Monday, 29 May 2017

Top 10 Tips for Building your Instagram


Over the last year Instagram has become an almost daily ritual of The Quiet Resolution team. We aim us much as possible to post an on brand image every single day. We decided to do this for a number of reasons, most importantly we all love photography and capturing and creating beautiful images. We also knew it was a really good way to help to build an audience for our blog and connect with other like minded individuals. It is also an amazing way to record our lives over the last year which is something we really value now we can look back on almost a year worth of photos.

Instagram is an ever growing and changing platform that is becoming harder and harder to grow an audience on. Between algorithms and shadow bans I know many of us are struggling to stay inspired and continuously post when we feel our content is largely going unseen. Through some pretty extensive research I have developed a few tactics and tips that ensure I am getting the most out of Instagram, without having to resort to following and unfollowing or buying followers and likes.


1. Find your people. Instagram is full of millions of different types of people with unique interests and insights. If you look hard enough you can find people who will love your content. As much as following is important, having followers who actually engage with you and follow you day to day is much more valuable. If you are looking to work with brands yes they want big numbers but they also want to see that your followers are active and interested in your content long after they initially hit the follow button. If like us you blog locally this is where engagement is of vital importance. Local businesses want to work with bloggers who have a strong audience who trust and enjoy an influencers content regularly. A huge number of unengaged followers won't fill seats in a restaurant or get crowds through the door.
                  
2. Be consistent. To find success on Instagram you have to be reliable you have to be producing content regularly. I personally will not continue to follow an account that only posts once in a blue moon even if there content is glorious. People only want to follow a certain amount of people because otherwise their favourite accounts get lost amongst the masses in their feed. I understand not everyone can post everyday but at least three to four times a week should be the aim. If you are busy, plan ahead of time. Dedicate a few hours of your day to creating and capturing content to use throughout the week. Your following is also going to grow much quicker if you have content for people to stumble across every day rather than once per week.    
              
3. Produce high quality content. Treat your feed as a gallery of only your best work and take real pride in that. Your photos should be bright, clean and of gorgeous quality that represent your brand and tell some kind of story about you. Daylight is your best friend and any photo taken in great lighting is going to look that little bit better. Whenever somebody stumbles across your page they are going to easily decided from your gallery if you are worth the follow, so make sure everything you post is your best work that you are truly proud of.  
                                                        
4. Choose a theme. Okay I know some people are very committed to this and have a gorgeous pink or monochrome only colour theme and that kind of artistic dedication isn't for everyone. By theme I almost mean just finding what works for you and your page and run with it. Whether it is outfit posts, pretty flowers, food photos or flat lays find your niche and your look and make the most of it. You want to be giving your followers the content they expect and enjoy because that is important for maintaining and growing your following too. It is also worth keeping note of which of your posts seem to be the most successful and creating content with a similar theme.
                                                                   
5. Collaborate. If you have a blog find other bloggers in your area to follow and build a community with. There is nothing better than being able to talk to somebody who has similar interests and shares your passion. We are lucky enough to be part of some amazing Instagram communities within Edinburgh and Scotland and also as lifestyle bloggers. Whether it is meeting up for a catch up and a coffee, taking photos and collaborating on content or offering help and advice to each other there really is so much to gain from finding likeminded creators to work with and along side. Here are links to the Instagram pages of some of the people we have been lucky enough to not only work with but also befriend in the last year. They all have such amazing and beautiful content and I really admire all the passion and hard work they put into their feeds. 

Ruth at @urbanity_blog
Bex  @bexrobb
Talor @talorgilchrist_
Jess @almost_chic
Laura @thestylestoriesblog
Kimberley @wardrobeconversations
Hayley @amodelmoment
Laura @little_laura_loves
Gillian @elevatormusik_                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
6. Link your social media platforms. This sounds pretty basic and obvious but it is a great way to make sure people can find you on every platform. If I think a certain Instagram photo would work well on Facebook I will share it and then just edit the caption afterwards. There are also really great sites such as IFTTT that will post your Instagram on Twitter for you as an image rather than just a link. It is also great for killing two birds with one stone, you are using one piece of content across all platforms.       
                                                                                       
7. Find inspiration. Everybody has days when they feel uninspired and have no idea what to write about or to post, it's completely naturally. The best thing though about Instagram is that inspiration is right at your finger tips. There is literally no better place to be inspired by the work of others online than Instagram. On days when I am in a rut I go onto my favourite accounts or search through my favourite hashtags and find images that I love, save them in a folder on my phone and let myself take inspiration from it. There are millions of beautiful photos of coffee or flowers on Instagram that are very similar and that is amazing. It is about being authentic and creating your on version and giving your content your own creative twist.     

8. Hashtags are key. I really can't express how important it is to really utilise the 30 hashtags Instagram allows you to use. This fantastic tool allows your content to reach as far and wide as you want. If you don't hashtag your photos effectively then you might as well not hashtag at all. The best advice I can give is to do your research. Firstly establish what your photos theme is; is it food, fashion, make-up, travel then from that look at accounts with similar content and take note of the hashtags they use. Usually hashtags come in sets like #darlingweekend or #simplethings and you will stumble across similar effective hashtags to use along side it. It is also useful to vary the size of the hashtags you use, by this I mean don't use only hashtags that already have over a million tags on them because pictures appear chronologically and if the hashtag is popular your photo will very quickly disappear and be lost amongst other content. Mix it up, use five with a couple of thousand then five with a couple of hundred thousand tags. This ensures your photo has a bit of longevity to it and you can experience engagement days later this way. Another amazing tool to utilise is the amazing Sara Tasker's mailing list sign up here and receive a list of popular hashtags to use every month.            
        
9. Invest in Instagram stories. Instagram stories are new on the scene, similar to Snapchat stories as they only appear for 24 hours on your feed. I love Instagram stories because it is a way to keep your followers invested and engaged with you on a more personal level. Utilise this feature to introduce yourself and post about what you are up to some of my favourite account on Instagram I follow purely for the story for example @mother_of_daughters. It is also a fantastic way to beat the algorithm as you can keep your followers updated with new Instagram content as well as new blog posts and updates on other social media platforms. Definitely one to give a go if you haven't already. 
                                                          
10. Be supportive and be nice. This final point is honestly the most important tip of all. Champion one another, if you think somebody's post is amazing and beautiful comment and tell them. It costs absolutely nothing to be kind and supportive and it is the single most effective way to build a strong and trusting audience. We do our absoloute best to support everybody we connect with on Instagram whether it's liking their photos or reading their latest blog post or even helping them decide which dress to wear via stories. I also make a point of following and supporting smaller accounts that are starting out on Instagram as we have all been there and 5 followers or 5 million if they have beautiful content I am a fan!

That was a bit of a long one for you all but I hope it was helpful. I am sure I will post an update at some point as Instagram seems to be changing on the daily. If you have any further question regarding Instagram or social media in generally please do not hesitate to comment bellow! Another amazing source for help with Instagram is on the blog Me and Orla by Sara Tasker who I mentioned before. I have received tones of helpful advice from this source and continuously listen to her podcast Hashtag Authentic on iTunes.

L x




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11 comments

  1. what a nice list of Instagramers suggestions. Instagram is playing with everyone's mind lately. This list seems very sensible. R

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  2. I love Instagram but it can be so tricky to make it work.

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  3. Instagram is SO hard at the minute. Thank you for the suggestions too, I'll make sure I check them all out xo

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  4. I tend to post two times a week, even with scheduling content as I find that gives me the biggest following/ engagement for some reason. I agree that consistency is definitely key though x

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  5. These are fantastic tips! Thank you! IFTTT is such a hidden gem! I love it x

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  6. I am trying to work on my Instagram atm so will definitely take these on board. I'm trying to give Instagram Stories a bit more of my attention right now

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  7. Thank you so much for this post. I really need tips.. I feel like all I do is randomly add photos to instagram..and then nothing.. Thank you!

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  8. So many good tips, I've just started using instagram stories and it is so good.

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  9. It is about being authentic and creating your on version and giving your content your own creative twist.How to check private instagram profiles

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  10. This is such great advice! 💕

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  11. Nice advice,
    I particularly love the one about being supportive, so many people forget to interact & keep active with others!

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