Instagram – Best Tips For A True Following * and keeping them*

The Most Important Instagram Tips You Will Need In 2018 – chitown_storyteller

If your reading this, you are either just starting out, starting over, or regrouping because Instagram just isn’t working the way you thought it would.

Your not Alone

I am an accomplished photographer of almost 40 years, used all different types of photography techniques and cameras, mostly fine art type of work. Lots of international awards in reputable competitions and published in books and magazines. I’m not here to talk about my accomplishments, so lets just delve into why I am making this blog post. Just wanted to give you a little background first about my profession and not hobby..

Social Media becomes more and more important each year, especially if you have your own website and are trying to rank higher in search engines. The problem is, most us us are not huge fans of social media, especially us older folk. We start out with this false perception about our work killing it on Instagram, because its won awards. We see so many accounts with bad art and photography getting hundreds to thousands of likes and comments with tens of thousands of followers. We lick our chops and set up a new account. Then that magical days comes when we make our first post, waiting to see it go viral and why shouldn’t it, lol.

Guess what – It doesn’t matter how good, how bad or how old you are. You have to learn some basic steps before jumping in the deep end of the ocean. Get ready for your posts to do the complete opposite of viral, no matter how great you are.

Instagram Steps – Profile

  1.  Profile Name – Get a name that coincides with your work. It could be your own name, but not something goofy, unless that is what your work is about.
  2. Your Profile – This should be less about your accomplishments and more about keeping your followers interested and happy. *Do not make this a sales pitch* but make sure you have a link to your website or a place for followers to go to buy prints or read about more. This should be a call to action at the bottom of your profile, not the top. You can use some emoji’s, but don’t get carried away.
  3. Personal or Business page – I cant believe how many people use Instagram for their business, but use a personal page. WHY? Then they make their bio a sales pitch. DONT!!
  4. Misc things to fill in the blanks – self explanatory

Your Post Strategy

Before you post anything, keep this in mind. Most Instagrammers like what they like! and  are very finicky about it. If you are a dog photographer and start posting pictures of landscapes because you ran out of dog pictures, your followers will start unfollowing you, your engagement will go way down, along with your reach and impressions.

  1. Reach – The total number of people that see your post or content.
  2. Impressions – The number of times your post was shown somewhere.

When you make a post, Instagram uses an algorithm. This algorithm tracks your engagement and how fast you get it. For instance, you make one of your dog image posts, write a good caption and add relevant hashtags. Your post takes off at a pretty decent rate of speed. People make comments and likes. The faster this happens, Instagram will add more impressions that people will see. If you can keep this going, making the same types of posts, you will gain more followers and get yourself out there more and more. If you now decide to post a landscape, only your most loyal followers will click on it, causing your algorithm to drastically drop your impressions to almost nothing.


One of the most important things to remember, is to keep your posts consistent, or the numbers will drop.




Hashtags are very important, not only to do well with the Instagram algorithm, but to get a possible feature in a large business account. This can get you many followers and exposure depending on the size of the business.

The amount of hashtags you can use in each post is 30 tops. You should research hashtags that are relevant to your post and not just use hashtags with the most followers. In the beginning, I would keep the large following hashtags at only a few per post. Use much smaller follower hashtags. Their is also a separate algorithm for hashtags. Every post that is made for that hashtag starts at the number one position, then drops down from that position gradually until it disappears. With more popular hashtags, this may be a matter of seconds, but with smaller ones, it may stay there for a whole day for others to see and keep clicking.



Instagram is a social media tool that takes time to learn. Its a process that takes time and research like anything else. Do not expect or think, just because you do well on other social media platforms, or other places, Instagram will be a breeze, it wont. Remember that consistency is very important to maintaining your account. The only exception I have found is a world traveler and landscape photographer that just posts different places of interest and landscapes from around the world. For you landscape photographers, don’t make the mistakes buy posting one place for the first 10 to 20 images, keep it mixed, so your followers will be from everywhere, not just one place.

I still try these stats to see what happens when I post something different. Even if I post something close to what I usually do, my engagement drops drastically. I also keep an eye on large accounts that are similar to my work and find this happens to them as well.

Don’t forget to check out my Instagram account here – chitown_storyteller


  • Great tips, we recently joined Instagram and trying to build up a following an hopefully a few customers.

Leave a comment