The London Instagram Community started back in 2011 as a way for filter-lovers to meet up, take pictures, and facilitate photo taking and sharing opportunities. Its founders, Debs Coady and Jess Macdonald are at the heart of that community. Debs has spoken at BritMums Live and not long ago Jess passed along some top tips to our Family Travel Perspective group of bloggers, who focus on family travel. These are simple tips that make taking and sharing your Instagrams more fun and engaging. Here’s what Jess has to say:
The key to a successful Instagram account really isn’t the number of followers — its the engagement and the relationships formed that you will see the benefit from. You won’t gain a million followers overnight but you can make a great Instagram account which will enhance your blog and add to all your social media platforms.
3 key factors
1. Good content
2. Regular content
3. Good engagement
What to know about good content
Look before you post your image — is this photo good enough to post?
Look behind your subject — is there something in the background you don’t want to see?
Don’t just put random filters on your photos. Make sure they enhance the picture.
The best Instagram accounts have a style and a look that runs like an editorial theme or thread through all the images. Decide what you want your look to be. Choose one filter and stick with it or use none.
Edit your photos — use great apps like Snapseed, Camera Plus and TouchReTouch to get rid of the odd lamppost!
Look at the text you are posting with your image — check spellings (just in case!). What are you saying? Is this content good enough to do on your feed? Always refer back to your blog or write something like “More to come on my blog….” You can put your web address but it’s worth noting that URLs in Instagram comments aren’t clickable.
Use the best hashtags you can find — not just because you can. The more specific the hashtag, the better
Create your own hashtag and ask your followers to join in using it.
Even if you don’t post everyday, go on Instagram every day! I suggest an hour each day but if you don’t have a spare hour, what about 20 minutes in the morning, 20 at lunch and 20 just before you go to bed? You will target different time zones if you do this as well.
Like your followers’ pictures and comment lots.
Follow the right people — those whose themes are similar to yours or that you have an affinity with — not just because they have lots of followers.
Repost old photos or old content fro your blog. A trip from last year can be unearthed and reposted with a comment saying, “Visit my blog for information on this holiday #Croatia #familyholiday” or “I’m remembering this trip from last spring and this restaurant…” Geotag old images by using GeotagMyPic App. Give shout-outs and recommendations to old favourite places — they might say thank you and follow you back.
Say thank yout o everyone who comments. I know this takes time but people appreciate it. Interact with them and ask them questions back — you might get tips or helpful information. Follow the right communities and use the communities to spread word about any contests or features you are doing. If it includes their area, they might want to be involved.
Attention is the currency we are trading with.
Grab their attention and keep them following you.
Join the Instagramers London group to keep up with the photowalks and activities they plan. By joining Instagramers London on Meetup, you can get updates on the latest events. You can also follow IgersLondon on Twitter. Or seek out your local Instagramers group to make connections.