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Last Updated on 16th February 2017 by Sophie Nadeau


If you follow me on Instagram (which is full of colourful Paris life photos and French chateaux…. just sayin’), then you’ll know that it’s by far my favourite social media platform. And with rumours that Instagram will very soon be changing its home feed algorithm, now is a better time than ever to increase Instagram engagement.

  1. Only post your very very very best photos. I can’t stress this one enough. In the beginning, I was always stressed about posting at the ‘right’ time. Well, let me tell you this: If your photo is bad then there is never going to be a ‘right’ time to post it. You should never post it. Period. It’s better to post less often and higher quality than more frequently and turn people away.
  2. Composition is key: Much like content is king in blog posts, composition is key to an epic photo. Even if your photo is a little blurry or overexposed, fantastic composition will compensate for this.
  3. Remember that when people look at your feed, you have about 1.5 seconds to impress them enough to click on your photos. Why should they click on them? Do you have a theme? Are they all your very best photos? If the answers to any of these are no, refer back to point one.
  4. Always ask yourself if you would be interested in seeing the photo you are posting if you were a stranger. If the answer is no, refer back to point one.
  5. Think of a name for your account (this will save a lot of time later on): Do you want to post wanderlust destinations? Do you want to post sunset pictures? Think about the direction in which to take your account. However, be careful not to corner yourself. For example, if you build an incredibly centred niche around matcha lattes, people will be confused if you suddenly start posting images of the Flat Iron building or cherry blossoms. If you don’t know what to use, your real name is always a good idea (but bear in mind hat future employers will find it easier to find you later on). If your real name is taken, consider using a nickname or adding your middle name. For example, ‘sophienadeau‘ was taken so I’m using ‘sophieannenadeau‘. Using my real name has also allowed me to post whatever I find pretty that day rather than centering my images around a ‘niche’…
  6. Tell a story through your photos. Photography is more fun when you’re telling a story and have the challenge of conveying your point through image only.
  7. Add a caption to your image. Although Instagram is mainly about imagery, that doesn’t mean to say that people don’t read your captions. Your words will only add weight to the story you are telling and the points you are trying to get across. If you can’t think of something to write, add your favourite quote or a few emojis. Something is better than nothing.
  8. Change up your image style: Don’t be too repetitive and don’t be afraid to try new things. How about going back to the same location in a different season or at a different time of day?
  9. Make sure that all of your images are well lit. No one can be bothered trying to work out if the picture you’ve taken is of a dog or a cat…
  10. Remember that the best camera is the one you have on you in the moment. Whether it’s your smartphone, digital camera or DSLR, capturing the moment is more important than the quality of your equipment (besides, most people will view your photos on a small screen).
  11. Work with natural light as much as possible: Naural light makes everything look more ethereal, beautiful and ensures a lot less time spent editing your photos later on!
  12. Remember that Sunrises and Sunsets do really well on Instagram: ‘Golden hours’ are perfect for soft lighting,
  13. Try not to post the same thing multiple times in a row: Do you get bored looking through your feed and seeing three pictures of your lunch in a row? Chances are, other people will get bored too.
  14. Leave the drunken selfies on your phone memory: Would you be happy with a potential employer seeing these photos? Would you be interested in seeing a stranger’s drunken night out? Again, always remind yourself that the people viewing your photos may be complete strangers and probably aren’t interested in seeing your friend Bob down 5 tequila shots at once (no matter how funny it was at the time).
  15. People love familiarity so pay attention to the background: People may love your icecream, but wouldn’t they love it more if they could see the Eiffel Tower or Central Park at the same time?!
  16. Reply to all you comments: Instagram is about building networks and communities, not just a one sided platform. Strike up a conversation and engage with your followers.
  17. Look at your statistics and work out when the best time of the day to post is: Consider when you check your instagram. When you first wake up? During your lunch break at work? Just before you go to bed? Chances are, everyone else is checking their phones at around the same times that you are.
  18. Always edit your photos.
  19. Use hashtags on every photo: (you can use up to 30 in your original caption and an additional 30 in your comments).
  20. Change up your hashtags: If you always use the same tags, chances are, they’ll always be viewed by the same people. Different hashtags ensures that different people will be able to see your photos.
  21. When visiting a new destination, look up all relevant hashtags and use them: again, this is similar to changing up your hashtags.
  22. Tag your photos: Not only can you hashtag your photos, you can also tag them so that people will see these photos when they’re looking at photos of the person/ organisation you’ve tagged. For example, on a recent trip to Brittany, I tagged a number of feature pages in my photos.
  23. Make your bio epic: Can you explain who you are in one sentence? What do you want people to know about you? Are you a book lover, sunset chaser or thrill seeker?
  24. Add an email into your bio (but be prepared for a lot of spam): This way, people can contact you for collaborations.
  25. Let people get to know you: Add the occasional photo of yourself so that your account feels more personal and people feel like they can better connect with you.
  26. Attend Instameets: When I went to my first Instameet and told my friends where I was going, they thought it was so hilarious. However, I’ve found that by attending instameets, I’ve made loads new friends, and had a lot of fun in the process.
  27. Link your profile to your Facebook and share your photos there: tap into the existing social community that you already have.
  28. Link your profile to your Linkedin and share your photos there.
  29. Link your Tumblr profile and share your photos there.
  30. Link your Twitter profile and share your photos there.
  31. #communityfirst Like other people’s photos: Instagram is about building relationships, not just a one sided showcase of your best work.
  32. Comment on other people’s photos: Commenting on photos takes a lot more effort than just liking them and a nice comment can not only make someone’s morning but also build the foundations to creating an online friendship with them.
  33. Use geotags (but never tag your home, work etc. for safety reasons).
  34. Remember that daytime photos generally do better than night ones. But that this is not always the case. A well composed photo at night trumps a poorly composed daytime one.
  35. Remember that photos with a lot of blue in them also tend to do well. As do warm, bright photos.
  36. Take pictures of things that inspire you: in the beginning, I took photos of things I thought other people would like. They were pretty boring (well, my photos may well still be boring) and so I sarted adding my friends into the shots and had fun making my photos.
  37. Put your own spin on things: if you like a photo that someone’s taken, don’t just create a carbon copy. I.e. although I love taking photos of the Eiffel Tower, I add my friends into the frame in order to create a unique image.
  38. Surround Yourself with inspirational people (and follow them as well). I’m lucky that a lot of my friends have the same interests as me and bouncing ideas off each other has led to more interesting photos!
  39. Target larger accounts. Leave nice messages and they may well come to your account and return the favour
  40. Talk to other people with cameras: You may well learn some new tips and tricks. Besides, who knows, they may well be on Instagram as well!
  41. Never take yourself too seriously: When you start taking yourself too seriously, you stop positively criticising your work and trying to improve it. The quality of your images will suffer as a result. Besides, taking photos is about sharing stories and inspiring people.
  42. Take breaks every now and then: If you spend too much time on one thing, you’ll burn out and your creativity will suffer as a result.
  43. Although saying this, make sure to practice your photography skills every now and then. Just like learning a language, photography requires practice on a regular basis to ensure that you don’t get rusty at using the camera and composing shots!
  44. Post on a regular basis and have a schedule. If you only want to post once a week, make sure it’s on the same day so that people will make sure to visit your feed on that day
  45. I’ve personally found that the best strategy is to post between one and three times a day.
  46. Leave a minimum of three hours between photos (and ideally six): Don’t overwhelm people!
  47. Never ever post multiple photos in a row. Would you want to scroll through your home feed and see i clogged up by one person?
  48. Play your poker game right: don’t put all of your cards on the table at once. Be elusive and make people want to come back for more.
  49. Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day… and neither will your account be. Of all the ways to increase Instagram engagement, this is probably the point that it’s most important to remember!

Please feel free to share this article! If you have any other suggestions leave me a  comment below or contact me on Facebook.

Travel, Travel, Travel.. always on my mind 💓 Always more France on

A post shared by Sophie Nadeau | (@sophieannenadeau) on

50 ways to increase instagram engagement

increase your instagram engagement

About Author

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, Paris, pizza, and history, though not necessarily in that order. A fan of all things France related, she runs when she's not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming her weight in sweet food. Currently based in Paris after studies in London, she's spent most of her life living in the beautiful Devonian countryside in South West England!


  • Arzo Travels
    31st January 2017 at 9:55 am

    Great tips. Though I am not happy with the amount of likes and I know I could be more active on IG I think many who complain about not being “successful” do not reflect their feed properly. I often read complaints of people who are unhappy with their IG growth and that they cannot understand it despite their “good pictures” but when you look at the feed you see immediately what could be better… Well, to cut a long story short: Be more self-critical and do not judge your own IG feed, so your tips are great.

  • Sally
    20th August 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Came across this post on the Travel Bloggers Social Media Group. Were really trying to develop our instagram strategy at the moment, so pinned it earlier and just read through it now. Great tips. Your blog looks great too, awesome layout and colour scheme

    Sally x

  • City Girl Savings
    28th May 2016 at 4:07 am

    Such helpful information, thank you for sharing!

    <3 City Girl Savings

  • Jill
    20th May 2016 at 3:01 am

    This post is so helpful! I’m still figuring out what works best on IG. Thank you for these tips!

    Doused In Pink

  • Missy May
    19th May 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Oh these are great tips and I’m thankful that you shared them. Great post, beautiful.
    Enjoy your day! 🙂

  • Linda Quinones
    19th May 2016 at 6:21 pm

    These are such great tips!! Thanks so much for compiling it together!

  • Stefanie
    19th May 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Wonderful post! It took me years to figure out the “Insta-game”…Because on one was giving tips and tricks like this back then 😀

  • Emily
    18th May 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Good stuff/advice! I am an Instagram freak haha. It’s my favorite tool for posting and looking at photos. I try to make my gallery spot on. There’s a lot of work and planning that goes in to it! I don’t think a lot of people realize. 🙂


  • Darina
    18th May 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Very useful tips! I love Instagram and I can learn from your tips!


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