HOW ARE YOU?
I wanted to write something helpful for you all today. Here is a little post about the unwritten rules of Instagram. Please use this post a tiny guide to the general ins and outs.
I know, my following is small but it’s also so loyal and wonderful! The people that comment leave genuine messages, the people that like my pictures like almost every picture I post and I have made many friends with a lot of you already! (please feel free to send me a message if you want to get chatting)
No° One | LIKE BACK & LIKE UNCONDITIONALLY!
This should be in the terms and conditions. In fact, I shouldn’t even need to mention it, but I feel it’s a must if we’re going to do this. When a person likes one of your pictures, like one of theirs! Hell, like as many as you want! Follow them, send them a comment, watch their story! Someone took the time out of their busy life to press HEART on something you created. Be polite, courteous and at least return the favour.
Like photo’s that please you visually, someone is posting them for that exact reason so don’t be a sourpuss. It also makes you look really active, which is key to gaining a wonderful following.
No° Two | COMMENT ON PHOTO’S – BE GENUINE!
Do you love that shade of lipstick? Is that tee perfect for you? Does that cat make your heart explode? THEN SAY SO! People will appreciate your comments a lot more if you tell them something 100% truthful and meaningful. It will also show other people who are looking at the picture that you’re a genuine person and not an emoji, follow me spammer, which is key to creating a great profile and online persona!
No° Three | NOT EVERYONE WANTS TO FOLLOW YOU – THAT’S OK!
Honestly, it’s fine. If your profile is all about gaming but you love cat pictures so you follow a lot of cat profiles, not all of them are going to follow you back and that’s ok!
Likewise, if your profile is all about beauty, not every beauty page you come across will follow you either. That’s just life. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow a profile if you really like it. Be genuine. Stay true to what YOU want, not what your online persona thinks is cool.
No° Four | YOU DON’T HAVE TO FOLLOW EVERYONE BACK!
If someone has followed you, there is no written rule that you have to follow them back. If you’ve checked out their page but don’t really want to see their posts on your feed then that’s OK. It is your feed after all, let’s not forget that. Don’t feel obliged; chances are you won’t be a genuine, worthwhile follower – it’s better for everyone!
As nice as you are and as much as you want to keep your followers, if you’re only following them so they don’t unfollow you then more fool you. There are way better ways to build and maintain a genuine and wonderful following.
Try not to follow people with the intention to gain them as a follower, it can be tempting when you first start out to try and grow numbers but if you stay true to your niche and build strong foundations you’ll be sure to succeed.
No° Five | TAKE GREAT PHOTO’S!
It’s a no brainer really: Instagram is a photo based social media platform and it makes sense to upload great quality photos – yet so many people fail to do this. If you want a great following and to create great content, be prepared to give great quality.
Awesome pictures aren’t a fluke, one shot and upload… They take a lot of planning, preparation, positioning and editing. Almost every photo uploaded will have between 10 and 30 photos that didn’t quite make the cut. Even on my last post there were at least 15 trial shots that weren’t quite right.
Be prepared to spend a lot of time working out what works and what doesn’t. It is really helpful to have a theme as this will create a visually stimulating profile. Take your time and do your research – there is no rush with this.
No° Six | DON’T OBSESS WITH YOUR FOLLOWER COUNT!
Your account is new and you’ve not long started out. You haven’t really got a theme. You don’t know a lot about editing. You’re not even sure what you want to post about… Don’t look at your follower count and worry that it’s not growing, it’s not growing quick enough or that you’ve lost a few followers. That’s totally fine and no one is analysing it other than you.
Remember that EVERYONE with an Instagram account started out with 0 followers!
No° Seven | UPLOAD OFTEN- DAILY IF YOU CAN!
If you want people to be interested in you and your page, you will need to stay active to give them a reason to interact with you!
You will notice that most Instagram accounts with over 2000 followers will typically be posting one to two photos per day.
Try to upload your own photos as to not infringe any copy written photographs!
No° Eight | USE YOUR HASHTAGS WISELY!
You get 30 chances to use hashtags! That’s 30 opportunities to get your photograph in the sight of 500 million users. Make them relevant to your page, make them valid to the picture. You’re not selling out by wanting to get your page noticed. That’s not a bad thing or something to be ashamed of.
There is a reason there is a list of the most used hashtags: its what people are looking at and it’s what gets your picture noticed.
No° Nine | RESPOND TO PRIVATE MESSAGES!
This goes hand in hand with liking back people’s photos. Someone has taken the time to go onto your page and send you a message. Respond to them, start a conversation. You wouldn’t ignore someone who starts talking to you at work, so why is it you don’t reply online?
Yes, I COMPLETELY understand that some people can be total creeps online, but if that’s the case there is no reason you can’t politely end the conversation. You don’t have to be miss Too-good-to-reply from the get go.
No° Ten | MAKE GREAT FRIENDSHIPS!
Instagram users are giving you a first class ticket to seeing their likes, dislikes, lifestyle, music tastes etc… that’s more information about a person that you will ever get from a face to face conversation! Use it! Start up conversations about their page, tell them how much you love their style and make friendships!
New friends online can also lead to new opportunities, collaborations or even a mentor. My mentor (@Alinamodeblog) has been blogging and using Instagram for around three years now and she was desperate for me not to make the mistakes she did! She is a wonderful friend to have and if it weren’t for Instagram, I’m not sure we would have ever connected.
Treat Instagram like Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. No one is going to think you’re awesome if you never give them reason to!
Now that your head is filled with all of this new knowledge and your heart is soaring with inspiration, I urge you to get out there and go get em tiger!