It’s all very well writing about how to do this and that and everything else on how to build and grow your Instagram following, but how about seeing it in action and watching the progress?
As an experiment, I’ve started up an account called Hidden Aberdeenshire, you can follow at @HiddenAberdeenshire to test the different ways to grow and develop an account that could potentially provide an income.
So every week, I’m going to give an update on what I have done for the week, number of followers, engagement and perhaps some more insights. The picture above was taken 3 days after I published the account.
To get going with the account, here are some of the things that I did, and you can too, to get it started:
Choose a Username
Everyone looks for a cool username, and warning – with many more people signing up on Instagram, everyday usernames are getting snapped up!
For this experiment, I decided to use a domain name that I had lurking around that I’ve done nothing with, so this was a good opportunity to develop the domain alongside the Instagram account.
The domain I chose was www.HiddenAberdeenshire.com (&.co.uk) and to my surprise, HiddenAberdeenshire was available! I thought something like that would be already in use, so was quite pleased with that.
Now, I was probably quite lucky here in getting my first name choice but it won’t always work like that. For example, I can’t get Scott Donald and that’s why I use scottgwd.
Don’t worry if your first or even your second choice is not available, you can try out different variations to get the name that you are happy with. For some ideas, check out my post How to Get Started on Instagram
Clear and Informative Bio
This is where you can let visitors to your account and potential followers what you, or your brand, is all about.
For HiddenAberdeenshire I went with what I am trying to achieve with this account. It’s about finding and showing everyone great and hidden places in Aberdeenshire (along with great images of course!) from around Aberdeenshire.
I’ve got a link to the website as well which will be developed further as we go.
It’s all about the visuals. You need to have some great pictures and videos that are going to stop people in their scroll to take notice of what you have. Take or get some great images and look to create a certain style for your grid.
I’ve found some great images online that can be used to help start and grow my account for now and I’ll be looking to settle into a style eventually, but that will be a little difficult with photos taken by others.
But when I can get to a position where I could take my own, or perhaps have and pay someone else to do them, that’s probably when I’ll settle on a style.
I’ll also keep an eye on what kind of images resonate more with the followers of the account.
Captions & Tagging
I’m going to experiment with short and long descriptions here to see what kind of engagement I get and what’s more popular with followers as it grows.
I’ll also start tagging brands, business, and organisations in my posts where it is appropriate. For example, on a visit to Tolquhon Castle, I’ll tag Historic Scotland in the caption. This works both ways for exposure. It will also let my followers know that the castle is linked to Historic Scotland in some way and they will often click on the tag to find out more.
The second is that it highlights Hidden Aberdeenshire to Historic Scotland and they may share the content with their following. It may also open up possibilities for future collaborations.
Now there has been some talk recently about whether hashtags are working or not. Are too many reducing your organic reach or should you use them at all?
In my experience, hashtags are still mighty important in the discoverability of your account and content. Instagram uses hashtags to index your content and then display it to where it thinks that it is more relevant to their many users on the platform.
So get researching and finding those hashtags
As I mentioned, I will be writing an update on how the account is doing and any other things that I’ve maybe learned or tried along the way.
The first update will be 1 week after I set up the account and started posting, so I’ll be back on Friday the 27th of July.
See you then!