Hi guys!! I am back from Haven Blogging Conference in Atlanta & I had the best time! While at Haven I taught a class with Jen from Style House Interiors. I am so thankful for the opportunity that I had to teach about how to grow your Instagram following & the class went really well. I am passionate about Instagram so it was a fun class for me to teach. I met so many awesome bloggers at the conference & some had just started their blogs which was really fun to meet some people new to the blogging world. Haven is always so much fun & filled with lots of informative classes, lots of good company, & it’s awesome to be among fellow bloggers who know exactly what you are like. Haven is really fun experience. So fun that I came home & slept for an entire day. You can search the #HavenConf hashtag on Instagram to see lots of photos of the conference from a bunch of lovely bloggers to see a little glimpse into it. I was a little excited that my name was on the “speaker board”…
I wanted to share with you guys a few tips I shared in my class about how to grow your Instagram that have really worked for me. There is more that I talked about, but it’s hard to share it all in one blog post. Here is just a few things that I shared that really help improve & grow your Instagram. Remember to always use your own creative discretion when using these tips because ultimately your Instagram is yours & should reflect you & your brand.
1. Make your Instagram clear who you are.
Make it clear to everyone who you are & what you do. This also helps when you comment on others photos because they will see that you are a blogger & want to come & follow you.
– Make your handle fit your brand so that you are easily found by everyone that is looking for you on Instagram.
-Choose a profile photo that is current & represents you and your brand well. It can be a selfie or a professional photo, but just make sure it represents you well. Be sure to also keep this up to date.
2. Make your bio intriguing.
List facts about yourself that will relate to your followers, include your email, include your blog, & really make people want to head on over to your blog & read more about you.
– Who are you? What do you do? Who do you love? What is interesting about you? What do you want people to know?
– Change your bio as things in your life change to keep it up to date.
– Be sure you include a few ways that people can find you. Companies will find your Instagram & you want them to be able to reach you. Also, making it easy for your followers to go to your blog with a easily found link is a must.
3. Only post quality photos!
This is the biggest one. If your photos aren’t quality photos, people are not going to want to follow your account. Everyone on Instagram is super visual & wanting to see those pretty photos. Take the time to take good photos. Use good lighting, clean your camera lens before you take any photos, & edit your photos to really make them pop.
-Use the same editing style for all of your photos so that they are consistent. You want your whole feed to look consistent to your style.
– Vary your photos so that your feed remains interesting. Do close-ups, full room shots, personal photos, pets, nature, & more. Just really keep that feed looking interesting to new potential followers to make them want to hit the follow button.
– Go through your profile & delete the photos that don’t fit your brand.
– If you are going to use square photos stick with that & if you are going to do un-cropped photos stick with cropped. You want your entire profile to look consistent and aesthetically pleasing. [Insta-size, pic tap go, & more are great ways to do “full size” photos]
4. Find people with the same interests to follow.
Really try to find people in your community to follow. Search hashtags that you like, find other bloggers to follow, & build relationships.
– Find a group to do “follow fridays” or to feature each other throughout the week.
– Comment on other accounts, like their photos, & really be active on Instagram.
– The more you show up on Instagram, the more people will be able to find you. They will click on your name & check out your feed & hopefully they like what they see & will want to follow.
– In the same aspect be sure to respond back to comments you get & really interact with your followers as well.
5. Tag your photos so that they may get re-posted.
Tag all the products in your photos so that the company who sells those photos see it. If they like it, they will re-post it for all of their followers to see.
– For example: if you couch is from Pottery Barn tag them within your photo so that they are more likely to see it. You can also mention them in the description & use their hashtag for more chances of them seeing it.
6. Be consistent!
This one is huge! Growing your Instagram account is a commitment. If you want your Instagram to grow you have to stay consistent.
-Post at least once a day I recommend 2-3 times a day. Its a commitment to want to grow your Instagram. Buckle-down and decide how often you can post quality pictures and stick with it.
– While staying consistent, don’t over-gram! Leave a 3-4 hour gap between your photos so that you don’t annoy people that are already following you. If you take 10 great photos, choose one to post & maybe post the others to a different social media or save them for a different day.
-Instagram has pretty consistent usage all the time which means it really doesn’t matter when you post through out the day. Experiment & find what times to post works best for you. Stick with those times so that your followers can rely on when you will be posting.
– I like posting during “down times” like lunch time & at night between 7:30-9:30pm.
7. Share the journey!
Your followers love to see your story & your journey through out your photos & by reading your captions. Use your unique voice to show them that.
-break up the before and after. share fun life updates, family vacations, great shopping finds, new house projects, vignettes in your home, & more. While focusing on posting the best be sure to no leave out the you.
– More examples of more “you” photos you can post: Behind the Scene Shots, show your readers what you are up to, Rooms half done, Kids, Pets, or a trip you currently are taking.
– Your Instagram is your mini- blog so treat it like that. Use your voice & share photos that you would on your blog. When people feel connected to your account & your authenticity they will recommend your account to others.
– Engage with your followers & ask them questions. Instagram is my favorite way to chat with my readers so I find engaging them & chatting with them works very well.
8. Instagram Giveaways.
Giveaways are a great way to drive traffic to your Instagram. There are a million ways to host a giveaway, but here are two that work very well:
Host a giveaway by yourself.
– Have your followers tag friends below the giveaway photo as an entry & repost the photo for an entry with a tag to you & a unique hashtag.
Host a Giveaway with others!
-This is typically called a loop giveaway. This is when you team up with a bunch of other bloggers on Instagram to give away one large prize. Each blogger posts the same photo at the same time each tagging the next blogger & your followers have to click through & follow each bloggers Instagram account until they end up at the end of the loop on the original photo. Once the follower has followed all of the accounts they are entered to win.
Giveaways are a great way to get a bunch of new followers, but be cautious because they can come off as “spammy” if you do too many. My advice is to be very picky with giveaways & spread them out over time.
9. Spread the word about your Instagram!
Include your Instagram handle in your emails, newsletters, blog posts, share it on Facebook, twitter, & beyond. & be sure your Instagram icon is clear at the top of your blog.
Find other accounts like yours on Instagram. Follow them, leave comments on their photos, & like their photos. Always be genuine & stay active! Make Insta-friends who have the same interests/style as you!
Search hashtags you use to find profiles to follow, check the explore posts section to find new profiles to follow, & start finding some Insta-besties to interact with!
10. Hashtags #101
Use them! They are a must on every photo. They make your photos easily searchable & found by potential followers.
-Keep your favorite hashtags saved in your notes so you can copy & paste to your Instagram when needed.
-Think about where your potential followers hang out. What words/phrases/things are they searching? People search hashtags all the time to find photos & users to follow. Remember to hashtag your photos so that you are easily found. [for example if it’s your kitchen & you have gray cabinets you could use #Kitchen & #GrayCabinets]
-If you are going to post a lot of hashtags post them in the first comment below your photo so that after a few comments they are unseen by your followers & are less annoying. A few in the photo description is ok!
-A few of my favorite hashtags: #DIY #Makeover #CottageStyle #Progress #Vintage #Blogger #[My city] #[season] #Design #Decor #homedecor #style #Farmhousestyle #repurpose I could go on! & also remember to brands so that you are easily found by them.
11. Bonus: My favorite photo editing apps.
Here are some great photo editing apps for your phone that will really bring your Instagram photos to the next level & stand out to potential followers. Remember to always sharpen your photos & that light & bright photos always stand out the best!
– Great for basic camera edits & lightening up super dark photos/sharpening.
-Great for filters & really customizing your photos look & feel.
-Another great app for quality filters that will make your photos really stand out & look crisp & clean.
– A great All in one app with lots of photo editing tools & filters as well.
–Some other great ones:
– photoshop touch, VSCO cam, camera+
A photo editing example:
I edited this photo taken in my living room last week while it was storming outside. It was dark in our house, but I wanted to share this photo of my dogs sitting in the chair together. So I used snapseed & pictapgo to edit the photo & get the “after” shot that I posted to my Instagram.
There are just a few of my tips to growing your Instagram. I wish you could have all been in the class, not because I am a great teacher, but because it would have been fun to see you all & talk about Instagram together. I hope you guys enjoyed today’s post & that you learned some tips on improving your Instagram account. Let me know what you think in the comments below & be sure to find me on Instagram [here].