8 Best Practices for Using Instagram

By Lorena Roberts on March 31, 2017

You think your Instagram is the bomb, but you don’t have as many followers as you’d like. You see the Insta-famous perfect-lived people and you want to be just like them. But how?

Well. It takes a lot of work. Don’t expect to get Insta-famous or be the next Kim K overnight. There are little things you can do over a long period of time that, eventually, will gain your Insta profile some traction.

Be patient with people, but keep reaching out. Definitely connect your Instagram with your Facebook and go from there. When you’re looking for even more ways to have a spicy profile, here are eight ways you can boost your Instagram profile.

(Thank goodness you stumbled upon this article, huh?)

1. It’s all in the username

Make your username something that’s easy to find and remember! Something with 15 numbers at the end of it isn’t something that people are going to talk about and recommend to their friends. Be conscious of what your followers will refer to you as when gossiping over your latest post. Usernames that are catchy and punny are the ones that can make a big splash.

Some of my favorites are Melon Smasher and Zesty Dragon (taken from appamatix.com).

2. Customize your bio

That spot beneath your username isn’t for kicks and giggles. If you want to maximize your Instagram, personalize your page! What are your interests? Where are you geographically located?

You don’t want your bio to look just like your best friend’s, right? This is where you can show the most unique parts of your personality. Ensure your bio reflects that — after all, this is how people will remember you and what they will associate you with. Pick wisely.

3. Snag a theme

Some of the most well-known Instagram profiles have themes. Are you a fitness nut? College student? Into music? By flowing your Instagram photos through a theme that’s personalized to you, you’ll get more followers who are also into the same things, not just your friends and your mom … or your mom’s friends.

4. Make your caption game strong

Your followers will appreciate a caption that’s funny and catches their attention. After all, it’s not just about the image. A catchy caption can take a photo from 10 likes to 100, 20 to 200, 50 to 500. Plan your caption when you take the picture.

“Omg my best friend turns 21 today” isn’t cute. Need some ideas/examples? I gotchu.




5. Know your hashtags

No one likes an over-hashtagged photo. But no one will find your posts without them. Try to find the balance in hashtagging what’s relevant, and leaving out what isn’t.

For example, I can think of a specific girl I unfollowed because every post she uploaded had hashtags like:

#blue #eyes #girl #Monday #jeans #woman #chill #day #just #me #hanging #out … seriously? No. Way too much. Tone it down.

6. Use high quality photos

No one likes a fuzzy image that could’ve been cool with just a little more effort. Don’t be willing to upload a photo that’s not of the highest quality. Your followers are hungry for eye candy, not dust bunnies.

One of the easiest ways to get more high quality photos is to upload your photos from a computer after using a more high-tech camera than your iPhone and dumping them onto your computer. I would suggest this method if you’re having trouble uploading clear, crisp photos.

7. Engage your fans

If you want/have a huge Instagram following, you might want to look into giveaways or social media contests. Engaging with your followers in this way will only make your profile more popular in the friend groups where you make connections.

8. Be current and creative

Stay up with the times by posting things that your followers will actually care about. What’s the hype these days? Post about it. You’ve gotta make it worthwhile for your followers. But at the same time, don’t be “just another picture” by ensuring you’re putting your most creative foot forward. It’ll pay off, I promise.

If you’re still struggling with gaining some followers on Instagram, one of the fastest ways to get followers is to search different hashtags that you’re interested in that go with your profile, and request to follow them. If you have an interesting username, a good bio, and some sweet shots, you’re almost certain to get some follows back.

Instagram isn’t Facebook. Take some chances. People will admire your boldness and willingness to step out on a ledge. DO IT.

(For more tips on how to make your Instagram the absolute best that it can be, here’s a podcast from the Social Media Examiner. Check that out when you have about 48 minutes to spare.)

Lorena graduated from The University of Tennessee in Knoxville last December with a BA in Honors Psychology. After some serious soul-searching, she's decided to pursue a Master's in teaching in order to teach middle school math! In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her Whippet mix, Gio, at the dog park and binge watching Netflix with endless cups of Hot Cocoa.

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