I read an article this morning that said Instagram has over 600 million active users a month and over 400 million active users DAILY. My mouth dropped! Can we flash back for a second. Do you remember your first Instagram post? For me, that was over 4,000 photos ago and back in 2011 when frames and filters were all the rage. I’ve definitely gone back and cleaned up my profile since then so I really can’t remember my first post! #slightlybummed
This might sound funny but I can’t imagine my life without Instagram today. It’s been a mega platform that has helped drive my business in a number of ways, from networking to directing traffic to my blog. It’s also been a great place for me to “instantly” connect with an incredible online community, voice my opinions and learn new things, while keeping up with friends and family members who live in different worlds. After launching my second business, Bless Box, I learned that Instagram is so different now than it was over 6 years ago when I started. It’s super competitive today but there’s so many new features that weren’t around back then. I’m going to save us the task of going back and forth all day on the pros and cons of Instagram today versus Instagram in 2011.
Instagram is definitely my favorite social media platform. I love that one single photo can tell an interesting story and truly inspire someone’s heart. With a little creativity and strategy, I’ve learned a few practices that actually can help you grow your Instagram.
Did you know 90% of my Instagram photos are taken on my I-phone 7? It’s true. 😉
Whether you’re new to the platform or have been active for years, maybe you need some encouraging advice? Here are 10 Instagram tips and practices that you may not know about:
1. Utilize the LINK in BIO feature – Until Instagram finally let’s us link in a specific photo or caption, we really need to take advantage of the ‘link in bio’ feature. I always put a little blurb above my profile URL that says “Latest post” or “Here’s what’s good” to showcase my latest blog post or youtube video. Sometimes it’s my Bless Box website. It just depends what I want to drive. I’m constantly updating that DAILY.
2. Your profile page is your “first impression” – So make sure it’s good. You don’t have to use all of the characters but definitely make it personal and don’t be afraid to self-promote! Tip: You can create spaces between text by updating your profile on desktop. If you try updating it on your phone sometimes it all runs on the same line and can look sloppy. Always do it on desktop if you can! Remember, when someone stumbles upon your profile it’s the first thing they see so grab their attention and make a connection.
3. Feed Aesthetic – Does it matter? Yes and no. For my personal page, I want my community to know that I’m seriously just a normal girl sharing my “life in squares.” I try to look at the overall composition of my feed and keep it somewhat clean and pretty, but when I quit caring about what the first 10 photos look like on my feed, I felt a stronger connection to my followers. Everyone is different but it’s refreshing to see my numbers/engagement increase more than ever since caring less about “perfection” on my feed. Not to mention – it’s been a lot less stressful anyways dropping the food pics and flat lays. ha! Bless Box is a whole different story. For that page, I want it to look and feel happy so I’ve taken more time to focus on the feed. It’s a product business so I’ve found that people want to see great composition and style, resulting in a professional look and feel. (still fun and me though!)
4. Don’t be afraid of Video – Go to your explore tab on Instagram right now. How many videos do you see versus photos? Videos are becoming the highlight on the app from what I’ve witnessed so don’t be shy to edit and upload a 1 minute tutorial (iMovie is great!) or make it easy and throw in a few boomerangs every now and then to switch things up.
5. Insta-stories. – Real talk, I quit SnapChatting a long time ago because I love Insta-stories! It’s so cool when people can read my captions on a photo and them go straight to my Stories for an in-depth experience. Whether it’s a fun day at the fair, vlogging, or driving traffic to my blog/youtube through the SWIPE UP feature I noticed people really like it! (Note: right now the app only grants verified pages permission to link out through Insta-stories but hopefully that will change soon.)
6. Go LIVE – If you’re really looking to boost your Instagram, my advice is to go live a few times a week. I rarely have time but when I do a live makeup tutorial I have reached so many new users which is really cool. Notice on the explore page of Instagram, it says “Top Live” this is a way for your page to pop up while your live which allows new users to discover your profile.
7. Hashtags are great – Just make sure you us relevant ones that make sense with each photo. In other words, find your niche on Instagram through niche hashtags. If you don’t want to include them all in the caption, just comment it right after you post! I love saving my top ones in the notes section of my phone. My go-tos are #PicofTheDay #FashionBlogger #Beauty #Instastyle #Inspiration #StreetStyle #OOTD #hairstyles #pinterest which are all popular ones. What are your faves?
8. Respond to comments – You’re never too big or too small to engage with the people who comment on your photos. This will create loyalty and show that you really do care! I love commenting back to my sweet followers and sometimes even the haters (sorry mom!) ￼ Just keep it classy and try not to start a war. Don’t be afraid to engage, like comments and make someone’s day. After all, this is a social platform.
9. Create a posting schedule. – Let’s face it, your followers can get annoyed if you oversaturate their newsfeed with pictures so please be strategic about the ones you do post. I only post 1-2 photos a day since the algorithm change and have found that it works better for me and for them! Don’t neglect posting pictures but don’t just post something because you realized you haven’t posted anything. ha! Depending on your audience, you have to feel out how often and when are good times to post. Try to observe when engagement is at its highest. Personally for me, I get the most engagement around 8 am and 1pm. However, it’s different for everyone so try to maintain a healthy post schedule.
10. Giveaways – Because who doesn’t love free stuff? Try partnering up with another blogger friend to create a fantastic giveaway for both of your followers. It’s always fun to cross-promote content and it can really bless someone’s day when they find out they won!! A little giving back never hurt anyone.
Now go out there and have some fun and try not to stress! I’ll end this webisode of BYOB by saying this. Sometimes when you’re having a great Instagram day (aka you just posted an AMAZING pic) you suddenly notice it’s your least liked and engaged photo from this week. What the heck? Remember this when you’re having that day. Sometimes it’s not YOU, it’s the APP. It’s what I like to call the mysteries of Instagram. Somedays will be better than others, but that’s life in general, right?! 😉 Don’t let it get you down or make you give up and start something new. Give it a rest for the day and start attacking again tomorrow. 🙂
What are some of your favorite Instagram tips? Comment and share with all of us below! Also, what do you want to see next? Have a great rest of your day!
If you’re wondering the editing apps I use click here