picture composition that led to this? That’s your starting point to build a theme. With your next image, try and recreate the composition, of course with different content and see how this will start a theme for you. If you like the theme, then stick to it.

Edit, Edit, Edit & Edit

I generally don’t use the built in filters, but it’s totally ok to do so if you like them. I try and edit my image outside of the app in a few different ways to get the light right. I have three favourite apps: Snapseed is an easy to use (free) app for photo editing, and in this you can alter so much from the shape to brightness. I like to keep all my images to square, so I try and take them in this shape rather than try and crop them. You might also have seen that I frame my pictures, and I use Instasize for that. This app is a bit of magic as you can also create collages and use some of the filters in this too (“Bark” is my favourite). Facetune is for what I call polishing and it’s a favourite of Kim Kardashian. I try not to use this too much as it can distort images and also not provide your followers with a genuine picture, so use this one with caution.

Timing is everything

I’ve watched my likes and comments like a hawk this year and I’ve determined the times of the day that my followers tend to pick up on my feed. I’m not sure if this is true, but it does feel to me like Instagram shows your feed to the followers who engage with you the most. I’ve no idea if this is the case, but I have built a loyal following with this strategy.  Avoid times like Sunday afternoon and Friday evenings when people are out and about.

Bio

This space is not used enough to show off who you are. I have my bio in order; so blogger comes first as that’s what I am etc etc. Also, if you have a blog, website, Linked In profile, make sure you add that in. You want people to look at you outside of Instagram if you need them too. I found when I started blogging, I had no vehicle for this other than Facebook. Then along came Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat and I could link them all up together.

Those are my main tips, but work out what works for you. Take hundreds of pictures to get the right one, it’s totally ok! You can delete the ones you don’t use. I sometimes take my images on my DSLR camera too if I want a high resolution and then I upload them to my phone and go through the same editing. The beauty of technology! And look at posting Instagram videos or short Boomerangs which are an efficient way to build views. And they are a bit of a giggle to make as well.

If you have any instagram questions, just drop me a comment below and I’ll try to answer them as best I can!!

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