For the longest time, my account was around a cool 150 followers – made up of friends and family members. Whenever I traveled, I took pictures joking I was “doing it for the gram” while fully accepting that I’m not an Instagramer. I prefer to be in the moment when traveling, I feel awkward when standing for the perfect shot, and I hate being in my pictures.
But then COVID happened, and the world shut down.
So I thought, well, why not FINALLY give it a shot. After crowdsourcing friends to figure out how to grow an account, I started doing the basic tricks:
- Engaging with the travel community
- Commenting on people’s posts
- Liking a bunch of pictures
- Trying different Hashtags
- Following other accounts
Basically, it was anything to get other accounts to follow me. And it started working. I started building out a little community of fellow travelers. It was entertaining, albeit slightly depressing because COVID seems to have no end in sight. While fellow travelers in Europe could move around freely, the US was (and still is for a good reason) a pariah.
In a little less than nine months, I gained around 10,000 followers. This only mattered because, at 10,000, Instagram deems you worthy enough for the swipe up function. Personally, I think Instagram should give it to anyone with a creator/business account, but whatever. It’s Mark Zuckerberg’s world, and we’re just living in it (for now anyway).
Since hitting 10,000, I’ve noticed a shift. Pictures and posts aren’t doing as well. It’s harder to gain followers. This could be my own issue. I’ve probably gotten lazier with posting and creating solid content since the holidays. But it did get me thinking, what are some ways to support each other within the travel community? Things that I try to do consistently. So here it is, ways to support your fellow travelers/Instagramers. Note this goes for anyone with a friend that is trying to grow their account, be mindful of these tips and support them:
Tip #1 – SAVE Content
This is a HUGE way to help someone’s account, and it costs you nothing! Whenever I interact with someone’s post, whether it’s on the explore page or in my feed, I try to save the post. It’s easy and is proven to increase the reach of someone’s picture.
Our world is very saturated (I don’t need to tell anyone that), so every save makes a difference. It means Instagram that the post is interesting to people. It tells them that you want to reference the post later. It helps ensure more and more people see that post.
And again, it costs you nothing! It doesn’t take up space, no one knows what you’ve saved, and it makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
Tip #2 – Share Content
Whether you are sharing the content in a private message or posting it directly to your story, it all helps. I usually send posts to my personal Instagram account (I have like three followers and never post, but it counts) or to Steph’s account or a friend’s. It doesn’t matter. It just matters that you share content.
Instagram wants to see a conversation happening. They again want to know if a post is valuable. So share it. If it supports your friend or an account you like, what’s the harm?
Also, feel free to post them to your story. If there is an account you like, let your followers know. Again, what’s the harm? I’ve found a lot of outstanding accounts that way.
Tip #3 – Comment
This goes back to Instagram, wanting to see that a post has value and is engaging. Commenting helps promote the post. It’s equally important to answer every comment and return the favor. Instagram is a social app, and commenting highlights that.
I’m not going to pretend to know how much commenting helps boost a post or not. I’ve read different things and have heard other things from people. I think it matters, though, because it shows that your account is part of a community. Instagram wants to see conversations happen. If anything, it helps validate that the account is real and not just followed by a bunch of bots.
I’m sure there are many more tips on how to support each other, and I’d love to hear from you! Let me know what you think or if you have your own takeaways in the comments below.