New month, new blog series! I mean, that’s how it goes right?! This February rings in my one year anniversary on Instagram (follow me *wink wink*), and to keep the story short, I’ve learned a whole lot in these (almost) 365 days. From the best way to market your posts to the best times to post, you name it; I’ve learned it. Obviously, I am still a smaller account and am far from being an Insta pro, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a few tips and tricks that I want to share with you guys. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do in this new series! Every Thursday in February, I’m going to do a post on one of these three sections: Getting Engagement, Getting Real, Getting Connected, and I may do an Insta Q&A!
Today’s topic is… GETTING ENGAGEMENT on Instagram. Looking back, I had no idea what I was doing on the app when I first started because the day I started my account was the day I first used Instagram! I want nothing more than to help you all who may be in a similar boat and/or are struggling when it comes to this social media. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about Instagram in the comments below, and I will answer!
GIVE YOUR FOLLOWERS SOMETHING TO RESPOND TO
One of the biggest game-changers for me when it came to engagement was changing the length and the way I write my Instagram captions. In the beginning, I would write 1-2 sentence captions that were only about a new blog post or were a short quote. There is nothing wrong with this, but I have found that by lengthening my captions and writing in a way that gave people something to respond to, my comment and like numbers grew rapidly. By including personal stories, questions, small anecdotes from your day, or just being relatable about how excited you are for the weekend, can easily increase engagement, and the amount of genuine comments you get. Also, don’t be afraid to write a REALLY long (maybe rant-y) caption every once in a while about something important that’s been on your mind! Stay true to you when writing captions, and people will love it.
THE 3, 2, 1 RULES
This past summer, when I had more time on my hands, I loved listening to podcasts on how to make your Instagram and blog more bangin’. One of my favs was Julie Solomon’s The Influencer Podcast, and it was through one of her livestreams that I learned about the 3, 2, 1 rule. The rule goes like this: When you find an account you love, leave 3 likes, 2 (genuine!) comments, and 1 follow. By doing this, the person doesn’t just see a follow in their notifications, but a real show of liking for them, and I can say from experience that I am 100% more likely to follow someone back if they leave a small spam on my page 🙂 Although this may not work every time, it’ll give the person a sense of who you are and let them know that you aren’t just following for the follow back!
Hashtags are pretty much a given when it comes to being a blogger on Instagram, but I decided to throw it in here for those of you who may not realize the impact they can make. Hashtags are used so other people can search them up to find new accounts to follow, and now that you can follow hashtags on Instagram, they are even more important. On Instagram, you can have up to 30 hashtags on one post, and I recommend using ALL of them. You can put them in your caption or your comments sections to keep from looking too spam-y. Hashtags that are essential to include are ones related to your blog (ex: #fashionblogger), your location (#charlestonblogger, #seattleblogger), and/or your mission as a blogger that will be found by people with similar interest as you (#empowerthroughfashion, #feministblogger). Make sure to change out your hashtags from time to time so your posts will be seen by different audiences, and use ones with less than 500,000 uses to gain maximum exposure. Hashtags are hands-down essential, so START USING THEM if you haven’t already.
DON’T JUST RESPOND TO COMMENTS, COMMENT ON THEIR POSTS
Another big way I up my engagement on photos is by going to my recent posts and commenting on the people’s post who have commented on mine. I do this right after I post to return the love and give them a way to quickly go to my profile and see my newest post, which they will hopefully like and comment on. Along with scrolling through your live feed and commenting on those posts, writing comments back can create immediate engagement on your new posts. Normally, I spend 30 minutes or so liking and commenting after I post a new Instagram to help with the “marketing” side of posting, and I recommend you to do the same!
Well, there you have it, friends; my Instagram 101 on Getting Engagement. Like I mentioned before, I am far from a pro at this, and these are just tips that have worked for me. Maybe every year I can come back and add something to this post that I’ve learned… I hope you all enjoyed and gained some new ideas on how to run your Instagram to get your comment and like game strong 😉 Leave a comment below if there is something that has helped you with engagement that I didn’t mention. Thanks so much for reading, and for all the endless support!!