On Instagram, while a higher follower number may look nice, it doesn't mean much without the engagement. Engagement comes in the form of likes, comments, and re-grams for the most part. The engagement is the community and it's what makes Instagram so fulfilling and fun.
Bloggers, you can love it or hate it, but you're very judged by brands and sales agencies on Instagram – they are always looking for the latest blogger to push their product forward to a new audience! Brands and agencies will look for engagement, as engaged users are more prone to actually buy.
Don't buy followers. Don't. Trust me when I say, we always know when followers are purchased and this tends to make me, the user, not want to follow that account – and it definitely has an impact on what brands and agencies are thinking (it has a great negative effect). The easiest way to spot if an account had bought followers is a very high follower count with very little engagement. For example, a follower could of 15K with an average 50 likes per photo? C'mon…
Aim for prime quality photos. Even if it means that you post a not-so-instant Instagram after you photographed your post with your DSLR. And this is hard for me to accept, as fast photography is something I enjoy and love for it's easy convenience. But a high quality photo will always win at the end of the day – look at one of the most successful Instagrammers (@SongofStyle, @ChiaraFerragni for example) – their photos are all top quality and it shows in the results. Again, for brands and agencies, the consistently great quality photos mean that their products will be shown at a gorgeous and professional level. This is something that will definitely pay off in the long run.
Hashtaging is still very well and alive, and while a post may look 'nicer' without a hashtag's presence, don't underestimate the power of them! One of Instagram's latest features provides the ability to see how many photos are connected to the same hashtag you're to use. This will greatly help you find the best hashtags for you; meaning hashtags that have a high enough reach to draw people to your account via a photo.
Finally, my words of wisdom to you are: be active. It's putting yourself out there that attracts people to you in the first place! If you don't like other user's photos, how will people see your account to like yours? Same applies for commenting and even following. I'm not saying to go out and spam people with likes, comments, and follows. But if there's an account that you really like, or you find an amazing picture – don't be shy! Let them know you like what you see. And most of the time, yes – MOST of the time, they will reply to you on the same level (likes for likes, comments for comments, etc.). Instagram is not the place to be shy, and you can be rewarded with some successful collaboration deals.
And, um… #shameless follow me here! Leave your link in a comment! xx
- I wrote an article for The Culture Trip TLV, featuring an incredible photography project called 52Frames! I know a lot of you will enjoy participating, or just following (like myself). Check it out here.
- I guest posted over at Greige Market about how you can get the ultimate summer look - send some love!