Fun Accounts to Follow and Hashtags on Instagram
March 14, 2016 2:40 PM   Subscribe

So I'm working on my Instagram for personal and business reasons, what are the best accounts to follow and tag for features and ideas and whatnot. Categories and likes inside!

I'm using Instagram more for 3 reasons.
1) Share my own damn cute/DIY/Style stuff. 2) Share my Etsy shop stuff sporadically 3) Gain followers to hopefully bring some traffic to my Etsy - more like "hey, here's all the cute stuff I like/do and here's my Etsy cute thing if you're into it." NOT like "Buy all my stuff all the time."

I have a marketing background but of course it takes lots of time to find these and you awesome people are probably great at this. For example, Target Style just commented to ask me to tag #ShareMyTargetStyle to be featured (!!!) and I had no idea that hashtag existed as something they look at, even though I follow them.
I also am not someone who wants to endlessly hashtag. I'd like to use maybe one or two hashtags to be featured per shot that I really like, if that.

I'm looking for
a) accounts to follow that are cool in the following categories
b) Hashtags and accounts to follow to possibly be featured or that other people are following and tagging in those categories for reach
c) other strategies for increasing my reach

My main categories of stuff are: Etsy Items, Home Decor, DIY, Style, Hair (Short undercut so relevant for pixie and short hair accounts.)

So, what's happening in those categories that you love?

Here's me if you have more tips. I do have a photography/design background and only recent and actually posting actively so disregard older stuff from when I didn't care. I'm not looking to be Instagram Perfect™, just to have more fun and reach.
posted by Crystalinne to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Your Instagram account is GREAT: so many bright colors and you're super cute! You're clearly off to a great start already. I like how you mention you'd like for it to be both personal and professional, and that you're not aiming to perfect. There are "perfect" accounts out there but, as an individual starting out, the personal touch and even a bit of imperfection is very endearing.

I'd keep using hashtags as it's a way for you to find and be found by likeminded people. After posting a photo with a particular hashtag, look up other recent photos in the stream and like the ones you truly like! And, better yet, leave a message telling why you love it and follow them. Not everyone may follow back but many people appreciate genuine good will and enjoy following likeminded people on Instagram. However, simply tagging photos will unlikely yield a bunch of new followers, just maybe a few additional likes.

Be generous with your likes and follows. Not everyone is as good a photographer as you are but there's still plenty to appreciate in what they do! Right now with your smaller number of followers, this is important. (Nothing wrong with under 100 but it can take a lot of effort getting the ball rolling.)

Ask open-ended questions or talk a bit about your process. It invites people to join in the conversation and absolutely write back if they do. You don't always have to respond but, until you've got 2K+ followers, being known as someone who will write back and form relationships is often a must for gaining and maintaining followers. (This may not be your goal but it is the "social" aspect of social media!) This will create trust and confidence and your followers may well become your buyers and so forth! If someone leaves a disrespect message, I recommend simply deleting it; if someone sends you an unwanted DM (unless it's a threat), I suggest simply ignoring it.

Posting a few times a week or even up to three times a day is fine: anything less often feels a bit inconsistent but anything more overwhelming!

The market is oversaturated with wonderful Instagram accounts these days, unfortunately. It's really cool that Target asked to have access to your photo but big promotions are so rare. Frankly, even when the rare person gets their stuff featured on a big site like Design*Sponge, I see the site-hosted photos getting a lot of likes whereas the OP gets far, far fewer likes and follows. You can absolutely aim for this but, should it happen, see it as a treat rather than an end goal. Connecting with local crafters and fellow Etsy shopkeeper is great, too; that type of networking and mutual appreciation will likely yield the most immediate and positive results.

Ultimately, Instagram can be a great way to connect and share who you are and what you do. You were right to note that it can be incredible time-consuming, and keeping it as a secondary digital portfolio or landing pad of sorts for potential customers is totally OK, too!

Instagram is a little different for everyone but I feel the aforementioned tips are quite useful and rather universal. They're certainly worked for me at least! I prefer to keep my Metafilter and Instagram accounts separate but I'd be glad to DM you a link if you're interested in seeing mine.
posted by smorgasbord at 4:29 PM on March 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I've found that Instagram more so than other networks really needs to be posted in the "after work/dinner" time of day in your targeted demographic's time zone to have full Likes potential.
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:53 PM on March 14, 2016

Best answer: Seconding that your feed is super appealing! Very vivid. It's clear you put some thought into what you post.

My feed is, uh, very very different from yours. It's all food. I probably can't help much with specific hashtags, but I do have a few tips I've picked up along the way.

smorgasbord and Juliet Banana both have good tips.

I've also found that timing is definitely huge. Instagram, after all, is just a straight feed. There's no monkeying about with algorithms and people only scroll so far back in time. The only thing I'll say on that count is that you have to learn your audience's preferred time. After dinner for me tends to be bad because, well, people have already eaten and looking at photos of food is not as appealing for them. However, if I can catch people in the morning — perhaps before they've had breakfast — that's golden! I deviate from this sometimes so that I can try new times and see. And it's not a perfect system because, hey, maybe people just like/don't like the photo I'm posting regardless of the time of day. And people are in different time zones, of course. But the point is, yes, timing matters a great deal.

And so do hashtags. One small detail on hashtags that can help a post look a little more polished: Write the text in another app (your email app, a notepad app, whatever) using paragraph breaks and then copy and paste that into Instagram. That lets you have one line, say, that shows up at the top and then a paragraph break and then a bunch of hashtags. Because for the most part people looking at your photo aren't super interested in your hashtags. The hashtags are there in large part to help other people find the photo.

(I wish I could help with some specific hashtags but, well, I only have slightly more style than I do hair and neither is my strong point.)
posted by veggieboy at 6:26 AM on March 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks! These are great tips. I totally "get" Instagram but I haven't actually needed to use it in practice which is different than in theory. It will definitely help my overall social media experience.

Looks like Instagram may not be a straight feed for too much longer.

Uhhhggggg. I get what they're trying to do and I read that all the content will still be there (hopefully?) unlike Facebook but gosh. The algorithm stuff SUCKS for reaching followers if you aren't a top-tier account or paying for it.
posted by Crystalinne at 5:45 PM on March 16, 2016

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