How to Grow your Instagram Account and get more Engagement 2018

If you have Instagram and you are actively trying to grow your audience then hopefully you'll find some useful advice to follow in this post to help you achieve your goals. This post is going to be geared towards those who want to grow their account for some sort of 'business' purpose, you may be a blogger, like me, or you may own a business that sells goods/services or you may even be a model/make-up artist trying to get recognised but all of the advice I'm going to share will be aimed at helping you grow your following. You can obviously still follow these guidelines for your personal account but personal accounts can have a lot more freedom, you don't need to create a theme or tailor your content to fit your niche. 

The Instagram algorithm is ever evolving and you need to stay on top of the updates so you can adjust how you post your content and increase your exposure and engagement. All of the tips and tricks I'm going to share today may not be valid in the next few months or even the next few days because these changes are happening all the time but this is the most up to date information I could source and how you want to be posting now to see the best results!

Okay, so, I'm going to start with some basic information that always applies, firstly, you want to make sure that any content you are posting is high quality, blurry images that are badly lit etc. won't cut it. You don't need a fancy camera to be able to do this, smartphones these days have amazing cameras and can capture some beautiful images.
Next, you want to make sure that the content you are posting fits your account if, for example, you own a clothing store you may want to share images of new stock, your store or promotions and avoid sharing pictures of what you had for dinner or your pet dog (these kinds of posts should be kept for separate personal accounts). I am a beauty and lifestyle blogger so most of my posts are of products, flatlays and occasional selfies but because I also like to post lifestyle images I might share pictures of my dog, travel and food as this helps me to add in something new to my feed and keep things interesting but still relevant. The way I keep my feed looking cohesive is by creating a 'theme', I do this by using similar colours and keeping a mostly white background, this can limit what you post but it's all about finding a balance.
A good way to decided what kind of content you should be posting is to determine your niche and target market, as I've just mentioned if you want to post a variety of different images you should consider having that lifestyle aspect but it always needs to be relevant to what you're account is promoting and what your followers want to see.

Post consistently, that doesn't mean you need to post every day, you could post 3 days a week if that's what works for you but stick to it, this lets your current and new followers know what to expect from you, if you post every day for a week then nothing for a month you will seem inactive and people won't want to click follow.

I think one of the most important things to point out is that Instagram is a SOCIAL media platform so if you want to get engagement and grow your audience then you need to interact with others. There's no use sitting back and waiting for people like comment and follow you without putting in any work yourself, you don't want to be false so make sure you leave genuine comments on content that you like and check the explore page to find similar accounts and like some of their posts often people will do the same in return and that's how you make connections and build relationships.

Now that I've gone through some basics lets look at new information that you may not have heard before or that has changed recently.

If you are posting to Instagram through another app..........stop! For example, if you edit your images in VSCO and then post directly to Instagram rather than saving your image to your camera roll then uploading it in the Instagram app then Instagram thinks someone else is posting on your behalf and they don't show/share it with as many people.

The next thing you want to be doing is trying to use all of the new Instagram features, the more you post in your stories or go live the more genuine and active you appear to Instagram and they are more likely to push you out to a wider audience this also gets you more engagement with your current followers. Instagram has also just launched IGTV which allows you to share much longer videos and looks to be a competitor for YouTube so you should also consider using this feature. These features are all a great way to show what goes on behind the scenes and add in more personality. You also want to use all the different features within your stories, add in a poll, use a boomerang or superzoom to keep things interesting and show Instagram that you are very active within the platform.

Let's talk about hashtags, how you should use them has definitely changed over the last few months, previously people were using up 30 hashtags and placing them in the first comment of their post.......not anymore! You can still use up to 30 hashtags but you should be aiming to use less, it's suggested you should use between 3-5 for best results and they should always be put in your caption. I would also suggest that you mix up the hashtags you use, for best results pick specific hashtags to suit your individual post rather than copying and pasting in the same hashtags for every post.

I hope you've found this information helpful and relevant, Instagram is becoming an increasingly difficult platform to grow but I hope this post can make things a little easier.
I will end this post by reminding you that Instagram should be fun, the number of followers you have can be important but it's just as important to have genuine followers who love what you post and want to interact with you. Have fun, be creative and be patient!

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