Anyone who follows me on social media will know that I've become quite a fan of Instagram. I was very late to this particular party but once I joined, I was hooked. Instagram is a fun way to share your work and inspiration with the wider world and engagement is great compared to other social media platforms (or at least it is for me!). Here's my profile (as at a couple of weeks ago).
I've recently been putting more effort into my shots (only natural light wherever possible and ensuring they fit in with the style of my brand), I've also been saving up the best ones to post across a few hours or days, rather than bunching them all together. As a result I've seen an increase in likes and comments on all of my posts.
I heard about a tool which enables you to analyse this engagement further (and see what's working well/what you should do less of) called Iconosquare, so I decided to give it a try.
On the page for your profile you can see at a glance which of your recent posts were the most popular. Here are my top 4 from this selection.
1 - Mid-way point in my Mathilde blouse - 37 likes, 4 comments.
2 - Pin cushion (talking about the Knitting & Stitching Show) - 35 likes, 4 comments.
3 - My next door neighbour at Crafty Fox Market, Liz Mosely, at her stand - 33 likes.
4 - My new phone case (with my Windows design on!) - 32 likes, 4 comments.
Images from events always seem to be popular (although the photo quality isn't always the best!) and I've noticed that the shots I've styled more get lots of likes too (that's why peoples Instagram feeds aren't always that realistic folks!).
The other thing I've been really concentrating on is the use of hashtags. I try not to post anything without at least adding one or two (and depending on the time of day and how tired I am, I can find it quite hard to think of any sometimes!). I used to limit myself to 5 so as not to look too spammy but have realised that, provided I don't go over the top and add a silly number, as many as I think are relevant is best. This has definitely helped me to find new followers who have an interest in say sewing, midcentury design or architecture for example.
The main downside I've found with Iconosquare so far is the time it takes to update your stats. I'm not on there often enough for it to be quick and has taken well over an hour each time I've wanted to look at it (in fact, on the day I started writing this post, it took 5 hours!). They do have a premium option (which I'm not planning to pay for) - not sure if it's any quicker if you have that.
You can however get quite a lot of info from the free version - overall engagement and level of comments, all time most popular posts, follower growth, who your most engaged followers are and, an interesting one, when you've gained and lost the most followers (so did that sloth picture bring new people or make them flee?).
I noticed when writing this post that there's a new hashtag performance option which I'll be looking at too - no point in filling the page with hashtags which people don't use.
Are there any other keen Instagrammers out there who use an alternative tool or is there something you think is better? I think I'd use Iconosquare more if I felt I could quickly dip in and out, rather than waiting an age for my data (but this may only be because I don't use it enough!). Please let me have your recommendations!
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