Winning with Instagram

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms. In July, 2015 it was announced that there are 14 million monthly active users in the UK.  Are you one of them? (Just in case you fancy following I am @CharlieMoos feel free to like any pictures that aren’t of my cat! ) If you need help setting up and account then go here – A Beginners Guide to Instagram.

instagram poppy sparkles

The idea behind using Instagram for your small business or blog is that it enables you to develop a brand identity through storytelling and behind the scene content.  Research has proven that Instagram users connect and engage far more than they actually post. Interesting.  I’ve noticed a few things since I started using Instagram.

  • Less is More : I find if I’m at an event/day out etc a few thought out images during and after maybe days after, get a much better reaction than bulk loading as the event is occurring. Save these for your blog.
  • Life should be edited ALWAYS! : To me this is almost ironic! The whole idea of Instagram is that images are posted instantly on your mobile phone not carefully crafted on your DSLR, edited to an inch within their life then emailed to your mobile and eventually uploaded but it appears this is what people want to see!
  • One child is more beautiful that the others : Yes images of a certain child * cough possibly the blonde haired female cough * get far more reaction that my other two, who are equally as beautiful in my eyes.
  • Hashtags : #YouMustIncludeHashtags #HashtagsRule #AWorldWithoutHashtagsIsBoring
  • Cats and Wine Rule! : This image of our cat George is one of the most popular on my feed followed by a photo of me drinking 2 glasses of wine. I’m still trying to get a shot of the cat drinking wine image how many people will like that!

George appreciates all of Daddy Moo's trees. #instacats #catsofinstagram #trees #silverbirch #George

A photo posted by Joanne Dewberry (@charliemoos) on

Three things that makes Instagram different from other platforms :

  1. It’s all about the mobile : Instagram is all about being instant you can’t load images via desktop it has to be on a mobile using the app.
  2. It’s not link heavy : The only clickable link appears in your bio. TOP TIP : Ensure the link in your bio goes to a mobile friendly site!
  3. Insights? What insights? : Unlike other platforms where you are provided with tons of analytical information other than the likes and comments there is none!

Hashtags hold a lot of weight on Instagram compared to other platforms especially Facebook where they can still look a bit weird!  So why use them? Hashtags are used for content distribution, they broaden the reach and put your business/blog in front of a new audience. There is the golden rule of 5 #hashtags but some use more others less, I think personal preference and working out which go with your image is key.  As you start to type your hashtag you will notice a list appears and sometimes just one letter can make all the difference. For example the tag #garden is associated with 14,118,330 posts whereas #gardens in comparison only 992,117 already reducing the pool of viewers.

Top hashtags include,

  • #sky
  • #cloud
  • #bestoftheday
  • #girl
  • #boy

Apparently 5-6pm is the optimum time to post an image but I tried this and for my readers it didn’t make much difference. I think there are best practice tactics but ultimately you need to manifest your own plan based on your own audience and for some part this will be trial and error.

Other posts which may be of interest include:

6 simple solutions to increase your Instagram followers

Instagram – going beyond snap happy posting

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  1. October 7, 2015 / 10:27 am

    Lots of great tips there! I wish there was something you could do about the kind of people that follow you though, I am so sick of people flogging those stupid wrap products! 😀
    Emma recently posted..Halloween AbroadMy Profile

    • October 7, 2015 / 10:56 am

      Haha! I hear ya! The wrap sellers are taking over the world! (of the internet which is pretty much my world!)

  2. October 7, 2015 / 12:45 pm

    Instagram is my fav form of social media it’s being over run with sponsored posts and businesses now though and it’s losing its sparkle for me.
    Sonia recently posted..The Snow Queen 2 Blu-Ray GiveawayMy Profile

    • October 7, 2015 / 1:21 pm

      I must admit I do dislike the sponsored content I tend to hide any that pops up straight away. I also dislike the staged and edited content, I prefer mine to be “real” however maybe I target the wrong audience etc .. but I find that those edited pages have far more interaction that us real people!

    • October 8, 2015 / 8:55 am

      Angela, you can’t be everywhere at the same time so it’s important to know where your strengths lie and it’s OK if it isn’t Instagram.

  3. October 7, 2015 / 5:32 pm

    My cats do better than my son which makes me a little sad. Also I’ve noticed that girls seem to do better than boys on Instagram.
    Erica Price recently posted..AstralMy Profile

    • October 8, 2015 / 8:54 am

      Isn’t it funny Erica! I wonder though if cats do well because most of the Instagram users are of an age where they don’t have children? I’m glad though that it’s not only me who has a child that Instagram favours I was beginning to worry!

    • October 8, 2015 / 8:53 am

      Me neither Jen and I hardly style things …. but apparently this is what people want *boo hiss*

  4. October 9, 2015 / 9:46 am

    I love Instagram – a good bout of instant pretty, never fails to cheer me up!
    Sonya Cisco recently posted..Almond MacaroonsMy Profile

  5. October 9, 2015 / 10:23 am

    I love Instagram, and I like kitty photos and also coffee! It’s so funny to think that this is what we enjoy online as a few years ago no-one would have cared what you are drinking and what your pet is!!
    JuggleMum, Nadine Hill recently posted..Half Term Holiday EssentialsMy Profile

  6. October 11, 2015 / 5:09 pm

    I love using instagram but I still haven’t worked out when’s the best time to post. It sure is cat friendly though. My ginger beastie always goes down well 🙂

  7. October 12, 2015 / 3:55 pm

    I love Instagram and I do not follow rules when it comes to uploading. I do love editing my photos but not excessively. I suppose Instagram is about natural beauty, in a prepped fashion, lol!xx
    oana79 recently posted..What this mummy loved in…SeptemberMy Profile

  8. October 16, 2015 / 10:16 pm

    Great post and fabulous tips too. I’m a fan of Instagram definitely, it’s a brilliant platform – I just need to get better at using it 🙂

  9. mummy little blog
    October 18, 2015 / 8:11 pm

    yes i find one of my children gets more likes than others on instagram. Also 8pm – 9:30pm is my best time for likes. I do love instgram
    mummy little blog recently posted..The Fear of a choking childMy Profile