I started Maximus’ Instagram journey exactly a year ago today, August 3rd 2016, just 4 days after we brought Maximus home. I fell in love with his cheeky puppy face, and wanted to share that with others. Due to Max being a puppy, he got a lot of attention and it wasn’t long before he had 100 followers. Now we have accumulated over 6,600 followers and are still loving sharing snippets of Max’s life online.
One thing I want to stress first is that you have to enjoy taking and sharing your photos first before you focus on increasing your follower count.
I have put together some tips that I hope can help you grow your Instagram account, this isn’t professional advice of course, it’s simply from what I’ve learnt through my experience on Instagram.
1. Post regularly
The first tip I have is to post regularly. I aim to post at least once a day and I always post twice a day on weekends. Being active increases engagement with your followers as they are connecting with your page more, making your name more known to them. If they see posts from you on a regular basis, it’s common sense that your account will be more well known than an account that posts a couple of times a week.
Dedication is key for this. You need to want it to be able to achieve it. If getting photos feels like a chore than it probably just isn’t your thing.
2. Interact with others
Don’t just go on Instagram to post a photo and that’s it. Take some time to scroll through your feed and like other people’s photos and comment on some too. Replying to comments is also a great way to interact with your followers.
I really think this is just as important as posting regularly because you are engaging with other accounts. Through commenting on other accounts, their followers will see your name and may check you out too! You’ve really got nothing to lose. Don’t just be an account, be a friend, or as us crazy dog mums call it, a furfriend!’
This one isn’t a must, but I do find it helps. It is similar to my previous point, it encourages your followers to interact with you. A good caption can sometimes be a challenge. I’ll be honest, I’m awful at coming up with captions, especially funny ones. but simply asking your followers a question like ‘how as your day’ is a great, easy option if you’re short of ideas (me most of the time!)
3. Vary it up!
When I look at accounts, the first thing I notice is the type of photos they are posting. Change up the location and backgrounds of your photos so they aren’t all the same. Varying up your photos will make your feed look more interesting and appealing, making accounts more inclined to follow you.
Whereas, let’s say, if you mainly took photos indoors or always in the same green field, it gets repetitive to look at, so your followers might get bored.
Don’t stress about this though, just enjoy it, coming up with new, unique photo ideas can be a lot of fun, especially when you’re happy with the outcome.
My favourite accounts are ones that switch things up, their photos are different and their page is more pleasing to look at.
This relates to my next point:
4. Put time into your page, discover your own style.
If you want your account to grow, you need to put time into your page to achieve this. Don’t just take a few photos and expect to get loads of followers overnight. It takes time and effort. Be patient and be you. If you do, people will appreciate it much more because it shows you care. The main thing is to be different, this will help your page stand out from others.
Over time you will find your own style, we tend to do a lot of still images along with some action shots now and again to switch things up. We mainly capture and share our ‘adventures’ in the countryside, but other accounts may be more city based. Decide what suits you and your lifestyle the best, make sure you’re happy with it before you commit to it.
5. Learning basic commands
The main commands that will help for Instagram photos is ‘sit’ and ‘wait’. We also use ‘down’, ‘rest head’ and ‘hold it’, but don’t worry about that too much. Mastering these basic commands will be very useful and will make photo taking much easier.
Last but not least is hashtags! I know people can be very opinionated about these but I think they’re a great tool to increase your audience. Think of hashtags that relate to your photo and also pick the ones that are most popular as it means more people are searching that hashtag. It will tell you on the side how many times it’s been used. This means more people are likely to see your photos, and therefore follow you. We use hashtags like #sprockerspaniel and #spanielsofinstagram.
I hope these tips help you in some way. I can’t believe it’s already been a year since we joined Instagram, it’s been an amazing experience and I hope to continue sharing Maximus’ little life with his furfriends for many years to come.
Thanks for reading,
Charlotte & Maximus x