Instagram 101: Getting Real

As promised, it’s time for part 2 of my 3-part Instagram 101 blog series! Last week’s topic was all about getting engagement, and this week’s is about getting real. I’ve been on Instagram for just over a year (my one year was yesterday!!), and for someone who knew close to nothing about the app when I started, I think it’s safe to say I learned a lot. Although I’m still a very small account, I still know how important getting real with your followers is!

The first post in this series: Instagram 101: Getting Emgagement

If people can relate to you, they’re more likely to stick around, and they’re more likely to trust and talk to you like a friend. And that is one of the most crucial parts of building a relationship with your readers/followers. After all, good relationships aren’t one-sided ๐Ÿ˜‰

With the problems that have arisen lately concerning how people are portrayed as perfect in the media, finding a balance between your curated feed and shadowing the true you is vital because hey, no one is perfect! I’m still figuring out the best way to do this for myself, but I want to give you all tips on how to work towards that balance. Instagram can be tough to figure out, so I’m hoping this February series will be of help to all my beginners or people who need help! Here we go:

*Quick Disclaimer: These are all my opinions, and if it doesn’t feel right for you, don’t do it! Some people prefer to keep their personal life far away from any social media, which I totally understand.*

Utilizing your Instagram stories is the #1 thing you can do to get real with your followers, especially if you prefer to keep your day-to-day life out of your curated feed. Stories can be used to be relatable about a mistake you made, to share snippets of your going-ons for the day, or to share photos of your dog, food, shopping finds, etc. Also, the poll feature allows you to get quick feedback from your followers, while the stickers and GIF features let you share your quirky side. Don’t be scared of posting videos of you talking or sharing less-than-perfect anecdotes on your story as people will always love it! The more real and the more videos of me I posted on my stories, the more my followers swipe up and respond! So start using your Instagram stories as a way to connect and share more of yourself with your followers.

Here are a few types of stories I share (slide over the photo to see my caption):


Another way to get real with your audience without sacrificing the beauty of your feed is to make your captions more personal. This is my favorite way of sharing my life with you all, and I LOVE reading captions like this from other people. Devote 2-4 sentences to writing about something you care about, describing a crazy event that happened to you recently, or something you’re insecure about, etc. Basically, it’s the same as getting real on your stories, but more people will see it. Posting a more rant-y caption once in a while with a lesson or positive spin can generate a lot of great and personal feedback.

Here is one of my more personal captions that got a lot of support and incredible feedback:


Whether you do so on your stories or in your photos (you can always use the slideshow feature for this), sharing bloopers, outtakes, no makeup photos, and more on your Instagram can really show a side of you people can relate to. Yes, creating, posting, and looking at images that are the embodiment of perfection can be the most fun in the world, but sometimes it can be just as fun to share amusing photos and outtakes as well! I love posting bloopers from my photo shoots, and since I don’t wear makeup everyday in real life, I’ll talk on my stories with none on. This gives your followers the authentic look at you they may want, and who doesn’t want to see hilarious bloopers?? ๐Ÿ˜› It’s essential to showcase that you’re not absolute perfection all the time, and from my experience, your followers will love you even more for it!

A while back I shared bloopers on the blog, and used the slideshow feature to share them on Insta:

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This tip is for those of you who don’t mind spicing up your actual feed with a little bit of imperfection: Take photos of your daily life activities like school, cleaning your room, waking up, getting ready… you get the idea… and share them unedited or edited to show what a typical day in your life is like. Obviously, unless you’re a full-time blogger, your life isn’t filled with photo shoots and glam sessions everyday, so it’s totally okay to let your followers see that! This gives them a view into your reality, and may even be something that they do in their daily life as well, which makes connections between you and them. If you broke your diet and are indulging into a delicious cake, post a picture of it and explain why it’s fine to let go of things sometimes or if you’re trying a new makeup brush, take a photo of yourself using it in the middle of doing your makeup. Also, behind the scenes photos of flat lays or shoots work super great as well!

Posted this on my story from Sister Style: Leather Weather:

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Well, there you have it, friends; my Instagram 101 on Getting Real and relating to your followers! Like I mentioned in me last post, I am far from a pro at this, and these are just tips that have worked for me. I hope you all enjoyed and learned a bit more on how to balance your perfect feed with your imperfect self on Instagram. Leave a comment below letting me know how you get real with your followers, and ask any questions you may have. Thanks so much for reading!!

๐Ÿ’œLove, Olivia


25 thoughts on “Instagram 101: Getting Real

    • Omg thank you McKenz! It’s super important to me, even though I may not know the majority of my followers in real life, that they still feel like we’re besties and can relate to what I’m doing. I’m glad that shows through! Plus, I totally feel like I’m right there with you when you post your Week in the Lifes!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Once again, Olivia you absolutely nailed it ๐Ÿ˜‰ I personally think that longer captions, questions or food for thought under a post helps a lot for engagement. Being real is important, yes, but only as far as you are comfortable with. Especially on your instagram feed, I find that I rather post the best pictures and show my best times, simply because I’d rather give a good first impression. But to be closer and more relatable I totally agree that Instagram Stories are awesome!
    love, elena

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually posted a photo on my instagram at 3 am last night (so of course I had no makeup on, and I was in bed just being silly instead of sleeping), and 6 people ended up unfollowing me. Could have just been a coincidence, or it could be because I’m ugly without makeup. lol But I do try to be real with my followers, and you can’t be glamorous 100% of the time. I know I love when the accounts I follow post no makeup photos or shots displaying a bit of their personality. I like viewing photos of people being their true selves, as opposed to always being an insta-model constantly posting glam/edited shots.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes yes!! And lol you go girl with that 3 am selfie ๐Ÿ™‚ If people unfollow, they weren’t meant to follow you any way (at least that’s my logic). Thanks for reading, and I’m glad we have the same views when it comes to being real on Insta. I posted a whole bunch of not-the-cutest bloopers on my story yesterday haha

      Liked by 1 person

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