Instagram Tips and Tricks


Have you ever thought about getting clued up on hashtags for instagram to help you utilise the platform, but find yourself confused? Looking for some tips and tricks from someone who has put in the effort to test their advice out? Because same! I was always searching, things got confusing but I've done a lot of research and I'm here today with some of my tips and tricks I've found that work for Instagram.


I have tried to understand Instagram hashtags for so long, I've looked into how it can help boost your engagement rate and is a great way for your photo to be seen by a new audience and I couldn't quite figure it out, this was almost two years ago and now I've got a technique that really works for me, I've seen my engagement really shoot up since using them plus I have a lot of really amazing followers. I've met new people through using hashtags, discovered new and wonderful accounts that have helped me through my journey on self love and also gained a few new ideas for self care so it's been great exploring all kinds of hashtags.

On my journey I have scoured the Internet for tips and tricks, bought books and really searched pinterest for all the Information I can on what makes a good instagram feed. Throughout this process I lost my way, I got far too caught up in the themes, trying to post "pretty" photos, I was trying to make myself something I wasn't because I wanted that booming instagram account, I wanted to up my followers and I started scrutinising my likes.I hate to admit it but I focused too much on the numbers instead of just enjoying my experience so the first advise I'll give you is, do NOT get caught up in numbers. Don't focus on your like or follower count, it will drive you crazy trying to figure out why your numbers aren't rising etc... I get wanting to take you account to the next level, we all want to grow and that's healthy but don't make it just about numbers, don't loose sight of who you are in an attempt to sky rocket.

My second piece of advice is don't play the follow/unfollow game because it's really obvious when someone is doing that and it will get you a bad rep, seriously, I'm in a few chats where we warn each other of accounts that do this so we can block... its hella annoying and not to mention it's just not nice. Following people to up your follower count and then unfollowing them to create some kind of ratio. Please don't believe those posts or articles that tell you that you should have a lower following count to follower ratio in order to look a certain way, if it happens naturally, great but don't go out of your way to set up a bot or do it yourself so you're constantly following and then unfollowing. Just stop.

Third piece of advice? Likes cost nothing. Seriously, you giving someone a like on their photo literally costs you nothing so it's nice to think of it freely instead of using it like gold dust. Yes, if you don't like the photo or the caption etc... then don't like it but the ones you do? Just go ahead and like them. I know some people hold back on the amount of likes they give out which I really don't understand, but that simply won't make your engagement better. Once I stopped holding back my likes and really going through my feed, spending 5 minutes of my day liking peoples content, I started to see my engagement rate rise. People would comment on my photos and I would return the kindness in the same way, it opened up a way for us to support each other in a small yet effective way and that's my fourth piece of advice, try your best to reply to as many of comments you get as you can. This not only shows the person commenting that you appreciate it, you also reply which makes someone more likely to comment in the future and then even more likely if you head on over and leave a comment on one of their photos. You can't just expect engagement without giving any out, so try going in for 5 minutes each day and really connecting with other people, it helps so much. Also, I understand anxiety can get in the way with replying to people, I have a horrible case of it where I feel a certain pressure to reply online which leads me to wait for ages to reply or just not doing it but I've found when I wait till the end of the day, I can reply without feeling I'm putting too much pressure on myself, so look after your mental health and find a way that works for you. 




Fifth piece of advice, Use IG stories! Using stories is a great way to keep you on someones mind, if they are constantly seeing your content etc... you're more likely to stick in their brain, especially if they enjoy the content. Using stories can seem a little intimidating, especially if you want to talk into the camera so my advice is to start off small, share some posts you like, share a photo of what you're up to, talk about something you enjoy, make use of the poll option to get your audience engaged and Interacting with you. I share quotes that I relate to a lot, that's a great way for people to interact, I've found myself having conversations with new people because they liked the quote I shared. Also sharing a little bit of my life helps, I get a lot of engagement that way as well with people who relate, stuff like my chronic illness or something great that's happened. I used to talk on my stories but as my self confidence has plummeted I've don't do that as much but when I did a good tip is to always put text in as well of what you've said, this means that all of your audience can enjoy it, not just those who can hear or are able to listen. Take it easy, don't rush into it, start with little things and work your way up to fully talking, make sure you feel comfortable.

Sixth piece of advice is to make sure that you like your own feed, don't think you have to fit into any sort of box, you create what you want. If you have a theme that's great but it's not a necessity, I've seen so many people talk about needing a theme to be successful with Instagram but you don't, it's all about how creative and unique you are so if you're trying to fit into a box how can you stand out? Once I let go of my hang ups on needing a theme I started to enjoy Instagram much more, I didn't feel stressed that I had to match my next picture to the last, I like to go with the flow, sometimes I have themes and sometimes I don't but now I try not to focus on that, the content I'm producing the the important part and any messages I want to send with them. 


Seventh piece of advice is for when you are selecting hashtags to use, it's always a good rule to stick to hashtags that have less than 1m users, pick some that have less than 500k, 100k etc... the less posts in the hashtag, the more chance you have of being seen. 

Eighth piece of advice is to split up where you are putting your hashtags, I always put 5 hashtags in the actual caption and then out the remaining 25 hashtags in the comments. 

Ninth piece of advice - Try make your caption engaging, asking a question is a good way to have people interact, I find when I open up the path for communication, more people are likely to comment. and always make sure to take some time out to reply or acknowledge you have seen their comment, it will make people more likely to engage in the future as they know you are active and it doesn't hurt to go like a few of their pictures if they have commented, it's a nice way of returning that engagement. 

Tenth Piece of advice is to always use the location tag, that is another way your posts have a chance for being seen and it could also help brands who are looking for bloggers in that area to connect with you. I found when I started using my location, even if it is just a rough one, that I have seen more people from that area follow me or engage with me. 

Eleventh piece of advise - Swap out your hashtags! Sometimes it can help boost your engagement if you swap out your hashtags from time to time. When I find that I am using the same hashtags all the time I will create a whole new hashtag cloud (more on those below) where it has some I have never used before, some I used to use and maybe one or two of my favourite ones. 



Now onto hashtags and what I've learnt concerning them.

When using hashtags on instagram I like to use something that's called a hashtag cloud, its pre made hashtags that i can copy into Instagram when I don't have a lot of time to sift through what ones I really want. It's also a great way to help me stay organised and find hashtag groups easily, it's a time saver and I'm honestly so thankful I started doing this as it has helped with my transition back to blogging and social media.

Here are some Hashtag clouds I have so you get an idea -


1:
#curateyourownfeed
#thatsdarling #theuncoolclub #scotbgals #creativegalgang #captureeveryday #thecovengirlgang #thebloggercrowd #thelifestylecollective
#inspiermyinstagram #photosinbetween #collectivelycreative #feelfreefeed #findingthejoyineveryyday #thecaptionclub #Bloggerstribe #liveunscripted #communityovercompetition #chattycaptioncommunity
#verilymoments #glasgowblogger #thegirlganguk #todayiam #theeverygirl #findingthejoyineveryday #babessupportbabes


2:
#Bloggerstribe #busybarelyadulting #babessupportbabes #travelcaptures #thetraveltag #themisfitbloggers #curateyourownfeed #thatsdarling
#blogandbeyond #shinyhappybloggers #liveunscripted #scotbgals #communityovercompetition #chattycaptioncommunity
#postitfortheasthetic #pursuepretty #theuncoolclub
#creativegalgang #socialbloggerbabes #thelifestylecollective
#inspiermyinstagram #reclaimhappy #bloggersgetsocial #collectivelycreative #feelfreefeed #findingthejoyineveryday #thecaptionclub #verilymoments #glasgowblogger #captureeveryday

3:
#hashtagauthentic #thatsdarling #curateyourownfeed
#busybarelyadulting
#theuncoolclub #risingtidesociety #thecovengirlgang
#chattycaptioncommunity
#communityovercompetition #scotbgals #howihue #flashesofdelight #findingthejoyineveryday #thecaptionclub #liveunscripted #nothingisordinary #bloggersgetsocial #collectivelycreative #Bloggerstribe #thelifestylecollective #inspiermyinstagram #photosinbetween #dailydarling #pursuepretty #theperfectsimple

These hashtag clouds are great and I really recommend making up some for yourself. You can split them into categories for stuff like lifestyle posts, home decor posts, travel posts and more, keeping them organised is key to helping you get the best out of the hashtags you use.

Using hashtags has helped me really up my engagement, once I started paying attention to them and utilising them to fit my content, I have found my engagement rate has soared. It's a good idea to use hashtags that aren't saturated because you're more likely to get seen by more people. It's also great to use ones created for specific things like #themisfitbloggers or #shinyhappybloggers because you will find other bloggers there who are looking to connect with others as well. Also using hashtags by accounts such as #Bloggerstribe that will share your photos with their audience as well which helps you reach more people. Using location targeted hashtags is also a good idea, I use ones like #glasgowbloggers #scottishblogger because it let's people know the area I'm in and this helps especially if a brand or pr agency is looking for bloggers in that specific area to work with. Not only that but this is a great way to find other bloggers in your area, it can help you find events and more so using location hashtags is great.

I've spent a long time working on a hashtag list to help others discover new hashtags plus find ones for specific areas and I'll be releasing them in a blog post soon, I'm really excited about sharing it with you all and I'm currently fine tuning it so that I'm keeping it updated with new hashtags I find. I really hope you have found this post useful, I tried to keep it as simple as possible as I shared my advice of utilising Instagram. Please note that you do have to put the work in, it doesn't happen over night and you get out what you put in, I'm just sharing what's helped me out. I went for staying at 1.5k for so long and when I started to work on my instagram I found myself gaining. It wasn't a rapid climb but it's all organic, I have amazing followers and I've found some fabulous accounts that I'm obsessed with now through this process which makes me feel so much better about my own instagram, I'm doing things my way and I love that. 








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52 comments

  1. I totally agree that engagement is the way to go in terms of growing your account - I always want to support people who have shown me support. I don’t understand people who almost have an expectation that their followers will blindly support their content without any acknowledgement whatsoever!

    The hashtag clouds are also so useful, there are millions of hashtags out there and people fall into the traps of just using the big ones, but their content will never be seen. It’s such a shame, as so many people put huge amounts of effort into their photography and achieve stunning results!

    Evy xx

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    1. Engagement is so much more important than anything, what's the point in a big following if you aren't getting anyone to engage with you? It's a bit of a mute point.

      I also agree that smaller hashtags are so much better, you have more chance landing on the front page xxx

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  2. This post is really helpful, and I must admit… hashtags still confuse me! Haha. I’d never thought of hashtag clouds, I’m in the terrible habit at the moment of copying the tags from my previous photo, so other than maybe one or two they don’t really change… I hope you don’t mind me pinching some of the tags you’ve mentioned!

    Em x

    www.emsworldblog.com

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    1. Aww I'm so glad you found this helpful hun 😊 of course, use the hashtags 😘

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  3. Wow great advice! Thanks so much I can’t wait to put it all into practice!

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•

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  4. This was such a helpful post, i feel like my Instagram is growing but very slowly which is ok but it would be nice to do better. The tip about using all different hashtags is really helpful because I feel like I’m always using the same ones. I also never use the follow/unfollow method because that can be super annoying! Loved this x

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    1. I'm so glad you found it helpful πŸ’• it's ok for it to grow slowly, slow and steady wins the race, engagement is much more of a priority than a huge following x

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  5. I'm not a big fan of Instagram anymore but one things that used to wind me up next level was the unfollow game! Thanks for sharing the other tips x

    Kayleigh Zara 🌿 www.kayleighzaraa.com

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    1. The follow/unfollow game really winds me up! There's no need for it at all!

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  6. Instagram have made their app harder and harder to use in recent months and these are all fab tips. I always try and tag my location when it's relevant and use local hashtags, too as I find they're also useful! Looking forward to seeing your hashtag list! :-)
    Alice Xx
    www.blacktulipbeauty.co.uk

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    1. They have, haven't they? It's like they don't want anyone to succeed, it's not as user friendly to the smaller creators. Yes, local ones are really good xx

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  7. This is such a thorough post!i stopped caring about numbers a long time ago and the pressure for your feed to look a certain way is insane sometimes. Love what you said about liking costing nothing. I always try to like as much as I can when I'm scrolling x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting 😊 giving out likes is so easy to do and helps us all engage more x

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  8. I've been mixing up my hashtags lately and it has really helped, but I'm not letting engagement get me down, I'm posting what I enjoy!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting hun 😊 That's a great outlook on it! X

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  9. These are some GREAT ideas on Instagram! I especially agree with just being yourself on there and not focusing on a theme, posting "pretty" pictures, or numbers. It takes the fun out of it! I mean, we all love pretty photos, but I also like pictures and captions that are authentic and real and that I can relate to. And you're right, engagement is key too! It's amazing how much of a boost it is just to have some like or comment on your picture. So I try to do the same for others :) You had some really great tips, so thank you so much for researching and compiling this great list!

    Emily | https://www.thatweirdgirllife.com

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    1. Thank you so much 😊 this really means a lot! πŸ’• I agree, when you get caught up worrying about little things that don't even matter in the long run.

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  10. I'll have to try breaking up my hashtags. I usually put them all in my caption but I'm curious to see if some in the caption and some in a comment help. Thanks for the tips!
    -Emily
    thoroughlycontemporary.com

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    1. I found it helped me, no idea if it still does anything but when I changed to that my likes went up quite a bit.

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  11. I love your tips for selecting hashtags; I would never have thought that less users were less but I see your point very clearly and shall be keeping it in mind. As in all communities, supporting others is a wonderful way to become a part of a community and receive love. :)

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    1. Thank you so much 😊 looking for less saturated hashtags is a great way to improve visability and more likely gain you engagement from people in your relevant niche

      Jordanne || thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

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  12. Jordanne these tips were fantastic!!
    I liked the tip about splitting the Hashtags in the caption and comment section tooπŸ‘πŸΎ Thanks for the hashtag cloud list, I do use some but I have discovered tons of new hashtags I never seen before! I agree with you, it's important you like your feed. If you don't like your feed, that means you're not enjoying yourself and people will recognize it. Instagram is meant to be inspiring, so it's essential you stay inspired too.

    This post was so helpful❣️

    Natonya | https://www.justnatonya.wordpress.com

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    1. Aww thank you so much! Your comment just made my day πŸ’• and I very much agree, it's an inspirational place and when you enjoy it, the rest doesn't matter too much.

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  13. I really loved this post. So much of what you've said is true-- (it is unbelieveably annoying that people play the follow/unfollow game) and I've always wondered that--why are people stingy with likes? And am I overdoing it if I like my friends posts too often? There are just some people I really love supporting, I'm not a stalker I promise. Also there is so much useful info in this post. Bookmarking!

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    1. Thank you so much! 😊 the follow/unfollow game is a joke, I don't understand why people feel the need!

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  14. Great tips. I’ve always struggled with the pressure to have the perfect insta to the point I barely post. Love your less pressured approach and sharing the love instead. Looking forward to your hash tag list. Hope you don’t mind if I use a few :) Helen xo

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    1. Thann you so much Helen πŸ’• The pressure can get to us all at times, even when trying to just let it flow but taking breaks really helps with that in my experience πŸ’•

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  15. Fab post! especially love the advice about liking your own feed! xxx

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  16. There are some really good tips in here! I started posting to stories multiple times a day whilst I was on holiday and I noticed a big change in how many views I was getting and was gaining more followers from it!

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    1. Thank you so much hun πŸ’•πŸ˜Š stories really helps doesn't it? I wasnt keen at first on them but now I love them!

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  17. Oh man, I can't get over how complicated Instagram can be, especially with their shadow ban and everything. It is great that your engagement rates have been up! I hate the follow/unfollow game. It is such a waste of time. Oooh, I always thought picking popular hashtags are better. Good to know it's the other way around! Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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    1. I know right? Them changing everything up was the worst thing ever. Thank you πŸ’•

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  18. These are some amazing Instagram tips, I especially like the one where you say likes cost nothing. You're absolutely right, there's no excuse not to like people's Insta posts, especially when they're in need of more engagement! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much for such a lovely comment πŸ’• I wholeheartedly agree!

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  19. Love the ideas here about staying true to yourself. I tried to get in the game when i started my blog and eventually it felt like work! Then i took a solo trip to europe and was more hands off and it was liberating! I did eventually delete half of the posts i did to keep up with the jonses too. Now i just do it when i feel inspired.

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    1. You really have to enjoy it I think otherwise it feels like a needless chore and it puts the pressure on! So glad you've found a way that works for you πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•

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  20. These are great pieces of advice. Instagram is so hard for me sometimes, so thank you for sharing these tips! I really want to try and build my instagram. But the follow unfollow game is so difficult. Thank you for sharing lovely ❤️��

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting, I'm really glad you found this useful. Yeah, the follow/unfollow game is ridiculous

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  21. I always struggle knowing what hashtags to use, so this is so helpful! Thank you for sharing xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

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    1. Thank you for your comment hun :) I'm glad you found the hashtags useful

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  22. I've always stressed the importance of not focusing on the numbers. It will drive you crazy! I love the hashtag ideas. I never thought of putting some in my comments as well. I have to save this post so I can come back to it because it was really helpful!

    theblackprincessdiaries.com

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    1. Agreed! When you focus on numbers it sucks the fun out of it. Thank you, I'm glad you found this helpful :)

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  23. This is a fantastic post very informative - thank you

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    1. Thank you so so much for your comment lovely :)

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  24. I've definitely found that being liberal with 'likes' gets you lots in return.

    Louisa | www.fatcatsandgoodbooks.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you for your comment hun :) it's so easy to just give the likes out!

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  25. Thank you for doing this post, it has really opened up my eyes to not just constantly looking at the numbers, and trying to create content that will get my likes!

    Really good post x

    I'm at www.jareddavies.co.uk is you fancy having a read!

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  26. I have been wanting to join Instagram for a while now, but have not for lack of means (device). I know I will have one eventually, which is nice and also kind of scary at the same time, so this lovely piece will be filed away for later. :)

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  27. A total newbie in all this! Many good tips here that didn't even cross my mind! Sincere Thanks ❤️

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  28. This post is so helpful. I am really struggling with engagement on my feed. Thank you for sharing these tips lovely! I am going to start switching up my hashtags. ❤️
    bournemouthgirl.com

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