In this super simple tutorial, I'll show you the four key ways a blogger can (and should!) utilize Instagram. As always, I'll be sharing tried and true techniques that I use every day; techniques that I know work and that I know you'll be able to implement. Before we get started, why don't you connect with me on Instagram?
How Bloggers Utilize Instagram
Audience GrowthInstagram is your place to find fellow kindred souls. Use the discover feature to connect with ordinary users and other bloggers who share your loves and interests. Instagram is also the place to share what you have to offer through your blog. Upload photos of your best blog posts and get busy using hashtags to drive traffic and footfall to your post.
One of the ways I like to use Instagram is as a means of letting my guard down and sharing photos of recipes or projects in progress. I don't tend to share step-by-step photos while I cook, so using my Instagram as a bit of a behind the scenes look is great for me. My readers can see all the effort that goes into each post or get backstage glimpses to trickier processes.
Blogger SupportThe number of bloggers on Instagram is staggering! There's loads of us sharing our creations and creating our own little community there and it's such a beautiful thing! Use hashtags to find other bloggers in your locality or in your niche blogging subject and connect with them.
Instagram is an easy way to see what other bloggers are up to! My top three tips for communicating with fellow bloggers on Instagram are:
- Be Inspired--there's some good stuff to be found on Instagram; scope it out!
- Be Nice--if you see something that you like; heart it! (Hearting something is like liking something on Facebook; it means you approve; you love it; you support it!)
- Be Communicative--Instagram's comment feature is primitive, yes, but you can tag users in comments just as you can on Facebook. If you like what a blogger is doing or if you've got a few friendly tips on how they can optimize their stuff, then share them in the comments. Be polite and not condescending, though!
Connecting with ReadersI don't send out newsletters because the time involved. So, I love having the opportunity to connect with my readers on Instagram. Many of my readers are even busier than I am and don't have the time to comment on every single post I write. I totally understand that and never weigh the effectiveness or popularity of a post based on comments for that reason alone. Instagram is where my readers get chatty! While commuting to work on the bus or train or waiting on queue at the doctor's, they pop onto Instagram and comment and share their support for my recipes and my blog. It works for us and I love it!
My top three tips for connecting with readers on Instagram are:
- Be Active--you don't have to Instagram all the things, but try to share something at least twice a day.
- Be Conscientious--Instagram isn't an ad platform. In fact, Instagram doesn't even display ads, so be considerate and conscientious of your followers. Don't bombard them by flogging only your own content. Instagram is about things that are happening right now. Maybe you're spending an amazing evening at a football game or are bopping around a local museum; who cares if your blog isn't related to either of these activities. Instagram is about the here and now and it provides you with a unique opportunity to share your here and now with your readers.
- Be an Instagrammer--Instagram thrives on comments, hearting images and using hashtags. If you want to be affective and connect with your readers then you need to become a dab hand at these key elements.
Trends get shared on Instagram at lightning speed and it's the perfect platform to see what's trending in your area and around the world. To get the most of Instagram in terms of determining trends, make sure you:
- Hashtag hunt--use them and search with them!
- Choose your followers wisely! Who you follow determines what you see! Will you stick to follow big brands and companies or will you mostly follow other bloggers or just general users? It depends on what you want to benefit from when using Instagram.
- Are involved--as I've stated earlier, your Instagram won't grow if you don't use it the way it's intended and the easiest and quickest way to increase your followers is to get on board with hashtags.
- Be sure to optimize your Instagram profile! Make sure your about me section does your blog justice and explains who you are and what you do!
- Be sure to include a good link in your profile! Links are not hyperlinked in Instagram captions or comments, so each user is only allowed one clickable link. If your blog has a static homepage, I would advise NOT linking to this.