Instagram. Some of us bloggers love it, some are over it, but all of us seem to be fighting an uphill battle lately. Instagram has been getting a bad rep for its less than perfect algorithm, and sometimes it seems like gaining a following on the platform is next to impossible. While it can be difficult, I’m here to tell you that it’s not as hard as you think it is. I’ve started to gain followers that stick around by doing (and not doing) several things.
Don’t Follow and Unfollow
This one really gets me. So often I’ll see accounts with 20K+ followers follow me, and I know that if I don’t follow them back, they’ll unfollow me soon. This is not a way to build an account full of people who genuinely like you and your posts. This method leads to distrust and the idea that you’re just in it for the big numbers. I’d rather have a few followers who engage with my posts rather than a large number of followers who couldn’t care less about my content.
Do Promote Other Accounts
Speaking of engaging with others, one of my favorite things to do on Instagram is to mention accounts on my story that I really love. I’m introducing my followers to other accounts they may not know about while simultaneously building a relationship with the owner of the account I’ve mentioned. More often than not a few bloggers I mention each time I do this will return the favor.
Related Reading: Why I Left My Instagram Comment Pods
Don’t Ignore Your Followers
The followers you do have right now are very important. Engage with them and build up your own little community. When they comment on a photo of yours, respond back! It doesn’t matter if it’s a simple “This is a great shot!” or them asking a question; take the time to respond. It lets your followers know that you’re actually active on the platform and willing to engage with people.
When you respond to comments it puts a person behind the account. So often on social media, we forget that there are real-life people running our favorite accounts. Let people get to know you and your personality outside of all of the pretty pictures you post. Which brings me to my next point…
Do Use Instagram Stories
I’m going to be honest, when Instagram stories first came out I was not convinced. It seemed way too similar to SnapChat (it still is, let’s be real) and I didn’t touch it for several months. I thought I had nothing interesting to share and no one would watch my story.
However, most people are nosy by nature and like to see what other people are doing, even if it’s just what they’re buying at the grocery store. Since all of my photos on Instagram are very styled I used Instagram stories to show the more personal and “real” side of my life. I share what makeup I’ve used that day, my #OOTD, and just fun things I’m doing on any particular day.
Again, it all comes back to being genuine and connecting with your followers.
Related Reading: 5 Ways To Boost Traffic To Your Blog
Do Follow Others Who Follow Others
Let me explain this one before you think I’m crazy and stop reading! Say you follow someone, say account X, and they’re in the same niche as you and you genuinely enjoy their photos. Well, chances are, people who follow account X would also like to follow your account. Maybe some already do, and maybe the others just haven’t seen your account before.
Go the profile of account X and tap on followers. Scroll through and find some accounts that you like, give them a follow and engage with some of their content. These actions on your end will most likely make those people check you out in return and hopefully follow you. It’s a win-win-win situation; you find new accounts you like, other people gain new followers, and you gain new followers as well!
See, It’s Really Not That Hard
I know we’re all frustrated with the algorithm and want to take Instagram by the shoulders and ask what the heck they’re thinking, but all hope hasn’t been lost! I still love Instagram and enjoy posting photos. Scrolling through and looking at the beautiful photos inspires me to up my own photography game as well.
Hopefully Instagram will hear our cries for change soon, but until then, just be as genuine as possible. Connect with people and follow accounts you really love. In return, you should receive some love back and see your community on Instagram grow.