Every blogger has a love/hate relationship with Instagram, it's one of the most talked about topics within the community. For a long time it has felt like the new algorithm has meant that a lot of bloggers have seen a decrease in their levels of engagement on the platform, from likes and comments on their pictures to the amount of followers they are gaining and losing on a weekly basis. I don't always feel like the negatives of Instagram apply to me just because I do what I do and hope I obtain the rewards of good engagement and following. Don't get me wrong recently there's been a decrease in my own individual engagement, and whenever I check my following app more and more seem to be unfollowing. 

It's frustrating, besides that I have managed to hold onto 4.6K followers on the platform and the growth to this number has developed over the last year or so. It is definitely frustrating when you've posted a photo that only gets over 100 likes, especially when you have 4.6K people following you. I wanted to share with you some tips which hopefully will put your mind at ease and maybe spur you into beating the Instagram algorithm by working hard on your own Instagram. They are the well known tips that everyone talks about but I wanted to share my thoughts on those individually. 

This one goes without saying, if you don't post at least every day or every other day on your IG account then it's really hard to sustain any kind of following. You don't need to use the latest in camera equipment in achieving good photo content, most of mine are taken on a IPhone 5s through the camera app then edited slightly using the IG app itself. This is more because it's easier for me when I have little time to produce some of the visual content I need, but you really do not need to have some top camera like the Olympus Pen to achieve good photography. Have an experiment with different photographs taken on your chosen device and see what happens. 

I didn't think about this until recently but bulk photos is as effective with your blog as it is with a platform like Instagram. There's nothing worse than being away somewhere and suddenly realising you don't have a photo for Instagram, therefore you fall behind on your consistency. I didn't learn until recently you could save drafts of photos you've already edited and write the caption, making it quick and easy to get something uploaded in minutes should you need to. I tend to have as much as 20-30 photos just ready in my camera roll because you never know when you'll need them! I would definitely advise you bulk some photos into your camera roll.

I love Comment Pods, I think they are really effective in some organic engagement and also enables you to be inspired by some other great IG accounts whilst your at it. I have joined around 3/4 in the last 6 months, the engagement from them is next to none. It can be really obvious that people participate in comment pods when there's as little as 'cool pic' as a comment or something which is irrelevant to the post, therefore I would be careful in what pods you participate in. 

Most of the pods we have rules that include at least 3 words in a comment and a regular activity in commenting on others photos can be really effective. I would root around for a comment pod and find the ones that you think you could best write comments for, it's no good joining a pod full of beauty bloggers when your the only one posting more lifestyle based photos. You won't be effective in reaching the engagement with those you should be. 

Once you've uploaded your photo, take the time to use all 30 Hashtags you are able to in the next comment. Hashtags can be really effective to put your photo out there amongst like minded individuals posting images similar to yours. It's also important to think about the hashtags that you are using, there's no point using a hashtag like #beautyblogger if it has no purpose to that niche. I do regular research into hashtags, scrolling through the ones I use to see whether they're used regularly or not so. Some hashtags have seen individuals be Shadow Banned for using one regularly, and being shadow banned can stop your pictures reaching your non-followers, urgh. So definitely be aware of that when researching the hashtags you should be using. 

Not sure what hashtags to use? Then I'd look through some of your favourite IG accounts and see what hashtags they're using. I have broken my hashtags into specific topics and saved them onto the notes section in my IPhone, this means that when I've posted an image I can just copy and paste the list of hashtags straight the way. I've found some great lists of hashtags through Pinterest too, it might just take you some time to sit and discover the ones most suited to the content your posting.

Recently I decided to see whether I could gain some more organic engagement by researching for Facebook Groups that do effectively help your IG grow. I have been using these groups to develop some of my views on the blog so it's definitely been of use when it comes to my Instagram. There's things that are ran like Instant Instagram when you are asked to leave your latest picture and engage with others in the space of 30 minutes. It's quite a quick activity to participate in and does demand your attention for the 30 minutes, especially when you need to engage with other people's photos too. There's nothing worse then contributing to something and not giving back so make sure you do that. 

Also, keep an eye on the usual load of Facebook group for bloggers there has been a growth in posts where the owners of the group ask for IG links, get your link up there and see what else you can find whilst doing so. 

There's nothing more motivating for your own individual visual style then seeing the work of others around you, so get following similar accounts. You don't have to follow everyone's you set your eyes on but I'm sure there's loads of similar accounts out there that will be really beneficial in growing your own.

I see a lot of bloggers who on a weekly basis share their favourite accounts of the week with their followers through IG stories. I have found loads of new accounts I've followed from other people's IG stories and this is something I would definitely like to do more of individually. 

With following similar accounts comes the opportunity to engage with other accounts, make sure that the one thing you are doing above everything else is engage with other instagrammers. We are all in fighting the algorithm that annoys us so much together, you don't have to comment every single photo on their feed but see something that you like? tell them that you liked it. There is a lot of great visual content out there on IG and it doesn't take more than a minute to acknowledge that. 

I know that growing your Instagram account is a difficult process, especially with the algorithm sometimes working against us. I think a lot of bloggers feel negatively towards Instagram so won't probably post for weeks because they're struggling to get engagement, it's important to continue doing what you do and hoping that the results come through from your consistency. Some photos will sometimes get over 100+ likes whilst others won't even reach that unless you pop it into a comment pod or Facebook group.

Also, I understand when bigger bloggers with a following over 10K don't even engage with your photos after engaging with theirs. I've learnt in the past to engage with the people I'd like to and the ones I know will relay that engagement with my own platform. Don't sit and dwell on a platform that is difficult, there's still plenty about it to be positive about. 

Do you have any tops on beating the Instagram algorithm that I haven't shared or maybe you can tell me what's the biggest challenge you are experiencing with Instagram.

thanks for reading,