How Instagram Can Help You Succeed


Instagram, how I love thou Instagram! Instagram, also known as 'IG', is the most popular social platform at this moment. Instagram has millions upon millions of people actively liking, commenting and uploading pictures. The best thing about Instagram is that it is fast and easy to look through and the fact that its a visual platform (all photos), it is pretty easy to attract people to your IG. Instagram has helped me succeed in fitness. It has helped me to stay accountable so that I can reach my fitness goal and I've also been reached out to for business collaborations, which is something I did not expect when I first started this account. Below are my tips on Instagram.

You can use IG to get more customers, get your product known to more people or even sell products via IG to earn more money. Here are my successful actions and what I've achieved so far by utilizing Instagram:


1| Create an account

First of all, CREATE an account! It might seem like an obvious thing to do, but I can't tell you how many times someone has told me "Yeah, I've been thinking about it... but I just haven't done it yet." You'll never know what can happen unless you START! Also, make sure you make the name related to what you want to use it for. I found that simple is better; try not to use numbers if possible (numbers are easily forgotten), unless the number is in your business name.
Good example: @whatmaryeats or your business name or blog name is always a good idea.
Bad example: @mary_2356 or @marrrrrrrry_62

2| Post often

I post at least once a day and at most three a day. I find that if I post more than that I get less likes and comments on each photo. I also space my posts out throughout the day. One post in the morning, one at night and sometimes one in the afternoon. There are websites you can use to determine the best time to post a photo, but I've found they're not all accurate and don't make much of a difference.

3| Keep your posts relevant

If you have a fitness account keep it health and fitness related. If you have a makeup account keep it makeup and beauty related and try not to go off topic. People who follow you are following you because they are interested and like the topic you're posting about. I'm not saying you can never go off topic, but ensure it's only every once in awhile.

4| Post quality photos

This doesn't mean you need to use a fancy Nikon, but try to have nice lighting and make it look good. Instagram is 100% visual, so if your photos are too dark or too blurry you won't get much interaction. Taking quality pictures isn't hard; here are some of my tips for taking a quality picture:

  • Make sure you have good lighting as that is key! I found the sun to be perfect, but I also found light similar to the sun to be great as well. Light that isn't too yellow or too blue would be great.
  • Don't be afraid to edit a little! Don't go overboard to where it looks like a completely different picture, but I love to add a little warmth and saturation to my photos to really make them pop! My favorite IG photo editing apps are: PicLab, InstantSquare and VSCOcam.
  • Switch up your posts a bit. You can post quotes instead of photos that sometimes get even more interaction than photos! WordSwag is my favorite app to make cool quotes.
  • Try to use the whole space of the square when you're taking a picture as this is visually pleasing. This isn't a rule or anything, but I found that I get more interaction with posts like this. Here's a good example:

A photo posted by KELLY MCKINNIS (@activkel) on

5| Use hashtags

I used to never use hashtags - I thought it was kind of corny. However, when I started to use hashtags I got so much more interaction. I use probably 10-20 hashtags per photo and I never put the hashtags with my caption - that looks kind of weird. Instead, I post my photo and then comment with my hashtags. That way they stay kind of hidden but people can still find my post.

6| Interact with others

I found that when I started commenting and liking other people's photos I got more interaction in return. By doing this I've made a lot of connections and I became more than just "an IG account" and people knew there was a real person behind my account.

7| Promote!

When you first create your IG no one is really going to know you exist. You are in a bit of a non-existance, but you can get out of that easily. Let people know you're on Instagram anyway you can. Tell your friends/followers on Facebook and Twitter. Tell your real life friends, your family, etc. I did this and I saw a huge difference! Anyone I meet now I tell them about my Instagram and what I do with it - they almost instantly follow me because of that.

8| Have a good bio

Not having a bio is like not having a name when it comes to IG. Your bio is what people first look at and it's one of the ways they determine if they want to follow you or not. Make it relevant to what your using your IG for. For mine, I just use my name, where I'm from, what week of my workout program I'm on, my e-mail and a link to my blog. This is enough to show people what I'm doing and also gives them some contact info. If you have a website you want to direct your followers to I suggest using a call to action in your bio.

9| Talk to your followers

I love doing this. In my posts, in the caption area, I always say something like 'Hey #fitfam!' and I'll sometimes ask them something like 'What are your workout plans for the day?' at the end of the caption. This is a great way for your followers to interact with you and also feel like they are really connecting with you!

And that, my friends, are some of my top tips for Instagram. I've gone from 0 followers to over 5,000 in six months. I've made many connections and many friends. I've had a few business collaborations. But, most of all, I'm able to share my fitness journey with so many amazing people and interact with them! I hope I can help you do the same with whatever IG account you have.

What are your top tips for Instagram?