You might have noticed that I’ve grown this blog’s Instagram to over 56K followers. We also have an above average engagement rate because y’all are the best community anyone could hope to create. I get a few emails every week from people asking if I have any Instagram tips and it finally occurred to me to write a blog post featuring a few things I think you should do to grow your Instagram account.
Use Community Hashtags + Tag Accounts
Let’s start with the obvious. You need to use hashtags like #browngirlbloggers. When I started this blog there weren’t a lot of groups for black and brown content creators but that just isn’t the case anymore. Take the time to identify the communities that resonate with you and use their hashtags. If the people running other groups are anything like me they are looking for people to repost. If you get reposted you’re opening yourself up to a new audience. Make sure your pictures look good because most people only want to repost quality images. There are also other people looking through these hashtags for bloggers to follow and pictures to like.
PS: I don’t recommend emailing to ask for a shoutout unless it is specified as a way to get featured. We get a lot of emails and sometimes won’t see yours for weeks or it might get lost in the email shuffle.
Collaborate With Other Bloggers And Repost Each Other
I always recommend asking someone with a similar amount of followers because a lot of bloggers do this thing where numbers matter more than content. If your content is really good it might be worth it to reach out to a blogger with slightly higher numbers than you as they might want to support you even if they don’t “get anything” in return. The way you do this is by reaching out over email or DM and asking if they want to swap pictures to repost. Make the caption engaging.
PS: I recommend actually becoming friends with other bloggers so that this can come up organically. Yes, you can do it with strangers as a way to build both your audiences but having blogging friends is going to help you out more in the long run.
Tag Brands In Your Photos
This works especially well for smaller brands with bigger audiences than you. If you post a cute outfit or flatlay using a company’s products they will probably repost your picture to their audience. This does three things: it shows that shop’s customers or potential customers that people like and use their products, they get content for their Instagram, and it opens you up to a new audience. It’s a win, win. You are providing value even if your audience is small. You have to remember to make sure the picture is really good. Go through that brand’s Instagram and look at what they usually post. Does your picture fall in line with that?
Reply To Your Instagram Comments + Comment On Other Accounts
Engagement matters on Instagram. Instagram is looking at how many likes and comments you get and guess what… your comments count. I’m not saying you should spam your own Instagram with comments but it wouldn’t hurt to reply to your comments and try to start a conversation so that your engagement goes up. When you comment on someone’s Instagram make sure the comment is relevant. Don’t leave weird spammy comments.
Have A Call-To-Action In Your Caption
This simply means you should ask a question that encourages your followers to leave comments. As stated earlier comments matter and you want to encourage community on your Instagram account.
Post Daily Or At Least Weekly
If you don’t post on Instagram regularly your engagement is going to take a hit. Last year I stopped posting on my personal account for a few months and once I started posting again towards the end of the year my engagement was in the dumps. I went from 500 likes per picture to 100. I’m currently experimenting with raising my engagement in various ways and will report back. You can follow me if you’d like :)
BONUS: Something To Note About Reposts
You need to be mindful of your image size. You want a picture that will be easy to screenshot and repost so make it a square image. If your image isn’t square part of it will be cut off or it won’t get reposted.
Do you have any Instagram tips to share?