Close your eyes and picture the typical postcard image you…
To be honest, in the beginning I did not unterstand why I would want to have an Instagram account. The idea to share my personal pictures with people I didn’t know did not appeal to me at all, for that I have facebook, right? It took me quite a while to understand the potential of that app. By posting pictures of my travels, I am able to support my blog by making updates what I am up to and where I am the minute it happens. Also by posting inspiring travel pictures, I could grow my audience and direct people who maybe haven’t heard of me before directly to my blog and win them as potential new readers.
I started my Instagram account @travelerslittletreasures not even a year ago and it already has over 12.500 followers at the moment. This fact has helped me to secure collaborations with hotels and brands and you can achieve that as well
1. Pick your niche
There are millions of Instagram accounts. Have a thought why yours stands out and why people should be interested in the pictures you are posting.
Maybe you are passionate about something: fashion, exercise, food or travel. Or you are skilled at drawing, photography or something else.
By sharing something you love or you are good at, you will automatically be more interested in uploading good content more regularly. And also people who share the same passion will be interested in following you.
2. Consider your Instagram feed as a photo blog
Instead of uploading random pictures, consider your feed as a blog. You wouldn’t produce random articles right? Your pictures should also have content, if you are not hundred percent happy with your picture -don’t post it. Chances are high that other people won’t like it either. It is better to have a smaller number of great, interesting post then a large gallery of pictures that are not great.
3. Follow other accounts of your niche
I like to follow other travel accounts because they inspire me to see more of the world and to work harder to be able to get to see those places. Those accounts can be a great source of inspiration and also teach me which posts work and which not so much.
4. Engage with your followers
Sometimes I get asked questions like „What place can you recommend to travel to in the Caribbean?“ or „What is it like being a flight attendant?“ or „How can you afford to travel so much?“ etc. Always make sure to take your time and answer questions. I care about each single one of my followers and apparently they do care what I am up to, otherwise they wouldn’t have subscripted to my account. By helping them with my answers, I want to give something back and show that I care about them. Sometimes I would also ask questions and ask people where they would like to see me travel to.. It is a give and get.
5. Be active in the community
If you genuinely like a picture, give it a double tab and maybe also comment below. People will appreciate your opinion and you will get noticed by them as well as their followers. People who are interested in a certain thing, might also be interested in what you are sharing.
6. Pick the right time to post something
With pictures I made the experience, that it doesn’t matter a lot when you post them. When most of your followers are from Europe for example, try to not post a picture in the middle of the night- lot of people will not see it. Pictures which are posted in the morning get noticed a lot, you probably also check your phone before getting up. Another good time is around 5/6 pm when people are finished with work and commute home. Have you noticed that nearly everyone stares at their phone in the bus or subway? See! They might be looking at your post.
Videos don’t work so much during the day because people in the office, school or university can’t really watch them during those hours.
I also made the experience that posts are more noticed during the week and less on the weekend.
7. Produce high quality images
I prefer to take my images with a DSLR or a gopro because the pictures do have better quality. I then connect the my phone with the camera and save the pictures I like on my phone. Phone cameras do get better and better, but there is a remarkable difference in the image quality. With a proper camera you have more options to play with settings and take a picture in light conditions which aren’t optimal.
8. Don’t overdo it with filters
Instagram offers a lot of filters and it is tempting to play around with them. If you want to use filters try to reduce yourself to 2 or 3. I tend to use no filters because I think a good image doesn’t need any. Instagram also gives you the option to change contrast, exposure etc. Since I put the pictures directly from my camera to my phone and do not edit them on my computer, I like to optimize the pictures a little bit that way.
9. Use # Hashtags
By using hashtags you will make your picture easier to find in a certain category. Someone who is looking for #travel #inspiration #holiday will be able to see your picture if you have used that hashtag. The app TagsforLikes gives a great list of hashtags to different topics and there are also certain hashtags from Instagram feeds of tourism offices or other big accounts that repost the best pictures. Once shared with a big audience, the attention will be drawn to your account.
Too many hashtags underneath a picture can annoy people, try to use only a few directly in your caption and post the other ones in a comment below.
10. Be patient
Building up a large audience will take time. Be patient and keep on posting good pictures. Success won’t come overnight, but will come if you stick to it.