With so many social media platforms around, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and find it hard to keep up! I find it helps to choose a few that you enjoy the most, and focus your time on those the most, while keeping others ticking along in the background.

The more visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are really popular at the moment, and I totally get the appeal as they’re so easy to scroll through and feel inspired. I’ve shared my Pinterest tips before, and now it’s time to turn to Instagram.

Instagram tips for bloggers, with ideas on photography, hashtags and great accounts to follow

Firstly, if you’re not already following us on Instagram, pop over and check out our account at Instagram.com/playroomblog

And now, onto my Instagram tips! I won’t claim to be an Instagram expert – it’s not my largest social media platform, but it is a social media platform that I enjoy, and I’ve picked up a few handy tips from my own experience, and from attending a couple of Instagram talks at blogging conferences too.

Photography

As Instagram is a visual platform, it’s all about the photography. You don’t have to only use photos snapped from your phone. More and more people are taking images on DSLR, editing them and then posting on Instagram. Especially now that Winter is here, it’s not always easy to get light bright and airy images, so it’s okay to resort to your main camera, and editing if you feel it helps! At this time of year, I find the external flash on my DSLR comes in really handy too.

Your Overall Feed

Many people recommend finding a style or a theme, and sticking to it throughout so that your personal Instagram feed has one cohesive look or recognisable ‘brand’

This doesn’t always work for everyone, but if you have a specific niche for your blog it’s definitely something to consider. Even if you include images of all kinds of things, you could work on creating a recognisable look by sticking to the same filter each time, rather than experimenting with all kinds of filters and effects which can having a mish mash result on your overall profile.

Now that you can do other orientations on Instagram (portrait or landscape not only square) it’s also worth thinking about these and whether they would fit into your feed, and how it will affect the overall look.

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Video

Instagram videos used to be limited to 15 seconds, but now you can upload up to 60 seconds of video to Instagram, so it’s worth experimenting with this too!

Hashtags

Using hashtags is a really important way to get your Instagram photos seen by a wider audience. Research the hashtags which are popular for the theme you’re posting about, and do make sure that what you’re posting fits. Some hashtags are part of certain communities so might have some etiquettes for their use – in which case you probably don’t want to just throw those in there!

For the kids crafts genre, my friends and I started the #KidsCraftStars hashtag, originally to share crafts on our specific weekly themes, but now it has branched out and you can share any kids crafts or activity posts with this hashtag and we’ll come to check them out.

If you add hashtags to your post, it’s also a really good idea to go and interact with other images on that hashtag, by liking or commenting on the ones which catch your eye. Perhaps those Instagram users will come check yours out too – besides, exploring and discovering new content is what makes Instagram fun! I’ve discovered lots of great accounts to follow by clicking through on kids activity and educational hashtags.

Instagram Marketing

You could try a tool like vibbi.com if you’re wanting to experiment with paid Instagram marketing. They offer options for paid likes, follows and views

Following Etiquette

Some people try to grow their accounts by using “shady” techniques such as follow and unfollow. This has a lot of potential to annoy people, and I do often see people complaining about users who have done this. So, I would recommend that you do follow new accounts, but only follow those who you are genuinely interested in and definitely don’t just follow, wait for them to follow back, and then go back and unfollow them. It is considered rude, and many people these days have tools that alert them of unfollowers so don’t presume that this behaviour will go under their radar!

Some of My Favourite Accounts to Follow

Personally, I love following accounts that share kids crafts and educational activities as it gives me ideas and inspiration. I also enjoy the accounts which show cute baby outfits, or just accounts where their beautiful photography stands out!

Some of the accounts I would recommend checking out if you’re into similar things, are:

Instagram Profile and Link

You only have a few lines to describe and introduce yourself, so make them count. Also, don’t forget to put a link to your blog! Usually, people link to their home page but many people have also had a lot of success in switching out the link to specific blog posts, or even affiliate products, to match with the latest image they’ve posted – and then using the image description to direct people to the profile link to find out more.

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Brand Collaborations

As a blogger, if you’re into working with brands on your blog, you can also extend this to Instagram – whether that’s a blog post that you also publicise on Instagram, or just an Instagram only campaign. You can sign up to networks that offer brand opportunities for Instagram (for example I recently did a campaign through Social Native) or when you get brand emails then don’t be afraid to suggest using Instagram rather than a blog post, if that suits you better for that particular campaign.

You can also leave your contact details in your profile so that any interested brands can get in touch.

Of course f you’re sharing paid posts on Instagram, just remember to use the #ad hashtag to disclose that along with any brand campaign tags.

Blog post in collaboration with Vibbi.com