6 ways to improve your instagram feed

Instagram is one of the most powerful social media platforms used today, with over 300 million users, sharing 70 million images a day. Instagram is an integral part of my social media strategy, it increases site traffic, reader engagement and it's fantastic for networking. 

Like any other social media platform, Instagram can be tricky to master. Today, I'm sharing 6 ways to improve your Instagram Feed.

And if you're not already following Oh But Darling on Instagram, then click here so you never miss a post! 

1. Quality
These day smart phones have awesome integrated cameras, making it easier than ever to capture great photos. However if you really want to up your game and compete with the big boys, you may want to consider switching to a digital camera to shoot your photos. Images with higher quality, focus and clarity photos are certain to draw in an audience. No one wants to look at blurry photos. 

Some cameras come with an inbuilt Wifi, and can transfer photos directly to your phone on the go. Alternatively you can purchase Wifi SD memory cards, like this one here, which do the same. Failing that, you can always upload them to your computer the traditional way and email a bunch across to your phone in one go. Often I'll edit my photos in photoshop, and send a bunch via email to myself to use throughout the week.

2. Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to get your images in front of new audiences, but it's important to use hashtags effectively. Firstly, how many hashtags should you use? Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per image, so make the most of them! It used to be the case that more or 4 or 5 hashtags looked desperate, but now, thanks to the new Instagram antilogarithm, the more tags the better. 

Instagram now lists the number of images posted to that hashtag, which is super useful when selecting your hashtags. Aim to use tags with around 100,000-200,000 posts, rather than those with millions of posts as your image will just get lost in a mass of images. Stick with smaller hashtag groups to increase the lifespan of your images.

3. Branding
If you use your Instagram profile as an extension to your blog or business, try to focus it that way. It's important to keep your Instagram profile photo the same as on other platforms, this creates brand familiarity and build trust with your audience.

Try to keep your content relevant to that of your blog and business. Keep in mind what you're selling and promoting and ensure that you're constantly on message with your brand. It may be worth setting up an second profile for your day to day posts - which aren't relevant to your business.

Takeaway // Update your profile photo to match your blog and other social media, this is a great tip for self branding in general. 

4. Metrics
Know your stats. It's always good to know what your audience is reacting to, what sorts of images and hashtags get the most interactions and increase your following. It may be a theme or a certain hashtag that you're using which is really effective, and likewise, there maybe certain posts that cause people to unfollow you. The sooner you identify these trends, the sooner you can use them to your advantage! Icon Square is a site dedicated to Instagram metrics and will help you pin down what works for you!

Did you know that photos with more lines intersecting the boarder get more likes? Brighter, clearer photos get more likes too! Use what you learn from your metrics above to inform your post choices.

Takeaway // Sign up to Icon Square and take note of the photos that get you more likes and more followers. Consider what style you used, what subject was included and aim to post similar images in the future. 

5. Theme
It's a common understanding that profiles with themes grow their audiences quicker. When people initially come across your images, they want to see other images within that theme, therefore if your whole profile fits that - you're on to a winner!  Try keeping your images in tune with this theme, weather it's bright and colorful or muted and monochrome. 

6. Networking
Interacting with other users is a great way to network and build relationships for your blog or business. You want your audience and potential customers to that you're a healthy organisation, and that means engagement with your audience. Responding to comments, commenting on other people's images and starting conversation. This also makes you more appealing to companies looking for collaboration partners.

What other ways do you use your Instagram? And how do you ensure your feed is most effective? Let me know in the comments below! 

Let's be friends darling...