3 Brilliant Instagram Resources To Organically Grow Engagement
In the months following the new Instagram algorithm I made the decision that engagement was more important to me on the platform than followers. Engagement means a conversation, it means sharing interests and recommendations and it better translates into website clicks and sales if that applies to you. That’s not to say that you can’t have both a larger following and matching engagement (that’s the dream goal). I preface with this because these resources aren’t to help you grow overnight or feed a bot whilst you sleep.
The process of organically growing an Instagram account is something I’ve found painfully slow. However, as an avid photography lover and experimenter I’ve come to love it as a platform to share visuals and seek inspiration. That being said, here are three resources that I’ve found incredibly useful to increase engagement.
Whether you’re going for a themed feed or not, Planoly is such a useful tool even on the free version. Sign up on their website and connect with your Instagram to see a visual representation of your grid. You can upload photos to this grid, move them around in an order to suit, add a description and schedule them for anytime in the future.
Then, download the app on your phone and you’ll receive a push notification at the scheduled time. It will open the image into the Instagram app, copy your description to your clipboard and all you have to do is paste and go. (Of course, you can still edit the photo further using filters, tag people/brands and choose which social media outlets to share to).
Brilliant things about Planoly
- As you type out hashtags it shows how many posts those tags have. Including a variety of popular and less that 10K post tags has made a positive difference.
- Using the @ you can start typing out names of accounts you want to tag and it will auto show accounts that exist. Great for when you want to tag brands in the description.
- It gives you a tally of how many hashtags you’ve used so far. The maximum is 30 so it stops you going over the limit.
- I can use it on my computer making it so much easier to write out tags and quality descriptions. I have a notepad of hashtags that suit the types of photos I post (nature, beauty, skincare etc.). I can quickly paste these in.
- Scheduling ahead has meant I could post twice a day to Instagram without a problem. And sometimes, when I’m super organised, can have a week of content ready to go.
- Being able to see your feed at present and what it would look like tomorrow or a week from now is so useful. It shows me if I’m posting too much of the same thing in a row. Because I’ve chosen to mix my account between beauty products and natural photography, I don’t want to have blocks of just one topic.
- Basic analytics showing engagement and follower growth over time periods. My favourite is the top 5 most liked and commented on photos. It conveniently also shows the times underneath which helps in deciphering the best times to post. I’ve been experimenting with this recently.
- Using the discover tab you can research hashtags and see what types of photos fit into them.
The more hashtags you use, the more people are likely to see your photos (unrelated to whose following feeds you're on). Researching hashtags can be a pain. I used to look up resources on Pinterest that provide hashtags for bloggers, beauty lovers or creatives etc. However, over time some of those tags have become saturated and whilst I’ll still add a couple from that pool, I want to find more focused and curated feeds to add my photos too. These are the hashtags that I will choose to browse for inspiration and are less likely to be crawling with bots.
How it works:
- Type a hashtag in the top search bar.
- It will return with a list of similar hashtags that fit the theme of the one you searched. This is important as it isn’t based on the words itself but probably instead looks at the other hashtags used frequently in photos of the tag you searched.
- The red and yellow bars on the side of the hashtag list shows relevance to your searched tag and popularity respectively.
I’d still recommend searching the hashtags you discover here first before using (I do this on Planoly) to ensure that you’re using them correctly. This mainly applies for hashtags will a smaller batch of photos. You’re unlikely to see engagement if you post the wrong types of images into very curated hashtag feeds.
IF THIS THEN THAT
A popular tool used for scheduling and sharing content as well as other organisational and business tasks. Whilst I’ve found myself comfortable with my current scheduling routines and automation, the one feature here that I loved was how it works with Instagram.
So, instead of just seeing a piece of the caption and an Instagram link, you get the whole image attached too which is always going to be more visually appealing and gives you added content for your Twitter feed. If you use Tumblr, there’s also the option to post your photos there too.
I’d love to know if you use any of these resources already or try them out and find them useful. Also, feel free to leave a comment with any other suggestions. In the new year, I’ll be back with monthly Instagram inspiration posts and sharing awesome hashtag discoveries.
PIN ME, PRETTY PLEASE: