5 Things You Can Do To Generate Instagram Success
Since a lot of my audience tends to be bloggers, I decided it might be a fun idea to write about some of the things have made me a success as a blogger and on social media. Besides for my freelance writing jobs, I haven’t made a dime off of blogging. I say this so that you, the reader, don’t get the impression that whatever advice I give will generate money making success. I’m sure I’ll have something to say about that if/when the day comes that I do start making money. What I can say is that I can put my name behind some of the tips I am planning to share in this blog as well as others I am planning to write on social media/blogging topics. I’ve built up a nice following this year. I know some people could benefit from my knowledge. Even if it is only gaining a few hundred followers, that small of a gain is a big step and something to build off of!
In my first “blog” oriented piece, I want to get into one of the hottest topics of 2018. It seems like you pretty much hear about Instagram everywhere you go. Whether you are attending an event that encourages you to hashtag your favorite photo or you are reading the latest article about the nasty Instagram algorithm that is keeping many Instagrammers from producing traffic, likes, and followers, chances are good that you have some kind of familiarity with the app. To be honest, if you had asked me what kind of blog I would write about in order to kick off this series a few months ago, I wouldn’t have picked Instagram. Up to that point, my success had been growing very slowly. Much like a lot of people, I just couldn’t figure out how to grow my following while defeating the Instagrammers biggest enemy, the follow/unfollowers. Sadly, this is one of the biggest hurdles to get over while playing the “Instagram game”. Although my success is pretty modest compared to others, I hope the advice I have will help people who feel stuck get the information they need in order to grow their account.
1. Join Instagram Engagement Groups
Before you do anything else, it is imperative that you join some Instagram engagement groups if you want to start seeing some growth. Not only is this a great way start building yourself up, it is also a great way to start networking within the blogging community. Overall, I’ve found this community to be a great group of folks. Unlike some Twitter, Pinterest, and other blogging communities you may stumble across, the Instagram groups may not contain groups filled with bloggers, but you will see some familiar names and faces in most of these groups.
So how could somebody find a group like this? Well, if you have a Facebook account, then you’re in luck. Facebook was the first place I looked towards in order to find blogging communities in general. However, the Instagram Groups have been the most beneficial by far. If you search for Instagram Engagement, Instagram Growth, or simply type the word Instagram, you will come across a ton of active groups to join. Some of these groups may lead you to groups that can be found on an app called Telegram. Telegram is basically a messenger app where people go in order to form their own Instagram Engagement Groups. I’m not completely sure of what the logic is behind the preference for Telegram, but a lot of people like to run their groups there.
One thing to keep in mind about these groups, be sure to follow the rules that are listed very closely. Most of these groups tend to be very strict and have very little tolerance for not reciprocating likes/comments with other members of the group. Sadly, one of the downfalls to these groups is that you can wind up being banned even when you didn’t intend to make a particular mistake. I’ve managed to find a lot of groups that are understanding about silly mistakes and other quirks that might come up, but there are a few that tend to be very rigid. I don’t want to discourage people from using these groups, but you need to be mindful of how seriously admins and members take their engagement groups or it can get very frustrating very quickly!
2. Post New Photos Everyday
Before I started becoming so serious about growing my Instagram account, I really didn’t think that posting consistently mattered. I would post quality photos often, but I wouldn’t match that quality with quantity. An Instagram Influencer I follow on Facebook changed my attitude about this. Apparently, not only are you supposed to post your pictures at certain times of the day, you should also post 2-3 of them everyday. The general rule of thumb is that you should post everyday around 5pm and 2am eastern time. I’m not sure how they came up with those times, but they tend to be the most active ones for Instagram users. I believe 2am is a good time since it is a popular posting time for those who live in England and other countries who have folks who are just starting their day. 5pm is probably a good time since the folks across the pond are winding down their day while those who live in the US are winding down their work day. Apps like Tailwind allow you to schedule your posts just in case you are unable to physically post at the peak times.
3. Use The Best Available Hashtags
Believe it or not there was a time when I didn’t fully understand hashtagging. I understood that placing a hashtag in your social media post could get you found somehow, but I didn’t realize that sites like Instagram and Twitter actually tracked the popularity of these things. That may sound bizarre, but I didn’t fully understand the concept. Oftentimes I just kind of made up hashtags and proceeded to not get any movement on my posts at all. Thankfully, if you type in keywords that somewhat relate to your post, Instagram will show you the number of times it has been used. Personally, I like to use hashtags that are in the millions. Those are usually safe from being on the list of words that are banned from the site. Even using one banned word might cause your post to become a “ghost post” and not appear in searches on the site. It’s always better to pick hashtags that are in the millions so this doesn’t happen to you. You want your posts to be seen, not fall into Instagram Oblivion!
4. Use An App To Track Follow/Unfollowers
An unfortunate downfall of Instagram is the strange phenomenon of members who insist on playing the follow/unfollow game. I’m not completely sure how or why anybody would want to play this game. Frankly it is one of the things that came between me growing my Instagram follower count and pretty much staying at or around the same number for weeks. There is nothing more disheartening than being stuck at a number like 350, you finally add one or two new followers, but then find that you reverted back to 348 because a few people decided to unfollow you at the exact same time. It is a juvenile game that many Instagrammers have complained about on social media for as long as I’ve been a blogger. One way to track this and fight back against it is by downloading an app such as Followers. This app will run a query every time you open it that gives you an update on followers you’ve gained, lost, etc. It even lists them out for you so you can simply unfollow those who chose to play the follow/unfollow game. Sadly, if you don’t track this a little bit, you will wind up being taken advantage of.
5. Remain Active Within Instagram Engagement Groups
I decided not to merge this point with the first one for a reason. Half of the battle in overcoming the obstacles is joining these groups and networking. That is a really great step. However, in order to truly slay the Instagram beast, you must make it a constant part of your lifestyle. There are many groups available where you can drop one or two photos and then have them liked for at least a 24 hour period. Reposting new photos in these groups everyday will help tremendously. You will also notice that many Facebook admins like to run a limited photo drop thread at set times everyday. Hopping on a few of these consistently can also really help your engagement as well. If you’re lucky, you may even find a group that will ask for the members to drop their account names and do a “follow for follow” type of thread. This way everybody in the community can build their following with users who have the same goals. Basically, the more involved you can be in your Facebook and Telegram groups, the more people you will draw from outside of those groups. You will gain a lot more exposure and you will be receiving notifications for it nonstop.
Some Final Thoughts
As I said at the beginning, I don’t have all of the answers. If you’re looking to find out ways to make money, that is something I can’t provide. However, during the month of April 2018, I gained over 700 followers using this combination of tactics. Basically, early in the month, I became extremely frustrated with the same old cycle. By that point, I had been in and out of a few harsh engagement groups that were driven more by power than by helping people to grow their following and engagement. For whatever reason, something really got into me from that point on. I became extremely determined to figure out how to crack the dreaded Instagram algorithm. I joined even more groups, listened to what some of the influencers I stumbled across advised, and suddenly I saw a big uptick in growth. You too can achieve this kind of success, but you must remain committed to the mission. You have to find time between work breaks, meals, and other activities in order to do it organically. I’m not a big fan of buying followers. I think that’s fine if that’s what you want to do, but if you truly want to build your following on your own and gain real, organic followers, then this method should help you. If you happen to know of other ways to grow your Instagram account, i’d love to hear it. Please give me your feedback in the comments!