How To Get More Out Of Instagram

31 May 2020

Instagram - one of the biggest social media platforms yet also one of the hardest to keep up with. With it's ever changing algorithm that seems to change monthly, it's almost impossible to know exactly what to do to successfully grow your account. 

I actually gave up with Instagram last year as I felt I didn't know my place on it anymore and I didn't understand what made it tick, but since lockdown began I've gotten back into it and now it's probably my favourite social media platform again. This post isn't a quick fix for hundreds of followers and likes, but there's a few small changes I've made since getting back into Instagram which has lead to gradual growth in followers, likes and engagement; and most importantly I'm enjoying using it again!

First of all, follow people who's content you love. I had a complete clear out of who I was following as when I went back to Instagram I found that half of the people I followed didn't really post anymore and a chunk of the accounts just weren't my cup of tea. I like to follow beauty, fitness and lifestyle accounts that are also relatable, so I actually unfollowed a few 'bigger' accounts and went in search to find some 'smaller' accounts, and it was a huge success! Now I go on my feed and feel inspired and can relate to the people I follow, meaning I enjoy the content more and am therefore using Instagram more again.

Share the love - firstly, like creator's pictures! It takes two seconds but means a lot to the person who probably spent a long time creating and editing that picture. Secondly, leave them a comment! Reply to their caption, give them advice or a recommendation, tell them what you love about the photo, tell them how good they look. Everyone appreciates a compliment and you never know, your comment could be the little pick me up they might of been needing. It also helps engagement for them and you. The lovely Sarah from Plain Sarah Jane gave me some good advice when it comes to Instagram and one of the main tips was that basically the more you put into Instagram, the more you get out of it. I've even found a few people have followed me after I've left a comment as they've obviously seen the comment and checked out my account, and a lot of the accounts I leave likes/comments for end up liking/commenting back sometimes, so it's a win, win situation really!

Make sure to stay active on your stories. Not only does this keep your audience engaged, it helps to keep your account visible in the algorithm. Even if you don't post on your feed that day, you stories will keep you audience active. I've also found that stories are a great way to show your followers a more personal side of you, rather than the 'picture perfect feed' you. I now quite often hop on my stories and have a chatty catch up/conversation make up free and it's great. No pressure, quick to do and you get to engage with your audience more. I've formed more friendships on insta through this after people have messaged me from my stories. For example, if I've asked for haircare recommendations people have messaged me with products they love. I find it helps to use polls and question boxes to really get your followers involved and to boost engagement.

My last tip is to make sure your posts are reaching a bigger potential for likes and reach, and that is to research your hashtags! I used to just use general beauty hashtags on every post (as I'm a beauty blogger) that all had millions of people using them. Then I switched to more niche hashtags that represent that particular post with a lower reach and they have helped some of my posts reach thousands of people, when they used to stay in the hundreds. For example, if my post features Disney then I will use a bunch of Disney hashtags, if my post features skincare then I will use a bunch of skincare hashtags, and so on and so on. Think about it like this, the bigger the hashtag the more likely your post is to get lost in the many posts that have also used that same hashtag, whereas if you use a smaller, more niche hashtag your post is more likely to be seen. A handy way to find similar hashtags that relate to your post is to search a particular hashtag and then look at the hashtags in the 'Related:' section.

I hope these tips have given you some inspiration to improve your experience on Instagram. Sure it's amazing to build those numbers, but it's also just as important that you enjoy using the platform as well! I'm always looking for new accounts to follow and if you want to find me on Instagram I'm @justlucyslife.

What are your thoughts on Instagram? Love it or hate it? Let me know in the comments below, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Lucy x

Where else to find me:
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