Lemme Take A #Selfie: Or How to Dramatically Increase Your #Instagram Following


Lemme Take A #Selfie: Or How to Dramatically Increase Your #Instagram Following
Question: What do you immediately do when you get served a yummy pizza with lots of melted cheese on the top?
Answer: Well, Instagram it!
Unfortunately, rushing to dig into your favourite dish is not at all that trendy today, as you know, #priorities! Especially, since Instagram has gained such momentum, it?s more about capturing the perfect moment rather than letting yourself fully experiencing it.
Certainly, Instagram has become almost and extension of my life too for better or for worse. I?ve been constantly sharing photos, filling you on what?s been currently taking place in my life.
Today?s post is for all of you, Instagram lovers, who currently aspire to boost your Instagram popularity and organically get more followers. I have still a long way to go until I can consider myself Instagram-successful, however, there are certainly quite a lot tips and tricks I’ve learned since the Instagrammer in me came to life. Today I’ll be sharing with you the ways in which I’ve been developing my Instagram over the last year, and more specifically since the launch of Letters to Antoinette. 
1. What’s the purpose of your Instagram account? 
Yes, the very first thing you need to do is give yourself the answer to the question: What?s the aim of your account? Have you created it out of narcissistic purposes, regarding it as a confidence booster, or rather will employ it as a tool to market your brand?

After clarifying that, it?s time for you to pin point your niche and the community to which you?d like to belong. Is it the fashion community? The healthy living one? Are you a vegetarian? Are you a music producer? That?s essential for the way you?d be developing your account from now on and the hashtags you?d be choosing to subsequently promote your photos.
For example, I started using Instagram a bit more excessively since I launched ?Letters to Antoinette?, intending to promote LTA through it while also enabling my readers to get a sneak peek behind the curtains and find out what I normally do during the day.
And fellow bloggers, Instagram is a great platform to let your readers get to know you better and find out more about your offline interests. So for me posting photos to promote my new blog posts is only 1/4 of the content of my Instagram, as around 80% of the photos I upload are from the events I attend and healthy foods I indulge in. 
So think it that way = your Instagram dashboard is your lifestyle portfolio. The more photos you post, the more comprehensive your portfolio will become.
2. CV
The short bio you have to complete is your brand resume (and even if you think there is no brand you’d like to promote – well, that’s the thing in Instagram you become your brand) . Write down in the shortest possible way who you are and what you do. You have no space for random ramblings, so be catchy and get straight to the point! Your photos will be doing all the talking later on. And please, please, please restrain yourself from adding follow4follow in your bio! Bluntly put – it sounds spammy and will surely put off your potential followers. Not the best possibility, right?
Then select your profile pic! As the photo is minuscule and you can?t enlarge it by clicking on it ? then make sure to choose one that would grab the attention even with its tiny size.
3. Engage!
After you?ve decided on the purpose of your Insta, go and follow accounts whose content you’d find interesting enough to engage with. There is nothing more annoying that letting your newsfeed get filled with content that wouldn?t inspire you. So, apart from my closest friends, I follow people from the fashion industry, bloggers, and healthy living lovers so that the photos I receive in my feed are photos that I?d be more likely to engage with. Just think that way: if you?re interested in make-up would you follow someone interested solely in cars? Not much likely, right? Also, I?m quite certain that this user won?t be very willing to a) follow you back any time soon or b) interact and engage with your content. So following the right people, means meeting more people within the niche that interests you, as in most cases even the people who comment below the photos of this user would be from your community too. So if you like a photo – comment! Interacting with people will enable you to meet new insta ?friends? who will be willing to check out your dashboard and follow you.


4. What about the Giveaways? 
Giveaways are a great tool for expressing your gratitude to your followers, but unfortunately, most people that will follow you over the course of your contest would do so out of commercial purposes – you know, to win the prize. There are so many ‘giveaway hunters’ who do that as a full-time job! Yes, the look out for giveaways and enter most of them. Also, if you’ve been thinking of buying followers (oh, yeah, there are quite a lot of sites where you could do that too), well, you’re buying solely the digits that will appear on your dashboard. And imagine how weird it would be showing off with 5000+ Followers and having only a few that engage with your content on regular basis. My advice – don’t do it. Just be patient and let your Insta organically grow!
5. Be genuine, not desperate!
Easier said than done really? but to become Instagram successful you need to be patient! Asking people to follow you back after following their accounts is considered rude and desperate? And to be honest, not many people would be willing to do that anyway. So rather than commenting follow4follow or likes4likes below every random photo you discover, try to comment only on the photos you really like most and be as genuine as you possibly could. Users who stumble upon your thoughtful comments (rather than one left out of commercial purposes) will be much more willing to go to your account and get a sneak peek at your photos. Aw, and every time you receive a new comment below your photos (with the exception of like4like or follow4follow) be polite enough to write something back.
6. Consistency 
If you aspire to grow your Insta organically, then you should be consistent in doing so. How could you expect to get more followers if you hardly ever share any new photos? Precisely, you can?t! Also, do your research and find out what posting times work best for you. Experiment and play around until you come up with your own success formula! Personally, I find posting around 5GMT quite good traffic-wise, so even when I post quite a few times a day, I make sure to post a photo around that time too. And if you wonder how many photos you should post a day: well, aim for the Insta-Trinity! Three photos a day will boost your traffic right away!
Also, even if you have quite a few photos ready to be posted, DO NOT post them one after another as you?ll fill in the news feed of your followers with way too many new photos which is kind of spammy. And don’t expect to receive many likes if you post a photo around 3 AM no matter how perfect it might be. People are already asleep by that time, so if you ask me – save it for tomorrow.
7. Hash that tags!
I was still at Uni when I first stumbled upon Instagram and back home it wasn?t really that big of a thing. After my friends signed up to it, they immediately started mocking my #hashtag efforts. And not because I was doing anything wrong, but just because no one understood why I was hastagging that much. Let?s just get that clear once and for all. Instagram?s a platform that aims to enable people from across the Globe to find photos of interest. By hastagging your images you make your content searchable and findable.
So if you?re just about to share an image of the amazing veggie dish you?ve prepared ? then add below #instafood #vegetarian and allow all vegetarian lovers find it too.
Or maybe you aim to promote your business? Well, how would you be able to reach out to people if you?ve locked your profile and use 0 hastags? Well, you wouldn?t! Also, quite a lot of websites and apps exist that can help you find the most suitable hastags for you. Just do your research and start typing!
First, I’d always add the most relevant hastags to my niche and the communities to which I belong. I start with #lbloggers (lifestyle) #bbloggers (beauty) #fbloggers (fashion) then I add tags relevant to the particular photo ? is it a fashion related one? A healthy living one? Sometimes, when I add a photo from my blog, I?d also add #lta or #letterstoantoinette, as ultimately my aim?s to build a community around my blog. If you?re currently promoting your brand why not do that too? However, before your hastags, make sure to add a short catchy caption. For example, ask a question! You?d notice that people are much more willing to engage when there is call to action! ?Which is your favourite vegetarian dish? Share below!?; ‘And you, what?s your outfit of the day?’


8. And now the photos!
Of course the more pleasing to the eye they are, the more followers you?re likely to get. However, rather than having the mindset ? what type of photo I should snap in order to get more followers you should rather go for the: what?s the thing I feel like putting out there for the world to see. What?s the photo I wanna be associated with? And believe it or not ? the positive results will soon after follow. Trying to follow trends or replicate the photos of the most successful Instagrammers out there will do no good. Rather, why not try and look at your life from a different angle. Try to notice the little things. Let the perfect moment take place rather than mimic it. Your genuinely will shine through and your followers + potential ones will be appreciative of that.

9. Shall I use Nashville or Mayfair?
It?s precisely the opportunity Instagram gave us to improve our photos in just a second that made it such a successful platform! In just a click we all turn into artists, using the filters similarly to the way the painter would use his brush.
Some would suggest that using every single filter will diversify your Insta and make it more interesting. However, from my experience, using filters with similar undertones makes your dashboard seem more coherent and aesthetically pleasing. I’d normally use warmer filters rather than cooler ones, and ensure to brighten up my photos, rather than leave them darker.

And while you aspire to take a good photo, don?t try too hard to get the perfect one! Precisely the little imperfections give the human touch to your photography, which will make your follower relate more. You were snapped while laughing out loud with all your teeth out? Laughing is indeed contagious ? through sharing this goofy photo you might trigger quite a lot of smiles. Be bold and post it! #smile #behappy 
Also, today there are a lot of free apps you could download and take advantage of, if the Instagram filters are not enough versatile for you. My personal favourite: Photofy and Pixlr Express!
10. Experiment 
Well, after all that said – ultimately what you need to do is Experiment and always Be Yourself! Get out of your comfort zone. Capture and share moment worth not only for Instagram but for you too! Instagram is not only for your followers, or for the random person who might like your photos follow you ? it?s your little space that you?re filling in with memories that have managed to trigger a bouquet of emotions. And some of the most popular photos I?ve taken so far are the ones I?ve snapped not out of necessity, but because there was a moment really worth capturing and sharing.
Also, try and occasionally do something different to what your followers might expect! During winter, for example, I post photos of me snowboarding ? and that?s when quite a lot of adrenaline junkies start engaging with my content too. Aw and about the selfies? Well, we all know that we won?t stop taking them any time soon. If anything, try to post them once in a while rather than go for a selfie after selfie after selfie kind of posting. Well, unless you are Brad or Angelina then feel free to post as many selfies as you like.
11. Learn from the Best! Add some your favourite photographers or bloggers and learn from them. And when I say learn ? I do not mean copy. Just let yourself be inspired and then get out there and Instagram your heart out.
And please beware as it could get quite addictive.
P.S. Next week expect a post on how to get the Perfect Selfie! 🙂 
Do you have any tips and tricks in regards to that topic to share with us today? Cannot way to hear them!
Lots of love,

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