Things are constantly changing in the blogging world and its growing increasingly harder to engage and up your following with people who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. One of the biggest changes that us bloggers have faced in the last year is the Instagram algorithm!! Its infuriating, we lose more followers than we gain and it can be a real struggle for any of our most recent posts to be seen, basically its completely fucked us and we’re constantly complaining about it! Instagram has been my hardest platform to grow, in the beginning followers were flocking in, then the algorithm changed and suddenly my followers stopped growing for months, and months and months! I’ve also been target to many of those who play that unfair follow/unfollow game… yeah! More recently though my numbers have been on the rise and I finally feel like I know a bit more about Instagram and how to grow a successful following #Praisethesonofmaryandjoseph! Luckily for you guys I wanted to share all of my useful Instagram knowledge (albeit limited) to save you wasting precious blogging time on an otherwise useless platform!! Lets go…
Theme Your Feed
To theme or not to theme, this is one that is constantly thrown up in the air for debate and it couldn’t be any more divided!! Personally my Instagram has grown bigger and faster having a structured theme to it, something aesthetically pleasing, nice to look at – after all isn’t that what makes Pinterest so successful?? People lust over pretty photos, so following through with a theme will make your Instagram look really desirable. Yeah it might not seem natural but we choose what we want people to see on our social media platforms anyway! If you have a niche such as travel or food you’ll already have a sort-of-theme, but its up to you how you chose to shoot your photos and what order you upload them in so that your feed doesn’t become too cluttered!
Symmetry breakfast is a great example of this, most of you would have heard of them, they’re a food related account with a feed that is so aesthetically pleasing you could scroll through for days! They aren’t the only ones, other accounts with a running theme have also done incredibly well for themselves and I find myself always lusting over them and re-visiting!
With my blog being lifestyle orientated I can post pictures of pretty much anything I like but this can make it even trickier sometimes! I try to stick to a white theme – I like looking at bright white, monochrome photos so this is how I aim for my feed to look, I’ll add pops of colour here and there but the more clear it looks for me, the better!
Join Instagram Pods
There has been a little controversy related to Instagram pods recently, some people argue that they are inorganic and just as bad as using bots, others like me believe thats pure bullshit because they promote organic, natural growth and enable those who wouldn’t normally be able to find your feed, find it! Instagram pods are private groups of bloggers that let each other know when they have uploaded. Everyone in the group then likes and comments on the new post thus beating the new algorithm and giving your feed a chance to get noticed via hashtags, search and friends of friends! Pods took me a while to get use to, I’d joined a few in the past but just couldn’t keep up with them day to day which triggered my leaving! I’m now more use keeping up with my socials so I’ve made pods of my own as well as joining others and would absolutely recommend being in more than one at a time. Since using pods I’ve grown in followers much quicker and I believe you’re more likely to grow in the amount of followers you have this way. Support other bloggers and they’ll support you!
Check Your Hashtags
If you use a bunch of hashtags when posting a photo you should check that none of them are banned or broken! Instagram hashtags are the most important tool when using the app, they allow you to be discovered and when you use the right hashtags relevant to your content they can become quite fruitful – Its good to note here that with the new algorithm smaller accounts are almost impossible to be discovered with the hashtag method alone and thats where Pods come in! – However some hashtags are ‘broken’ so they do not allow your photo to show up in their feed, Instagram also has banned hashtags to protect users from what can be pornographic or inappropriate content since there are users of all ages! This can result in your photo not showing up in any of your chosen hashtags, so be careful and always check your hashtags trashing any that might hinder your growth!
Find Relevant Accounts
Find those bigger, more well known accounts and users that relate to your feed/what you upload. Leave a genuine comment on one of their posts instead of just liking and tag any brands in your photos that are relevant i.e – If you post an ootd, tag the brands you are wearing! As my feed can consist of a lot of beauty related content I like to comment on quite a few makeup accounts, this is where you’ll find like minded Instagrammers that genuinely dig your content and want to follow you. Doing this is great for growth and making the extra effort to comment on a post will show a little of your personality too so make sure any comments you leave represent you well!
With these tips in mind and making a conscious effort to grow your Instagram you’ll soon be on your way to reaching a larger audience and growing the following you deserve!