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When I was first learning how to blog, all the posts said the same thing – you HAVE to sign up for Tailwind. Tailwind is an automated Pinterest scheduler that has a ton of great features as well. You can see analytics and determine what pins are performing well, you can easily manage what boards you pin to, AND they have the super helpful Tailwind Tribes feature. These groups are separated by niche and a great place to find new pins. They’re also an excellent place to get more shares for your own pins!
Tailwind is not just a Pinterest tool, though. If you have an Instagram account, it’s also extremely useful for that! Unfortunately many of the great features of Tailwind – like automated scheduling – are only available for Instagram accounts marked as a business account. Additionally, you only get 31 posts during your free trial of Instagram scheduling. Anything more than that and you need to upgrade.
Never fear, though – you can use Tailwind to boost your Instagram WITHOUT having to pay for a second account! Many of the free features you get during your free trial are extremely useful and can be used to boost your account. Just follow these tips, and you’ll get the benefits of Tailwind for Instagram – without upgrading from your free trial!
How Do I Know These Tips Work? See For Yourself!
Through lots of hard work, I’ve accumulated a little over 2,000 Instagram followers. These followers have allowed me to not only meet amazing people through the Disney Instagram account, but also opened up brand ambassador opportunities for me! I use the app Brandbassador to find companies I love that will reward me for promoting their products through my blog and my Instagram. I’m no “influencer” by any means – but it’s a start! If you’re interested in becoming an influencer I highly recommend that app. Sign up with my link to start earning commission now!
Essentially, while I might not be the MOST popular Instagram around, I am maintaining growth. Most importantly – I’m getting people who are INTERESTED in my content and want to stick around. They actually ENGAGE with my posts and like and comment on them. Finally, I did NOT pay for ANY of these followers. These are all ACTUAL PEOPLE. NEVER purchase Instagram likes or followers. Instagram is cracking down on it, and people can tell when a post suddenly has hundreds of likes when you only have a handful of followers. It turns them off from following!
First Things First – Sign up for Tailwind for Instagram
If you’re already a Tailwind user, it’s super easy to sign up your Instagram. Simply click on your account on the left sidebar and sign in using your Instagram info.
I know what you’re thinking – yes, my dog has an Instagram. And yes, she has more followers than my personal account.
Once you’re signed up, you can draft out posts using Instagram and even have them post automatically if you have a business account. Personally, I do not use this feature. The picture needs to be scaled a very certain way and has to be a certain size in order for Tailwind to post it. Instagram already eats up the quality of my image – I would much rather just post from my phone where I can control the cropping a bit better.
However, if this is convenient for you, go for it! Like I said above, you get 31 free posts before you need to upgrade. That’s a whole month of planned content for you!
This is the REAL reason I LOVE Tailwind’s Instagram feature. When you’re creating a draft, you can find the BEST hashtags to assure you get the best exposure.
Check out one of my most recent pics (you can find out how I edit my photos here). Tailwind automatically shows me some of my previously used hashtags. What I love about Tailwind, though, is they color code it by how successful it is! For example, the hashtag “disney” is labeled as orange. This means it’s very competitive – as you can imagine there are a TON of pictures in the “disney” tag. However, “disnerd” is the perfect hashtag. It has a good amount of images there indicating people follow it/tag using that hashtag. Yet it is also not SO large that my photos won’t get buried in there. That doesn’t mean you should avoid the orange ones completely. They should be primarily green hashtags, but it’d be silly for me NOT to tag the above photo with “disney”. You never know who will see it, even in the popular tags!
Base off of your hashtags, it’ll also generate other hashtags that people are using to get you more exposure! No need to spend hours sitting there, trying to figure out what hashtags you can come up with for your image.
Here is my final list of hashtags. As you can see, I added some other image specific tags like “abugslife” and “pixarplayparade” to help boost that specific image. I also added some photography based tags. Tailwind recommends using 30 hashtags. When I do post my image, I put a few periods in between my description and my hashtags to kind of push them down below the eye view of my reader (to do this, hit “enter” and then “.” and repeat about 3-4 times).
Putting it all Together
The best part of all of this is that you don’t have to actually post the image in order to access these hashtags. What I’ll do is come up with a list of hashtags, then copy and paste it in to the “Notes” app on my MacBook. I then send it to my phone via AirDrop, and viola! I can copy and paste all these hashtags right in to my post! No need to type them ALL out and waste my time!
Here is my finished post! Beautiful!
It took me literally less than 30 seconds to post it because I had all my hashtags saved. You can use this feature to create Notes for all types of pre-made hashtag lists. Imagine the time you’ll save!
Another FREE feature that you can access for Instagram is your Follower insights. This is handy so you can see trends in when you gained followers. Did you drop a huge amount after you posted that image two days ago? Maybe don’t make similar posts in the future. Did your followers SPIKE after a particularly edgy new post? Try and replicate that! It doesn’t tell you a WHOLE lot, but for free, it’s a great tool to evaluate the patterns of your followers.
There are other insight tools available from Tailwind for Instagram, however they require a premium account. It’ll tell you about your top followers, your top performing posts, etc. If that is something you’re interested in, definitely consider it!
Posting Instagram Images to Pinterest
One thing I like, while still in beta version at Tailwind, is the ability to pin my Instagram posts to Pinterest. Because I am a Disney lifestyle blogger with a Disney photography Instagram, it makes sense to have a board on my Pinterest for my photos. You can find this feature on the left hand side of your Tailwind menu.
There, you will be able to see all your Instagram posts. Simply pick the one you’re going to post and click the Schedule button like it was any other pin! I usually add a little blurb to the description about following my Instagram, and delete a majority of the hashtags. They’re not necessary on Pinterest – just keep your best ones, and change them if necessary to fit what works on Pinterest.
General Instagram Tips
In addition to Tailwind, there are a few things you can do in general to make your Instagram more popular.
- Switch to a business account – you should definitely do this if you’re hoping to get brand ambassador jobs. This will allow you access to Instagram analytic tools as well. This is totally free to do!
- Make your profile specific to your niche – it should be immediately clear what your Instagram is all about! Since I’m a Disney account, it’s important I make my profile and profile picture something Disney related. This lets people know right away what they’ll find on my page. If someone is quickly adding accounts as well, they can see right away you’ll likely be something they’re interested in.
- Follow other people in your niche – Be sure you’re following other people, and most important, that you’re engaging with them! Take some time out of your day to comment on people’s pages and like their photos. When people are looking for new content, they’ll sometimes look at their favorite accounts and see who has liked their photos. This is how I find a lot of new Disney accounts!
Gaining a sizable Instagram following does NOT happen overnight. However, Tailwind can be used to help you head in the right direction – and the more you keep up with it, the more success you’ll see! Now go out, start sprucing up those profiles and gathering hashtags, and watch the followers come in!
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