Instagram Tips for Bloggers
Instagram is a tough nut to crack, and increasingly so. If you’re used to the platform, you’ll know how tricky it can be to grow your audience but don’t give up hope yet.
If you haven’t heard of Mrs Hinch, then I think you may be in the minority. Her following has grown exponentially in the last month, gaining thousands of followers every hour. No one would have predicted that an account focused on cleaning would have blown up like that, but it goes to show that growth on IG is definitely achievable. It doesn’t have to involve going viral either. Steady, organic growth is a great way of building an engaged audience. Here’s some tips to help you improve your Instagram strategy and grow your audience:
First impressions count
What makes you follow an account?
And what is it that stops you from pressing that follow button on an account you’ve found?
Not everyone will spend 5 minutes going through your feed, clicking your url, watching your stories and highlights before deciding whether to follow. You probably have mere seconds before someone makes a decision and taps that back button. Attention span on social media is very, very short so those first impressions are hugely important.
When people land on your profile, you want your top nine to be completely representative of your brand. Your bio should include exactly who you are and what you do, something that your audiences can connect to, that tells them what you’re all about.
Use highlights to show people anything else that won’t fit into your bio but you want visitors to know. Have a great profile picture. Add a url to your bio.
Maximise visibility of your posts
Instagram is so saturated with content that it can be so difficult to get yours seen. With the current algorithm, you’ll find that oftentimes a lot of your followers won’t even see your content. It’s annoying, but it’s a fact of life with the platform.
So rather than complaining about the algorithm, you just need to work around it. This is a whole topic in itself, but there’s a few quick ways you can help to get your post seen - not just by your current followers but also by potential followers.
One way is to geotag your posts. By adding a location tag to content, it increases the chance that people will see it when they search that place.
Hashtags are an obvious one, but don’t upload a photo without one.
Sharing your post on your story can help let any of your followers know you’ve uploaded in case they miss it in their feeds.
And finally, something I’ve found to be really useful, is tagging repost accounts. It may take some work to find them (tip: look at what accounts other people tag!), but for example on my bullet journal instagram, I tagged a post with some accounts that share people’s pictures, and one of them regrammed my post - I gained about 20-30 followers from that! Find accounts that repost in your niche, whether that’s alternative fashion, bullet journal, interiors, or even brand’s accounts and make a list of ones you can tag. Don’t go overboard though! Also, ensure these accounts credit properly!
You can also increase the visibility of your stories by using hashtags and geotags. These can even be hidden by shrinking the text, putting a gif over it, or making them a difficult to read colour.
How often should you post?
Recently, instagram have told influencers you need to be posting 3-5 times a day if your focus is growth, and 1-2 times if your focus is engagement. Like many other bloggers, I’m quite surprised by this as 5 times a day is a LOT. And to create that much high quality, original content is a full time job in itself. So honestly, I wouldn’t worry about this, unless you’ve got the time and resources to do post that much! Once, maybe twice a day is a good amount, with daily activity on stories too. It keeps you in people’s minds but also gives them time to see your posts before you post another.
Make the most of the link in your profile
Instagram only allows you to have one clickable link in your profile, you can’t link in captions and if you have less than 10k followers, you can’t link in stories either. So that one precious, clickable link should be utilised to its maximum. Linktr.ee allows you to add a few links by creating your own page with other links on. So the link in your profile will go to your Linktr.ee, which you can then populate with a number of links such as your blog, your Youtube channel, your shop, an FAQ page, and so on.
While this is a great tool, I actually think there’s a better way of doing this. Make a ‘landing page’ on your blog. This way, people have already landed on your site with one click. On this page you can include the links mentioned above and redirect visitors from this page instead of relying on a third party platform.
Engage, engage, and engage more
The single best way to grow your audience is by engaging with them. Replying to comments will encourage your followers to leave more, replying to messages helps to build relationships with followers. Don’t be a passive viewer of your feed, like and comment on other people’s pictures the same way you’d like them to on yours. There are theories that engaging with content before and after you post a picture can increase its reach, but really I don’t think this is a technical algorithm but more a human one. If you leave a comment on someone’s picture, they may head over to your profile to check it out, leave a comment back. The main takeaway here is engaging with other people is hugely beneficial.
Utilise Instagram Live
Going live on Instagram has a few benefits. Firstly, it can be a great way to have a real-time conversation with your followers. Secondly, it puts your story in front of everyone else’s on your followers’ feeds.
Don’t overuse this feature though as it may put your followers off! But it can be awesome to use now and then to chat with your followers or show them a real-time part of your life.
Growth on instagram is difficult, without a doubt, but it is definitely possible! Don’t give up hope. I hope these tips give you a few ideas for improving your instagram strategy. If you’ve got any more tips, I’d love to hear them - let me know in the comments!