Ways to Up Your Instagram Game

I'm not a professional instagrammer I just think about it a lot. Also I have mixed feelings about IG. I have a decent following that has grown organically but I'm surrounded by people who use it as an extension of their business and are aggressive about it and I constantly wonder if I need to jump in and play the game.
  1. Make beautiful photos
    Edit the photo/don't over edit. Straightening, adding some contrast and often brightening your photo is going to make a huge difference. VSCO filters are too widespread now so try using another app like Darkroom. I posted another list about taking better phone photos and that has some other basics.
  2. Or make funny/interesting/informative ones
    @gangculture and @thefatjewish go out of their way to post totally unbeautiful things. That's their thing. See below.
  3. Consider your audience
    People follow me to see great interior design, some insider LA stuff and travel. How do I know? Rooms will get lots of traction. Beautiful scenes from my travels are super popular. Photos of people not so much. Know your audience.
  4. Time your posting
    Post while everyone is waking up and grabbing their phones. Post Sunday evenings when people have the blues. Post in the evening when everyone is in bed looking at their phones. Don't post in the middle of the night or at 2pm, your image will get lost.
  5. Be consistent
    Try posting consistently. Every day is good. Not more than 3x a day 😱. Don't not post for a week and then dump 5 images into the feed.
  6. Hashtags are not a thing unless...
    You are making your own and starting to tell a story through your tags: #LaureTravels for all my travel stuff (oh god I should do this) or my friend is renovating a house and has a tag so that you can easily see these photos. No one wants to see random #eating #brunch tags on anyone's IG.
  7. Be social
    Talk to people on their IG! Say hi! Weigh in. Don't tag random people in your image unless they're directly related.
  8. On food photos.
    Unless you are a food person and meals and recipes are your life PLEASE keep these to a minimum. Literally no one cares. I am guilty of this.
  9. NEXT LEVEL
    If you want to build a real following you have to get serious. I have never had the oomph to do this on a next level scale but I know lots of people who have. What follows are diff levels of what to me can feel icky but sometimes seems necessary.
  10. Trade posts
    Meet up with an IG friend for lunch and exchange posts about each other with a nudge to follow. Pick someone you have a similar number of followers with so that it's even. Depending on who you're meeting with this, it could be marginally gross feeling.
  11. Trade services for exposure
    This is a REALLY fine line. But full disclosure: when someone with a huge following asks me to do something for almost no money (which THEY ALWAYS DO) I will sometimes say ok in exchange for them shouting me out on their IG.
  12. Funnel people from other platforms
    Do you have a huge Twitter following? Or Pinterest? Leverage that! Funnel your followers to your IG with consistent nudges and interesting...wait for it...CONTENT.
  13. Track your stats
    This one I just 😣🙈😱😭. You see who unfollows you along with popular posts, most comments, most active followers. It's too much for me. IG is still fun and social, I can't take it here but maybe you want to? For bizness? Statigram is a good way to do it.
  14. Schedule your posts
    You can use an app like take off or latergram to schedule your posts for the week (base it on when your stats say you will have the most eyes on your CONTENT).