This might sound like a pretty simple blog post and that anyone can have a successful Instagram account. That’s true. I did it, which means that you can too! So instead of taking you through the basics of setting up Instagram, I wanted to share with you some of my tips that I’ve learned along the way whilst running my own Home Interiors and Lifestyle Instagram account @thepramshed and what I advise my clients on as part of my day job as a Social Media Manager to help you create or improve your own Instagram account to be a success for you. (As a side note, success doesn’t mean follower numbers, although it is always nice).
Here’s goes (in no particular order)…..
Just do it
A motto I live by, and one that has propelled many of my decisions and the hustle. Just do it. What can actually happen or go wrong. Nothing really. It’s best to start than not start at all, and once you’ve started you can continually refine it. That’s what I love about Instagram it needs to be “you” and it will continuously evolve around your life. My account did not start as a home interiors lifestyle account (whatever you want to call it) it started as a parenting blogging account 3 years ago, and look at it now it’s hugely different. So just do it, get going or keep going.
Use Instagram to tell your story
Instagram is your place, your creative outlet to tell your renovation and interiors journey. Keep using it for this purpose so that your followers are intrigued by your content and keep coming back for more. If you’re at the start of a renovation project your pictures may not be pretty, but it’s showing the here and now, and possibly inspiring someone else who’s also thinking about doing a kitchen extension. Reality pictures always good. Plus it’s also a great way for you to show the progress of your project. Whatever you’re doing in the home whether it’s mid build, planning or showing an update you’ve made to a room there is always a story to tell.
Tap into the relevant hashtags and engage around them
This is really important. There are literally thousands of hashtags that you can use for house renovations and interior design posts. You can use 30 and I would advise that you use them all, it will only help to increase your reach if someone else is searching that hashtag. A good starting point for hashtags is to see what other similar accounts are using and to search Instagram for them. Aim to use ones that have less than 100k hits, which will help to increase your reach and will limit your post disappearing down the results list as quick as a hashtag that has 2.3 million hits to it. You should engage around the hashtags that you use, like and comments on posts, and you may also find some new accounts to follow too, and they may also follow you back.
Take part of Instagram challenges
There are many of these for home interior and renovation accounts, some of my faves include @myhousethismonth, @myrenostory, @thechichomes and @storyofmyhome. All feature a daily theme and using these prompts is a good way to inspire your grid posts and also a good way for other accounts to find you. You’ll also find that the hosts share their faves to the account’s stories, which is also another way that others can find your account. When I take part in these challenges I try to engage with say 10/15 posts under the hashtag, by liking and commenting on posts.
Followers other who inspire you
This is totally true. Only follow those who inspire you – the accounts that you want to see in your Instagram feed. Unless you want a feed full of people who you can’t be bothered to interact with. It’s true that following people may lead to a follow for you, but it will also mean that you’re not seeing the accounts that you want to be seeing and interacting with.
Engage, engage, engage!
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOUT INSTAGRAM. Be social. To grow your account and to work the magic of the Instagram algorithm you need to engage. Do not post and run. Once you’ve posted your pic engage with your followers, and like and comment on those posts that are using the same hashtags as you. You really need to spend 10 minutes using Instagram as soon as your post goes live, and that include replying to any comments that you get. By doing this you’re getting your post higher up the algorithm and viewed by your followers.
Always reply and be nice
This is just common sense, but when you receive a comment always reply back to it to build conversation. Instagram is about being social, and it’s always nice to drop a friendly reply back to someone who has taken the time to read your caption and leave a comment. As an added extra I always comment back on their posts too, which is another way of getting your account in front of others who have also left a comment.
Create inspiring and useful content
All of your content should be inspiring and have a purpose. Share your latest renovation updates, or share an update to a room or an exciting project that you are working on. I’ve shared many posts about our house renovation and extension, some that I think are really boring, but actually end up doing quite well as they are useful for other people. I try to remember when I’m posting my content that although we’ve done the bulk of our renovation, there will be many other people who are at the starting stage and love/want the advice.
You need to offer your followers and anybody seeing your posts the opportunity to reply back and start a conversation. Every single post should contain a question, even it’s just “Did you have a good weekend?”. This is a great way to start talking which is really important for your engagement on that particular post, and means that you can start growing your audience. I recently asked “Why did you buy your house?” which did well and I loved reading the comments finding out a little more about people. So think about how you end your captions and how you can encourage others to react and respond to your post.
Use well known hashtags
Going back to hashtags again and repeating my point about using them, they are a brilliant way for people who are not following you to find you. Use hashtags like #myhousethismonth #transformationtuesday #throwbackthursday and hashtags that obviously relate to what you’re doing such as #kitchenextenion #houserenovation and #victorianterrace. Hashtags can be followed which means that by using hashtags your post may just pop up in someone’s feed. You should also try to mix up the hashtags per post as Instagram may shadow ban you for repeatedly using the same hashtags over and over again. This means that your content will still post, it just won’t show up in the hashtag search list which isn’t good for your reach.
Tag the shizzle out of every post
Literally do this to start expanding who sees your post. It’s a way for you to thank brands, support businesses, and get your account in front of brands (if that’s what you want to do). You can do this by adding their Insta handle into the caption and also tagging them in the image too. By tagging them in the image your post will appear on their tagged photos feed on their profile. Again another way for others to find you. For example if you’ve just added swanky Dowsing and Reynolds light fittings or handles to your home, tag your image with their handle and it will appear on their profile, this means that anyone looking at this part of their profile for inspiration could see your post!
Fill your camera with pictures
Take as many pictures as you can at different angles, when you can. Whenever I have a room tidy I snap the hell out of it, I recently took over 100 pictures of the kitchen, as this is all content that I will use to keep my grid looking and feeling consistent. Plus with the darker winter months coming it’s much harder to take bright photos, so it’s good to keep loads on your phone that you can refer back to.
If you’re in the build phase take loads of pictures too, obviously this phase won’t last forever but you can use these pictures for before and afters, and #flashbackfriday posts. One of the things I regret is that I haven’t got loads of pics during the early stage of our build for two reasons – I wasn’t a lifestyle/interiors Instagram person at the time, and also because we did our build in winter so our builders were always around during the daylight hours.
Use Instagram stories every single day
Last point and that is to use Instagram stories. Be brave and go for it. It will really help your reach and help to keep your account higher up the algorithm. Plus people love them. I try to create and share a mix of content for stories. For example I have stories where I’m talking at the camera (you’ll get used to doing this), sharing other’s posts which is an amazing way for you to grow your account as they will hopefully return the favour, and I also share a few posts about family life, where we’ve been etc. It’s good to have a mix of content to avoid your viewers getting too bored. “How to’s” are great to share as they help to keep people intrigued and coming back to your stories for more. You can then save your stories to highlights so that they are permanently on your page as each story disappears after 24 hours. There is so much to say about Instagram stories that I may write a separate blog post on it.
That’s it my 13 Instagram tips to help create and grow a home interiors, lifestyle, renovation account. I really hope that you’ve found it useful and can at least take one point away to start doing today.
What’s the one thing that’s helped you with your Instagram account.