Instagram is becoming more and more of a personal and professional outlet to help add a voice to your brand. With its booming community, it is imperative more than ever to utilize all the handy tips and tools you can get your hands on to help you find your tribe and build your community around it.

Therefore, I thought I’d share some of the tips I abide by and let you in on the saucy secrets of building an effective Instagram following!

THE 10 RULES FOR TAKING YOUR INSTAGRAM TO THEM NEXT LEVEL

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Choose A Theme

Not sure if you’re aware of this, but having a consistent theme on Instagram really helps you grow your tribe, i.e. following. With so many Instagram accounts in the realm, people always tend to follow the ones that directly speak to their niche or interests. For instance, if you’re a traveller and want to use your Instagram as a place to document it, pick a more specific theme and style to showcase your pictures, such as by giving it a feminine touch or may be by adding a more adventurous twist like focusing on the food from all your travels.
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Compose a Concise & Effective Bio

I don’t know about you, but the first thing I always look at when I am browsing through someone’s Instagram account is their bio. If I can’t right away tell who this person is or what it is exactly that their account is about, I lose interest. The primary reason for that is no one likes ambiguity. Trust is one of the most important factors in building your following, hence, spend some time composing an effective bio that concisely reflects your personality and your IG account.

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Use Specific Hashtags & Save Them In Your Notes

I was one of those people who hated hashtags… I truly did. However, now I am a big fan of it. Ever since I started using hashtags, my following has not only increased but my engagement rate has spiked up as well. With that said, don’t just randomly use hashtags, plan these ahead of time. I usually have a bunch of them picked out before hand that speak to my niche. They are nested in my Note app on my iPhone so I literally just have to copy and paste them, while adding a few more that are more specific to my post. For instance, my common hashtags are #designer #blogger #wanderess #lifestyle #travel… Whereas, my more specific ones would be #park #toronto #vegetables #breakfast #birthday and so on…

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Since, I don’t like adding my hashtags to my caption as it triggers my OCD and kind of puts a bad impression to my followers, I usually add it afterwards as a comment. However, please keep in mind that timing is crucial here! You must add the hashtags within a few seconds after you post your picture, otherwise you will not get as much response as you would have otherwise. This is where the Notes trick comes in handy.

Quality Over Quantity

This is one of the most effective and important advice I can give you. If your Instagram account is not up to par on quality, you will not gain a sound following. Therefore, always strive to maintain the quality of your collection even if that means you have to skip posting till you get some quality materials. Every time I visit someone’s Instagram account, it is one of the basic aspects I look for. If their account isn’t oozing out quality, they do not deserve my follow (sorry not sorry).

Consistency

This is where it kind of gets a little tough. So you have to maintain quality and consistency? Sorry, but yes! The more you post, the more you’ll show up on people’s feed and possibly Instagram’s Explore feed. This helps to market your account as no one really likes a dead feed. When people see that you’re an active member of the community and you are consistently posting, they’ll want to follow you – because isn’t that why we’re on Instagram, to regularly fulfill our thirst for inspiration and striking photos? But again, remember… Consistency will only work if its quality!

Use Captions for Storytelling

I know that pictures speak a thousand words… but isn’t it better when theres a caption to add to those words? Storytelling is one of the key aspects of Instagram. As human beings, we love stories! Therefore, writing detailed captions and narrating interesting stories truly help to connect with your following and attract new ones to your tribe. I have always strived to add any many media as I can to tell my story, which is why I use Instagram as I can use my photographs as well as my words to narrate my story.

Use Quality Filters

Yes! There is nothing wrong with using filters as long as they are quality. I use VSCO as my primary source of editing tool coupled with Lightroom. There are several filters you can purchase from the app and they won’t break your bank. I hesitated buying the filters at first but I eventually caved in and only regretted not doing it sooner. However, now that I have my go to filters, it helps me maintain a cohesive Instagram feed that matches my theme and style.

Use Locations

Many people tend to ignore this wonderful feature. Locations feature of Instagram really helps bring you more exposure in addition to hashtags. I tend to usually search posts based on locations to see what kind of place it really is. Thus, not only do I get exposed to the location but to the people as well! Therefore, maximize your exposure by using this handy feature.

Be Responsive & Social

The whole point of being a part of a social channel is to be social. Thus, it is absolutely vital that you are responsive and replying to your followers’ comments as well as commenting on others’ posts as well. Nobody likes to be around anti-social beings, so don’t lose your following because of that. If you’re really on Instagram to grow your tribe, you need to connect with them.

Create Your Own Unique Hashtag

This advice is relatively new and one that I have embraced with open arms. Create a unique hashtag and connect it with your brand. I tend to use #FatimaWanders as my hashtag since it truly speaks to my lifestyle blog. It helps strengthen my brand by adding another unique element to it. However, your hashtag doesn’t need to be so specific to you. It take can be specific to your theme or niche instead. For instance, several Instagrammers use hashtags like #CreativeMorning #LivingIntentionally #the100DayProject and so on… Therefore, you can and you should create a hashtag that will encourage your followers to use in their posts as well. This helps to further add exposure to your account as well as maintain a strong brand presence.

Extra

One of the most effective advice I can give you is by joining a community that strives to help each other grow on Instagram. These can be boards on Pinterest, Twitter Chats, or Facebook groups. I am a part of a thriving Facebook Group, Instagram Posse and I am so so happy to be a part of it. Such groups regularly share helpful advice, offer critiques, rejoice each other victories and act as a solid support system to help you through your ups and downs.

Hopefully these tips help you find your tribe and effectively help you grow your community on Instagram. Please bare in mind, there is no such thing as an overnight success. I am still constantly working on my Instagram account and am no where close to my goals. However, these tips and tricks have helps me tremendously boost my engagement rate and following and I am sure they’ll continue to do so.

Have some more tips and advice that I missed out on? Comment away below and let me know 🙂

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Join the discussion 16 Comments

  • Amanda says:

    These are great tips!! Thank you so much for sharing!! Xoxo

  • Sofiya says:

    Really good advices! Good job on the post 🙂

  • Annie says:

    Great tips!! I wish I would have been able to find all of these tips in one place when I was starting out! Your going to help a lot of people!

    • Fatima Zehra says:

      Thank you so much! I just thought the old me would have loved it to have all these tips gathered in one place so i didn’t have to resort to trial and error and scavenging the internet for tips. I am glad you liked the post 🙂

  • Masha says:

    Very informative ! Awesome info

  • Samra says:

    I agree with all these tips! Its pretty hard starting out in the world of Instagram and getting noticed. I like so many things so I tend to be all over the place with my posts and may seemed unfocused. Any tips on how to pull off something like this?

    • Fatima Zehra says:

      Yeah, its competitive but honestly if you put in the time and effort, and plan out your feed/profile you will see a quick growth in your following/engagement. My first time would be to niche out your content, pick three themes at MOST and make sure they flow nicely with each other. Since its hard to be taking pictures EVERYDAY or all the time, try to shoot in batches and then plan them out. I usually plan out my feed by organizing them on my vsco app and seeing how well they look together in batches and then post them up regularly; its kind of like a cycle almost. The key is to form a brand that resonates with your audience. Hope that helps 🙂

  • Jasmine says:

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Fawad Ali says:

    This is excellent piece of work. Before reading this I had no idea how to revamp my instagram basically had no following now when I am using hashtags and keeping in touch with my following and using nice filters my following is increasing exponentially and I am getting so many likes. Thank you for this blog you are awesome..

    Mama I made it

  • Sharjeel Ahmed says:

    My insta sucks, I was looking for the best tips. Thanks Fatima 🙂

  • Tejbir says:

    Great suggestions! Definitely going to use these tips for my Personal Trainer Fitness Page!

    Keep the good tips rolling! 🙂

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