How I have grown my Instagram following and increased my engagement

I have been obsessed with my Instagram feed for some time, it’s not by any means perfect but I certainly have some obsessions that I can share with you if you are looking to up your game in this department.  Not long ago, Revised Edition hit the 15k followers mark on the ‘Gram and I still can’t believe that many people want to follow the journey of a small business from NZ.  Since I started using Instagram it has changed a lot, now it is much more business-focused which is great for brands trying to get their name out there. So how do you grow your community… these are the actual things I have focused on to help grow my following and engagement.

IMGAES (obviously)

I am a visual person and when I stumble across a new profile that has amazing imagery then I am going to be hooked. Images are a hugely powerful tool that can engage (or disengage) a potential customer in seconds.  If your feed has great images, is well organised, on brand and tells your story then you are onto a winner and I would be pushing that follow button immediately. Make sure your images are always high quality, clear and contributing to your brand story.

CRAFT UP THE PERFECT CAPTION

There are so many things that you can cover in a caption, it is the perfect place to share valuable info about your brand and start to connect with your audience. Although I am a service-based brand, I try not to look like I am pushing my services all the time as I don’t want people to feel like I am always trying to sell them something.  I want to provide them with some value so that if they later decide they want to hire a product photographer they will remember me. I try and stick to the following topics when writing my captions:

Inspire, Educate, Fun, Behind the Scenes

Paint a picture and give people an idea of what it is like to live in your world, always be authentic and true to yourself and your brand. Of course, there are some days when we don’t feel like getting that deep and that is ok too 😊

USE AN INSTAGRAM SHEDULING APP

This has been a lifesaver for me, an app where you can upload all your images, schedule your posts and preview what they are going to look like in your feed once posted.  There are plenty of these programmes out there and it’s just a matter of finding the one that works for you. I use Later which also posts to Facebook and Pinterest and it has a great desktop option – no one wants to type out those long captions on a phone. Once your post is scheduled you can check the preview and see what it’s going to look like in your feed, brilliant, no more guessing game! I have really noticed the improvement in my feed since I’ve been using this feature. Planning your posts helps your account stay focused and makes it much easier to make sure your getting all that relevant brand info out there.

STAY ON BRAND

I hear this piece of advice so often and I’m a little jealous of accounts with a constant theme or aesthetic running though their feeds.  I work with such a wide variety of clients that all have completely different brand aesthetics and this means it’s impossible for me to stick a theme.  For now, I focus on a lot of colour with the odd dark and moody shot, genius plan I know! I love to scroll through a new feed and get an overview of what the account is all about, good visuals will definitely help you here. Keep it mostly related to what you do, life posts are great if you can tie your images of your dog, holiday, kids, etc into your feed’s aesthetic and relate it to your business.

**Make sure you really utilise your profile, using key words and telling people exactly what your account is all about. Some pretty story highlights are always a great way to give new followers an overview of what you do.

ENGAGE!

One of the best ways to get other people to engage with your account is to engage with theirs.  If you love someone’s content then make sure you tell them so, Instagram is a great place to build a community around your brand and other brands will appreciate you getting involved with their work. Like, comment, reply to people’s stories and story stickers, send DMs – it is so nice when someone goes out of their way to send you a message just to say they are a fan of your work.

SOME OTHER THINGS I CONSIDER WHEN PLANNING MY INASTAGRAM FEED

I mentioned earlier that I obsess with getting my Instagram feed just right, some may say that the day of the perfectly curated Instagram grid is well gone but I’m still hanging on in there! These are some of the things I consider when I am planning my posts for the week.

I never use the same background twice in a row. One day it might be a coloured background, the next day might be textured or dark. This adds texture to my feed and makes each individual image stand out as opposed to just blending together in the grid.  Of course, this may be different for you if your theme is based on the same background.

If I post a really ‘busy’ image one day then I try and counteract that by posting something more minimal the following day. I aim to ensure my feed doesn’t look overcrowded and this is a great way to combat that.

I always try to get an even spread of colour, dark backgrounds, food etc so that my feed looks balanced. For example, all the dark images should not be on one side of the grid.

I try to spread out the themes so if I posted a food photo yesterday then today it might be flowers or beauty products. This shows variety so my followers are aware of the range of products I work with.

I consider the types of images I have posted as well so if today I post a relaxed style flay lay then I’ll post a well-aligned organised image in the following days, again this shows my range and keeps my feed balanced and interesting.

So, there you have it, with all that to think about it is remarkable that I get anything done at all!  As Instagram has changed and it has become a lot harder to get good reach on your posts if you don’t want to pay for sponsored content then these things will definitely help get your name out there.

It is great to be able to plan your posts at least a week in advance so you know what topics you are going to cover in your captions, this makes it much easier when you go to write as you already have ideas and don’t have to stare at the screen waiting for inspiration to strike.

I used to stress a lot about the fact that my posts were not getting great engagement. Instagram is my main social channel and I put so much work into it so of course you want to see people engaging. Now, honestly, I just have fun with it, there is nothing you can do to change algorithms so just be yourself and let the passion you have for your brand shine through. People will totally respond to that.

I hope this was helpful, until next time. 

If your not following us on Instagram already, we would love to have you pop over and hang out!@revisededitionstyle

Until next time,

Nikki

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