In today’s post we’re going to be talking about how to step up your Instagram game! As with all of the other how-to posts this month, everything I talk about is from my personal experience – so if you’ve been doing something differently, and it works, great for you! Lots of different people use different techniques to succeed on Instagram and these are only a few things that can make a difference.
How To Step Up Your Instagram Game
1. Have A Business Account
All that you need to change your Instagram profile from a personal account to a business account is to create a Facebook page (which you don’t have to use, is quick to set up, and you can delete once you’ve switched over). This will give you access to insights, a super helpful statistics page that shows who your audience is, how many people you’re reaching, who is viewing your profile and when the best times to post are. There are general insights for your whole profile, and insights per specific post. The above screenshot shows my insights for one of my posts from the beginning of January.
2. Quality AND Quantity
With Instagram – a highly visual platform – there is no such thing as quality over quantity. There are accounts churning out multiple posts a day of semi-decent content, and there are accounts who post once a month. Who do you think does better on the platform? Usually the former, unless their following is big enough. This means surviving on Instagram can be difficult.
Here’s my answer: a fine balance of quality AND quantity. If it helps you, plan out days you’re going to post. Ideally you should be posting at least once a day, but it is far better to post every other day than post six a day for a week and then nothing for three months.
On Instagram, engagement is everything and you’ll do much better – and have a better time – once you recognise this. Followers don’t really mean much because there are so many spam bots and scam accounts who won’t interact with your content. The people you want following you are the people who like your posts and, MOST OF ALL, comment or otherwise interact.
The best way, I’ve found, to encourage engagement is two-fold. The first is ASKING QUESTIONS: put questions at the start of your posts (relevant and genuine questions, of course), put polls on your Instagram stories, offer people the chance to submit a question or a recommendation. You won’t immediately get responses, necessarily, but as your account grows you’ll get more responses. The second way to encourage engagement is OFFERING ENGAGEMENT to other people – this works best with people who are mutual followers of you. Always be genuine, always be kind, always be supportive. Follow these three sentiments and not only will you drive engagement, but you’ll make friends along the way!
4. Hashtag research
I’m not qualified enough to explain the entirety of how hashtag research works, or how to get the right combination, so I’m going to link a couple of resources that helped me get started.
5. There’s An App For That
There are so many apps that I use to make Instagram quicker and easier. A free trial of Tailwind is a great one, because it reccomend hashtags to use and can schedule posts – although there is a 50 post limit on it, the momentum you get in gaining followers and establishing a schedule makes it worth it even if you don’t decide to subscribe to it.
I love that it gives me time slots for when I should be posting, and you can adjust how many time slots a day you want. I have mine set to one post a day and it is working pretty well.
NOTE: For automatic scheduling, you’ll need a business account set up, as mentioned in step one.
Another is one of the many apps that can be used to track followers. There are so many free options for this and some will even give you insight into your engagement and I don’t use these statistics much at the moment, but they’re always useful to have.
I use this to check who I’m following back and generally making sure that I focus on Instagram accounts in my niche – the book community. A lot of bigger accounts will suddenly unfollow to maintain a “celebrity” follow-to-follower ratio, and spam accounts will frequently follow-to-unfollow. There are all sorts of weird following patterns that happen and I like to be able to track them all.
Furthermore, it is a good idea to get some kind of app to enrich the look of your stories – either short video clips or still images, depending on what you use more.
I paid a little bit for one of the packs – the one with the ripped graphics – and I may consider buying another one of the packs in the future because I absolutely love using Unfold to keep a track of what I’m reading and promoting my blog posts. Definitely play around with apps like these until you find something you like!
Have any of these suggestions helped you? Do you have any tips of tricks of your own? Let me know in the comments!