Let me start by saying this; I will not be telling you to promote your Instagram on other social media, or telling you how important it is to be active. These things are very true and necessary to increase followers, but overdone and completely obvious aren’t they? I hope to tell you some of the smaller, less obvious ways in which I’ve made Instagram one of my favourite social media platforms and hugely increased my followers. Followers are not the most important thing in the world, and it shouldn’t be all about numbers, but again; this is obvious. But I know as bloggers (which 99% of you reading are) it can be frustrating if you really want to improve on a certain social platform and you’re having no luck.
Okay so, at the very start of Summer this year (maybe Spring, April/May-ish) I decided to start making more of an effort with Instagram, as I felt I’d been wasting my time on there mostly. It was something I posted a grainy photo to every now and again, maybe promoted a blog post, and then ignored it the rest of the time. Not great. I had around 400-500 followers at the time by the way.
I decided to do was stop seeing this as a place to promote my blog so much. My blog link is in my Instagram bio, and if people want to find it; they’ll find it. So the first thing I did was:-
1. Stop seeing it as a promotional tool. – It ruins your Instagram to be honest. These days, I only promote a blog post if the photo I’ve used in that particular blog post is one I love, and would post on Instagram anyway. I started spending my time using Instagram as a visual moodboard, collecting all the images that I liked most. It wasn’t about promotion any more, it was about creating something completely separate from my blog that I loved on it’s own.
So, what do I love most? Colourful, pretty images, pastels, kawaii things, anything bright, light and girly. I hope I’ve mostly just summed up my Instagram for you too, because that’s how I started trying to create it’s ‘look’. Which brings me to…
2. Get a theme. – There will be a lot of you that straight away don’t like the idea of this, or don’t want to do it. That’s totally fine, and you shouldn’t then! 🙂 But I can honestly say I seen a huge increase in Instagram followers once mine was ‘themed’. If you aren’t sure what I mean by that; it’s basically making sure every photo you post (or most) look a certain way or are of a certain thing. So some Instagrammers (yes I’m using that word) have dark, moody, black and white themes, some have blinding, pops of rainbow colour themes. Some people only post photos of their artwork, some only post photos of their dog. Whatever it is, they keep to an aesthetic, and it works. People like seeing things organised like this, and it attracts the right kind of audience for you anyway! Like minded people will swarm to your feed.
Another strange thing I’ve found with Instagram (unlike Twitter) is that I benefit each time I cut back on who I follow. It’s not about following more people to get follows back (not that I ever recommend doing this on any social ever) – it’s about following the right people.
3. Unfollow the people you don’t need on there. – That one sounds harsh! But I don’t mean it like that. I simply mean keep your feed full of only things that inspire you, or are totally relevant to you. If not, it’s wasted space. By cutting back, you’ll see way more of your favourite people posting, and you’ll enjoy it much more. It’ll also motivate you to keen your own Instagram as inspiring as others! Yay.
And now I’m about to name the hugest factor in my follower increase, and the one thing that has made Instagram one of my favourite platforms (almost rivalling Twitter!).
4. Make a community on there for yourself. – And guys, this one might be quite hard. I’m not necessarily just saying talk to people on there (but you should, remember we said this was obvious!), I’m saying you need to discover what Instagram will be to you. So for me, I want it to be a creative and colourful place. So I post photographs of everything colourful and cute in my life, and I share all my artistic inspirations and creations. Every time I do a new drawing, paint something, sew something; It’ll be on my Instagram before any other social media (if any). In doing this, I’ve found other creatives who I now consider lovely friends on this platform. I have a group of people who I regularly chat to, like their photos, keep up with their life/other projects, and who I can guarantee always like my photographs too (it’s not about likes, I’m just saying they make a point in showing they’re there!).
These are people who DON’T HAVE BLOGS. These are people who don’t use Twitter (at all, or some only use rarely). These are people who now recommend my designs to people, or catch up with my life, or genuinely ask how I am. These are people who I now buy crafts and artwork from, because I’m genuinely a fan. They are not bloggers, and I’ve reached outside the blogging community and found this whole other little community I love just as much, and I think that’s been so important to me.
I hope this has helped a little, and I’ve really tried to avoid the obvious tips we always see. Doing these things has helped me massively! I’m not saying I have the most wowing amount of followers, but I am saying in the last week I gained almost 200, and over 100 the week before that, and so on. Some weeks are slower than others, obviously. But overall Instagram is becoming this huge source of inspiration, traffic and revenue for me. I hope it can do the same for you too, if you wish.
*Any items sent for review are written about 100% honestly and in my own words. Sometimes collaborative content and partnerships with brands will appear on this blog. Affiliates links are used throughout this blog.
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