So, at the beginning of the year I made a social media action plan – in a nutshell, divide and conquer. The first part of the year I’m concentrating on Instagram. My follower number is vaguely respectable, but my engagement is terrible. Very few likes and barely any comments – why? Anyway – it’s been a month, and here’s my Instagram action plan, which includes advice from bloggers already killing it on the platform and my own four golden rules for Instagram!
I’ve been reading lots of posts about Instagram (and pinning them of course – check out my board!) and asking other bloggers for their tips and tricks. Here are some of my favourite tips:
“Using stories is a great way to share stuff without spamming on your main feed. It’s also a great way to engage with your audience” – Twinderelmo
“Consider what you’re posting and work on posting some really great images. Follow and engage with people in your field, get to know (and be part of) that community. Encourage and support others where you can, quite often it will be reciprocated. Work on your hashtags – follow the big accounts in your field and check out what hashtags they use. And enjoy it” – The Daisy Pages
“I think the best advice is to be consistent. Doesn’t matter what or when but that you actually do” – Mummy In A Tutu
“My advice is to do your own thing. I try to forget what everyone else is doing and just focus on sharing consistently good quality photos.” Five Little Doves
All good advice, but I like to see things in method and stages. So, here is what I’ve learnt from what I’ve read in the ways of actually formulating an Instagram Action Plan!
1: Use all the hashtags. ALL OF THEM. YES THIRTY. A ballache, but they are free advertising of your picture to the people who might like it. And then follow you. The general consensus seems to be search through relevant hashtags, looking for ones with less than 5,000 posts. That way you don’t disappear straight away in the reams and reams of pictures tagged, for example, #love (1,240,830,085 pictures when I just checked. It will be more now!) EDIT: Lot of advice is now saying just five or six pertinent hashtags (bloody algorithm) so my advice now is experiment with this number if the full whack doesn’t seem to be going places – but rule no2 is where the good happens regardless.
2: Engage with the hashtag ‘communities’. These are your people, they want to share your stuff and boost you – but you need to get in there and get chatting with them first. Don’t tag and run!
3: Only post a picture you love, and one that fits what you are about. You can go for themes/brand colours only, which looks amazing. but making sure you only post gorgeous, well planned images is a rule of thumb.
4: Use your stories. If you have a strict theme, or vibe, then stories are where you get to be you and post that picture of your dog being a doofus or your wild-from-the-rain hairstyle and candid snaps that don’t quite make the feed. Tag other bloggers too – get the chat going. It all helps!
So for the last week I have been sticking to this plan – and I’ve definitely seen a small improvement. I’ve gone from less than 10 likes to nearly 50 per photo, and instead of losing followers I’ve gained 20. Baby steps!