Wednesday, September 2, 2015

7 Easy Instagram Tips

I, along with just about every other person between the ages of 13 and 35, love Instagram. If you had told me that this little photo sharing app would grow to be so popular and into the form of social media it is today I never would have believed you. What has made it so popular however is the carefully curated and edited photos we upload. Sure some people still upload their vacation photos, but if you're a blogger or business you're not doing that. When I first started an Instagram account specifically for my blog I really didn't have any strategy, and now when I go back and look at those photos I literally cringe. My carefully curated shots have come a long way from those original posts complete with the border.

I am by no means an expert on Instagram, nor do I pretend to be. While I would love to one day work in social media, right now I know this evolving platform still has much for me to learn about. I want today's post to be about sharing what we all have come to learn about using Instagram. These are some of the easy Instagram tips I've learned along the way, and I hope you'll share yours. At the beginning of the summer I set a goal of reaching 500 followers; I never would have reached that if it hadn't been for these tips.

easy Instagram tips to grow your following and get more likes ; social media

1. Natural light makes a HUGE difference! I never thought it made that much of a difference until I started taking my photos in spots with natural light. So find that place in your house or office (or wherever you take the majority of your photos) and use it! In my bedroom I have a white bench window seat that I use. If you're going to post a selfie the lighting in your car is fabulous.

2. While white is universally a good background color, sometimes it can get boring. Try to mix it up occasionally with different colors, especially when your photo is just of one item. I bought a bunch of scrapbooking paper (in the photo above) on sale at Hobby Lobby that I use for this. This is also helpful because it helps me ensure I fill the frame of my shot. Along those same lines, try mixing it up with different textures, think plush rugs, brick walls, or wood tables.

3. Being consistent with content is key; it doesn't matter what you share as long as you're sharing related things all the time. Before I post any photo I always think, does this match with my blog brand? I think having an Instagram account solely for my blog helps this tremendously, but I'd say I'm in the minority when it comes to this; most bloggers use the same account for personal and blog use. Your followers are looking to you to post a certain type of photo and when all of a sudden you post something totally random it throws them off. It'll be easy to tell which photos these are because they'll receive the fewest amounts of "likes."

4. I also find being consistent about when I post makes a big difference. During the week I try to post between noon and 2pm, and on the weekends I either post in the morning as soon as I get to work (10am) or wait and post later at night. I first got this idea when Helene posted a list of the best times to post to Instagram. Obviously sometimes something will happen and I'll post at a different time, but for the most part I've taken the photo I'm going to use either the day before or earlier in the day when the lighting is best so it's ready to go.

5. USE HASHTAGS! If you think I'm being overdramatic my using caps lock for that, you're so wrong. Using the correct hashtags is vital to getting Instagram likes, unless you're famous and have 12.5 million followers. Sarah made the absolute best cheat sheet with great hashtags for bloggers to use. I've gone through this list and made a note on my phone of the hashtags that most fit with my content so they're ready to go when I want to post. If you pay attention to no other tip, pay attention to this one!

6. I'm probably in the vast minority again but I only use the Instagram editing tools. I haven't really experimented with other apps to know what's the best, but I really like the ones Instagram gives you. I don't use the preset ones, but instead manually edit every photo. As a general rule I bump up the brightness, slightly increase the saturation, and adjust the shadows/highlights depending on my background.

7. Relax, it's just social media. Okay maybe I lied before and this is the most important tip. It's so easy to get caught up in number of followers and likes and who's featured on the search page, but it's important to remember that honestly none of that matters. At the end of the day it's just Instagram, a form of social media. It is not life or death. Just have fun with it.

What are your favorite easy Instagram tips? Leave me a comment with your Instagram handle so I can follow, and make sure to follow me too!

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  1. I'm one of those people that love just posting snapshots of my life and fun quotes & the like on Instagram, it's one of the places where I don't pluck and edit my content to within an inch of it's life.

  2. Such good tips!! (and your insta is always on point) definitely checking out that hashtag cheat sheet - I always have such a hard time growing my social media!

    Pick Your Beau

  3. I need help on consistency!! I'll post 3 in a day, then turn around and not post for a week! It is seriously beneficial to iron those times out!

  4. Such great tips! I would love for you to check out my blog when you have a chance. It is

  5. I never knew there was actual 'good' & 'bad' times to post on Instagram! Thank for the tip & links to the best times!
    ~ Kim Pincombe Cole

  6. I love using Iconosquare, too, to know when my followers are interacting with my posts.



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