Instagram: 10 Tips to Improve Your Growth in 2019

Instagram: 10 Tips to Improve Your Growth in 2019

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Have a New Years Resolution to grow your Instagram following? Whether you’re a business, blogger or just live to gain an audience, the amount of followers you have on social media is thoroughly important to you. The truth about gaining an audience is that you want to have people who follow you who are genuinely interested in your product, persona or vision. These followers will support you and stick with you if you are resourceful on how they find you. I want you to gain a following on Instagram that will help spread the word about your brand, whether it be personal or corporate. Looking at social media from afar it can seem cold and impersonal. But closeup the influencers that succeed and make a living from it are those who are relatable and engaging.

Something you should know is that any platform of social media promotes the users who engage the most on the site. Those influencers keep their business going, increase user activity and screen time for other followers. You’ll be found more often by using all of the tools the app has to offer, but you also have to realize it takes some grit and monotonous work to be found. For the most part it does not, I repeat does not happen over night.

After numerous research from youtube videos, various apps, lengthy articles and trial and error I have found 10 simple tips to improve your Instagram following. Now, lets go ahead and start with the basics.

  1. POST PLEASING CONTENT
    • This may seem like a naturally given tip, but you’d be surprised with the photography people post and still not understanding why they haven’t gotten over 100 likes or any new followers.
    • You need to provide aesthetically appealing content to add to your gallery. Use apps like Adobe Light RoomColorstoryVSCOAfterlight A Design KitHuji, Facetune and more.
    • Purchase a filter from your favorite influencer to make it easy for yourself.
  2. THEME/COLOR SCHEME
    • This tip is one of the most important tips I’ve learned from my Instagram research. I want to make it clear to you on one of the major reasons why people follow you. So clear that I’ll list it in the bullet point below, in all caps.
    • USERS FOLLOW YOU BECAUSE OF YOUR GALLERY, NOT BECAUSE OF ONE PHOTO.
    • Does that make sense? When someone sees a photo of yours, yes it still has to be pretty and intriguing but once they click on your username they follow and sign up to your posts if they clearly can see a vision of someone and want to see what’s next.
    • Provide your followers with a story, imagery, specific coloring, and curiosity all within a matter of seconds. It’s the layout you provide that will help you do this. Use apps like Colorstory to help arrange your layout in advance.
    • Play around with filters, stick to one or a couple that can be intertwined within each other. In the captions stick to your theme by incorporating either a narrative that’s clearly from a specific perspective or quotes and facts that enhance the photo itself.
    • This also goes along with your username as well. Pick a username that can give someone an idea of what to expect from you. Ex: traveltheworld, foodiegalore, londonismyhometown, pigsandparrots etc. I believe you can always update and change your username through the settings Instagram provides if you’re currently unhappy with your present one.
  3. HASHTAG YOUR A## OFF
    • But really though. Don’t look like #spam #and #do #this #with #every #word #in #your #sentence. Type a few sentences going a long with your post and choose a word or two that is relevant or part of the sentence like “My #mondaymotivation is…” “Today I went to @regentspark and saw the amazing canals, hills and pretty landscapes that London parks have to offer. Always a reminder to #getoutdoors and see the world.”
    • Additionally add some hashtags below your post to have more chances to be found. Type anywhere from 10-20 hashtags that are relevant to your specific post and brand. Hashtags are just another way to be found by someone who doesn’t know of you yet. You can have the best brand, best photos but if you’re not interacting or being proactive with users it doesn’t matter, and no one will find you.
  4. TAG THEM ALL
    • Some influencers don’t understand the importance of tagging other accounts in your photos. Tag your Instagram idols, relevant businesses or users that will likely comment or like your photo too.
    • Tag accounts similar to yours, so that Instagram users can possibly find your profile too.
    • Make sure you tag companies of the products or places in your post, so they can see the photo and either repost it to their large following or comment on your photo (which will provide engagement and likelihood to be seen more on other feeds)
    • On top of that the more you tag  a company the more they’ll become familiar with your page, and they might even follow you. (Yes, this has happened to me)
  5. LIKE EVERYTHING
    • Just do it. Honestly.
    • Liking everything in the first hour of your most recent post is very, very important. I want to say that they push very active users to the top. So, liking and commenting on everything will naturally increase your engagement with others. In return the engagement will push your photo up in the feeds and top posts.
  6. ENGAGEMENT IS EVERYTHING
    • I notice a difference in a influx of likes, new followers or comments the more I am engaging on Instagram.
    • Comment genuine reactions to the photo, or something you noticed that will make the photographer/model smile.
    • Do not comment things like “check out my profile” I find those comments very annoying.
    • People just want to be appreciated for their work. Hold a conversation with them on their comment section, they’ll enjoy and usually reciprocate.
  7. CHANGE TO BUSINESS ACCOUNT
    • Being able to see your analytics is very important to know to gain a following. You can view such categories as age, gender, location, impressions, likes, best times to post, most viewed stories etc.
  8. CAPTIONS
    • Potential followers like to get an idea of your personality not just through your photos but also through your words.
    • Write a caption that captures the photo, or of your current state, mood or something relevant that the user can relate to.
    • Some of my favorite captions are not of those that seem out of a novel, rather those that make me laugh and feel like I have something in common with the instagrammer. (Ex: “feeling anything but bikini ready today after eating a whole pizza pie by myself #oppsie #bikinidiets #ilovepizzatoomuch”) as a picture of the person is of themselves in a bikini from a while ago.
  9. USE INSTASTORY
    • This is the new version of “reality t.v.”
    • It’s like watching mini youtube videos of those you follow without having to leave the app.
    • Use your instastory to keep your following updated on your every move.
    • Additionally, post days where things are not so perfect. Let your following understand how real you are. Sometimes with all of the perfect content they can forget, and they’ll love you more for it.
  10. TOOLS TOOLS TOOLS
    • In any social media platform, the first users experience the most success. This is a formula that drives the company to pat those users on the back.
    • When it comes to new updates such as polls, questions, IGTV, countdowns, etc., use them right away. Now there is no solid proof that Instagram will appreciate you more, but I have a feeling they will.
    • Example: when youtube first came out, the creators who started actively using it first blew up. I think Instagram or any social media is the same.

In conclusion, don’t take yourself too seriously, genuinely enjoy sharing your content, be incredibly active on the platform, stay relevant, engage with other users and be yourself. The first todo things, the ones who take a risk, usually get the reward.

Follow me on Instagram @peoniesandplaces

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Cafe Naturellement

Cafe Naturellement

 

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Over a year and a half ago I went to Paris by myself. It was the middle of spring, the flowers were in bloom and the weather was gorgeous. I had arrived in Paris from St. Pancras train station, overwhelmed with no idea where to go, where to start my small parisian journey. I googled healthy restaurants in the area as I had ate my weight in London. Cafe Naturellement popped up, and after looking at the photos I found I had made my decision togo there.

To set the mood the photo below is what Paris was like that night.

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image by peoniesandplaces

I realized when I got there that I barely knew any french. When I looked at the menu I was in shock. How could I understand what to order? The waiter arrived to my table and asked me what I wanted. Quickly he knew I was a little bit confused. I asked him if there was any cheese plates (I mean come on, I just arrived in Paris, I need a taste of all the amazing delectable cheeses) He laughed and said he could put together something. When he asked me what I wanted to drink I said whatever you recommend.

I believe that’s a little bit of mustard and pear slice on the side.

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image by peoniesandplaces

Five minutes later he came back with a plate of cheese and three different bottles of wine. He literally went off the menu and gave me my own wine and cheese tasting. It was such an fantastic and memorable experience, one I’ll never forget. After the cheese dish I needed something light and refreshing so I ordered the raw fish dish. The course was layered with bits of cucumber, radish, beans and herbs.

The best bottle of red wine I’ve ever had was the “Vin de France”. Highly recommend it if you can find it.

For dessert I ordered the pot of chocolate mousse that was perfection. It was scrumptious and a great way to begin my parian experience.

 

To get a taste of it yourself:

Cafe Naturellement:

33 Bis Rue Mademoiselle, 75015 Paris, France
TEL: +33 1 73 73 23 69

 

Enjoy xx

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The Key to a (free) London

The Key to a (free) London

It’s been just about two weeks since I landed in London. Before I arrived I imagined myself seeing all of the sights, restaurants, bars and Instagram worthy spots. After a few days of realizing I had no source of immediate income coming my way I felt trapped in bed with no where to go. I was in one of my favorite cities in the world, and I couldn’t see it (to it’s fullest potential) Sure, I’ve been in years passed and had already seen most of the touristy things before; but landing in London and trying to keep the excitement alive I wanted to remind myself of why I had came here in the first place.

Most of my days I set off from my new flat on foot, with a mere idea of where I wanted to go. I let a poor GPS connection guide the way and it led me to some unfamiliar and interesting places. Most of the time though, it took me to places I had already scribbled on my lengthy todo list and had almost forgotten about. Like I had mentioned in my previous post “Don’t Make Plans in Paris” the most memorable moments are those that are found off the beaten path.

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image by peoniesandplaces

The main reason I fell in love with London at an early age was because of it’s character, history and it’s architecture. As I strolled along the cobblestone alleyways and foreign roads I came across many of just that. In fact it has been the majority of my journey thus far. Bright colored doors against the historical stone building, iron gates and tiled entry ways. Well this, this is what I came here for.

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image by peoniesandplaces

Some of the most well known and easy things to view are the Notting Hill homes. They’re famous for their bright and varied colors. Dreamy, I know. Something that I found a lot of in London are vintage cars parked all over the street. I asked my British flatmate if people actually drove these cars and she said yes. As us Americans know, their cars might be cute but they definitely drive on the wrong side of the road. Note: Notting Hill also was home to plenty of quaint cafes and antique bookshops.

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image by peoniesandplaces

If you have time while in London, take sometime to wander the streets and appreciate the beauty of buildings that have been up for centuries. This is something I’ve always felt America lacked. It lacked the quirky personality that a lot of european cities hold. This trait can only exist in time.

The key to seeing London for free is admiring the little details that make it stand out. If I’m going to start and write out as well as document my personal journey of living in a new city, specifically in London. I have to make it known that the first thing I’ve ever fell in love with here, is simply it’s architecture. And you can always see that for free. Also, I do want to list some of the things besides seeing London buildings that I’ve done for free. Whether you’re visiting or a local. Sometimes it’s refreshing to see your city from a new (and affordable) prospective. That I’ll save for another post. Enjoy the rest of your day, wherever you are.

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image by peoniesandplaces
Like Literally

Like Literally

As a lady in her late twenties I find I easily get thrown into the “basic white girl” stereotype. Like, OMG I like fashion, photography, social media, flowers and brunch. Like, sue me, I DIE. But in all reality please stop all the judgement society (and men). I went to school for cinematography, so photography is pretty much another passion of mine. As someone whose been into anything visual or aesthetically pleasing my whole life, it would come to no surprise that I’ve always loved fashion and lifestyle as well. Fashion to me is a way of self expression, it has nothing to do with dressing for others. I can transform my confidence level from an 80% to a solid 99% with an outfit that makes me feel great. To that other 1%, lets be honest I ain’t ever feeling 100% perfect. If you are congrats!  And in regards to that brunch judgement, I genuinely am just hungover and in need of a bloody mary and a possible side of waffles. You shouldn’t think too much into that sort of thing.

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But seriously going back to the whole social media, Instagram and influencer thing it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. What is the main reason for any human to take a picture? My first answer would to share it with others. As someone who studied the art of film, I felt that storytelling was always a visual thing. I wasn’t much of a writer (and still am not) hence all my grammatical errors and delay in postings. When I meet up with friends and I tell them about my experiences abroad I find myself drawing blanks as I can not find the words to identify with the feeling. The best way I can  give someone an idea of a feeling or a memory is a photograph or video.

So, thank god for social media. I don’t need to write down or discuss my stories for the most part. I can simply post a picture, and lately that’s been all I needed to do in order for others to see my vision, my world and the perspective I have on anything. The gist of this whole post is to nip the Instagram and social media haters in the bud. Our culture has been accustom to sharing our experiences with others, mainly to connect. It seems odd but we’re in a crazy time of loneliness yet constant sharing. I am not saying don’t go out and have a conversation or don’t make friends. Because believe me my favorite thing todo is share a great dialogue but I believe social media has just elevated the way we express ourselves on a larger scale. We all want to feel appreciated, understood and close-knit to the world. This is just one of the newer ways we do it.

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Don’t Make Plans in Paris

Don’t Make Plans in Paris

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image by peoniesandplaces

The summer is coming to an end as September is just two weeks away. I still have Parisian memories last year of walking along the Seine River, then getting lost in the side streets. Paris is a place near and dear to my heart. It’s an ultra romantic and historical location, filled with rich history and culture.

 

Sometimes as a tourist you want to see all the sites and go to all of the recommended restaurants and bars. But when I travel the best advice that I have learned is to also explore the city without any plan. Somedays I would just walk along the Seine and wonder where it would take me. There are times I would buy an icecream and suddenly I was in the corner of a parisian alleyway and had no idea how I got there.

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image by peoniesandplaces

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best times are often not planned. So schedule in a day or two when going around a new site to just explore freely. You’ll find that cute little cafe that was not listed on Yelp, or that amazing vintage store that has no website. You’ll find your own little special part of town that no one knows about and create unexpected memories.

I can’t tell you where I was in these photos as I myself have no clue. Sometimes the best places are truly off the beaten path. It’s not just about not making in plans in Paris, don’t make plans on any trip you go. For then you will finally have an adventure on your own. Hope you are having a good weekend.

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