The Basics of Instagram: finding your niche, scheduling pictures and getting followers.

The Basics of Instagram: finding your niche, scheduling pictures and getting followers.
Pic from www.itspinkpot.com

I am completely obsessed with Instagram. It is the first app I check in the morning and the last before I go to sleep. Instagram is the place to be if you want to showcase your blog pictures, your day to day life and stay in touch with your viewers and readers. I have been on Instagram since 2011, and what I do there today is very different than what posted before. Now I know how important quality content, good pictures, consistency and engagement is for my Instagram to grow. Since Instagram can be a little overwhelming and daunting at first, I want to help all of you who's confused just like I was in the beginning, give you some tips to grow and be noticed in your community.

Here's everything I learned:

Find out what you like.
This is a very important step when you start your own or blog's Instagram account. If you already have your blog's niche figured out, then this might be an easy step or you might just have to replicate the same. If not, figure it out from what you like to see in your feed, people you love to follow & keep up with, the type of content that grabs your attention and try to place yourself in your audience's shoes to find out what they would like to see from your account. Find out what you want to showcase, for example, makeup, outfits, interiors, etc, and create your own niche.

Create a theme.
It will depend on what you want to share with your audience and the niche that you're sticking to. It's always nice to go through an account that has cohesive pictures and people usually follow those account in a heartbeat. Accounts with a particular theme are very aesthetically pleasing and also hard to maintain if I am being honest here. You can pick any theme that you want and works with your content, it could be black and white, colourful, bright, geometric, makeup only, OOTD only etc are a few ideas. If you find it difficult to imagine your theme, save everything into your Favourites folder and see how they look with each other or save it into your VSCO app library to see how they look together.

Plan, Plan, plan, and then do it.
When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Once you pick a theme, plan on how you will execute it. When you start taking pictures, take a bunch of it at once and keep pushing it throughout the week. You can create a folder where you store all the pictures to save time and for when you are out of pics to posts. Plan everything in advance, your Instagram goals, content type, schedule, posts, etc.

Be Consistent.
Once you've picked your theme figure out how often you want to post. Try not to over feed your followers as that can be a little annoying and don't disappear completely. Keep your number of posts in a balance that you are always present in your audience's feed but not after every 2 photos. Try to post once during every meal times, that's when people usually check their phones. If you're already sorted on how often you want to post just keep doing it. Consistency is the key.

Schedule your pictures.
When you have the number of pictures figured out, schedule them on your phone so that you don't have to worry about what time it is. You can use the app "Publish" to schedule your Instagram pictures. Instagram doesn't allow any third party application to posts pictures so this app, or any other app, will only notify you to post your pictures, so all you have to do is just post the picture. This will save you a lot of time and will also help with your consistency.

Hashtag Everything.
Hashtags are the best way to get noticed and increase engagement in your pictures. Hashtag everything that you have in your picture and it will instantly boost its views. When you use hashtags, people who have the same interest will find your picture in their explore page. This will help more people find your page and eventually follow you.

Tag people/brands.
This is another way to gain attention from brands and their followers. If the brands are already on Instagram, they probably have a lot of followers already and when you tag them, their followers can find your pictures in their tagged pictures and follow you. The chances are that the brand might repost your pictures too, which will also boost your visibility.


Engaging with others in your niche.
It's very important to give back the love that you've received. Always respond to your comments, comment on people who are in your own niche. Leave real comments, start a conversation, collaborate, and don't just spam. If you love someone's work let them know. They will come back and do the same for you. You can follow the followers of your fav account too so that they can follow you back. Just use the "Copy Followers" feature from the Crowdfire App.

Do a giveaway. 
Who doesn't love freebies? Giveaways are a great way to not only grow engagement and followership but also give back the love and share things that you love with your followers. You can giveaway anything, from something you made, printables, a collaboration with you etc.


Check your stats.
Always keep learning from your past and from what your audience likes and dislikes. You can keep track of your Instagram stats via "Iconosquare" on web or "Stats" on your phone. You can also find out who unfollows you via the Crowdfire app.


Be Patient.
You can never grow on Instagram in a day so be patient and let it take its own pace. Don't feel demotivated when someone unfollows you or leaves a nasty comment. Keep doing what you do and eventually people will notice.


If you want to know how to create quality content for your Instagram, take good pictures, applications and tips on how to edit your pictures, check out Sara's post on www.melangeofmusings.com
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