Upping your Instagram Game
You've probably heard me say this before in regards to my own instagram: "I'm focusing on upping my instagram game" ... so what do I mean? For me it's focusing on putting out quality photos, putting the time in to post regularly, using instagram stories, and just generally focusing my energy in making my instagram the best it can be.
Let me first start by saying I do not have the greatest instagram in the world, I do not have the most followers, and I do not have thousands of likes and comments on my photos..
NOT EVEN CLOSE
But I do notice that when I put my time and energy into my instagram my followers and engagement grow and so does my business.
Here are my suggestions on what you can do to take your instagram to the next level - in both aesthetic and growth!
1) Theme your 'gram
You might have hear of "instagram themes" but maybe never really understood what it was or meant. Basically, a theme is just making all of your photos look cohesive together when someone looks at your grid (your profile page). The easiest way to do this would simply be editing all your photos with the same filter - my favourite apps for filters are VSCO and A Color Story. Currently I am using the C1 filter in VSCO and also add a pink tint to all of my photos.
Another great way to add a consistent theme to your photos is to find a recurring colour to highlight - again, mine currently is mustard. It is not present in every photo however I sprinkle it throughout so that it's noticeable but not overpowering.
Check the photos below to see what my instagram looked like when I didn't have a theme, and what it looks like now with the consistent filter and pops of mustard.
The photo on the left is my instagram with my current theme, and the photo on the right is my instagram with no theme. Are there some decent pictures in the right photo? Sure, but none of them really go together and it is not as appealing to the eye when you look at my page.
Some of my favourite accounts to look at that have amazing themed instagram pages are @kalynnicholson @mylittleboheme @ropeandrose and @marzena.marideko
Side note: I also use Planoly to see what my photos will look like on my grid before I post them. You can even pre plan your captions and save your hashtags in the app!
2) Post Regularly
If you're looking to grow your followers than being consistent is key... personally I try to post at least once a day, sometimes I post twice. This may seem like a lot to some people but one thing to remember is that Instagram is no longer chronological, so some of my followers might not even see my first post and just get the second. Also, this might not be for everyone! And that's okay! Some people only post Monday to Fridays, others only 3 times a week, and that works for them... for me, one post a day works (usually first thing in the morning) and if I have something else to share I will do it around 5:00. These are the times when most of my followers are browsing instagram.
Find what works for you and keep it consistent, if you're frequently going 5 days or a week between posts it's going to be difficult to grow your instagram account.
3) Be meaningful with your posts
This is one that I have struggled with in the past. Is it better to post a photo just because I feel like need to, even if I don't like the photo, or to just post nothing? Personally, I don't think you should post out of obligation, but instead because you want to and have something to share. If your posts are lacking substance, the photo is poor quality, and it's just all around "fake" its going to seem that way. But, if you're putting the time into making your photos look great and writing captions that actually show who you are then the response will be ten times better.
General rule of thumb: if your own eyes roll reading your captions, your follower's probably will too.
Also if you don't have your own photo to share there's nothing wrong with sharing some one else's. That's what instagram is for really - sharing! As long as you make sure to give credit to the original account you should be good... if you're still unsure though it doesn't hurt to send a quick message and ask if it's okay.
4) Show who you are!
Another one that I am personally working on, but instagram is a SOCIAL platform. People are on there to see and connect with other people. Yes, you use your instagram for your business, but if you're only showing and talking about products how is anyone going to connect with your page? People connect with people, not objects.
I struggled with this because I constantly told myself "People are only here because they want to know about my products" or "I'm not interesting enough and no one will care", but the truth of the matter is that recently my post that got the most likes and the most comments was one about ME! Yup, I posted a picture of myself holding one of my wall hangings and wrote a long caption about my struggles with my business and my career journey in general. I opened up about my insecurities, and shared my motivations for moving forward in the future ... AND IT WAS my MOST COMMENTED ON PHOTO! (aside from contest posts because lets be real... people always want free stuff)
After I posted that though I thought about some of my favourite accounts I follow. Do they share their personal stories, photos, and things other than their products? Yes. I then realized that was actually WHY they were some of my favourite accounts, because I connected with the people and enjoyed seeing who they were - not because I wanted to look at their products all day every day (although those are also beautiful).
People want to know you! The face behind the brand and your personality. Once you get past that and confident with that not only will you instagram grow, but it will also become a whole lot more enjoyable.
I hope this helped answer some questions or inspire you! These are things that have worked for me and made a difference in my instagram, but they may not all work for you and your business. I'd say the most important thing, if any, to take away from this all is to be authentic and make sure you are posting things that you like and because you want ... it's your instagram after all!