Friday, August 21, 2015

How to: Grow an Instagram Following

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I started Daily Dose of Design's Instagram about four months ago - and actively started using it a little less than three months ago. Instagram is one of my favorite social media websites EVER. My personal account (you can request to follow me here if you'd like!) is what I use regarding social media most; after my blog was beginning to take off, I figured it was time that it, too, needed its own account!



Not only is Instagram extremely fun to use, it's also a great way to share your content and get it exposed to new readers - along with meeting other bloggers and creating friendships! I can't even begin to describe how many friendships I've made via blogging and more specifically, from following each other on Instagram! I love sharing pictures and of course the endless amounts of filters that they keep adding! Who doesn't love a good Valencia filtered photo? ; ) There's SO many great uses for Instagram and if you use it correctly, effectively and regularly, it can help your blog grow and most definitely will help you to connect with other bloggers in your niche(s)!

Instagram has become so popular over the past few years and while I still have a lot to learn, I have a pretty good grasp of how to use it successfully. A little fun fact: there is approximately 318 million people in the United States and approximately 300 million monthly Instagram users... that statistic is insane to me! It really is true that Instagram is the most popular social media network. Therefore, there must be some great ways to gain a following on it, right?!


How to grow your Instagram:

Hashtags are a MUST: I've gotten quite a bit of my following by using as many relevant hashtags on every posted photo as possible. I've always associated hashtags as being an annoyance, but that was before I was a blogger! Now that I am a blogger and have a growing Instagram account, hashtags are everything! Depending on your niche and who you want your audience to be will determine what hashtags you use. The main hashtags that I use on my photos are #blogger #fblogger (or #lblogger or #interiordesign depending on the post) #instadaily and #igers. Again, these depend on the type of picture I'm posting and how far I want my reach to be. While I don't usually use Instagram's max of 30 hashtags per post, I tag my photos with around 15 tags (notice the pictures that have more hashtags usually have more likes). After posting with certain tags, I go into the feed of all the photos with said tag and like pictures that are relevant to me, my blog and my post(s). Doing this also gets new bloggers to see your pictures! Leading to my next point...

Follow others in your niche: once you've searched through the hashtags that you use and like other pictures, give them a follow if you like what they post! Chances are, they'll give you a follow back. Instagram's geotags (aka "places") are also super helpful to find bloggers and accounts that post in your vicinity!

Post regularly: nobody wants to follow a user that doesn't regularly post daily or every few days! Some people say you shouldn't post more than three times a day (to not overload your followers) and others say you should post up to nine times a day. Personally, I wouldn't post more than three times a day. I normally post once daily, however there are certain times that I'll post two or three per day; even then, the three posts are spaced out. Interestingly enough, many accounts that have massive followings (I'm talking hundreds of thousands - even millions) post tons of times a day. If your pictures match your theme/blog/brand and are high quality, likable photos, post away!

Generating blog views: while Instagram is awesome for sharing content and creating relationships, it's important to give your followers a link to your blog or website that's easily accessible too! Unfortunately, Instagram doesn't make it all that easy to share your link on your posts. As of now, you'll have to resort to writing "link in bio" on your blog post pictures! For example, in the description or location section of a photo you are posting that relates to a blog post, add that your link is in your bio. Doing so should mean that your blog's link is in fact in your bio (stating the obvious - I know)! Your photo(s) should be engaging enough for a reader to want to click into your profile to then view the post on your blog. When I post, I try and put myself in the shoes of one of my readers and I ask myself if it's a picture that would make me want to find out more and read into a post. I do occasionally see Instagram referrals in my analytics and lately that number has increased which has me hopeful!

Loop giveaways: not only do you get a chance to win an awesome giveaway prize, you also get the chance to meet new bloggers (and vice versa)! I've participated in a couple of giveaways and while not every profile will match your style, it still allows you to find new people to connect with and expand your reach. Participating in a loop giveaway of some sort is just as beneficial since those who enter must follow every host. This can get rather annoying, however if you've found the giveaway from someone who you already follow, chances are you'll enjoy the profiles who are participating accounts in the giveaway too.

Picture likes/comments: I'm sure you've heard people tell you that it's important to engage with other bloggers and comment on their posts with meaningful comments and such, am I right? Well it's equally as important to do so on Instagram! This goes along with searching through your hashtags; however it's important to stay active with your followers and the people you follow, too. When I scroll through my feed, I like pictures that are relevant and leave a meaningful comment. When other people go to comment on the same picture, they'll see your comment and if it is of interest to them, it's likely that they'll want to visit your profile!

You can follow my Instagram here to keep up with my posts and life happenings!
Do you have any Instagram secrets?

XOXO

Bloglovin|Facebook|Pinterest|Instagram


97 comments :

  1. Love all of these, and they've ALL been useful in helping grow my account!

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    1. I'm so glad! They still help me every day!

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  2. It's really useful, Thank you (:

    www.mykoreaobsession.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm so glad it was able to help!! : )

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  3. Thanks for sharing this was helpful. I want to start doing giveaways soon (that's my last piece I haven't quite figured out lol)

    xo,
    Kara
    www.fcnextdoor.com

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    1. Loop giveaways are a lot of fun - definitely worth it!!!

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  4. These are really great tips! I've especially found using hashtags and commenting/liking others' photos helpful. You may not see a big change overnight, but you will in the long run. :)

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    1. That is the key!! It's frustrating but worth it in the long run for sure : )

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  5. Great tips! The hashtag/commenting tactic works really great :)
    -Liz
    www.TheCleanEatingCouple.com

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  6. I never took hashtags very seriously when I first started blogging and now I use them on almost every post. I even keep a written list of my favorites so I don't forget about certain ones.

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    1. That is exactly what happened to me! I keep a note in my iPhone of the hashtags I use on every post - super helpful!

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  7. Thanks for the tips! I know loop giveaways are huge follower builders....but I HATE them!!! lol

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    1. Haha!! So much work but if you do it right and enough times, definitely worth the time!

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  8. These are great tips. Commenting on blogs and social media are definitely important. I have been working on using the right hashtags that suit my niche and have seen an increase in likes/followers already. Thanks for sharing. (Visiting viaBlogging Collective)

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    1. Thank you so much! Instagram is really a great tool if you know how to use it!

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  9. What is a loop giveaway? Ive been blogging for 8 years or so and havent heard of that. Usually I just link up through a giveaway linky. Is there a hashtag & is that where everyone shares a giveaway on IG (?) w that hashtag....

    Im going to share this on a IG challenge Im participating in - hope it helps!!!

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    1. A loop giveaway is where a handful of bloggers get together for a giveaway and they all get promoted. For example, blogger 1 links to blogger 2's account - blogger 2 links to blogger 3's account - blogger 3 links to blogger 4's account - blogger 4 links to blogger 5's account and finally, blogger 5 links back to blogger 1's account. You would follow all the bloggers in the loop until you get back to the blog you began on! It's exciting - kinda fun to find new blogs too : ) Thank you SO much for sharing! I really, really appreciate it! If you have any more questions about loops or in general feel free to email me!

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  10. Excellent tips! I'm new to Instagram and blogging, so I'm still trying to figure out how to best use this outlet and find the right hashtags for me. Thanks!

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    1. I hope it helps you!! Instagram is a great tool especially if you start it the right way from the beginning! Good luck and please let me know if there's anything I can do to help! : )

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  11. I am not yet up on Instagram and neither is my blog. I do hope to be soon, so thank you for the information.

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    1. I hope these help once you're up and running!! : )

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  12. truth! I always forget about #igers. Thanks! haha

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    1. Haha! I usually end up forgetting one or two of my main/favorite tags and get so mad before having to re-type the comment! AH!

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  13. These are all fabulous tips! Hashtags are definitely a must. I love giveaways and I've done a few so far, but sometimes I feel like I'm cheating! I use to do them once a month but I think I'll cut back to every 2-3 months.

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    1. They are usually very beneficial and helpful but definitely a lot of work!! Cutting back sounds like it'll be more manageable for you!!

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  14. I just got active with my Instagram account this week. I've been doing some of the things you mentioned and I'm seeing a great amount of progress. Great tips. BTW... Once I can start back following more people on IG, I will follow your page.. Please follow back.

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    1. I'm so glad you're seeing progress! That's awesome!! I will definitely be looking for your account and would love to follow back : )

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  15. Great tips! I always forget to use hashtags...thanks for the reminder.

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  16. Great tips! I don't use my Instagram very much, but I need to "revamp" it soon! :)

    Betty
    http://vodkaandimpropriety.com

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    1. I promise - it'll help quite a bit! If anything, the networking is most helpful! Good luck!!!

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  17. I'm definitely working on turning my followers into blog readers, and its hard! Giveaways are super helpful!

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    1. It's extremely hard! Focus on the quality rather than quantity on Instagram - I've found that to help! The more engaging a picture, the more likely a reader is to visit your blog to find out more!

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  18. Instagram is also my favorite social media site - there's less drama and it's a great platform to find people who share the same passion as you do. Recently, I have been very active and following people with the same likes .... and I've found these awesome peeps through hashtags. So far, it's been fun and I've been meeting a lot of fabulous people through IG.

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    1. I've found tons of awesome people and bloggers alike via Instagram as well! Some of my favorite bloggers to follow are ones I've found through suggested follows and hashtags!

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  19. I love using Instagram, but I don't post as often as I should! I get too picky about my photos haha. It's something I'll have to work on. Great tips x

    Jess | It's That Time For

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    1. You could try taking/editing a bunch you know you'll wanna try and then schedule them on an app like Latergram! I use that from time to time : )

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  20. such great tips! I am currently working on updating my insta to have a theme as well as working on my following ratio! x, kenz
    http://sincerelykenz.com

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    1. Would love to follow you girlie!! Shoot me your username! xoxo

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  21. great tips! I did not know a few of these. I am going to follow you on IG right now!

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    1. Thank you so much!! Excited to connect on IG with you girl!! xoxo

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  22. Some great tips. I am pretty new to Instagram, so I am going to try some of these!

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  23. Instagram is my favorite too! I took a workshop and even did my own post about some tips, you can read it here if you're interested! http://www.highlightsandhashtags.com/5-ways-to-make-the-most-out-of-instagram/

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    1. I always wondered if those workshops were worth the time! I just read it and LOVE it! Thank you for sharing it with me!! : ) Great minds think alike! xo!

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  24. Great tips. I still have a lot to learn about instagram, so this will really help.

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    1. I'm so glad they're helping!! I use them every day! : )

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  25. Great tips. I still have a lot to learn about instagram, so this will really help.

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  26. This is REALLY useful, and I've already put some of your suggestions in place.

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  27. Great tips, very useful. Thank you.

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    1. Awesome! Stick with it daily - I promise it helps!

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  28. Pinning this as learning instagram is on my to do list! Thanks for the great tips
    Cynthia @craftoflaughter

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  29. Good advice. I do find it frustrating that instagram doesn't make it super easy to link back to your blog, but I'm glad to hear you're still getting some hits from it!

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    1. Right?! Maybe if enough of us complain they'll have no choice but to change it! ; )

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  30. These are all magnificent tips! Thanks for sharing on the #FridayFunday blog hop!

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  31. These are great tips. I have Instagram, but lately, I have not been posting there. I am a blogger, but I used to think that hashtags were annoying. It was only recently that I found out about the importance of hashtags and started using them.

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    1. I always thought they were annoying too, but they're super important and I'm so glad I realized that!

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  32. great pointers! I've gained a lot of followers recently by using some of these! thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'm soo happy to hear that! Glad I could help! : ) xoxo

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  33. I have Instagram as well but finding it a challenge to keep up with all of these social media accounts at the same level. Your tips are very helpful!

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    1. It's SO difficult! I started scheduling some posts for FB and Twitter so I have more networking time on Instagram, Pinterest and Stumbleupon : )

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  34. Really good tips. I do need to get into this.

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    1. I hope it helps you to grow your account!! : )

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  35. I love these tips!! Instagram is my favorite too! I love it!! I will be coming back to this post!

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope it helps!!!

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  36. Using a hashtag is the most helpful factor when you're trying to gain an audience in instagram. More than twitter, instagram users are big on hashtags.

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    1. Absolutely! If you search certain tags, some have over 100,000,000 pictures attached to it! Awesome reach right there!

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  37. This is great information! I am currently participating in my first loop giveaway as one of the hosts--my follows have grown by over 250 in just a week! I will definitely do this again soon.

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    1. That's an amazing number!! I'm so glad it's working for you!!!

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  38. I agree with you on all of your tips! I have used many of them and it has helped me out a great deal. Thanks for sharing.

    xoxo Dani
    www.glamrme.com

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    1. So glad you've found them helpful!! : )

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  39. I've used all of these tips in growing my instagram followers too!

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    1. They're great for every-day marketing! : )

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  40. Great tips..im a newbie on IG.So this helps.

    http://polkadotsandcurry.com/2015/09/20/how-to-style-a-long-crinkled-skirt/

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  41. Great tips! I need to learn how to really work Instagram so these were incredibly helpful.
    Thanks~ Misty @frostedevents

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