How many times a day do you check Instagram? Is the number in the double digits? If you answered a resounding "yes," you are not alone. Throughout the day, I check the app too many times to count -- when I wake up, before I go to sleep, on the subway, heck, I even check it in the bathroom (TMI, sorry). Clearly, I'm addicted -- and I'm guessing you are, too.
But perusing Instagram and creating your own community on it are two different things, and it takes some dedication to boost a beauty following. After all, a pixelated flat lay does not an A+ feed make. That's why we decided to tap two Insta-experts: beauty YouTuber Manny Gutierrez (he goes by @mannymua733 and has 2.1 million followers) and blogger and businesswoman, Laura Gurrola (her Insta handle is @lauraag_143 and she clocks in at 2 million followers). Below, they share their tips on how to grow your beauty following on the app. Check 'em out, below.
Gurrola and Gutierrez both agree that photo quality can make or break your page. "If someone posts a photo that's really blurry and dark, you can barely see the makeup," says Gutierrez. But don't run out and buy hundreds of dollars worth of expensive equipment just yet.
According to Gutierrez, all you need is daylight and a phone (he often uses his iPhone). "Daylight is the best lighting you can have," he says. "There are plenty of camera phones that are amazing [quality]. Go outside, take selfies, do what you have to do. Use the resources you have to propel your career." And if you're shooting inside, try to take photos facing a window to get that natural light.
Know The Power Of Hashtags
Gurrola and Gutierrez insist that hashtags are the best way to get new eyes on your work. "Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags, use every single one of them," Gurrola advises. "People really do look at hashtags, so more people will be able to see your work."
Hashtags like #HudaBeauty, #WakeupAndMakeup, and Gurrola's own #Lauraag143 are good places to start. All three of these hashtags were created by women who run their own Instagram-aggregation pages. If one of these women like what they see on their hashtags, they might repost your image to their millions of followers.
Gurrola also suggests searching for popular beauty hashtags and making use of the "related hashtags" section at the top of the screen to discover more. Some hashtags that she uses are #makeupoftheday and #beauty. "If [you find it] embarrassing to put hashtags in your caption, put it in a comment, because by the time you have three comments it will be hidden," Gurrola adds.
Consistency Is Key
"If you're going to go into social media, you can't be half-assed [about it]," says Guiterrez. "You need to invest yourself in a way." That's why both social-media mavens strongly urge anyone looking to grow their following to post consistently -- at least once or twice a day, according to Guitterez.
Timing is also important when it comes to Instagram. When Gurrola was starting out, she kept a journal where she recorded her engagement (likes and comments) to see what times worked best for her page. There are even apps, like When To Gram, that help analyze when your followers will most likely be on the app. "Super-early morning or evening works best for me," she says. "You have to find the times that work [for you]; it's not going to happen overnight, but be consistent and post once a day to keep your page active."
You Do You
As cliché as it may sound, at the end of the day, the best advice Gurrola and Guiterrez can give is to always post content that's true to you. They stress the importance of being yourself and finding your passion -- the rest will follow. If you love lips and shoes, post your favorite liquid lipsticks and heels. Remember, there are thousands of people out there who share your interests. They might just be a hashtag away.
By: Mi-Anne Chan