Almost everyone is addicted to Instagram at this point, and if you’re a blogger trying to increase your following and engagement, you’re probably constantly thinking about what to post (and a killer strategy to go with it) as well. A social media strategy IS definitely needed overall, however, there are a few things that you may want to make sure that you’re not doing before you even begin to focus on that.
If you’ve been feeling a little stagnant on the platform, here are few IG mistakes you might be making (and tips to get it right).
Your photos are blurry/low quality
Do you have to use professional photos every time you post to the gram? No. But you DO have to have quality photos if you want to maximize your potential for engagement (and opportunities to work with brands). If you’re trying to monetize your blog and social media, you’re essentially trying to use your platforms for marketing and advertising purposes, and no one really pays attention to sub-par photos. Wipe off your camera/phone lens, pay attention to your composition + exposure, keep a steady hand (use the AE/AF Lock) and take clean, sharp photos that serve a purpose. If all else fails, suck it up and find a photographer whose aesthetic fits yours and hire them to take your pictures. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel, but you DO have to put in real effort to improve your photo quality if you’re trying to take your blog/brand to the next level.
You don’t post consistently
When I post consistently to my blog and social media, I see an increase in traffic, engagement on both platforms, and a growth spurt in my following. When I get really busy and slack up on posting, everything stays stagnant. Posting inconsistently is the fastest way to stall out your growth. There’s no secret sauce or special technique that you can do to get around it. Post consistently, see results. Post inconsistently, hope that if nothing else, you maintain your current numbers. Consistency means something different for all bloggers; some people can post every day while others only have time to post 3 times a week, so do what realistically works for you. Either way, the algorithm responds to how often you post so keep that in mind any time you feel stuck.
You don’t use any hashtags /use the wrong hashtags
While they may not be as effective as they were 2 years ago, hashtags are still a great tool to help you expand your reach on IG beyond your current following. Using the right combination of hashtags with your photos can help people find you-just make sure that you’re using ones that are relevant to your post. You can use up to 30 with a post, and it doesn’t matter if you include them in the caption or in a comment, just use them.
No link in your profile
Want people to read your blog? Make sure you actually include a link to your website on your page. Simple, I know, but there are still a lot of bloggers that have websites and they don’t include their links in their bio. Whenever I publish a new blog post, I always edit the link in my bio to go to it before I share a photo about it to my feed or IG stories; I’ve found that that helps to drive immediate traffic to my posts. it takes less than a minute to do and you can almost immediately see results from it, whether it’s from traffic to your blog or comments on your IG post (some people prefer to respond there vs on your blog). Remember, you own your website (and not IG), so make it easy for your audience to get to your content!
You don’t respond to comments or DMs
I don’t care if you have a million comments on your post, RESPOND TO YOUR COMMENTS + DMs. Even if it’s just to say thank you, carve out time in your schedule to go through your posts + DMs to engage with your audience. The best time to do it is within an hour of posting, but we all know that sometimes you might have to jump on and off within minutes of posting, but at some point you should go back to engage. A bonus tip would be to also comment on other people’s pages as well, even if you don’t follow them. Don’t spam or say anything weird-just add a comment that relates to the post (READ THE CAPTION!) or reply to people’s IG Stories.
Your account is private
If blogging is just a hobby and you don’t really care about who reads your blog or sees your IG posts then you can keep your page private, but if you’re wanting to use your platform for something bigger, make your account public. Some bloggers show the good, bad and ugly on their accounts, while some are more curated (the choice is yours), but having a public account makes it so much easier for people to see your content and follow you.
You don’t mix up your content
Just because you’re a fashion or beauty blogger doesn’t mean every single photo you post has to be a picture of you. Yes, there are a handful of bloggers who can do this (and they work hard to get the quality content to be able to maintain this strategy), but for the most part, mixing up your content will help keep your feed interesting (and stop your audience from being bored). Now, this isn’t a guarantee that everything you post will knock it out of the park (I can attest that photos of me/my face do exponentially better than product, food or location shots), but this helps to tell my blog’s overall story while making it easy for me to keep up a relatively consistent posting schedule. If you don’t want to do that (and only want to post photos of yourself), mix up how you shoot. Change up your poses, go to cool locations, mix in photos of you from the waist up vs just full body OOTD shots. Unless you have spectacular style or you’re someone that shops so frequently that you’re always posting new clothes, people will get bored really fast if they’re not getting any value from your posts.
The mistakes listed above aren’t hard to fix, but doing so can begin to make a big impact in your continued growth. Every few weeks, do a check in with yourself on how your content is performing so that you can make tweaks to your strategy and continue to grow. Need more help? Click here for all of my blogging + social media tips + tricks.