Fast forward to July 2015. After 6 months, I thought I had a pretty good handle on what to do and not do on Instagram. On today's Tech Tidbits Tuesday, I'll give you my honest opinion about Instagram, as well as Followers on Instagram Free, and Repost & Regram for Instagram Free, AND the scoop on my 2nd account!
I started thinking about everything I had learned about Instagram over the last 6 months concerning Followers, Following, Likes, Comments, Emojis, and Hashtags.
My favorite place in the world is Greece, and so on July 6th I launched a new account, "I Have This Thing With Greek Beaches" @ihavethisthingwithgreekbeaches! My very first image (below) has almost caught up in terms of Likes with my sunset image from Travel with Mrs. T....wow!
Post what they love, consistently!
When I launched "I Have This Thing With Greek Beaches" I assumed that everyone wants to visit Greece at least once in their life, especially the islands. I posted 8 photos the first day, and have posted 3-6 photos throughout the day every day since.
The photo (above) from Skopelos island received the most Likes during Week 3, and was my Monday feature for Photo of the Week. The original photo continued to receive Likes, and became the Photo of the Month (the first to receive the award!!) Both of the reposts (below) also received Likes, so this photo has received a total of 173 Likes! Double wow!
I'm participating in a 30 Day Blogging Challenge this month. Trenna, one of the other bloggers completing the same challenge, shared a great post she wrote called, What is a like? Though it was more about Facebook, the discussion of Likes vs. Comments is valid on Instagram too!
Now, I'm currently not making any money from my blogging--I don't have a business. I'm happy with any amount of Followers, Likes, Comments, etc. Really! The idea that complete strangers care enough to Like my photo, or leave me a Comment is awesome! So far, all of the comments have been positive, on both of my accounts.
But I'm a competitive person. I want more Followers, more Likes, more Comments...you name it. Just today in another Facebook group, another blogger posted a comment about Instagram, and asked how people were gaining more Followers. She had been trying, and had not reached the numbers she wanted.
I headed over to her account (it shall remain nameless, you'll see why in a minute) and looked at her profile--she had almost 2,000 Followers to my 439 Followers @travelwithmrst and 368 Followers @ihavethisthingwithgreekbeaches. I followed her with both of my accounts though, and started thinking more about Instagram, hence the topic of today's post!
Now she's a travel blogger, so I figured she'd follow at least one of my accounts. Well, it's 12 hours later, and no, she hasn't! Well, that might be one reason she isn't gaining a lot of Followers! I know, some people think that you should have tons more Followers than Following, but I love great photos, and if someone Follows me, I immediately check out their account and make a quick decision whether to Follow them back. It's the polite thing to do, right?!
Well, here's my really opinionated part of the post. Are you ready? Make sure you're sitting down.
I dislike selfies, lots of selfies, only selfies in an Instagram account.
I dislike lack of appropriate clothing in photos, in lots of photos, in an Instagram account.
I dislike excessive filters, always filters, in an Instagram account.
I dislike accounts where there is nothing to follow, since the person last posted one of their 5 photos 25 weeks ago!
These are Followers that I have not followed back. Some have UnFollowed me because of this.
Now, you might be asking, how do I know this?
It's easy with one of the apps I'm now using, Followers on Instagram Free.
Whenever I go to the app, it lets me know who my new Followers are and who my new UnFollowers are! Now, when I see that someone UnFollowed me, I go to their account and see if I was even Following them in the first place. If so, I go back to their account and see if I really want to continue looking at their great photos, when they aren't looking at mine anymore. Sometimes, it's a YES, other times, it's a NO. Usually it's a NO (Revenge is one of my favorite TV shows in the U.S.) Petty? Maybe. But if I was running a business, I would be looking even more carefully at my Followers, especially those who are 'liking' and/or 'commenting', since they should be my targeted audience!
I knew from my Travel with Mrs. T. blog, Facebook page and Instagram account, that having some kind of conversation with your audience is tough, very tough! It's hard when you really love something you've posted, and it sits there with no likes, and no comments. So, I decided that I was going to give Followers, and visitors to my Instagram account @ihavethisthingwithgreekbeaches, a chance to be "Featured!" It's working.
Time for the 2nd app, Repost & Regram for Instagram Free.
At least two-thirds of the photos I feature each week are Reposts/Regrams of other peoples' photos. I had 23 different people featured on my account in July, and these people continue to add the hashtag #ihavethisthingwithgreekbeaches on some of their photos! Plus, that number is increasing every day. I'm very grateful for these first 23, since they chose to add my hashtag to their photos, knowing that I still do not have a very large audience. I thanked them yesterday with the photo below!
I had no clue about hashtags when I started using Instagram 7 months ago. But after reading a few online articles, I knew that in order to increase my reach, I needed to add more, AND more effective hashtags to my posts. The best way to find out what hashtags are trending, is to enter a word or phrase in the Search and click on Tags. The assumption is that if people are adding a specific hashtag to their photos, they might also be checking the other photos that get posted with that hashtag!
I'm not an expert! Let me say it again, I'm not an expert! But I am someone who has amassed more Followers and Likes in 4 weeks with my new Instagram account, than I did in 6 months with my first one.
So, let's review:
Know your audience!
Post what they love, consistently!
Share quality photos!
To Follow or UnFollow, that is the question!
Regram/Repost--give credit where credit's due!
Use effective hashtags!
Know what you want to accomplish with your Instagram account!
Whether you're using Instagram to advertise your business, support your blog, or just share photos with friends and family, remember the photos are there for all to see (if your account is public). While this could cause issues for some (think about the types of images I dislike), the instant access you have to a wide audience is immediately evident on your mobile device. Before I've even had a chance to add a comment to my photo with extra hashtags, people from all over the world have already Liked the image.
There you have it , my honest opinion--take it or leave it--honest!! Hopefully you've found something helpful though in today's Tech Tidbits Tuesday!
What's your honest opinion about Instagram?
Let me know in a comment below!
Oh, and I'd love some more Followers! I left you quick links throughout the post!) Thanks in advance!