5 More Things You Can Do To Generate Instagram Success
When I wrote my first post about the success I was having with Instagram, it almost felt as if I had opened up Pandora’s Box. After spending so much time struggling to overcome the follow/unfollow games and generate engagement on my posts, I somehow finally managed to breakthrough. Little did I know back then that I’d not only continue to post all kinds of helpful social media posts, I also would start to see things like collaborations, sponsored posts, and brand ambassador opportunities come my way. All of these “mythical” opportunities were suddenly becoming a reality. Although I am still plugging away and working hard in order to become a true blue Instagram success story, I have to pat myself on the back and admit that I am doing way better than I ever thought would be possible. For that reason, plus the fact that my first Instagram Success blog did so well, I have to do an update and share what else I’ve learned over the past few months. Many lessons have been learned, but I will break them down and pick the 5 most significant things you can do in addition to what I talked about months ago.
1. Like & Comment On The Explore Page
I’ve been using Instagram for over six years, but never considered looking at the Explore page until a very successful Instagram Influencer suggested it. In case you’re not sure what I’m talking about, this is the page with the magnifying glass on your Instagram app. All of those shiny, glorious photos underneath the search window were ignored by me to say the least for many years. I just shrugged and figured it was content that didn’t matter to me. Especially since my mindset was always to make Instagram about fun, not for promoting my work. However, the more skilled I’ve become at my photography and editing, the more I start to believe that some of my own material can compete with the best. This may seem a bit egotistic, but I view it as me believing in myself and my work.
With all of that said, after some time passed and I started to feel like some of my old strategies weren’t pushing me any further in terms of engagement and followers, I decided to give it a try. Let me tell you, I’m glad I started trying it out, but also a little frustrated that I didn’t start this sooner. Engaging with the Explore posts really works. I don’t have exact numbers at this point, but I do feel like things have picked up more since I started doing this. Even if I don’t participate in a “Like Pod” in a Facebook or Telegram Group on a particular day I can still count on getting some engagement just by liking a few photos. I think this is a section on Instagram that gets overlooked by a lot of people, but you shouldn’t. Give it a try and see your engagement pick up!
2. Develop A Theme/Style For Your Feed
Another thing Instagram Influencers often preach about is developing a theme/style for your feed. This doesn’t necessarily mean your feed should only show photos of food, cars, fashion etc. (although developing a niche is encouraged by many experts I’ve followed). Frankly, when I talk about style, I am referring the actual “Look” of your feed. For example, I started using an app called Snapseed. It’s an excellent app you can use to give your photos a little extra filtering prior to posting with filters on facebook. Generally, I will edit a photo so it has a certain amount of saturation, shadowing, brightness, etc. Not only does it make my photos look amazing, it also gives my feed a very uniform looking style. By thinking about your feed in this much detail you will start to develop a reputation for clean, consistent looking work. This will get noticed by your peers as well as some of the best Instagram Influencers out there.
3. Edit Photos Before Posting
For many Instagrammers, the concept of editing your photos consists of picking out a filter and hitting the publish button. That’s ok, but there is so much more you can do. Especially if you want to stand out ahead of the rest. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t edit a photo before I published it. By using an app like Snapseed, you are putting yourself a notch above those who are content to just post what they took a picture of. If you master the art of using Photoshop and/or Lightroom, then you might even put yourself in a league that is a notch above the previous one. Many will probably opt to use apps that are available on your phone and that’s ok. For the most part, I use Snapseed in order to get the style I have for my feed.
Editing also consists of cutting out small extraneous items you don’t want in a photo that would look brilliant otherwise. This could be a sign, telephone wires, and other unsightly obstacles that tend to get in the way of great shots. I haven’t come across a mobile app that can do these things better than Photoshop so you may need to invest a few bucks a month in this program in order to have that edge. To be honest, many of my own photos don’t require this amount of editing, but it could make a big difference in the appearance of your shot. If possible, practice taking photos as often as you can. This is a great way to teach yourself to edit as you shoot photos so you spend less time sitting down with the image later.
4. Create A Feed That Is Devoted To Quotes
For a short period of time, I followed an Instagram Influencer who opened my eyes to a concept I’ve never considered. I would still follow this Influencer on Facebook today, but unfortunately his page got taken down. I learned a lot during my short time on this page, but the one thing that truly stands out is the concept of creating a feed devoted to motivational and/or inspirational quotes. You’ve probably seen these all over your Facebook feed and certainly to a large extent on Instagram. These aren’t just artistic statements that are magically created by professionals. You can do it too! All you need to do is download Canva or Quotes generator app and go for it. Obviously there is a lot more to it then that, but it doesn’t take a whole lot of skill to learn. If you can develop enough skill in order to understand how to lay the text over an image, then the possibilities are infinite (or atleast close to it!). The actual creation of these quotes might be a topic for another piece in the future. However, there might be a few helpful hints in these pieces I wrote a few months ago.
5. Don’t Give Up!
I can’t emphasize this enough! Nothing is more fulfilling to me than the feedback I get from fellow bloggers on Twitter who tell me they decided to give all of this another try because of my first Instagram related piece. If you don’t want to take any other advice I give you on this topic, then atleast take my word on this one. I’ve been through all of the same obstacles that many of my social media followers have been through. I’ve had my fair share of follow/unfollowers. I’ve had the same doubts and questions run through my mind that many other people have expressed. However, despite all of the obstacles, I stayed with it and kept looking for ways to gain an edge. Any new information I learned that seemed to make sense to me, I went ahead and applied it to my feed. As a result, I’ve built up a nice little following that continues to grow. I also gained the opportunity to try my hand at collaborations with brands. I even became a brand ambassador thanks to a brand finding me on Instagram. At this point, my following is good, but it is very modest compared to others out there. With just a little bit of a push to break into the 1k or 2k follower range, you might earn yourself the same opportunities. It can be done and you can do it. Don’t believe for a second that Instagram is this platform that is impossible to make progress in. It is possible. It just depends on how badly you want it and whether you’re willing to apply the tools you need in order to be successful. So what are you waiting for? Go forth and turn your Instagram feed into another success story!