Love it or loathe it, you can’t help but admire how far Instagram has come from its early bordered, Nashville filtered days. These days it seems to be changing so fast that it’s kind of getting hard to keep up (I get all excited when I log in and see a little “new” symbol glowing in the corner of the screen – a sure sign of addiction, eep!) – and yep, it’s harder than ever before to grow.
What is it that makes us tap that blue button, and why do we decide to stick around? What drives us to like and – better yet – comment on posts? The problem with answering that question is that we all get different things out of Instagram and follow very different accounts for very different reasons – and there are so many different accounts out there!
So, in an attempt to figure out an answer to that impossible question, I’ve broken those millions of users down into five different ‘Grammers. Which one are you?
We all follow a few of these. Whether it’s food, fashion, flatlays, fur babies or far flung adventures, The Pornographer‘s posts have made it to your feed because you know what you like and you like what you see *quirky eyebrows*. Aesthetically pleasing, they give good ‘Gram – with their flawless photography and clear style – and you’re probably going to hit that Like button before you’ve even scrolled down to read the Caption. Do you even need to read it? The picture was satisfying enough.
Tips for Pornographers (…huh, never thought I’d write that phrase…):
- Pretty Pictures! Pornographers need to create content that’s easy on the eyes, so prepare to up your photography game! I cannot rave enough about editing apps like Snapseed (VSCO’s good, but the amount of fine editing you can do with Snapseed is seriously in-cred-ible – plus, it’s completely free!), A Color Story and Lightroom. Whereas Apps like Prisma are great for creating special effects, and Apps like Hypetype, Fontmania and App for Type allow you to add text.
- Plan Ahead. Apps like Planoly and Mosaico are gold dust for helping schedule your posts and see how they’ll look on your feed… y’know, if you’re one of those types who’s super serious about their “theme”.
- Develop a “style” which – alright, yeah – is so much easier said than done. A good starting point is to figure out what colours/filters you use the most, your favourite physical settings to snap, and which photos perform the best. Apps like VSCO allow you to create editing “recipes” (and Snapseed has a “last edits” feature) which help keep all your photos similarly styled.
- Organise Inspo. Use the bookmarking feature to create mood boards and save pictures that might inspire your own future posts.
The Soul Mate
The Soul Mate is the total opposite opposite of The Pornographer. I mean sure, you were probably reeled in by that candid of them eating brunch or a snap of their cute doggo, but the truth is that at some point you made a connection with the person behind the account. They could post literally anything now because the truth is you’re scrolling to read their caption, nodding along to news about what they’re binge watching or how rubbish work was and then commenting “Same!”.
Tips for Soul Mates:
- Connect! For Soul Mates, their following is completely dependent on building a connection with their followers, and to do that they need to remember that Instagram – at its core – is a social media app. So go find your own Soul Mates; like, comment, message and work on building relationships within the app. 🙂
- Micro Blogging is a great way of building a connection with your followers. For Soul Mates, this means telling little stories of their daily lives within every caption. The days of getting away with posting just a hashtag and an emoji are OVER. Soul Mates should be revealing pieces of their soul in every caption and adding a call to action to get conversation (engagement) going; ask your followers a question, even if it’s as simple as, “What are you up to today?”
- Micro Vlog. Instagram Stories is one of the best ways of allowing your followers to see the real you (or as much of it as you’re willing to let them see!). Just as captions are a great way to Micro-Blog, Instagram Stories are great for Micro-Vlogging. Take your followers on one of your daily adventures – even if it’s just a trip to Tesco.
- Bookmark your Besties. Because of the pesky Algorithim (grrr!) some of the accounts you want to be interacting with might not always pop up on your feed. So, why not use the Bookmarking Feature to organise who you follow and easily keep up with their new posts. Or failing that, turn on the notification feature.
- Block the spammers. Nifty little trick this, to stop all those spammy “Love this!1!” and “Cool! Check out my page!” comments, head into your comment settings and type those phrases into the box to block them (read more about that here). Bye bye bots!
- Instagram Live. Go Live; If you’re brave enough, it’s a great way of having a heart to heart with your followers or bringing your followers in on special moments or adventures with you.
You can spot The Insta-Famous a mile off because most of their comments are just the word “Gooooooals” repeated over and over and over again, and they’ve probably got the social media badge of honour on their profile (the big blue tick!). You might not be able to relate to their lifestyle, but behind the eye roll you’d be lying if you said that you didn’t enjoy snooping in on them from time to time.
Tips for The Insta-Famous:
- Schedule. The Insta-Famous haven’t got time to mess around on the app like they used to and so scheduling apps are their best friend. There are so many scheduling apps out there all bragging different features – like Hootsuite, Buffer and Tailwind – so find one your like, and use it!
- Insights and Analytics. Now that you’re in the big leagues you’re going to want to keep track of how your profile is performing. Apps like Iconosquare allow you to get a peek into your analytics and better understand who’s following.
- Use your links! Once you hit 10,000 followers you can add swipe up links within your stories that can funnel followers to your blog, business page (or through an affiliate link – kerching). Outside of stories you’re only allowed one link on your profile page – so be sure you add one!
- Tag Brands and other Big Accounts. For a chance to blast your content out and gain even more followers (greedy, much?), don’t forget to tag brands both on the grid and within stories.
- Hashtags are the obvious way to boost followers, but if you’re only using them on your grid, then you’re missing out. Stories are a whole other… uh, Story. Hashtag, tag users and brands and most importantly of all, tag your location. Your story will appear within Location Stories, blasting it to a whole new group of users who might just click through and follow.
- Be careful with Location settings. It kind of goes without saying, but be safe! Don’t ever post pictures of the front of your house, important documents, and never ever post your home’s location.
I’m not suggesting that we all start stalking our old Geography Teacher, but we’ve all got a teacher or two on our Instagram feeds. The Teacher has something to offer their followers other than photography. Maybe they know all the best brunch spots in your home town, or are always sharing their latest Primark steals (uh, not literally…), or know how to do winged liner without shoving the tip in your eye every damn time (teach me your ways!). You follow them for their wise words, hacks and tips and then do the homework yourself.
Tips for Teachers:
- Videos and Tutorials. For Teachers, their followers rely on their tips, tricks and words of wisdom. So teach! Create video tutorials of recipes either for your grid, or within Instagram Stories.
- Highlights. One of the best new features within the app is the ability to save your stories within an easy to navigate (and very easily organised) bar on your profile page (read more about how to do that here). So if you do some DIY, bake something, film your makeup or come up with a cheeky hack, pin it to your profile so your followers can easily go back to it whenever they like! If you have a blog and post a recipe, why not add a link to your Instagram profile within the post letting people know that there’s a video tutorial there if they want to see it?
- Special Effects. Video editing apps are GOLD. Apps like Videoshop allow you to speed up and slow down videos, trim them and add music and sound effects. You might also want to download a screen recording app like AZ Screen Recorder which allows you to record your phone screen – handy for tutorials, eh? (…Or if you want to show your followers what you’re listening to in Spotify… that’s what I use it for 😉 )
- Class is in Session! Go Live! Take your tutorials and demonstrations live! Let your followers know what date and time you’ll be giving a live demo within a post 🙂
The Real Lifer
That old school mate who keeps posting photographs of their baby, Dave from accounting who posts photographs of every craft ale he drinks, or your Mum (MY Mum), who’s on a mission to turn all your old baby photos into digital ones (thanks Mum!). You follow them because they’re a Real Lifer; you know them off the grid and it would risk an awkward face to face conversation if you UNfollowed them… right?
Tips for Real-Lifers:
- Privacy Please. So Real Lifers might not need or want tips on using Instagram, but if you’ve got a few Real Lifers on your follow list then you might want some tips on how to manage them! You could set your account to private if you’re worried about who’s viewing your photos, and you can even block users that make you nervous.
- Hide Your Stories. But what if you don’t want to get extreme? Unfortunately, you can’t pick and choose who sees your actual Instagram posts unless you go private or block, but you can control who sees your Stories. If you go into your story settings, you can hide them from certain followers. So you can hide that story you posted when you were drunk from your Mum, or the stories of you living it large from your co workers who all think you’re off sick. They’ll never know! 😉
What type of ‘Grammer are you? Are there any I’ve missed? Leave your Instagram links below! 🙂