My love/hate relationship with IG
When I started on instagram my daughter had to teach me how to post! I knew nothing. I basically linked it to my facebook and uploaded fun events so my friends could see. I soon realized I LOVE taking photos, and beach photos especially..so I started another instagram called Naplesmermaid , I would post pics of the beach and pretty much do nothing other than look at other pretty pics too. Soon my account grew to 5000 followers. Then I was asked by a friend to take over her instagram which was a hashtag IG , people tagged the page and we featured someone daily. So that was fun, I took the page when we had 6000 followers, within a year we had 30, 000 followers!! Just by sharing pretty photos!!! Well, then life got crazy for me ( I’ll spare you the gory details)
With a new home and a place in Florida , I decided share my other love, decorating! Started a new IG and quickly got that going real nice…..soon I was getting DMs to become brand ambassador!! Free Stuff?? sign me up!! lol, But honestly not really, I only accept collaborations for products that fit my niche and I think will bring value to my followers. I have turned down collabs for watches because that doesn’t go at all with my niche….and I have been so excited to be “wanted” for a collab only too be told I have to PAY to buy their product . I am sorry but even at a discount my time and photography and free advertising is at least worth the price of a free product..so, my advice, say no to those.
This may be irrelevant in a day, but this is what I’m figuring out. As an Influencer I NEED to have good engagement, without it you won’t get any jobs.
We also need content to be able to post each day….I try to look up my analytics to see what time are most of my followers active, and then I post. I go back to a post that performed really well and try to duplicate that…again, instagram wants you to use their service and be regular….
Before, I would to scroll IG and if I likes something I might leave a happy face emoji….well….I didn’t know, but you have to comment with at LEAST 4 words or IG doesn’t recognize it as a comment. Instagram loves community and having people talk and exchange ideas, not just drop emojis.
I learned was you have to step up the photos you take , they need to be GOOD. I enjoy the Snapseed app to adjust mine if I need to, there is also lightroom with tons of presets. You photo is what stops people to look at your square..take the time to make it a good one. I prefer my photos to have a cohesive look in my squares, so generally I am using the same amount of light for each one…and LIGHT is key…natural Is best, no flash! Nikon D70 is my camera, but my iPhone x takes almost as good photos and I can upload on the go. Also be sure to geo-tag your location because people in that area may find you…
Instagram likes us to not only like and comment but also hit the SAVE button, and sometimes tap on the airplane symbol and send a post to a friend.. IG gives us these tools and likes for us to use them.
Go the the search button and visit the explore page, and look for new accounts, not just the people you know..get inspired or learn something new…
When creating content, try to ask a question so that people will answer…this “forces” a genuine conversation and Brands can tell if people comment about something completely different, they didn’t read your post and they may not be REAL, which brings me to …DO NOT BUY FOLLOWERS, LIKES, OR SHOUT OUTS .., Brands can tell and this will hurt you in the long run. Fake followers will not engage with you and just be dead weight. Also not to use 3rd party apps that follow and unfollow, Instagram does not approve of these and some very great accounts have lost their accounts and been shut down by simply using these apps. Let people follow and if they don’t want to, who cares. there are a billion other people out there.
COMMENT PODS are groups you can go to and basically put your name in and everyone in that “community” will like and or comment on your square. Its a great way to feel popular! However, Instagram can tell if the same people are commenting everyday and that’s not “real” So get found through hashtags and liking and commenting on the feed and let things happen and grow organically. I play around with this one, I’ve made some great connections on comment pods, But my Reach seems to suffer , the days I do not participate my reach doubles…..not sure if this is a” thing” but its working for me.
HASHTAGS are so important! I thought they just cluttered up my nice little square and look like spam. Instagram WANTS us to use them, and gives us the opportunity to use all 30 if we like. I personally use about 15-20. Instagram also knows if you use the same hashtags everyday and thinks its spam if you use them over and over again. I make lists on my phone, I created about 6 lists of relevant hashtags, and I change them up each day., trying not to repeat within a week. Search for a few really popular hashtags with hundreds of thousands and then search out mostly smaller ones .I like ones that have between 2-10K, that way my post at least has a chance of seeing seen. Its still a process figuring this out…My reach expands when I do this so Im sticking with it! Beware, there are hashtags that are BANNED~ and if you use them you may not be seen by anyone, or you may be seen as a spammer and shut down, Don’t take chances!! These change almost daily , some are quite ordinary looking words like #Boho or #dogsofinstagram…Google banned hashtags since they change so often .
Most Contest are overdone, unless you offer an amazing prize, you have to mdecide if its worth the time. Many people will follow you to try to win, your numbers will go up, and then poof….there they go! It is a very personal decision. I tried a few contests recommended to me .We all “buy in ” to to offer a great prize.. I chose a $1500 Louis Vuitton handbag and a $1000 Homegoods Gift Card and One for $750 PayPal cash. I gained followers and I lost, but the gain was still more than the loss. The few hundred follows I may have gained are really not in my niche and most likely don’t care about me..so just know that going in.
follow me on my insta journey and I will share more tips as I figure them out…http://www.instagram.com/homewithGigi