Although Tofu doesn’t have his own Instagram, any Tofu-related post has always been popular there. I guess Tofu Tuesday just makes more sense on an image-heavy platform. A fluffy bunny just brightens up any foodie’s feed. I haven’t given Tofu a separate account so I can count his followers as my own. Ha! But if you do just want to see Tofu posts, I’ve given him his own hashtag #TofuTheBunny.
It’s been exactly one year since I started using Instagram and I’ve recently reached a milestone of 3000 followers. Yikes! Thank you! Somehow I missed the 2000 milestone, I think it was sometime over the summer holidays but this time around, I’m ready to celebrate and reflect.
I’ve written a list of 12 things I’ve learned about Instagram so far. One tip for each month I’ve been addicted to Instagram because let’s face it, this is addiction.
What I’ve learned about Instagram so far:
- Experiment. Look at things differently. Shoot outside your comfort zone. See what happens. If it all turns to custard, you can delete your photos.
- Use a real camera. This might also be frowned upon among some circles, but most of my photos are shot on my SLR. That’s because the phone on my camera is CRAPOLA.
- Compose in squares. OK, so Instagram allowed landscape and portrait uploads some time ago, but when previewing, everything gets chopped to square so if you always compose in squares, you won’t risk your images getting hacked.
- Browse other people’s photos. The more well composed photos I look at critically, the faster I am at setting up my own shots. Get better and identifying shots that are balanced, striking or have interesting compositions.
- Connect with your Instagram heroes. I love that Instagram provides a short link between people. If you love someone’s work. Tell them. Ask them your fan girl questions. It’s totally fine.
- Take multiples. I always take lots of photos. If going on my phone, I use the camera setting and then upload to Instagram. Never shot directly from Instagram app. That’s so noob.
- Reply to comments. OK I don’t reply to every comment but if someone has left a comment, it’s always nice to acknowledge. I always reply to questions.
- Don’t follow back every follower. I know this might be frowned upon, but I don’t follow back. Not always. I only follow accounts I really feel a connection with and want to see in my feed. While Instagram limits the number of users you can follow to 7500, I’ve found that my feed feels cluttered with just a tenth of that.
- Avoid posting too frequently. On average, I post 1.2 times per day. I didn’t think I would post that much when I started, and I can go days without posting, but during special events, I might post several times. It can be hard to restrain myself so I try and drip feed photos days after an event as #throwback or #takemeback posts.
- Don’t like everything. Even if you do like everything. If you like too many posts, you’ll get banned. I’ve done that. More than once. Banning varies from 6 hours to 2 days. Being banned forces to assess your life. What are you doing!? As an Instagram addict, I try to limit my Instagram binge time to 15 minutes at a time.
- Hashtags are your friends. Call me a hashtag whore but I use them liberally. Although maybe not so liberally. There is a limit of 30 hashtags which I think is WAY too many! I’m nowhere near THAT. I use about 5-10 hashtags per post. Using hashtags increases the chances of likes and more likes means more followers.
- Tag relevant users. Don’t tag people who have nothing to do with your post. That’s creepy and spammy. Do tag brands or users who feature in your posts or people who have inspired the post.
My favourite hashtags are:
- and of course… #rabbitsofinstagram
What are your favourite hashtags and Instagram tips?