Instagram is all about inspiration, connection and real engagement and that’s exactly why I started my account, and love social media. You can read more about this in my earlier posts The Positive Power of Instagram and Instagram do’s and don’ts for organic growth part 1.
I am an online marketeer and social media manager and enjoy Instagram a lot, therefore I’d love to help you have more fun with it as well and share my experiences and lessons learnt with fellow IGers!
This is the 15th month for my @authenticchica account and I have over 28,000 followers now, gained only with organic growth, engagement and below tips.
In addition to previous article in which you read how to set up your account, what to do and especially what not to do, hereby the following tips and my favourite tools to help you out:
1. WHAT’S ENGAGEMENT RATE AND GOOD ENGAGEMENT?
As mentioned before engagement of social influencers is becoming more and more important to companies, as they have learnt that follower amounts can be bought and they prefer to work with accounts with valuable followers for their target group. This can be determined by looking at the interaction and engagement rate.
You can calculate both by dividing the average amount of likes and comments through your total amount of followers. For me that would be 640/28,400 x 100% is 2,2% and 120/28,400 x 100% is 0,4%, so my ER is 3,5+0,4 = 2,6%
In general brands are looking for figures from at least 2-3%, although the more followers you get the more difficult this will be to maintain. A lot of people (or bots) will follow you just because you are ‘’big’’ and will stay inactive after that, these are called ghost followers. When I had up to 10K followers my engagement rate even used to be in between 15-20%.
In general the more you like of others and the more active you are the more likes you will probably get as well. But the shorter the time is in between your postings the lower the likes per picture will be.
Also very important is the interaction with your followers for the company/brand to see that you have real influence and a loyal fan base. If this fan base is also in the right country and age group for that brand and is engaging with the info you give, this will certainly help get better results for their campaign and collab.
Having ‘’only 10K followers’’, but engaging ones with more than 50 comments on average per post can be far more valuable to a brand than an account with 100K followers and only 5-10 comments per post.
There are so many factors that help make a post successful and engaging. As said in my previous Instagram blog you have to post quality pictures, use many and the right hash tags for people to find your pic, post on the right times and be active directly after you posted for more engagement and exposure. This can all be researched by using analyzing sites like Iconosquare and will be different for every account, as everyone has their own target group, style and branding.
Therefore make sure you know what kind of followers you want to attract, which lifestyle appeals to them and what story you want to tell and should tell with your account to attract them!
2. HOW TO TELL A STORY WITH YOUR ACCOUNT?
Determine your goal and objective for your account so you know more clearly which pictures match with that.
Post inspiring pictures, Instagram is an inspiration platform, so make sure to produce unique content which will generate positive feelings with the people who see your picture!
Create your own style and something people can recognize your pictures with, this can be a style of photography, perspective, re-occurring accessory, special look or editing style/ filter, just find something unique which represents your taste and sense of style! More about this in my next blogpost about Instagram as well.
3. HOW TO POST BETTER LOOKING PICTURES?
Be very critical of your pictures and make sure they’re always clear and inspiring. You can look for inspiration in similar and successful bigger accounts to see what kind of pics work for them.
A lot of people are not critical enough of their own account and don’t look at it as a whole, but if you really want to grow you should! Make sure the overview looks nice and once in a while delete pics which don’t fit the story you want to tell after all, which look unclear or are not up to standard anymore.
Enhance your pictures with Instagram filters and standard editing tools according to the needs of the pic to make it look even better. I always adjust at least the balance, brightness and contrast a bit, and prefer fresh filters like Lark and Juno to highlight the unique features and colors of the pic.
But there are also many great phone editing apps to make your picture pop even more. My favourites are Snapseed, VSCO and Photo Editor, read more about editing you IG pics in this blog!
Experiment with these to make your pictures stand out and create something unique to make them recognizable.
4. HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT HASHTAGS?
As mentioned in my previous post this is very important to get found and you should always use a combination of specific but also more popular #.
It takes a bit of work but really helps! Just search in the Instagram hashtag search bar for key hashtag terms in your theme/niche to find more similar # and always check how many times they have been used already.
Apply several relevant hashtags per picture as well to reach specific target groups that like these kind of pictures.
Make sure to look up the right # in advance and save them as lists in your notepad to paste in the comments immediately after you posted.
To do this more effectively you can also download the free phone apps: Let’s tag or Magnify for Instagram, or other similar apps depending if you have an Ios or Android phone.
5. SHOULD I TAG ACCOUNTS IN MY PICS?
Next to using a specific # of bigger accounts for a chance to be featured, it’s also a good idea to tag these accounts in the picture to give them and extra sign that you would like to be featured, as they will get a notice of this.
You can tag up to 20 accounts in the picture and look for the accounts that say in their bio that you can use a # for a chance to be featured.
If you want to build your popularity and want people to notice your account then you should definitely want to get featured! By tagging big accounts in your pics they will be posted in the ‘’photos of you section’’ of their account and possibly get noticed by their thousands of followers as well.
And if the account features and reposts your pic with a tag and mention to your account you will gain major exposure and followers for sure! Especially when you get featured by accounts with several 100K or even millions of followers. Imagine if only 0,5% of these will follow you because of this…
Make sure not to spam or stalk others by randomly tagging them, this can be quite annoying if people are not open to this and can even be a reason for them to block you!
Good accounts to tag for features are:
Wonderful_Places, CnTraveler, WeAreTravelGirls, BeautifulHotels, BeautifulDestinations and LuxuryWorldTraveler for example.
And always use local accounts for the destination you are posting pictures of as well, for example: Ig_Europa, Super_France, IgersLondon and so on…
More great accounts to tag for features in a following Instagram blog post next month, so stay tuned!
6. WHO AND HOW MANY PEOPLE SHOULD I FOLLOW?
There is no right amount to follow, but the more people you follow the more you will get noticed and the more people will follow you, although on average only 20-30% will actually follow back.
So if you are still building your account make sure to follow more people per day to get more followers and make sure to look for accounts matching yours.
Remember that Instagram is a social platform and like you, many people (on average 65%) will feel flattered when you follow them!
Keep your follower/following ratio balanced, you can follow up to 7,500 people maximum, but I think this looks a bit desperate. Also I don’t follow/unfollow and will almost never unfollow people that follow me back, so I try to keep my ratio around 5-10% following opposed to my followers.
When you are building your account following up to 30-50% is still effective and representative (for example if you have 10K followers, you could follow about 3-5K people yourself).
Follow accounts relevant to your target group and decide which ones inspire you, who your role models are and follow those too.
Inspiring accounts for me to follow are:
(Just click on below pics to go to their account, see more and follow them)
More inspiring accounts and Instagram tips and tricks in another blog post next month, so stay tuned!
Are we Insta friends already? Just click on the pic below, follow and make sure to leave a comment, I am always happy to hear your feedback and connect!
Or find me on:
Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Bloglovin and Stumbleupon.
What do you think about these how to tips, did they make your Instagram strategy clearer and can you apply them to your account to grow and increase your engagement? Very curious to hear how this went and if you need any more tips!
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