10 Behind-The-Scenes Social Media Secrets Of An Instagram Influencer

Photo: Courtesy of Author Jaycee Levin / Instagram 
Jaycee Levin
Entertainment And News

I have been working on growing my Instagram page for a year now and have gained over 3,000 followers in that time.

Especially with the pandemic and being stuck at home, I have decided to commit to learning the ins and outs of being an Instagram influencer.

I have spent my free time watching YouTube videos about hashtag strategies and traveled around New York City to do Instagram photoshoots with a tripod. 

I've also learned a lot about how to boost engagement, gain a steady following, and what to post in order to get more eyes on your Instagram feed.

Here are 10 behind-the-scenes social media secrets of an Instagram influencer.

Keep reading for the best tips, tricks, and secrets for growing your social media following, as told by a budding influencer. 

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1. Find your niche. 

Before you even focus on becoming an influencer, you need to figure out what your niche is.

It is very important that you know what you want to post and narrow in on your area of expertise.

Do you want to post about lifestyle, travel, fashion, or something else? All of your posts should reflect your niche, so step one is to find your niche. Some ways to get brainstorming is to start by writing down your interests and passions, what you are good at, and identify what problems you can solve.

After doing that, you should know what your niche could be, and then try to post content that falls into that niche. However, if it isn’t working, go back to the drawing board and try different things!

2. Utilize your Instagram bio. 

You should be putting a lot of information in your Instagram bio, so that people know what your page is all about.

Use it as an opportunity to introduce yourself! Important tip: the first line of your Instagram bio that is bolded helps with Instagram SEO.

So, put your name there and then some keywords that you want to be aligned with. For example, after my name. I put “NYC Lifestyle” so people know where I live and what my niche is. 

In my actual bio, I put some other niches I fall into, like “lifestyle, travel, & fashion.” I put it there so people know what I post on my feed without having to look. Then, I put my email so brands can reach out to me for partnerships and collaborations. 

In your bio, you can put one link, so be clever about what you link to on your feed. I put a link to my personal website. However, you can use the link to advertise your TikTok, Twitter, or a brand you are partnering with.

3. Post everyday.

It takes a lot of effort to grow on Instagram since there are so many other accounts. Being an influencer is one of those jobs where you have to put in a lot of work in at the beginning before you start seeing results.

Honestly, the most important thing that you can take from these tips is to post every single day, since it is the number one way to grow. Even if you use hashtags and do all the tips and tricks, you won’t see growth if you are inconsistent. Remember, consistency is key! 

Posting everyday can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. There's an app called Preview that you can use to plan out your feed so you have a schedule to follow. Also, you don’t have to post a picture of yourself every day, because that can be time-consuming — especially if you're doing photo shoots.

Instead, you can break up your pictures by posting “filler photos.” For example, post a picture of yourself, followed by a Pinterest photo of a nice sunset or quote. It makes your job easier and also helps your Instagram feed look less busy, so it is a win-win.  

4. Write engaging captions. 

Instead of using emojis or Taylor Swift lyrics in all of your captions, try to create engaging captions.

It is always helpful to post Instagram captions that ask a question so that more people will want to leave a comment on your photo. For example, you can ask for movie or book recommendations.

You should also focus on writing captions that are meaningful. For example, you can share a behind-the-scenes story about your picture.

Using these tactics are a great way to get people engaged with your posts, but also lets you connect and learn about your followers.

5. Take your own pictures. 

You have to take your photo shoots into your own hands! Instead of relying on your friends to take photos of you, buy a tripod and bluetooth remote off of Amazon.

Tripods are very affordable and an excellent way for you to have a photo shoot whenever and wherever you want to.

Also, it helps you learn which angle looks the best and where to position the camera. By learning how to be comfortable behind the camera, it will help you become more comfortable in front of a camera.

When you are doing a photo shoot with your tripod in public, you may get a lot of stares from people passing by. Have confidence and ignore the people around you. The more you take photos in public, the easier it gets. Just focus on yourself and what you are doing. 

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6. Use all of Instagram’s features. 

Instagram will reward you if you use their features. They want you to use the platform as much as possible. Make a reel, a guide, a post, an IGTV video — all of it. Experiment with all the features, especially ones that are newer.

Since Instagram just created the reels feature, they are really pushing those videos more than photos. It is way easier to make it on the Discover page and go viral with a reel right now.

Also, you should post your TikTok videos to reels and vice versa so you can have more content to work with. If one day you don’t have a picture to post on your page, then post a TikTok video to your Instagram reels.

If you don’t want to film a whole video, you can even make a video compilation of some of your cutest pictures. It’s really an easy thing to do if you are out of ideas and want to effortlessly post something.

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7. Shoot at least two looks in one day.

So you aren’t running around every day doing a photo shoot, try to get more done in one day. It is helpful to shoot at least two outfits in one day.

Try to find photo locations that are very close together and bring two different clothing options. You can pose for one photo first and then find a bathroom to change into your other outfit for your next photo shoot.

You might even want to bring an outfit that you can quickly put on top of the first outfit. You can even simply change an outfit up by adding a jacket on top.

By taking a lot of pictures in a span of one day, you can have photos ready to post for the next two weeks or so. This way, you can focus on other things and you won’t have to be stressed about falling behind on your content schedule.

8. Post your Instagram photos to Pinterest. 

Create a Pinterest account and post your Instagram photos onto Pinterest.

Since Pinterest works like a search engine, it is easier for others to find your page and photos through the platform.

Make sure to post the photos and link them to the exact Instagram photo on your profile. It is a super simple way to gain more followers on Instagram, as well as Pinterest.

9. Use hashtags with your photo. 

Use hashtags to get more views on your Instagram photo. In fact, you can use 30 hashtags under your photo and 5 hashtags hidden in your Instagram story (you can hide it behind a sticker).

However, try not to use huge hashtags because your post will get buried. For example, the hashtag for “style” has 524 million posts, so your post will most likely not get seen.

Instead, use hashtags like “streetstyle_daily”, since it only has 121 thousand posts. Using smaller hashtags up the chances your post will be seen, and it has a possibility of making it to the Discovery page on those hashtags. 

You can use those big hashtags like “style,” “cute,” and “fashion,” in your Instagram Story, too! It makes more sense to use bigger hashtags in your Story, though, because your Story could end up in the overall Story for “style.” Besides that, stick to smaller scale hashtags.

10. Engage with other users. 

It is important that you engage with other users on the platform.

A great tip is to engage for 15 minutes before and after posting a photo.

Engaging with others is a great way to make others aware of your profile and is a great way to gain more followers. To do so, you can type in one of the hashtags you like to use, like “streetstyle_daily,” and like and comment on peoples posts in that hashtag.

Try to comment meaningful things instead of just emojis, though. Even saying something simple like, “I love your outfit, where did you get your pants?” will go a long way.

Giving another social media user something to respond to might encourage them to look at your feed and give you a follow or comment.

After all, Instagram is all about connecting with others.

Also, it feels nice to engage with others and say nice things, because the good vibrations will come back to you.

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Jaycee Levin is a writer, influencer, and blogger living in New York who loves celebrities, fashion, and reality television. She covers news and entertainment for Yourtango. Follow her on Instagram.