Today I have a highly requested post for you guys: My Instagram Tips and Tricks. In this one, I want to discuss some advice which helped me to reach 10K followers in about 5 months. I also want to give you a little insight in how I edit and schedule my pictures. I hope you enjoy it!
How do I get new followers?
Let's start with my tips to get more exposure which will eventually lead to more followers.
I know you are probably sick of hearing that but engaging is the number one key to attracting more followers. It is important to regularly comment and like the pictures of people you follow. This has different positive effects. The first one is that the person itself is more likely to follow back when they see your name pop up over and over again in their notifications. But it also attracts their followers to check out your profile and maybe follow you. For that, it is important that you like and comment on profiles that are similar or in a similar theme as yours is. People who follow a technology account would not necessarily want to follow a fashion account. I mean it is possible, but the chances are less. I think you should also go through other people's profiles, and not just the ones that you already follow . For that just look at their comments or their followers. Leave them a genuine comment and maybe they will check you out.
Something I have done for the last two months is that I put on notifications for very popular accounts which are in the same field as mine (like @inthevrow, @lydiaemillen, or @songofstyle). Once I get a notification that they uploaded a picture I instantly click on it and comment something related. Don't just use random emojis.. make yourself look interesting! Their followers should be 50K plus. But super big accounts like Kylie Jenner's don't make much sense either, as their comments go so incredible fast that no one will see yours.
Always, and I repeat, always tag the brand profiles in your pictures. From the clothes that you are wearing in your outfit post to the author of a book you have in your flatlay. Tag everything! That will show your picture in their tagged pictures and some brands even might repost and tag you on their own feed. Sometimes there are some big pages that post pictures related to a brand, but they are not the brand pages themselves . A good example here is @zara_daily. They have reposted me a few times already. Zara itself normally never reposts. MaxFactor on the other side repost a lot, the same goes for The Body Shop or Real Techniques. Just look around and do your research.
Posting regularly is very important to keep your followers interested and to also attract new followers. I always find that I get a few new followers after every picture I post. When I am not active I rarely get new ones. On the other side, posting too many looks like spam and you might get a few unfollowers. I always post once a day and I did this since I started. I think between 1-2 posts per day is the optimum. The timing of your post is very important for the likes you get. If your followers are not very active in the moment you post, you are likely to receive significantly less likes on the picture. There are a few analyzing tools which can tell you when your followers are the most active. I just use the statistics in my Instagram business profile. To switch your account from a personal to a business profile you just need a Facebook page (this can also be an empty anonymous page). I highly recommend it as it gives you great insight in your followers.
Hashtags are a very individual topic. A lot of people hate them, but I think if you are a beginner you should definitely use them to get people's attention. I still do it. But there is a way to make it look less obvious. I have a note in my iOS Notes app where I have saved 25 hashtags ready to copy and paste. You are allowed to use a total of 30 hashtags per post. So I just add 5 individual ones which are related to the actual post. I would not recommend hashtags like f4f or l4l as it looks very unprofessional. I use ones like lifestyleblogger or ootd (outfitoftheday). Feel free to stalk my pictures and copy my hashtags haha. Also, I would recommend not putting them in the actual caption, just write and extra comment under your picture. That way it looks less spammy and cleaner.
Since Instagrams new algorithm a lot of people complain that they get fewer likes, which in my opinion is definitely true. Basically, Instagram doesn't necessarily show you the latest posts on top of your feed, they choose the ones which they think are the most relevant to you. So if you are very unlucky, only a small section of your followers actually get to see your post even though you posted it at the perfect time. Just to get an insight.. only 12% of my followers get to see my posts.. shocking, I know! To keep reminding people that you exist you should use Instastories. It is always on top of people's feeds and they won't forget about you. You can simply film little videos of your day, post pictures which are maybe less Instagram-worthy or even post screenshots of your feed to show that you just posted a new picture!
Once you've got the attention of the people and they actually click on your name, the most important part is that your profile should make them want to follow you. Of course, it has to be in their field of interest. Everything else is an individual decision. I personally like cohesive accounts with neutral tones. Not too dark, but also not too vibrant. I like a good mix of flatlays, outfits and sometimes selfies. Basically what I am doing haha. I also find that having a profile picture which fits the style of your pictures also makes such a difference.
How do I edit & schedule my pictures?
I personally think that editing is one of the most important steps to get a successful Instagram. As I already said, I like crisp pictures with neutral colors. The base has to be white, preferably marble. If I ever use color in my pictures it is normally a beige or blush color.
After I have the actual picture I always use a total of three iOS apps. These are the steps I always follow:
Facetune: I don't use facetune for my actual face haha. I use it mainly to whiten flatlays and product pictures. For that, you just take the whitening tool and use your finger to whiten the areas which are a little too blue or yellow. That happens all the time, especially when you use natural light. Sometimes I also use the detail tool to make little details, like jewelry or glitter, really pop in my pictures. It also works like a brush with your finger.
VSCO: Here comes the only filter I use. I always use the number HB2 at either 3 or 5, this totally depends on the picture. You should always use the same filter, but in different intensities, to have a cohesive look in your feed. If you use a lot of different filters it looks very unorganized and is just very uneasy for the eyes.
Snapseed: This is the last step that I take for most of my pictures. Here I adjust saturation, brightness, shadows etc. This is a very individual step and totally depends on the picture.
If I want to remove and object from my picture I will use Retouch. But I only ever used it once to get rid of a pipe which was in the background of one of my pictures.
If I want text in my pictures I use the app WordSwag. I honestly tried so many free apps for this but I am so happy I paid a little bit for this one as this is the best one I have come across.
If you are anything like me and you are a little bit of a control freak you like to plan out your next few posts. I personally plan the week ahead every Sunday. So I know that I have enough, and most importantly the right pictures, for the next week. For this I use Mosaico. I think it is around 5 euros, but it is only a one-time payment which is much better than Planoly in my opinion.UNUM is completely free but I've had a lot of problems with it in the past. You can upload pictures in the app and rearrange them until you are happy with how they look next to each other. Normally you would never want a selfie next to another selfie. I always have 3 product or scenery pictures between a picture of me. The picture of me could be full body, a selfie, or just an outfit detail. If you want you can also schedule the caption, but I like to do it freestyle once I post.
This has to be one of the longest posts I have ever written and probably will ever write haha... but I totally loved it! I would love to do a second post like this in the future. Maybe you have some questions which I forgot to answer?