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8 Things I Learned About Instagram

Instagram, the second most popular social media app, only out shined by the god of all social media apps, Facebook. Its also extremely popular with book bloggers and book photographers. I think I heard somewhere that it is the number one place for these book connoisseurs, but I have no studies to back up this statement.

As I myself try to grow my own Instagram, for my reviews and for my of books, I've tried many things and some of them don't work at all. Some of them do.

I'm going to share with you what I have found to work successfully at growing my Instagram account. Hold onto your shorts, because here we go.

1. Quality Photos
We've all been told this many times. The quality of the photos you produce can make or break you. No I am not one for pulling out my Cannon 7D and shooting a million photos just to pick three or four that I like to grace my Instagram page, although, I do have a super cool camera that I can do that with. I find this process extremely time consuming and I, as a mother, do not have extra time in my day to spend staging photos.

What I have found is that the quality of pictures take with my phone are still good enough for now. Just find some natural light and go for it.

I like to find a few accounts out there in Instagram land to pull inspiration from. If you don't know what to do, check your feed. See what is popular.

2. Answer Comments
Make sure that you are answering your followers comments. Take time to keep in touch. Let them know that the time they spent to comment on your photo really meant something to them.

I love to strike up a conversation with my followers about a book. See what they loved or didn't love about a certain read. It keeps them involved and creates what I like to call "Sticky Followers." The ones who stick around.

3. Make 3 Comments
Pick three accounts and make a comment. Make sure it means something. Don't just say "Great Photo," or "Love this." That really doesn't have anything to do with what the poster was talking about in their caption. Let the Instagramer know that you actually read their caption and comment accordingly.

4. Post often
I post at least once a day. Showing up on your followers feeds often, keeps you relevant. Now, posting too often can also make you super annoying and make your followers unfollow, and that is not what we are going for.

I've noticed that larger accounts with thousands of followers post several times a day, where smaller accounts will post once a day. Its really up to how often you post. I would just recommend no more than three times a day.

5. Awesome Captions
This one can be hard. What do you talk about? Is it going to be relevant to my followers? Whatever you caption your photos, make sure it fun. It doesn't have to be about the photo, but try to find something that your followers can comment on. I like to add a question of the day to invoke thought and follower interactions.

6. Follow Three Accounts
You can follow three huge Instagram accounts with thousands of followers, but is that really going to get you noticed. Those accounts have a lot of traffic and it would take a lot to get on their radar and have them follow you back. I like to pick small accounts, around 100-2000 followers. Those are the ones that have the highest possibility to follow you back.

The way I like to find these accounts is pick one of the photos I've commented on and start going through the other comments. Those people are doing the exact same thing you are and they might have a low follower account. If you like their photos, give them a like.

7. #Hashtags
Instagram allows you to have 30 hashtags on your post. Use them. The more hashtags you have, the more people will possibly see your post.

I came across a list of the most popular bookstagram hashtags a while back, and now I use them on everything.

#Amreading #Booklovers #Bibliophile #BookAddict #Bookshelf #Books #Ebook #BookChat #LitFic #Goodreads #Kindle #whattoread #Suspense #Bookworld #PopBooks #Epicreads #Bookclub #Booknerd #Bookstagram

Of course, also add the author and name of the book in their own hashtag, or anything else relevant you can think of. Get creative. Use up those tags. 

8. Feature Another Account
Use this one sparingly, maybe once a week. Repost a photo from another account and make sure you tag the in it. Tell them what you liked about their photo and give them a shout out. This is a great way to connect with others in your bloggosphere.

Remember, the larger accounts are great fun, but its the smaller accounts that have to stick together.

Do these 8 tips everyday, and your account will grow. I've noticed at least 10 new followers everyday since I've started this, and the number keeps growing. Try it out and let me know how successful you are.


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