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First, thank you everyone for the kind comments on yesterday’s post. It was a bit of a touchy subject, but I think it’s good to share. Today I wanted to talk about one of my favorite things that I haven’t talked about in a while. Social media!

Edit: After years of working in a cubicle (as a social media and marketing manager), I’ve broken free and am now writing on a separate site. If you want tips for growing your blog and/or business. Head on over to Winn Creative Co.

Considering it’s what I do for a living, and it’s definitely blogging related, I wanted to bring back (occasional) blogging related posts. I’ve reintroduced my consulting services and am excited to get back to helping you all beast your blogs and small businesses. My soft launch taught me so much about the process and I was blown away by the success my clients experienced. Head on over if you want to fast track your blog.

I want to start today by sharing tips for everyone’s favorite form of social media, Instagram. Who doesn’t like Instagram? Even people who have never posted a picture love Instagram. It is an amazing visual tool and can be an important asset for a blogger. But like all forms of social media, it’s not very easy to grow a mass following, so here are tips to help you out.

How to grow your Instagram following // Tips for growing a strong an consistent number of followers (without participating in giveaways or sponsorships)

Get your goals in order

We all know the basics of Instagram, you share pictures with a description and hashtags. But when you’re using it as a blogging tool it needs to have a much more specific focus. It is a means to share visual support for behind the scenes of your brand. If you don’t have a brand for your blog (get on that), think about the mood and categories of your blog. I’m your typical hipster obsessed with my husband and dog, so my Instagram

For example, I’m your typical hipster and my priorities are my husband and dog, inspiring women, nature and healthy living. If you look at my Instagram, you’ll see Gatsby, Carl, inspiration, nature, hipsterness, and healthy living. When you post a picture, think about what it is adding to the content of your brand.

Don’t overshare

I know, your baby is very cute, I really really mean it. I can’t get enough of baby pictures, but I am the minority. The only people who want to see your baby pictures are close family and friends and people with extreme baby fever (this girl right here). You don’t want a specific subject to take up a majority of your photos. Variety is the spice of life and an important part of being appealing on Instagram. Note, variety does not mean share completely random photos (see previous item), it means to not overshare one single thing. That thing can be selfies, puppies, babies, your breakfast, you get the picture. If you have something you just can’t not share, set boundaries.  I try to limit my Gatsby pictures to once a week.

Don’t spam

There’s no secret number to the perfect amount of photos to share, but it is certain that consistency matters. Once a day is recommended, but when you go higher than once a day you risk becoming spammy. Stick to once a day and see how that works for you. I’ve noticed with the Instagram profiles I manage at work, the account that shares 4-5 posts (the most of the separate accounts) a week has the highest and steadiest growth.

Quality matters

Nobody likes ugly pictures. Literally and figuratively. Think about what photos you like on Instagram, they all probably have great lighting, a clear intention/subject, and are in focus. Really honestly assess your photos. You post them because you love them and they represent something important to you, but if the quality isn’t there, it’s going to be hard to make followers interested. Do yourself a favor and download the VSCO cam app on your phone and it will change your life. Always use the app to take pictures and you will be able to edit

Do yourself a favor and download the VSCO cam app on your phone and it will change your life. Always use the app to take pictures and you will be able to edit them to a better quality. Also, read this post from Two Twenty One, it’s been the biggest help in improving my iPhone photos.

Engage with users

Use hashtags so people can find you. If you don’t want to bog down your photo description with hashtags, publish the post and comment with all the relative tags. Don’t be afraid to regram photos that you love and support your brand, just be sure to always give credit to the original poster. Definitely be sure to comment posts where it seems natural. “Cool pic!” is not natural. It’s just like with leaving comments on other blogs, when you invest in others they become interested in you. After all, isn’t the whole point of blogging and social media to interact with one another?

What are your favorite tips for Instagram?

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  • I love these tips!! And I will be joining you for a Social Media consult sometime soon 😉 I’m working on my social media this year and need some help. Probably in June after the baby is here and life has settled back into a routine, but I’m going to do it, it sounds like an awesome consult!

  • Jen Mc

    These are all good points! Thanks for sharing them.
    Have a good week