The first day of Blogmas… I’m blogging every day in December (because lets face it, I could not cope with vlogmas!), especially when I’m posting at 10pm on the 1st Dec!
I’ve had a lot of questions about my Instagram over the past few months, with people asking how I’ve grown my following from 5K to nearly 22K in just over a year. I don’t have a huge instagram following, i’m not hitting Taylor Swift levels of hundreds of thousands of likes, nor and I immune from the *fear* that I will get zero likes when I put up a picture.
- Be authentic. It can be disheartening looking at some of those beautifully crafted instagram feeds that have 200K followers but don’t seem to have a real person behind the pictures. Post real, honest photos, these are more likely to garner engagement from your friends and followers, however don’t forget about the aesthetic.
- Stay away from the filters. Whilst in New York, Zoe and I were joking about how we don’t filter our images anymore, we create our own *filters* by turning up the brightness, contrast and saturation. Pick a style and stick with it to make your ‘grid’ look consistent – that could be black and white, bright colours, have a frame, muted tones (my friend Francesca doesn’t DO green in her feed – rather tricky when you’re taking a photo of her with her green juice). If you love one type of filter, feel free to use it, just stick with it!
- A picture says 1000 words. Often the pictures with a story, not just a great image, do best on my channel and with my audience. One of my most liked images is a terrible pic of me, post 8hr flight, having collected my New York City marathon race bib.
- Don’t spam your feed…unless you’ve just run a marathon, then posting 3 photos a day from the race is OK, right?
- If you’re working with a brand, ensure that the style of your sponsored post fits with your normal style, otherwise your followers are going to spot it a mile off and it may not generate the engagement that both you and the brand are hoping for. Additionally, make sure you work with brands that naturally match your message.
- Take plenty of photo options, it’s easier to post a great pic when you have plenty of options. I used photo capture from video I took during the New York City marathon as well as taking photo bursts to ensure I had pictures that captured the moment, and not my double chin.
- Engage with others – like your followers posts, comment on pictures you like and reply to the comments on your own pics. There are apps that you can use to keep track of this, with automated likes, comments and follows – use these with care. They can be great tools to use when you’re travelling and aren’t able to engage, however I wouldn’t use this for those spammy comments or likes of random pics. Use it sparingly to avoid losing your personal touch with your instagram – thats what keeps you different as a blogger/influencer than a company or brand.
- Do you. Post pictures that reflect your personality and don’t copy someone else’s.
- Utilise Instagram analytics to establish the best time to post for your audience, I thought my perfect time was first thing in the morning before discovering that 9pm is actually when the peak of my followers are online – probably accounting for audiences in both the UK and US.
- Add a Geotag – in general specific geotags get 75% more engagement than those without.
- Use hashtags – create notes on your phone with lists of different hashtags that fit the various themes you post about – for me these are currently running, fitness and travel hashtags, however do not just spam hashtag – make sure they are at least relevant to the picture. Additionally, keep a note of brand hashtags from companies that you might be interested in working with and use them where appropriate, it might help put you on their radar. Post your hashtags in the first comment after your caption to avoid making your post look messy or spammy.
- Tag friends and brands that are in the pic, and other accounts that might be interested in reposting your image – with credit of course!
What are your top tips for Instagram? Any posts you’d like to see on here during Blogmas?