4 Tips & Tricks Every Instagrammer Needs to Know to Up Their Game

 

There's a bit of a love-hate relationship with Instagram at the moment within the blogging community. That sneaky little algorithm that we all despise so much is making it harder and harder for 'grammers, especially the smaller ones, to get their content out there. Nevertheless, we all continue to perserver and accounts are becoming glossier by the day – think white washed themes, professionally shot OOTD's and beautifully styled editorial content.

I try not to get too bogged down with worrying about the nitty gritty of the 'gram. Trying to stick to a strict theme is not only restrictive but also repressing of your creativity, however if you're a bit of a perfectionist like me then there is a temptation to agonise over ensuring those little squares all slot together like a very sexy game of Jenga. There are a few apps (or tricks!) I use to make life easier for myself, making more time for naps and Gilmore Girls.

 

4 Tips & Tricks for Upping Your 'Gram Game

 

1.  PLAN AHEAD

Planning ahead means that you'll never run out of content to post and you can allow your inner crazed perfectionist to roam free and get that grid looking flawless – a bit like an Instagram Monica. I use the app 'Mosaico' to move my pictures around and work out what I like where, as well as make life a bit easier for future-me (and I am ALL about making life easier for future me) so that I never have that weird 'but what do I post?' panic.

A word of warning: don't lose sleep over making everything look absolutely brand-spanking perfect, some of the best accounts are creative, fun and have that lovely sense of spontaneity. By all means plan ahead, but don't feel you can't upload that cheeky selfie you just snapped or go back to the 'insta' roots and literally post a snap of your coffee before you've even finished sipping it's milky foam. Mad, I know.


 

2. THE ULTIMATE HASHTAG HACK

Okay, not an app, but this little trick saves me SO much time. In the iPhone keyboard settings (I'm afraid I'm not sure for other models) you can use the text replacement function to create shortcuts for different themes of hashtag. Think about the kind of categories of images you usually post and then carefully pick a handful of hashtags – for example I've got a go-to set for travel, lifestyle, fashion and London. I then add on a few that are relevant to the image or location and that's it – job done! Just be careful that you're not spamming irrelevant categories or over-using the same tags!

Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement

 

3. POST AT KEY ENGAGEMENT TIMES

Gone are the days of carelessly chucking a quick selfie up at 3:22pm. Checking when your followers are most likely to be in engaged can be really important when you feel like you're struggling with your reach. Like with everything, try not to overthink it too much, but having an idea of when might work best for your account can be really helpful. Usually I just rely on the Instagram insights and my own common sense – I think about when I'm usually online (all day, lol) and when people are most likely to be having a little scroll, such as first thing in the morning or on the train home from work. However, if you don't have a business account then there are some apps that will track your analytics for you! I downloaded Prime, which tells you to the minute (dramatic!) when you should post each day and compared it to Insta insights and hey! It's pretty accurate.

 

4. MAKE YOUR STORIES POPPING

If you've got that lovely little 'swipe up' function then Insta stories can be a fabulous traffic source for your blog, and even if you don't, making your stories as visually engaging as the rest of your feed can really help to make you look and feel extra swanky. Everyone's favourite graphic design app for dummies, Canva, even has a 'story' template which is the perfect size and allows you to use a photo
and overlay it with pretty typography.

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52 Comments

  1. August 6, 2017 / 2:34 pm

    Omg this is the most useful post I’ve read in ages!!! Thanks for sharing this tips babe! I’m definitely downloading Mosaico and Prime! Xxx

    • Beth Sandland
      August 6, 2017 / 3:25 pm

      Ah I’m SO pleased it’s helpful Nina! I wasn’t sure if everyone already knew these things but honestly it makes Instagram SO much faster/easier for me xx

  2. August 6, 2017 / 2:37 pm

    This is so useful! The second one especially I didn’t know you could do that!
    Kirsty x
    Kirstyeelizabeth.com

    • Beth Sandland
      August 6, 2017 / 3:25 pm

      Yay I’m so pleased! Using text replacement has speeded my life up πŸ˜‚

  3. August 6, 2017 / 2:51 pm

    You hero! What a brilliant read. Hashtagging takes me an inordinate amount of time.. currently they’re all in a note file. I’ll for sure be shortcutting them! Thank you for sharing πŸ’• enjoy your travels this week! Xx

    • Beth Sandland
      August 6, 2017 / 3:27 pm

      That’s what I used to do, too! I had different notes for different topics and then I tried to copy and paste them and oh my goodness it was all such a mess. I’m SO glad you found it helpful! Xx

  4. Laura
    August 6, 2017 / 3:35 pm

    Planning ahead is SO important! Great post, thank you for sharing your tips with us!
    Lauraconteur β™₯

    • Beth Sandland
      August 7, 2017 / 8:06 am

      Thanks Laura! Glad you enjoyed it! X

  5. August 6, 2017 / 4:37 pm

    Totally going to try the apps/tricks you suggested! Thanks for sharing! Xo

    • Beth Sandland
      August 7, 2017 / 8:06 am

      Yay! So pleased it was helpful xx

    • Beth Sandland
      August 7, 2017 / 8:06 am

      Oh my gosh yay! Okay definitely going to work on more hack posts! Thanks for the feedback lovely xx

  6. Lauren
    August 6, 2017 / 8:42 pm

    Such a useful post babe! Loved all the little tips!

    Lauren xx

    • Beth Sandland
      August 7, 2017 / 8:07 am

      Yay I’m so pleased! X

  7. August 6, 2017 / 9:14 pm

    Such a useful post! Thanks babe x

    • Beth Sandland
      August 7, 2017 / 8:07 am

      You’re welcome! So glad you liked it x

  8. August 6, 2017 / 11:42 pm

    OMG that text replacement hack is so amazing! That’ll be SO helpful! πŸ™ŒπŸΌ Thanks for all the tips πŸ’–

    • Beth Sandland
      August 7, 2017 / 8:07 am

      Yay! Honestly it saves SO. MUCH. TIME! xx

    • Beth Sandland
      August 7, 2017 / 8:07 am

      You’re very welcome! Thanks for your lovely comment x

  9. August 7, 2017 / 7:10 am

    legit one of the most useful posts i’ve read in a long time! that hashtag trick is SO good, i’ve never thought about using a text replacement thing before…such a crackin’ idea.

    i’m going to download and give prime a go this week too and see if that makes any changes of the good kind in terms of engagement.

    katie xx lacoconoire.com

    • Beth Sandland
      August 7, 2017 / 8:08 am

      Thanks Katie! I’m so pleased you found it helpful 😍 x

  10. August 8, 2017 / 2:57 pm

    Ohh I’ve been doing the old copy & paste hashtag sets from notes. The text replacement is a game changer!

    • Beth Sandland
      August 9, 2017 / 4:14 pm

      That’s what I was doing! Enjoy haha

    • Beth Sandland
      August 12, 2017 / 12:00 pm

      You’re welcome! Enjoy! x

  11. August 12, 2017 / 3:29 am

    LOVE this! I’ve been putting so much energy into my stories so this was really reassuring πŸ™ŒπŸΌβ€οΈ

    • Beth Sandland
      August 12, 2017 / 12:03 pm

      Yay! I think stories can be great for driving traffic and showing a different side to your Instagram πŸ™ŒπŸΌ

  12. August 12, 2017 / 9:38 am

    Such a good post, just downloaded prime! I have hashtags in my notes and just copy and paste those into my comments when posting a photo! I really want to start using my stories too but never feel like I do anything interesting enough! xx
    http://www.pagesfrombeth.co.uk/

    • Beth Sandland
      August 12, 2017 / 12:03 pm

      I’m sure that’s not true! Some of my fave IG stories are people just chatting about their day and doing normal things – it’s relatable. Xx

  13. Sophia
    August 13, 2017 / 3:17 am

    I discovered Canva about a year ago and I have been using it for everything and anything. Thank you for this lovely post. As much as I have all this algoritm stuff but this post is helping me out xx
    http://www.sophianeve.com

    • Beth Sandland
      August 13, 2017 / 6:49 pm

      You’re so welcome! Thanks for reading! I love Canva – I use it for so much for my blog! x

  14. August 16, 2017 / 9:11 am

    Brilliant post! Great advice about the keyboard feature for Iphones, I always find after I’ve posted on Insta I’ve forgotten a Hashtag! Plus this way saves soooo much time!

    Thanks!
    Kylie | http://www.firstforeverything.co.uk

    • Beth Sandland
      August 17, 2017 / 2:08 pm

      It’s a total life saver!! x

  15. August 16, 2017 / 8:09 pm

    This is such a helpful post! I really struggle with keeping followers on insta – seems like there’s a revolving door where one comes in and two leave. Planning ahead is definitely a great idea

    theemeralddove21.blogspot.co.uk

    • Beth Sandland
      August 17, 2017 / 2:09 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it. I think a lot of people are finding IG tough at the mo. As long as you love your content that’s the main thing x

  16. August 19, 2017 / 7:22 pm

    Great post, thanks for sharing these tips! Number 2 is going to save me so much time haha

    • Beth Sandland
      August 21, 2017 / 9:54 am

      Number 2 is my favourite too!

  17. August 20, 2017 / 8:26 pm

    I’ve just recently started my blog – so I’m a very small fish in what feels like a huge huge sea and getting to grips with it all, ty for the super useful post πŸ’“
    EVHXO EDIT

    • Beth Sandland
      August 21, 2017 / 9:54 am

      Good luck Emily! Thanks for reading x

  18. August 23, 2017 / 9:32 am

    This was really helpful – Thank you. Im new to this and now feel a bit more set up on how I can increase my traffic. x

  19. August 23, 2017 / 3:26 pm

    This is such a helpful post, thank you! I was skeptical because almost every post on Instagram tips seems to be the same: 1. Use VSCO, 2. Find A+ lighting, 3. Follow everyone and comment on everything — all good tips, but I don’t need 82 posts telling me the same thing. So, your post is seriously great. I’m squealing over tip #2; I never thought to use the text replacement option! World changing. Thanks so much for sharing! xx

    • Beth Sandland
      August 24, 2017 / 7:47 am

      Thanks so much! Such a lovely comment! I’m really glad it was useful and that the tips are a bit different. The text replacement is my favourite too x

  20. August 24, 2017 / 7:01 am

    I’m definitely checking out Mosaico, and the keyboard shortcut hack for hashtags is GENIUS. I hate having to copy paste or write it out every single time! Thank you for these, seriously.

    – Shannon | http://www.goingwithhappy.com

  21. August 25, 2017 / 8:31 pm

    This guide was so simple yet so helpful thanks so much!! I’m definitely gonna try and up my insta game with this πŸ‘ŒπŸΎ

    • Beth Sandland
      August 29, 2017 / 9:24 am

      So glad you found it useful!

  22. October 6, 2017 / 5:48 am

    This will make my life so much easier! πŸ™‚

  23. November 17, 2017 / 7:40 pm

    So useful! I was just wondering how I could know the best posting time on instagram. Now I know. Thanks xx

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