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Tommie's Top Tips to GROW and BUILD your INSTAGRAM

With social media becoming more and more prevalent in todays society in all aspects, from just your personal life to any business online and offline, your instagram can be used in so many ways to help generate an income online. A lot of these points I will make during this article you may already be doing, already know or you may be doing things just slightly wrong, some of this may be 'Teaching you to suck eggs" but no matter what level you are at take things on board and adapt them to your own pages. 

Over the last 6/7months me and my girlfriend's pages (@tommie.travels and @doitlikeduds) have grown dramatically by using some simple techniques while using the instagram app.

1. Editing quality content 

Ofcourse, this sounds like an obvious one but is certainly important. Get yourself onto YouTube and watch some tutorials about how to edit photos. You may like a certain style of edits, or a certain instagramer maybe they have some tutorials on youtube to help you, but go learn something new. I can 100% say that I am nowhere near an amazing editor of a photo that I take but I constantly try and learn new things to get better. 

You photos need to be of good quality too. Not saying you need to get yourself an expensive camera, mobiles these days have extremely good cameras, definitely good enough for social media. But I mean quality in the content you are post. By all means take a selfie if thats your thing to do, but there needs to be a decent background. You need to catch people attentions to the post. Make sure its you, be yourself, people buy into you.

For me I could certainly see a massive different in the quality of my edits after I invested in Adobe Lightroom, as it allowed a lot more of an in depth and detailed edit. Im not saying you have to go spend a load of money on getting Abode products, as there a lot of cheaper and FREE editing softwares you can get for both the mobile platform (Snapseed, Enlight, Lightroom Mobile) and for your laptop.

2. Posting

There are are number of parts to this;

- Before you post

     - Make you caption something relatable or ask a question to engage your followers

     - Hashtags are key... there is a continuous change to the law of a hashtag by Instagram but at the moment you can have 30 in 1 post and you have to have it in the main caption NOT in the 1st comment in which use to be the case. With hashtags make them relative to what you do, where you are, your follower base... for example for me I will use TRAVEL, *The Location where I am*, *Camera I am using*, etc. there are enough specific blogs online to find out your particular niche. 

If you'd like to me to help yours out, just gimme a message ... I have added my hashtags that I using at the moment being in Asia, below if you want to Copy and Paste... I would only use this if you are Travel based though.

#TommieTravels #travel #TravelTwisters #travelling #travelphotography #drone #mavicpro #love #Cambodia #photooftheday #Sunset #beach #beautifulcambodia #follow #southeastasia #instadaily #beachlife #uniladadventure #gym #droneoftheday #nature #adventure #angkorwat #asia #gopro #girl #sunrise #Trulyasia #photography

- Tag relative instagram accounts in your photos. For example: a photo I posted of The Hobbiton movie set, Tag @Hobbitontours, @lotrFans. This way your post will have more chance to get shared onto another accounts page and therefore the potential reach of your post will go further engaging more and more people.

- When posting - Timing is important as im sure we all know. If you have your account to business settings (which is easy to convert and I would recommend) you can look at the insights area and will tell you specifically the best times personally for you to post. But the rule I usually go with is in the  evening after dinner Sun-Thurs,  around 9am on Sat-Sun and I would rarely post on a Friday as people are usually out having drinks after work.

- After Posting

- Reply to comments, don't reply straight away, instagrams algorithm's will bring your post back onto to your followers pages when you comment so give it an hour or so and reply to comments. When you reply, give genuine reply and maybe ask a question, not just a "Thanks" or an emoji.

3. Start using your Insta-stories properly

This is an area in which has grown massively over the last couple of months. Your stories will become more and more important to engage with your followers and show the real you. 

- Talk to your audience.

I know its a weird and crazy mindset to talk to a camera but trust me once you get over that first awkward as f*** hurdle you will become more comfortable and see the benefits in the engagement and contact you are getting to your followers. At the end of the end the day point really of having instagram is to be nosey as hell to see into other peoples life haha! Be confident and get in the mindset that people are interested in your life and what you are doing. 

- Tag where you are

On your stories tag the place where you are, you will be surprised at the amount of business' who are looking at the explore icon on instagram to see who is about in the area. For example when we get to a new place we will tag the place in which we are at and tag ourselves in the post. From this we get invited to a lot of hotels, restaurants, shops, cafe in which you can then get collaboration work which will build your portfolio on working online. 

Also another little sneaky trick, if you are at home or somewhere not that exciting, tag a very popular place and hide the tag behind an emoji. The most popular place in the world is New York City, by tagging this you can increase the amount of people viewing your stories and then have a higher opportunity to gain more followers.

- Increase the amount of story posts

Instagram is very clever how it works with the algorithms and it know if you are stalking someone or you follow someone more they will put their stories intron too others. So heres where you get a chance to use that to your advantage. If you post more quality content your followers will watch your stories more, in turn more likely to go on your page and engage with your content.

4. Following related accounts

This is a little hack that we have used during the last couple of months and has been extremely successful gaining followers, getting more interaction and all together just connecting with like minded people. 

We would go on a big name in your area, for us is Travel. Go on their followers, type in Travel/Wanderlust/adventure into their followers and go through and follow and engage with those accounts with that in their name. This is such an excellent way to engage with like minded people and you can also learn a lot from them, looking how they edit and post, the might give you good ideas for you to not copy but to adapt around YOU!!! By actually taking the time to go through and find these like minded people and engage with them genuinely as well will help you in the long term as you've made that connection.

5. Meet ups and collaborations

A massively successful way of gaining a bigger following, carrying from the instagram pods, is meeting up with fellow instagram users and posting together. This is seen very highly in the travel category of instagram due to the simple fact of meeting new people is one of the main reasons in which you go travelling. The s has a very high success rate, as if you think you meet up with someone from another country and then in their stories they post your tag, then you have just been exposed to all of their following who watches their stories. 

This is such a great way of building engagement but again also just simply meeting new people who have similar passions and interests as you.

6. Use your Instagram bio as an advantage

Your instagram bio is probably the first thing in which someone sees when they go on your page so this needs to look smart, straight to the point and express YOU!! 

There are apps that you can get that will help the layout of your bio or a simpler way is to use notes on your phone and then simply copy and paste that into your bio.

You get one URL link for your bio, so I would recommend adding your website (if you have one)/ a facebook page / youtube channel whichever so ill avenue you feel is the most successful.

You can also tag other accounts in your bio which is great is you want to collaborate with others. You can also use hashtags in your bio, if im honest im not too sure where the hashtags will benefit you unless you have your own hashtag.

7. Smarten up Instagrams new highlights 

One of the new introductions to instagram for late 2017/early 2018 has been the highlights reel. This is an opportunity not to be missed. For me I have added each country I have visited and then my top stories I will add to the highlight of that country. 

You can also add highlights of the jobs your have done, or collaborations you work with. This area is completely up to you but make it specific for yourself. 

As you can see in the above picture, I have made mine consistent and all look the same with the logo of the country in question and the focal point.

I have used a website called which I would highly recommend that everyone uses this for whatever visuals you need, maybe facebook covers, or blog banners, this website allows you to completely master your own style.

8. Cross promote other avenues you have

You may have a website or facebook page and im sure you all have a personal Facebook page. Well link these all together. On your website make sure that there are links to your other socials. On your facebook page you can have an option to link the pages and share instantly onto your page and same on your personal facebook page. 

TELL people to go have a look a your page. There is such an increase in people following you when you tell them exactly what to do. 

If you want someone to go and look at your instagram story from your facebook page, tell them "GO CHECK OUT MY INSTASTORY OF...."

This has worked massively for us and we don't even do it that much. 

9. Consistency is key

I guess the goes with everything if you want to be successful, be consistent and be YOU!!! Find out what posts you have do well by looking at which of your posts get the most engagement and see what similarities there are with them. Then try and post quality content around those similarities... Here's the important part... without taking away what makes you YOU, and why you are different.

For me I have found that the posts that do well on my page are ones in which there is a fantastic scenery in the background, especially with me going to all these amazing places. The part in which I keep consistent about myself, and I don't know why I do this but I love looking away from the camera at the scenery. But thats me, you need to find whats YOU. 

Theres no harm, and wrong doing in looking and mimicking others instagram accounts that you like, just adapt it around yourself. 

Number is such an important one, yes 1-9 they will all help you build up some organic following but you just need to continue to be yourself. 

Get in touch if you need any help with your instagram guys, happy to help.

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