Tip of the week: Instagram
Hello to everyone, I’m going to give you a short breakdown of one the most popular social media site, Instagram. We are going to talk about the algorithm, how to grow your followers and a couple of the features that you can use to get more exposure for your posts. Naturally, if you already have a solid following you can skip this blog but if you are a newbie and need a couple of tips, this could be worth your time. If you are completely new to the social media scene it could be worth your time reading my previous blog, it is a general breakdown of what you should do when stating your social media accounts on all of the sites.
First of all, lets talk about the most controversial aspect of the social media site, buying followers, is it worth it, should you do it, well in my opinion definitely not worth it. I tried this by buying a 1000 followers, well when you buy these accounts keep in mind that they are dead accounts, once they subscribe they never again interact with your account, they are just a small ego boost that superficially seems that you are a bit more successful but in the end don’t contribute to your growth. I have seen accounts on Instagram with over 20K followers and per post they get less than 100 likes and 0 comments. The other reason buying followers is not worth your time or money is because you will lose them in the future. After a couple of moths, the algorithm got the fake accounts and deleted almost all of them. Good content with a steady growth, that’s the way to go.
Second, if you are planning to grow your account and audience in the most efficient way possible, you will need to switch from a Personal Profile to Business Profile. Having a Business Profile on Instagram will give you access to some cool features, like Instagram Insights, contact information, Instagram Ads and more. You will now be able to add contact information to your account and also use Instagram Ads. I have used the Ads feature and if you are curious, yes it works, but you will need to invest some money, the more you give the more you get, but you will get more exposure and any followers you gain, they are real and genuine. For me the most important feature of switching from a personal profile to a Business account is the Insight feature. It gives you, as the name suggests, insight to your audience, for example, what age group your audience is, what gender, from which country the majority is and most important at what time and which day they are most active on. Knowing at what time you have the most active people online lets program your post in advance, giving you the ability to get the most amount of exposure. So make the switch and start posting.
Third, you will need to get an app to keep track of your audience. There are a lot of accounts that will subscribe to you hopping to get you to subscribe back to them and after you do that just unsubscribe. It’s a controversial practice but it is easy to find an app in the app store that lets you track those people and also easily unsub from them. The other app you can get is one for your PC. It will let you post from your computer, making it more easy to write descriptions and hashtags and also program your post for the next couple of weeks. Basically if you don’t have a lot of free time you can pre program you post for the next month and the app will do the rest. There are a couple of these online, some are in the Chrome extension section, so just pick your favorite and start posting.
Fourth, hashtags and shout-outs. Choosing the right hashtag will give you a lot of opportunity, for example if you have an image of a big city like Paris or Milan or something, just go on google and search for the most popular hashtags for them, just putting the name of the city is too general, there are a lot of hashtags that the locals only know and also follow, so sniff those out and add them to your post, you will definitely see a difference. The other thing that you can do is seek out shout-out pages. These are normally accounts that live on re-posting content of other photographers. They normally have their own hashtag that they follow and also their audience follows. So lets say you post predominantly black and white images, so seek out accounts that do shout-out of that content and put their hashtag in your post, you will get instantly more exposure from their audience and also a chance to get a feature which will get you more followers. Just do your research and start posting.
Fifth and also the final tip, the Instagram algorithm. Well now the algorithm does not put the posts in chronological order, the algorithm rewards interaction. The more likes you get the more exposure. You will also need to get comments, when you are writing your description try asking your audience a question or just try to interact with them. The more you interact the greater the possibility that the algorithm will push your post to the top of their timeline. Try also doing a collaboration, if you are shooting a model that also has an Instagram account definitely tag them in your post. Try also using the story feature, but don’t be spammy and don’t overdo it. If you want to be absolutely fastidious you can make a second Instagram account and just do a post there to see if it coincides with your previous content and posts, but this is really not necessary, it’s only for those really detail oriented people, who strive for absolute perfection.
Well I hope this was useful for you guys and girls. Thank you for reading and if you have something else that is useful or I forgot to write about, leave it in the comments, I may be writing a second part in the future. :)
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