There’s been so much talk of Insta lately…
And not much of it has been positive.
Sure, as bloggers, we all hate the new algorithm. Sure, we can rant and rave about it until the end of time. Sure, we can cross our fingers and toes and hope that Instagram pays attention to our desperate cries.
But, in the mean time, what are we going to do about it?
Yes, that’s right – nothing. Because, as much as we’d like to, we can’t do anything about it. It’s out of our control.
So, let’s just try to enjoy the Gram for what it is at the moment. Let’s make the best of a bad situation.
Here are some tips on how to beat the Instagram algorithm and grow your profile, based on my own experiences.
Be a storyteller.
The most successful Insta profiles are the ones that tell a story through their photographs.
When I say “tell a story”, I mean that your photos must follow a particular narrative based on the audience that you’re trying to target.
For instance, if you’re a keen traveller and want to connect with fellow travellers, post photos of yourself in front of gorgeous backdrops and once-in-a-lifetime views.
Or, if you’re a beauty blogger showing off one of your favourite products, create a post of yourself applying the product – in action.
Essentially, make your photos come to life and show that there’s a person behind your profile. A person who is unique and has their own individual stories to tell.
Develop fresh, professional-looking photos.
The first rule of Instagram is to make sure that you’re posting fresh, clean-looking photos.
And how do you create said photos? With a half decent camera, of course.
Contrary to popular belief, don’t need a fancypants vlogging-style camera. In fact, I find that my iPhone 7 camera does the trick the majority of the time.
Just make sure that you always have good lighting when it comes to taking Insta photos and remove anything too distracting in the background that you can’t crop out later.
Also, be sure to make use of photo editing apps like VSCO, Lightroom or Snapseed to find the perfect filters to tell your story.
You’ve got this, hun.
Create a themed profile.
If you’re new to the world of blogging or the Gram, you might be unaware that a lot of bloggers have a certain “theme” that they follow on their profiles.
Having a “theme” basically means that they’re using the same presets and filters via photo editing apps to maintain a consistent and cohesive look across all their profile photos.
On my current favourite photo editing app VSCO, for example, you can simply copy and paste edits from your previous photos onto your new photos.
It saves time and it looks the bomb when all your photos are in the same vicinity (like Instagram).
Captain Obvious over here, but you’re not going to grow your profile if you’re hardly ever posting photos to Insta.
If you think about it – the more content you’re posting more often, the more chance you’ve got of getting your photos “out there” and seen. So, try to post daily if you can. Or, if you can’t post daily, post as regularly as you can.
Consistency is key.
Don’t be like how I used to be and post every day for one week, then slide off the face of the earth for a few days and rinse and repeat. Your audience won’t be able to build trust with you.
And if they can’t build trust with you, why would they keep returning to your profile?
Use relevant hashtags.
Again, Instagram 101: post photos with a decent caption, along with several hashtags that will get your photos seen by the right people.
For instance, if you’re a fashion blogger, make sure you’re using #fblogger #fblog #fashionblog and all those lovely variations.
If you search a specific hashtag first, you can see what other hashtags are trending at that particular time and incorporate them into your post too.
Also make sure that you’re using the appropriate amount of hashtags, because there’s a rumour going around that your photos will reach more users if you use less.
I know – completely backwards, right? But true.
Utilise geo tags.
A lot of people forget about the good ol’ geo tag, which is where you specify the location of your post before hitting that all-important “publish” button.
Did you know that people can find Insta posts from their area through searching for a specific geo tag?
No? Well, get on it then, sister.
Don’t forget about Instagram Stories.
With Insta Stories still being considered as relatively new, this feature can often get neglected in the Gram world.
However, your Stories are just another opportunity to get your content seen by your preferred audience.
Why? Because you can use hashtags, user tagging and geotagging in your Stories. *Winking emoji*
Also, there’s a rumour going around that the new Insta algorithm only shows your posts to 10% of your followers. So Insta stories give you the opportunity to increase your chances and target the other 90%, just by referring your followers to your latest post.
Give it a try! You won’t be disappointed.
Engage with others.
Just like that age-old saying “you get out of life what you put in”, well you get out of Instagram what you put in.
If you’re not willing to spend some time commenting and liking other people’s photos, then don’t expect others to do the same for you.
Also, you should always reply to comments on your own photos, even if it’s just a simple “thank you” when a user pays you a compliment.
Kindness and appreciation is e’rythang.
Even though bloggers have got the ultimate challenge on their hands RN when it comes to Instagram and the pesky algorithm, we’ve got to try and make the best out of a bad situation.
There are steps that you can take, even though it’s much more difficult than it used to be, to stick two fingers up at the algorithm and grow your profile slowly but surely.
Remember that Insta isn’t a race, and it’s better to have good quality, highly engaging followers who have taken a while to attract than a bunch of spam bots or followers who aren’t genuine because you’ve obtained them through the follow/unfollow method.
Yeah, don’t be one of those people.Those people cheat the system to grow inorganically at an exponential rate just for the numbers. Not cool.
Be consistent, post quality photos and stay true to yourself – and I think you’ll find that your Insta profile will do just fine.
You can follow me on Insta @kdavieswrites 🙂