I don’t really believe in New Years Resolutions as I usually break them by the second week in January (don’t ask how giving up wine has gone!). However, I do believe in setting goals and one of mine for 2017 is to improve my Instagram feed and engagement. I follow lots of top travel bloggers posting inspirational pictures every week, so I decided to ask a few to share their secrets for Instagram success. Happily they obliged!
Contents - jump to what you'd like to know
Top travel bloggers share their secrets for Instagram success
Instagram success tip #1: Engage
Keri from Our Globetrotters has 19.4k followers and has found engagement the key to growing her Instagram account. Keri says: “I noticed a big increase in Instagram followers when I was really engaged with the app. Not just flicking through and liking hundreds of pictures, following dozens of accounts a day, but being selective; commenting on individual photos when following someone new, letting them know why you like their feed – they will appreciate the feedback and are far more likely to follow back.
She stresses: “Never just follow without engaging in some way, especially big accounts where new followers simply get lost in their notifications. I found following new accounts via the ‘discover’ function also leads to an increase in my own new followers. I believe Instagram was bringing me up in their suggested follow category more.”
Marta from Learning Escapes agrees and says Instagram is about more than photos. She has 14.7k followers. Marta recalls: “The big turning point for me was to understand that Instagram is not a platform to showcase your photos but a way to communicate with people. Now, when I post a photo, but even when I don’t, I make a point of looking at other peoples feeds and engage with photos that catch my attention: I leave likes and comments, I follow.
“More often than not, account owners engage back, check out my feed and become loyal followers: their followers see that they follow you and you are quickly in a virtuous circle of growth. I went from 1,000 followers to over 13,000 in five months this way!”
Cathy from Mummytravels has 2.5k followers. She says there’s no quick win tactics when it comes to Instagram success: “I get the best results when I really focus on Instagram, checking out everyone who’s liked me, spending time going through the hashtags and so on, and it’s not always possible. But at least the effort does seem to pay off when I have the time to do it!”
Instagram success tip #2: Captions
While Instagram is a picture sharing platform, words are just as important explains Cathy from Mummytravels: “I try to make the captions interesting, to give people something to comment on – rather than simply labelling the place, I’ll add in a story or ask a question. Otherwise even those people who want to interact with the image can’t say much more than ‘great photo’.”
Instagram success tip #3: Hashtags
Hashtags are an important tool for sharing your posts with people with similar interests. Cathy from Mummytravels explains how she uses hashtags: “With the changed algorithm, the focus for me is trying to get myself seen by more people on Instagram – even when people are following, they won’t necessarily see your photos after all.
“I always use my quota of 30 hashtags and apart from a few regular ones, I try to research photo specific ones for each, ideally hashtags with 100-500k photos – that way, mine hopefully have more chance of making the top nine or the top of the search, but there are still a reasonable number of people actually searching for it (no point filling the top nine if there are only 12 photos in total). I also try to engage with the hashtags I do use, so liking the top nine and at least some of the top ones in search as people will often look back and see you have similar photos.”
Christine from Tapped Out Travellers also uses hashtags to curate her feed for her 5.3k followers. She explains: “I created my own hashtag for my account: #tappedouttravellers. I have it listed on my profile, as well as predominantly posted in my caption. I’ve noticed a significant increase in repeat likes from the same account.”
Instagram success tip #4: Timing
Posting to Instagram when your followers are around is key. Cathy from Mummytravels only shares photos at a certain time of day: “I try to keep consistent about when I post, sticking to one photo per day within about a 90 minute window in the evening when my insights show I get the best engagement. It’s definitely worth checking which photos are performing well, whether that’s likes/reach/comments etc and trying to repeat that too.”
Instagram success tip #5: Be consistent
It’s common sense to make sure you’re sharing your best pictures on Instagram, but Keri from Our Globetrotters explains there’s more to it than that: “What you post is obviously important for gaining new followers. Most people decide within about two seconds whether they like your top nine images. If these don’t reflect your account, a theme or have some consistency people won’t stick around. I regularly cull posts that were either related to a specific promotion or didn’t perform well with engagement to keep that top nine looking its best.”
Cathy from Mummytravels finds posting photos with a similar theme helps build her following: “I try to curate (horrible word!) my feed as far as possible so that I stick with similar shades and styles. I don’t often use filters, but when I do, I stick to one or two. That way, if someone discovers me through a hashtag and likes one photo, there’s more chance to them liking multiple ones and hopefully following.”
Thanks to all the great bloggers who have shared their secrets for Instagram success. There’s plenty here for me to try out in 2017. If you’d like to follow my Instagram journey, you can find my account here: @tinboxtraveller.
Pin for later
Picture credit: featured image courtesy of Pixabay.