An Uncomplicated Life Blog: 4 Tips To Boost Your Instagram Account

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

4 Tips To Boost Your Instagram Account

Instagram's usage exploded in 2014 and continues to grow this year. Social media users are getting sick of Facebook's algorithms (all in favor of that, raise your hand! *raises hand*) and the fast-paced, often inaccurate information found on Twitter. Plus, we're humans. We're visual. We like pictures.

But just like the other social media platforms, there's a way to use Instagram to get the max engagement from your followers. It's not simply point + click + post = gain likes and followers.

For roughly the last three to four months, I've conducted a very (un)scientific study of my Instagram photos. I recorded and analyzed my findings (no seriously, I did. This is what happens when you have a Master's degree and decide to stay home with a baby...) to yield:



4 Tips To Boost Your Instagram Account

1) Post pics during high traffic times. This is logical: the more people who are on IG, the more interaction you'll get with your photo. But what are those times? From my data, I've found early in the weekday morning (before people go to work, such as 6-7am); the early evening (between 7pm-9pm) and anytime on Sundays, but especially on Sunday evenings. Now, I have a national audience following my IG account and am in the Central timezone, so you may find you have to tweak these times slightly if your account differs. When you post during a high traffic time, you'll see more likes, comments and new followers from every post!

Despite a typo autocorrect fail, this was posted at a high traffic time and got plenty of likes and comments

2) Use hashtags, but not IN your post. Whether you're annoyed with hashtags or not, it's a way to connect your photo to similar photos, and people who are interested in that topic. It makes your photo searchable and viewable to more people than just your followers (as long as your account isn't private - see #4). So where do you put those hashtags if not in your actual post? In the comment section! If you put them in the comment section, every time someone comments on your post, your pic gets bumped up to the first of all the photos with that hashtag. Which will invite more participation on your pic. Which will get you more likes. And more followers. See the cycle?

See how the hashtags are the first comment under my pic post? That's where you want them!

3) Post clear, bright, relevant photos. That blurry pic you caught of your dog running after a ball might be cute to you, but the rest of us don't care. However, if you get a pic of your dog balancing a treat on his nose and it's in focus, that's likeable to a wider audience. The same principle applies to children, times 100. I feel like I can say this because I'm a mom, and post pics of my baby on IG. Nobody cares to see an empty, messy high chair after your 9 mo old eats ravioli. But catch them in the act making a funny face? That's likable. Babies are generally likeable as long as they're cute, funny, and in focus. A witty hashtag also helps. Excessive photos of your children doing daily, mundane tasks? Not interesting. The difference is unique content that's in focus.

This was a "#myhomeIRL" tagged post. I used a bright, clear photo where Henry is smiling while he makes a massive mess!

4) Make your account PUBLIC. If you're a blogger and your account if private, nobody can see your photos via hashtags, no one but your followers can interact with you and you're wasting a HUGE opportunity to promote your blog and build community. Make your account public. Why have a public blog and a private IG? If someone you don't like follows you or comments, simply block them. If you don't want "just anyone" to see your photos, you should likely take stock of what kind of photos you're putting out there - nothing should be risque or inappropriate. So if you want to see growth both in your IG following/interactions and your blog, make it public.

I link up with #FridayIntroductions about once a month, and because my account it public I gain tons of followers from that hashtag alone.



A little over six months ago, I had just over 300 followers. After I started to use these tips, my account has grown to over 1400 followers, and adding more daily. Trust me, consistent use of these tips will grow your Instagram following and boost your interaction!

76 comments:

  1. these are great tips Paige :) thanks for sharing! I totally need to use hashtags more :)

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  2. YAY for these tips!
    #3... but seriously!

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  3. YAY for these tips!
    #3... but seriously!

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  4. Great tips! YES to number 4. I can't for the life of me understand when people have a public blog and a private instagram. Just huh?

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  5. Awesome tips! I've been trying to focus more on growing my Instagram, too. Taking better pictures has made a big difference! I use the Afterlight app to edit them and make them better before posting. And hashtags are great, too. I have been meaning to do more research on relevant hashtags for food bloggers. I know a few but I'm sure there are more that would be helpful.

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  6. Thank you so much for these great tips! I am going to try them out and see how I get on :)

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  7. These tips are amazing! Congrats on growing your following so much! And can I give you a slow clap for #3? I'm a mama-to-be and already trying to train myself to not post too many pics, nor pics that no one else will care about. Those can go straight to grandma in a text. :)

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  8. I had heard about not putting the hashtags in the caption but didn't know why... That's awesome!!

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  9. Thank you for the tips! We are working on our Instagram account now.
    Traci
    waltzmetoheaven.com

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  10. Wow, great tips Paige! I need to step up my IG game. I heard that they are now not showing your photos in all your followers feeds, like the FB algorithm. *sigh, oh social media.
    I need to start putting the hashtags in the comments. That's a great tip! And I haven't done a Friday intro. I'll try to remember that this week. :)

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  11. Great tips - thanks for sharing! I need to start putting hashtags in my comments versus my post!

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  12. I had no idea putting the hashtags in he comments bumped it up to the top of that hash tag... Hmm. Awesome tip, thanks a bunch, I'll have to start doing that instead stat!

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  13. I had no idea also about the hashtags in the comments. Ive always put them in the actual image - time for a change! Thanks for the tips lady :)

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  14. Great tips! I didn't know about the hashtag one either!

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  15. Can I ask how you balance the need for privacy for your child (or children) and wanting to gain a big following? Have you considered the implications of ANYONE having access to your child's image? I'm really am not trying to be rude (I promise!!), it's just something I started thinking about a few years ago after reading a lot of blogs with kids featured on them. Granted some of those are WAY overexposing and almost exploiting the kids, and I don't view yours that way at all (not even a little bit). But it's always an interesting conversation I think. I have many friends who have public IGs etc, just curious what you thoughts are!

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    Replies
    1. Hey Staci! I have several thoughts on this and some useful information for you, but I can't reply because you're a no reply blogger! If you want to email me directly, feel free. Otherwise, I can't return the comment :( paigeallisonleitch@gmail.com

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  16. This is amazing! Definitely agree on posting during high traffic times and I SO need to get better at hashtags. Also, how in the world was I not following you?! Just fixed that :)

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  17. Okay, I have NEVER heard that about putting the hashtags in the comments. Thank you so much for sharing, I'm definitely going to start doing that!

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  18. Thanks for the tips. I'd never thought to put the hashtags in the comments. I just used that one!

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  19. Thanks for these tips. I'm still trying to figure out how to manage Instagram to the fullest.

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  20. I had NO idea about the comment thing. I'm going to start doing that from now on. Thank you!

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  21. I've never understood when I see bloggers (especially in a giveaway to follow their account) having a private blog account? I know the thing I definitely want to work on is posting in peak times and hashtags!

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  22. I was not aware of #2. I'll be hashtagging in my comments from now on. Thanks for sharing! -Misty

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  23. Love these tips! I never would think to post during peak traffic times.

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  24. Awesome tips! Instagram is my favourite social media platform and I've been working at growing my following for quite some time now. I always find I get more likes and follows when I spend time connecting with other people as opposed to just posting my own pictures!

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  25. About a month ago, Instagram changed its policy regarding hashtags, so unfortunately, the advice about adding hashtags to comments rather than your caption is no longer accurate. It is now better to add your hashtags to the caption itself, as your post will now always appear in the feed for a particular hashtag according to the time the photo was originally posted, rather than when the hashtag was added. This post has a screenshot from Instagram regarding the change: http://louisem.com/7198/how-to-use-hashtags-on-instagram

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  26. I had no idea about the hastags! Thanks for sharing !

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  27. #2 - I so didn't know that! Thank you!! And #4 - I was so leary about making my account public. There are so many creepers out there, but I finally did it. I still worry about some of the people following me and wish I could block them. Do you know if there's a way to do that?

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