Instagram Like A Pro

By: Jessica Ekstrom, Guest Blogger

As of 2014, 16 billion photos have been uploaded to Instagram. Instagram is my favorite social media outlet. For Headbands of Hope, pictures tell our story more than words. There is nothing more powerful than a photo of a girl getting her headband in the hospital. It’s a moment that can’t be summed up in a 140-character tweet.

Therefore, I use Instagram the most, posting 2-3 pictures a day on @headbandsofhope. In just 800 posts, we’ve managed to gain 3,586 in followers and growing every minute.


However, there are some accounts out there that have thousands of posts and struggling to hit 100 followers. So what makes the difference?

Here are some tips I’ve found:

  • Good quality pictures:

Filters can’t fix everything (I know, bummer). Make sure your picture is well lit (natural lighting is best) and the object is in focus. When you’re using your iPhone to take a picture, it helps to tap the screen where you want it in focus. Then pick a filter that compliments it.

  • Easy on the hashtags:

There’s nothing less attractive to me than scrolling down on Instagram and seeing a post with about eight million hashtags: #toocuteforwords #puppydoglove #sorrynotsorryforpostingthis #etc #etc. You get the point, right? If you’re going to use a hashtag, pick 1-3 powerful ones and leave it at that. A hashtag novel will just drive away followers.

  •  Link to your Facebook account:

Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion dollars. Oh, and Instagram only had 13 employees at the time. Crazy, right? But now your Instagram is easily connected to your Facebook account to integrate all of your pictures on your page. This shows all of your Facebook friends you have an Instagram and they can now follow you.

  • Have a purpose in your post:

A Call to Action is important in any kind of social media. Get your followers engaged with what you’re doing.

 “Double tap if you’re drinking a Sunday morning coffee like me!”

 “I can’t figure out what to name this headband. Comment below with your suggestions!”

These promote engagement among your followers and therefore you get more exposure. More exposure means more potential for new followers.

  • Use other apps:

My two favorite apps are PicStich and PicLab. PicStitch allows you to combine multiple pictures into a collage.

PicLab allows you to add text and more effects/filters to your photos and then upload to Instagram.

  • Just stick to #SelfieSunday

Truthfully, scrolling down and seeing selfie after selfie can put off an egotistical vibe. Pictures of only someone’s face in different expressions are not very interesting. Of course, there are exceptions, a new haircut for example. But don’t go overboard on #SelfieSunday or #Selfie any day. Keep your posts interesting by mixing it up with different kinds of pictures.

  • Be interactive: 

One of the easiest ways to gain followers is to interact with other accounts! Like, follow, comment and put yourself out there to gain more exposure. The most popular way I discover other accounts is through them commenting on our pictures and getting noticed. Even a short and sweet comment like: “love that headband!” or “beautiful dog!” will do.

  • Be you!

The best way to get followers is by being true to who you are. Show people your interests and creativity through your lens, not anyone else’s!

*Stats by Digital Marketing Ramblings

About Jessica

jessica.jpgJess Ekstrom is the 22-year-old founder of Headbands of Hope and Headwear of Hope. Both companies give head products to kids with cancer with every purchase. Jess is also a public speaker at speaker at CAMPUSPEAK. Check out Headbands of Hope on FacebookTwitter, Instagram (@headbandsofhope) and Youtube.


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