It’s kind of mind-boggling when you actually think about how different Instagram is now than it was just four or five years ago.
I remember in the early days of Insta how people would snap a quick photo and post. There was no worrying about using the proper filters or coming up with witty captions. No concern with how the image would fit with the rest of your feed.
Your photo would go up and BAM you were done.
Weren’t those the simpler times?
Well, Instagram has changed a lot over the last several years. Running an Instagram account in 2013 was much different than it is in 2018. There’s so many things to consider, ranging from what theme to choose to which apps to edit with to how to beat that algorithm we have all come to detest (seriously, Instagram, I don’t have to hear about #mondaymotivation on Thursday…).
That being said, today I thought I would share some of the things I’ve done/do to improve my blog’s Instagram. These aren’t things that are going to skyrocket your engagement or follower count overnight (which is why the post isn’t titled as such).
HOWEVER, these strategies have helped me feel more confident in the content I’m putting up on Instagram, and they’ve made it easier for me to post on a regular basis.
Let’s talk about them, shall we?
Taking bulk photos
Shooting photos in bulk has drastically helped me improve my Instagram. If you shoot flatlays, you probably do this (mainly because it’s such a pain to get all of your props/equipment/backgrounds laid out that you don’t want to have to do it again for several days).
Not only does taking photos in bulk give you multiple days’/weeks’ worth of content, it also helps you keep your feed somewhat cohesive.
If you’re like me and you shoot in natural light, you probably know all too well how even the slightest change can make the biggest difference in the turnout of your photos.
For those of you who don’t know, I’ll show you what I mean. The photos below were taken with the exact same camera, set up under the exact same window, and edited the exact same way.
The only difference between all these photos? The lighting.
As you can see, lighting has a big impact on the look of an image. So, when you shoot on the same day in the same conditions, your photos will look the same. This helps a great deal when you’re trying to maintain a certain Instagram aesthetic, and it makes the editing process a whole lot simpler.
Promoting blog posts
Promoting my blog posts was something I was sort of nervous about doing when I first launched my Instagram account. I wasn’t sure what the proper blog etiquette was, and I feared that my self-promotion would rub people the wrong way.
What I learned, however, was that promoting your posts on Instagram (or any social media channel for that matter) is nothing to be ashamed of. You work hard on your content, and it’s perfectly fine to want to tell other people about it.
In fact, it’s a great idea to link your blog content to your Instagram account. People who might not have heard about your blog before can find it that way!
Keeping a list of hashtags
Hashtags can play a huge role on the engagement one of your Instagram posts receives. When you use the right ones, you can double or even triple your likes.
Because hashtags are so critical, I like to keep a list of them on hand. I’ve got a GIANT list of them in the notes on my iPhone. I refer back to them whenever I post on Instagram. This helps me find good, relevant hashtags fairly quickly.
Using Insta stories
Now that I’ve been using Instagram stories more consistently, I’ve been a lot more excited about the platform.
I feel like stories have brought back the fun, spur-of-the-moment nature that Instagram had in its earliest days. They make the platform more personal, and they allow you to still be active on it even if you haven’t posted to your feed.
Since I started consistently using my Insta stories, I’ve felt much happier about my Instagram. It’s cool to be able to connect with you all on a more personal level while still maintaining a semi-cohesive feed.
I also feel like using Instagram stories have improved my account’s engagement. They’ve certainly made it easier for me to connect with other bloggers. Speaking of…
Connecting with fellow bloggers
Connecting with other bloggers is one of the best ways to improve your Instagram. I love being able to see what some of my favorite bloggers are up to in their daily lives. It’s interesting, and like the Insta stories, it makes it feel more personal.
Figuring out what people like
Obviously you should make your main focus on Instagram to post things you enjoy, but if you’re in need of inspiration, it’s always a good idea to scroll through your old photos and find out what has gotten lots of engagement in the past.
Do your flatlays get a good number of likes? Do people enjoy seeing your personal, daily life photos? Think of your account in terms of a brand. What are people loving? What are people not loving? What message are you trying to send? What is the overall goal for your account?
These questions have been useful to me, and I think they are very important to consider if you’re trying to turn your blog into a brand itself. Branding requires you to treat your blog like a business. And in business, you’ve got to consider what your clients (in this case, your followers) want. That sounds super analytical, but it really comes down to knowing and understanding your audience.
Anyway, that’s about all I’ve got for today! Thank you for reading! 🙂
Do you have any tips for improving an Instagram account?