There is always so much buzz about Instagram. How to grow it, how to get engagement, followers, and how to succeed on Instagram. It seems now everyone is coming up with their own version of a course or tips on how to succeed and as someone who has worked in social media and marketing for forever, a lot of their advice makes me shudder.
I think a lot of what we hear about social media marketing and growing online comes, from personal experience, which is great! And necessary. But not all of it is valid or holds true. So here are my two cents on why everything you hear about growing your Instagram is wrong:
You need great, engaging captions.
Yes, you do need this but it needs to be in your voice. Lots of people focus on these captions with questions that don't get answered or long quotes that get no response. Having your signature voice is so important. Some things that I've noticed about some of these courses from “famous” Instagrammers is that they tell you to have your captions their way. Don't listen to it! Yes, it's worked for them, and that's awesome. But you need to create captions that come from you. And honestly, captions aren't the only thing that can help you grow your ‘gram.
You need to be picture perfect.
No, you don't. You need great pictures, yes. But they need to fit your aesthetic and what story you're telling with your images. If I posted a picture of a quote my followers wouldn't necessarily respond to that. I haven't ever posted a quote before so that is so different from what I normally post. It doesn't fit with my Instagram theme.
You don't need to spend some time on it.
I will never be a professional dancer. I love dancing. I really do. But I will never be professional because I don't dedicate the time, effort, and consistency it takes to become successful. The same goes with Instagram (or anything, really). You have to consistently produce great work: images, captions, etc; in order to succeed. That's not to say you need to spend hours and hours a day. No way! But having a strategy will definitely help you, and that does take some effort.
You can only monetize it like this.
There are multiple ways to make real, serious money from your Instagram account. I think diversifying your income is a good idea. Like the saying goes, putting all your eggs in one basket isn't wise. There are many avenues to explore. Whether it's working with affiliates, sponsors, or creating your own products, you are bound to find what works for you.
You need to stick to one subject.
While I think that you can succeed by only focusing on a “niche”, just like with blogging, you can be successful as a real human person! Yes, it's true. You don't need to run out and start a “cats only” Instagram account. Your personal account can be successful.
You only need to use a few hashtags.
Huh? That's like saying you have 10 fingers, but go ahead and just use only 3. No, y'all! The absolute best way to gain likes and organically grow your following, aka, grow and keep on growing, is by strategically using the right hashtags. Of course, you need to be using the right hashtags.
If your hashtag game is strong you will continue to grow.
Which leads me to my next, very exciting new eBook: The Definitive Guide to Instagram Hashtags. This almost 40 page eBook covers why you need them, how to use hashtags effectively, the top ones to use, photo ideas, and more. Basically, it's the best guide ever on hashtags. Grab it now!
P.S. I'm on Instagram @heleneinbetween.
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