How to Support Your Blog with Instagram
When used correctly, Instagram can be an extremely effective tool to expand and engage the audience of your blog. If you’re consistently producing quality content on your blog, it’s important that you ensure that people are benefiting from it. For many of us, blogging is a medium that gives us a voice for our passions, whether that be a call to action, a cause we’re championing, or simply information we wish to share with the world. However, if you don’t make people aware that your content exists, it simply doesn’t do any good. One way to promote awareness for your work is by using social media, and in particular, one of the most popular ones: Instagram.
Over the past few years, I’ve successfully used Instagram to gain traffic on my blog, make connections with my readers, and develop a consistent readership that I can rely on to be interested in what I have to say. Here’s my tips for effectively using Instagram to support your blog.
1. Use your Instagram to add personality to your blog’s content.
Social media is a great opportunity to allow your readers (and potential readers) to get to know the face and person behind the blog. Use your Instagram to share the “behind the scenes” and add some personality to what might otherwise be an intimidating amount of content on your website. Many bigger companies- particularly restaurants and niche grocery stores- choose to highlight their employees on their Instagram feeds by sharing their workplace antics, personal favorite products of the company, and facts about their lives and relation to the product or service they’re promoting. You can do the same by making yourself available to your audience and sharing a little bit more about who you are than you may otherwise do on your blog.
2. Supplement your blog with Instagram-specific content.
Give your readers an incentive to stay connected on Instagram by providing content on social media that wouldn’t otherwise make it onto your blog. This can take the form of short tips and tricks that wouldn’t take up an entire post on their own, coupon codes or special deals they won’t see elsewhere, or “real time” updates on projects you’re currently working on. The idea here is to add value to your Instagram. If people feel as though they are gaining a benefit by following you, they’re going to be more likely to stay connected. For example, on my Instagram I provide yoga pose breakdowns, yoga sequences, and short recipes or meal ideas- all of which may intrigue followers to check out my blog for more content.
3. Make connections.
Instagram is a great way to connect faces to the readers of your blog and interact with those who may otherwise be silent readers. Using Instagram open you up to receiving and answering questions your community may have, and makes you appear far more approachable and available than your website or blog may seem for the casual reader. Take the opportunity to follow and comment on the posts of other bloggers in similar communities to your own. Doing so will make help you make connections that may lead later down the road to collaborations, and will also increase the likelihood of their readers becoming your readers as well. If someone sees that you have similarly beneficial content to someone they already trust and follow, it’s likely they’ll be interested in following you, too.
4. Don’t be afraid to self-promote, but keep it classy.
It’s your Instagram, so don’t be afraid to post reminders about your recent blog posts or upcoming newsletters. Self-promotion is somewhat expected on an Instagram linked to a blog or business, and your readers value updates on new content. If they like who you are and what you do, they want to know what you’re up to! At the same time, don’t spam or repeatedly post about the same things. Pestering your followers with constant reminders of the same article or same recipe isn’t going to make it more likely for them to go check it out- if anything, it will annoy them and do the opposite. My general rule of thumb is one post when content goes up, and another post a little while (a few days or weeks) later for those who “missed it” is a safe bet.
5. Use appropriate tags to spread the reach of your content.
Hashtags are used on Instagram to categorize similar content together. For example, if you post a recipe that’s gluten-free, adding the hashtag #glutenfree to your post will make it searchable for anyone who is seeking out gluten-free recipes and bloggers. Instagram also suggests posts to users in the “Explore” feed based on these hashtags and their interest in them. Add hashtags to your post that will help you reach the audience you feel your blog and content is directed towards, but don’t go overboard. Littering your posts with hashtags make make you appear spammy or simply hard to read. Adding 5-10 hashtags at the bottom of your post or in a comment under it, so that it is unobtrusive to your content, will help your content spread beyond your current following.
Creative Community Developer at Snapfluence.
I'm the Oxford comma's biggest fan.