HOW TO GROW YOUR INSTAGRAM FOLLOWING IN 2017

Hello blogger friends!

Look who came back to part III of my “How to Start a Fashion Blog” series! Boy, am I glad to hear y’all are enjoying this series. They take a lot of time (and research) to curate so, PHEW! In the last two weeks, I’ve gone over the complete guide to starting a fashion blog & 10 tips for curating fashion blog content. Today I want to introduce you to your new best friend, Instagram. She is moody, constantly changing, and extremely difficult to understand, but don’t worry, we are going to try to tame the beast together.

Blogs are very image (and now video) driven, so I like to think of Instagram as an extension of my blog and youtube channel. Instagram is a great way to be discovered and let your personality shine. I engage with my followers by filming Instagram story try on hauls, showing the behind the scenes, introducing them to my friends and bfJordan, and even sharing really intimate details of my life. When trying to grow an authentic audience, here are some of the things I focus on.

BE STRATEGIC WITH YOUR COMMENTS. Leave comments on accounts that are similar to yours or have the right type of audience you want to target!  The idea is to be the last person to comment on the post and if your comment was interesting enough, they maaay just click over to your account to have a look.

DON’T TRY SO HARD ON INSTAGRAM STORIES. I have my people I watch on Insta stories. @SomethingNavy, @Arielle, @Caraloren, @Jessecoulter, and @HelloFashionBlog, to name a few. (WOAH! I just realized most of these are mommy bloggers). Anyway, some bloggers will disagree with me on my next point but chances are, you’re like me. I love to produce high quality content of course, but I can’t be “on fleek” every second of everyday. Like there are days when my life is messy, I am exhausted, and things are just not all glamorous. For example, the days I go out and shoot 5 outfits, my room turns into a DISASTER. I would never Instagram of my bedroom with mounds of clothes and clutter, but I WOULD post that messy unedited pic on my Instagram Stories because I appreciate the realness and transparency Stories offer. I watch other people’s Stories to experience the behind the scenes of  people I admire and feel like we are besties. S0, I would offer people a different unfiltered element to your life on Stories.

However, remember how I said this tip is not for everyone? Bloggers like @LonestarSouthern and @Jessi_Afshin have some of the most glam Insta stories and I also find them super relatable. Honestly though, Idk how they do it. #talent

The reason some Stories appear at the top is based on the accounts you follow and the posts you have liked in the past. Instagram may also show you Stories that accounts you personally follow have liked, or were liked by a large number of people.

FOCUS ON ENGAGEMENT NOT FOLLOWERS. If you’re able to generate a lot of engagement on your Instagram posts shortly after posting, this signals to Instagram that your post is quality, engaging content and your post will move to the top of your followers feeds and be shown to more users.

RUN A CONTEST OR GIVEAWAY. Running an Insta contest or giveaway is a fun and easy way to promote yourself on Instagram, and it’s also one of the easiest way to gain exposure, which will help you get Instagram followers. I think anything that gets your name out there is a good idea.

USE HASHTAGS. Having a solid hashtag strategy is an essential component for any Instagram and targeting a niche audience. Right now, I use #Dallasblogger #Dallas and have run into so many people who follow me in Dallas and found me on Insta! Coincidence? I think not!

CREATE YOUR OWN HASHTAG. Not only does this build community by showing your followers that you appreciate their photos, but it also gives you content for your own account. Last year, I started #TravelingDani to showcase my travels and I encourage people to use it when they travel to the same place as me.

WRITE ENGAGING CAPTIONS.  Photos and videos might be the most important part of your Instagram posts, but captions are just as important! They’re an essential part of your post. Use your captions to humanize your brand, show off your personality, and create more shareable content.

ENCOURAGE FOLLOWERS TO TAKE ACTION. If you post one of your favorite quotes, encourage people to “like” if they relate or agree. I love to ask questions and get to know my followers through the comment or DM’s on instagram.

FIGURE OUT WHAT YOUR AUDIENCE LIKES. Do a little research! Ever heard of Iconosquare? Go back and find which ones got the most likes and comments — and of course, the least and start giving people more of what they want!

GEOTAG YOUR PHOTOS. Visiting a new coffee shop or restaurant? Geotag that ish! I search geotags ALL the time, mainly because I want to know what the dress codes are for certain restauarnts but geotags can definitely get your instagrams discovered! Just think about how much your post will speak to someone when you’re wearing a cute outfit, eating the pizza from their favorite restaurant. SHABAM.

Scroll down for outfit links and details!

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