21 Days of My Instagram Habit: Week 1
It's time for me to step up my game on Instagram. Admittedly, I got into Instagram kind of late in the game. It took me awhile because I'm not really a snap happy type of person, but now I have two Instagram accounts- my personal one (@felishalin) and another that is focused on art and street art (@icarteverywhere)!
Since it's been said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, I've decided to spend 21 days on my "Instagram habit," during which time I'll focus on trying out some new strategies to get more followers, and to see where it takes me. I'll report back here on my progress weekly.
For some time, I've been reading and hearing that while Instagram may not have as many users as Facebook, their users are the most engaged users of all the social media platforms. So I don't think I'm taking full advantage of all the opportunities and possibilities on Instagram.
Until recently, I'd have to say that I've been kind of passive on Instagram. Sure I post daily, or at least try to, I hashtag my posts with relevant hashtags so that it gets discovered by others, I comment back to anyone who comments on my posts, and I follow back people who follow me on Instagram. But I know that there's probably more that I should be doing to interact with others on Instagram and to grow my following.
I've noticed that my posts on Instagram are often liked by people I don't know, which means that my posts are getting discovered by people beyond my personal social circles. Instagram users are more likely to go beyond their personal circles to search for interesting content, unlike Facebook, where people mostly stick to interacting with their personal connections or acquaintances. This presents a great opportunity to get your content discovered by others.
When I decided to step up my Instagram game on Monday, one of the things I tried out is something that I've seen others doing on Instagram, namely using the words "click link in bio" in a post. This is done because the only clickable web link on Instagram is in the bio section. Web links mentioned in posts are not clickable, so if you'd like to direct someone to take action (e.g. read a blog post, watch a video, get on your mailing list, visit your website, etc.) directing people to click the link in your bio is the way to do it. Here's what I did on Monday, when I posted about my latest blog entry on my personal Instagram account (@felishalin):
Like how I put the words "click link in bio" on a separate line and used the pointing finger emojis to draw attention to the phrase? Instagram is a highly visual platform so using emojis is highly encouraged and very effective. Think of emojis like a universal language that transcends what we traditionally consider language.
If you're wondering how I got the words "click link in bio" on a separate line- I picked up this tip on this from social media guru Kim Garst. Type the text for an Instagram bio or post in Notes (on an iPhone) first. In Notes you'll be able to control the placement of each line of text. Then copy and paste it from Notes onto Instagram.
Let's not forget that you'll have to make sure that you update the link in your bio accordingly. The link in the bio of my personal Instagram account (@felishalin) used to simply be www.felicialin.com, but I realized that for the most part if I'd be directing people anywhere, it would be to my blog, so I changed the link to www.felicialin.com/blog. With my other Instagram account, @icarteverywhere, I didn't have a link in the bio before so I simply added in: www.felicialin.com so that people could find out more about me if they were curious to know who's behind the Instagram account @icarteverywhere. That may change later depending on what I decide to do with this Instagram account. I might change the link if I have a specific call to action for people following that account.
As of Monday I had 531 followers on my @felishalin Instagram account and 200 followers on my @icarteverywhere Instagram account. Let's see if I'm able to increase the number of followers I have on these accounts by the end of 21 days. To gain more followers on Instagram it's a good idea to follow people first and see if they will follow you back. Two strategies that Kim Garst has shared to gain more followers include: 1) Search a specific hashtag, see what's posted there, which posts are most popular and who posted it, then see who their followers are, and follow their followers, and 2) Find influencers in your industry or area of expertise, look at something they recently posted, see who liked the post, then follow the people who liked the post. I'm going to test out these two strategies over the next week, and let's see what happens.
Tips shared in this post:
1. Use relevant hashtags in your posts to get discovered by others on Instagram.
2. Use emojis in your bio and in your posts on Instagram as another way of communicating your thoughts and ideas. Go crazy, have fun with them!
3. Use the words "click link in bio" if you'd like to direct people to a specific web link in your Instagram post.
4. Use Notes (on an iPhone) to type out text and emojis for your Instagram bio or post. In Notes you'll be able to control the spacing of text on your Instagram bio or posts, then copy and paste it into your Instagram bio or post.
5. Include a web link in your bio that is relevant to your posts if you are directing people there, or use a web link that lets people know more about you in general.
6. Search a specific hashtag to find new people to follow. See what's posted there, which posts are most popular and who posted it, then see who their followers are, and follow their followers.
7. Find influencers in your industry or area of expertise. See who their followers are and look at something they recently posted. See who likes their posts, then follow the people who liked the post.