blog tips

Complete Guide to Social Media Week 4 // Instagram

Week 1: Introduction.
Week 2: Branding.
Week 3: Twitter.
Week 4: Instagram.
Week 5: Pinterest.
Week 6: Facebook.
Week 7: Smaller social media channels.
Week 8: Setting goals and finding balance.

Welcome to the Complete Guide to Social Media Week 4.

Last week we spoke about Twitter, this week we will be talking about Instagram.

The aim of this course is to give you some tips on how to use social media efficiently and effectively alongside your blog.

These quick, short, snappy tips help you grow your social media without having to read through pages of waffle.

Let’s go then!

It’s no secret that I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. One minute I’m obsessed with the app and spend loads of time on it, the next, I hate it and it’s unfair algorithm and want to boycott it.

Let’s get a few things straight:

  • There are people on Instagram that follow you only so you will follow back. They will usually unfollow you regardless of if you follow back or not.
  • There are people who will like lots of your photos in a row just to get you to follow them.
  • Hashtags are made to help improve your reach, but they mostly get the attention of spam bots that will like or comment spam on your photos.
  • Some people use bots, or manually follow hundreds of accounts a day and then unfollow them. This is a crap tactic that gets you lots of followers that won’t engage with your content.
  • Comment pods or Facebook groups that offer comments for comments or likes for likes is also fake engagement. If you use this, be aware that you are falsifying your engagement and essentially lying to any brands that want to work with you. As soon as you stop using this method, your engagement will drop.

Instagram Themes:

I’ve struggled with themes a lot in my Instagram career and I think it’s important not to get too caught up in having a theme or a colour scheme because it can really hinder what you can post on your Instagram account. Having a theme is lovely but you have to be careful not to fall into the trap of looking like many other accounts. It’s hard to find a theme that hasn’t been done before!

Just remember, it’s okay to have a theme, it’s okay not to have a theme, it’s okay to try a theme and not like it and then stop using it. Don’t carry a theme on just because you’re worried about breaking it. If you don’t enjoy it, get rid!

Photo Apps:

There are lots of apps out there to help you edit your photos. Here are mine:

VSCO Cam:

VSCO Cam has lots of great filters and options to help edit photos. I use it to edit most of my Instagram photos and blog photos! It’s easy to import a few photos at once and then edit them, then save them to your camera roll.

Preview:

Preview is an app that lets you add photos into it and then look at them on a grid as if they were on Instagram. It’s great to use if you have a theme and want to ensure you latest photo matches. You can also add your caption and hashtags to it so if you want to get them ready and post at a later date, they are there to cut and paste into Instagram.

ColorStory:

This is a new app to me and over the past week or so, I’ve been using it more and more over VSCO Cam. It is kind of like VSCO Cam and Preview merged together. You can edit photos by applying filters and/or using editing settings, then you can download and save to your grid within the app. Here you can edit the caption and even have the app send reminders for when you want to publish it to your Instagram feed.

I’m excited about ColorStory as I was getting a bit forgetful and lazy about editing in one app and then entering into Preview before actually uploading it to Instagram. This takes the work out of it!

Engagement.

There are three types of engagement we want on Instagram.

  1. Followers
  2. Likes
  3. Comments

With the number of fake followers, bots and spam comments around, I would focus your efforts on getting decent comments over likes and followers.

Having 20k followers and only 5 comments looks a bit fake. It’s much better to have lots of meaningful comments that are more than a few emojis.

Here are some ways to increase your engagement:

  • Comment on similar photos to yours. Leaving meaningful comments is a way to get a two-way relationship going.
  • Find accounts to engage with through hashtags or the accounts your favourite accounts follow.
  • Ask questions in your captions.
  • Don’t be tight with following or liking someone’s photo!

The idea is to get a few people who regularly comment and like your photos. Ensure you don’t ignore these people when you have got them interested in your content. Comment on their photos and reply to what they have to say.

Check out my other Instagram posts:

How to grow your Instagram in 2018

The Instagram Experiment Race to 10k

What I’ve learned after trying to grow my following.

How to get 1000 new followers in 30 days.

Why I think Instagram is a waste of time.

Your Instagram Like thread is a Bot

Why I love and hate Instagram so much.

Instagram Talk.

How to Improve your engagement on Instagram.

Hope this helped and see you next week!

1. noun: a female blogger that writes about her own experiences, observations and opinions. 2. verb: to act like a complete idiot or to do something stupid. e.g: She did a Corinne.

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