Instagram is such a roller coaster ride for anyone on board. From the changing algorithm to the inevitable engagement yo-yo. From follows to unfollows, likes and comments. Its hard. Its especially hard when you put your everything into a post and less than 1% see (or engage) with it. It sucks.
Recently I have changed my Instagram ways a little bit, and have actually found a bit of a spike in my engagement (lol touch wood). One thing that I have noticed especially is the loyalty I have gained from my followers. As much as I would have liked to have blamed my mass of unfollowers on bots or playing the insta game, I actually think it has a great proportion to deal with how I am putting myself out there, controversial I know. But since changing my ways, I have not only increased my engagement but given my followers more of a REASON to follow me. More of a reason to stay. And hey, I have noticed less unfollowers so it might be working….
Regardless of that, I though it would be really helpful to share my methods and tricks that have increased my engagement in the hopes that they will help you too. Remember, we’re all in this together!
I read a post recently my the gorgeous Sophie Milner which really struck a cord with me. It was all about using your captions to create a loyal following. Whether you are sharing a funny story or just having a bit of an honest chat, using your captions to show your personality is so important!! You could be the funniest, nicest or kindest person on earth, but how is your follower supposed to know that if you don’t show it through your captions.
Instagram is such a competitive market, and with sooooo many people taking pretty pictures, just a cute snap is not going to cut it anymore. Your followers need more. They need substance. They need to see YOU.
It was something that I realised I was not really doing. I am a bit weird, quite quirky and a hell of a lot sassy! But you wouldn’t have known that through creeping on my insta. So I decided to be more ‘me’. Since making that step I have had such an increase in engagement and such a boom of followers who want to know ME, not just what I am wearing.
One thing that I used to always be afraid of was my follow count. I was scared that I would look ‘uncool’ or ‘desperate’ if I followed too may people and my follow number rose too much. But now, I look back and laugh. What a stupid thing to think! Now I really don’t care what that follow number says and just follow accounts that I love, want to engage with and want to follow. I now have over 1,000 accounts that I am following and I no longer worry about what it looks like to others or how it comes across.
And actually, since following more accounts, I have made so many better connections!! Its amazing what a little follow and comment can do. So many bloggers that I can now call my friends have come about because I am not longer afraid of what my follow count says! So stop trying to look ‘cool’ or ‘keen’, I promise you, the larger your follow count, the better!!
ENGAGE ENGAGE ENGAGE
Nothing grinds my gears more than a follower complaining that she has low engagement, and then seeing that she never comments on other posts and never even replies to her own comments?!?! Ohhhhh your girl has to REALLY TRY to bite her tongue!
When it comes to growing a loyal following and increasing your engagement, the best practise is to increase how much YOU engage. No one is going to want to comment on a post from a follower who wont thank them, answer their questions or even take 2 seconds to add a little heart emoji.
I understand it takes time, and can be tedious. But its one of the things I enjoy most!! I love chatting with other bloggers and finding out where their top is from or what caffe they are sat at or how their weekend was. ITS JUST POLITE and above, creates genuine friendships.
In my opinion, if you don’t enjoy doing that, then you’re in the wrong profession hun.
Use ALL the Instagram features
When it comes to increasing engagement, the best practise is to give them things to engage with!! From posts, to hashtags, to polls to stories. How are your following supposed to engage if you don’t give them anything to interact with?
One of my favourite features is the story feature, which I have been using a hell of a lot recently!! I love the more relaxed vibe that they give and really lets your followers know the real ‘you’. It takes away the screen and adds a real human behind the instagram.
One thing that I do just want to add is that engagement isn’t everything. I wrote a post recently about ‘living for likes’ and how obsessed our generation is with likes. So I just want to stress that engagement isnt everything. What is important is that you love what you do. That you’re passionate about what you post and that you enjoy the process. that’s worth a hell of a lot more than a few likes.