About a week and a half ago, I was fed up with the amount of photos I had with no one to show them to! It all sounds a bit shallow, but when one thinks about it, isn’t that why we take photos? I was there. I don’t really need a refresher on what happened, though I suppose it is nice to have one.
No. We take photos to show to people. That’s why Instagram is so popular.
I’m leaving out everyone’s burning desire for fame, recognition and for someone to tell them they actually matter. But it definitely plays a part.
I started a new instagram account where I posted all sorts of pictures I, and my girlfriend, had taken over the years. Weird photos, fun photos, photos of walls that were interesting, or deflated soccer balls.
Within four days of starting it, I had a hundred followers.
I suck at Instagram. I’m positively horrible at it. It took me the better part of four years to have just under 200 followers on my personal account.
But there I was with just over a hundred followers, none of which I knew. (And only one with the name free_instagram_followers.)
Here is everything I did, laid out in steps.
Have good photos. I’m not going to lie, this whole idea might be a bit of downer if you have piss-poor photos. The unfortunate thing is, bots aside, people like good photos. The good thing is, taking good photos is easy! Sometimes. Most of mine are real stinkers.
I’m not going to google it for you, but there are plenty of 5-step tutorials on becoming a better photographer. My only advice is, if the photo sucks, get closer.
Use those hashtags. I see many, many people not using hashtags correctly. To give you an example, I follow two photographers. Let’s call them P1 and P2.
P1 is a more technically talented photographer, with a better eye for capturing the scene. P1 is a globally renown photographer and uses little, if any, after effects.
P2 sets up their scene in a very posed way, and spends hours in Lightroom to achieve specific effects. Outside of Instagram, P2 has no gallery shows that I have heard seen.
In an art show, or a gallery, P1 would probably sell their work quicker than P2.
Instagram is not a gallery. Instagram is a game of “How many people can I get to see my work and how soon?” It’s a game of hashtags.
P1 uses few, if any hashtags. One of their regular hashtags is their own name. This is a total and complete waste of time. We already know it’s you. Instagram’s algorithm knows it’s you.
P2 uses all 30 hashtags available, including tagging her location, which is essentially a free hashtag.
P2 has more than 15 times the followers than P1.
Here’s the rules:
Use all 30 hashtags. Tag your location, or the location the picture was taken. Vary your hashtags. Instagram doesn’t like it when you constantly use the same copy+pasted hashtags. They will start to treat you as spam, and ignore you. Change it up. Put in the legwork. If you take a picture of a soccer ball, find out the most used soccer hashtags.
Finesse your description. Do you know where it has your name in bold? Replace it. Unless someone is specifically searching for you (and in my experience, it is someone you would have told your Instagram handle to) no one will look up your name. They will look up things they are interested in, My “name” says Travel | Writer | Photographer. Why “Travel” instead of “Traveler?”
Because no one would search for a “Traveler Writer,” they would search for a “Travel Writer.”
This is a pretty hit or miss step, but why not try it?
Use Reddit.com/r/instagram. On Fridays they have a follow chain. You post your account, and tell everyone a little bit about your photos. I went from 20 to around 50 the first time I posted. I also follow back to anyone who messages me and tells me where they’re from, whether Reddit or Medium.
These might all be pretty simple steps, ones you could easily figure out. But, if it helps, it makes me happy!
If you want to check out my Instagram, I’m @saintbeano.