I’ve been using Instagram for over three years now. I started off posting silly photos of my dog; later I tried to show off my worldly mileage by becoming a wannabe travel photographer; then to a street photographer creeping at strangers; then to foodie who only ate at the same places; and now to guy who posts photos of his baby.
Suffice to say, Instagram has been the manicured and groomed mascot to my online life. So when I finally decided to transform my Instagram persona to a dad blogger, I tried to gather all my years of experience to figure out if there is a secret formula to building a healthy and engaging account.
If you’ve stumbled upon this post, you probably had the same question as me in thinking, “How does a dad blogger like me get more followers on Instagram?” If you’re not a dad blogger, don’t worry, these points are very valid as it can be used for anyone who wants to increase their Instagram engagement.
Face it – as dad bloggers, we’re hardly ever stand a chance when it comes to having a strong Instagram following. Most of us are regular Joes, who do not have nearly as much to offer to the Instagram crowd as the youthful and energetic teens. (Man I sound like an old man.)
In a crowd of dad bloggers, there’s probably only a handful of Instagram Dad bloggers who are the true superstars. But you know what? That’s totally fine, cause what we lack in numbers, we can make up in quality interactions.
I hate to talk about numbers, as my numbers are embarrassingly low still. In fact, I have yet to hit the 1000 followers mark, which in today’s age is pretty basic. However, within the past three months I noticed that my follower count has dramatically improved from 200 followers to now close to 500.
What’s the secret?
Well, for the past few months I’ve employed the following three rules:
Creating a consistent gallery style
Posting genuine comments to similar accounts
Liking and following similar niche accounts
Okay, I’d admit, this is nothing new and I’m sure many of you have already tried this strategy. But if you tried and stick with these rules, I guarantee you that your engagement and follower count will improve dramatically.
1. Creating a consistent gallery style
Early on with my Instagram account, I would basically upload a photo I considered “nice.” Here’s how my gallery looked like a few years ago:
As you can see, there are some pretty interesting shots, but none of them really follow a consistent theme. You see some photos with borders and some without; some shots with colour, and some without. It’s basically a metaphor of how messy I am as a person.
Visually, this is not appealing, and for a prospective new follower, this is something that they don’t want to see. They’re thinking, “I liked this photo of Red Pandas, but why are there now photos of school buses?”
The main thing here is to post consistent pictures, and more importantly, use a consistent visual style. Fast forward to my gallery now:
Visually, it looks more consistent. While I still have the occasional shot of food (a dad’s still gotta eat), or a shot of some awesome trees, the style and colour of the photo is still consistent throughout.
The takeaway here is that for new follower’s you want them to know what to expect from your feed, and what they’ll get is a visually consistent gallery.
2. Posting genuine comments to similar accounts
I think our brains now automatically filter out Instagram comments like, “Nice!”, “Cute!”, “Great shot!”, etc. It’s simply not genuine. If you want to get strong engagement for your photos, then you need to do the same for others.
How to take a candid and intimate shot like this one in three easy steps. 1) Pre-make that candid happy dad facial expression. 2) Hold baby high up to your cheek. If your baby likes savoury salty foods use your face sweat to your advantage. 3) Take 30 shots until you get it right. Simple right? ?
If you want to have quality and meaningful followers, then you need to attract them with quality and meaningful comments. Unless you’re The Rock, or David Beckham, you won’t have a hoard of followers liking your photos and following your account. So put in the time and the results will pay off.
Most of the comments I get are from people whom I have developed a rapport with. If someone comments or likes your posts, be sure to take some time to look at their account and comment back.
So instead of using generic comment, really talk about what you liked about their photo, as well as how it relates back to your kid. You’ll find that if you comment thoughtfully, the engagement and following will come naturally. If you want quality, you have to put in quality. There’s no other way.
3. Liking and following similar niche accounts
There’s no faster way to attract the people that you want to attract that to like your niche group. So in this case this will be other dad bloggers. This ties in to the previous point of putting in quality, well it certainly applies to liking other people’s content. The more you like, the better you increase your reach.
If your feed and account comprises of people within your niche, you’re more than likely to have your posted shared or commented on, so try to like what aligns with your brand, and you as a daddy blogger.
So there you have it, if you try and employ these three strategies for the next little while, I assure you that you will not only increase your Instagram engagement, but you will also enjoy using Instagram a whole lot more.
Good luck and let me know if it’s worked for you.
And also, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram as well. 🙂