How to Manage Your Instagram & Gain Authentic Followers

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Raise your hand if you’ve been on Instagram freaking out because your engagement either dropped or it just isn’t growing. Yeah, that’s been me. And I’ve been doing everything that I possibly can to grow my Instagram which, in turn, grows my blog. But recently, I realized that some of the things I was doing wasn’t helping me at all but just making things worse.

So I stopped and took a moment to realize what my true goal was for Instagram. And that was to have authentic and engaged followers that I communicate and connect with and inspire.

Let’s take a step back and tell you what I was doing wrong. My first problem started when I began comparing myself against other bloggers who started off with Instagram numbers lower than mine. Every once and awhile their posts would pop on my feed and I began to see that the number of likes they had on their posts was tremendous. I would check out their profile and see that they gained 20k followers overnight. I would ask around and pay attention to what they were doing, and soon found out that it was the loop giveaways. So, like any other person, I began taking part in those giveaways which cost a huge amount of money. When in those giveaways, I would gain a large amount of followers and see increased likes on my posts around this giveaway. But right when it ended, some of those followers would disappear. My numbers would drop and my likes per post would only increase about 20-30. And those that stayed, they didn’t do much to help my engagement.

I was spending so much money trying to get this followers that I soon realized that I was buying followers that weren’t really interested in what I was posting, but only really interested in winning the prize. So, I stopped. I stopped the loops. I stopped comparing myself. And I focused on who I want to be as a blogger and looked at my Instagram in a different way.

When I backed off of the loop giveaways, I began realizing what works to gain actual followers.

Through networking with other bloggers, I began doing collaborations with them on Instagram and on their blogs. And with those collaborations, we shared followers that was interested in both of our content.

I began engaging more with other bloggers and my followers. Now, I make sure to comment on my follower’s posts, comment back when they comment on mine, and generally engage with other people one Instagram.

Everyone has been saying it for a while, and for a while I felt like there was a short cut, but there isn’t. To gain authentic and engaged followers, you must engage yourself. I make a point to try to spend at least a half hour a day liking and commenting on posts. And when I find new profiles that I love, I follow them – not really expecting them to follow back but hoping they do. And most of the time, those other follow you back and begin engaging with you.

Along with the consistency of engaging, you also have to be consistent with your posting. I used to be one of those people who post every other day when I had content posted to my blog. And though that is what you are supposed to do when amplifying your blog post, Instagram is for the social aspect of not only sharing your posts but sharing who you are.

I make sure to try to post outfits of the day, new items that I am using in my beauty routine, places that I just visited, and things/events going on in my life on each particular day that may not be featured on my blog. Now, I’m not saying not to share your blog photos/content on you Instagram – what I am saying it to make sure that it isn’t the only thing that you are sharing. That’s one thing that many bloggers who have over 100k and have an authentic, engaged followers have done. And even those who don’t have those numbers, they still have that engaged, authentic following and are successful in what they do.

To be honest, I haven’t mastered this yet. And I am still working on my consistency. I am working to get to the point where I post 2-3 times a day, but for the most part I am posting at least once a day to keep consistency. The more posts you put out there, the larger your reach. And the more engaging you are, the more likely those around you want to engage with you.

And the reward for me putting that bad practice aside is that I have now been working with more brands than I was before when I was doing the loop giveaways. Brands have reached out to me and talked about my consistency, my authenticity and many have even said they notice how I engage with my following. They notice that I actually care about my followers and not just about the numbers.

Instagram is a social media platform – it requires you to be social, so make sure you  are social.

SHOP THE POST:

Dress – PST (Nordstrom) | Boots – BP. (Nordstrom) | Clutch – Sole Society (Nordstrom)

{{Photos by Stephanie Vasilidias}}

P.S. I will be featuring more blogging tips on the blog and helpful tips to be you. If you have any specific features that you would like to see in a blog post, make sure to comment on send me an email! The next upcoming posts will be talking about blogger/influencer networks and also how to grow your Pinterest following.

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