With more than 800 million active users, Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most popular social media platforms out there. As Instagram grows, the yoga Instagram community grows along with it, making it a great place to communicate with other people who share the yoga passion.
Some of the top influencers such as @yoga_girl and @kinoyoga have amassed over a million followers. Many other Instagram yogis have grown their following to more than 100,000!
But how exactly do you grow your following on a yoga Instagram account like other yogis out there? In this article I will share the tips and tricks that I used to take my account from less than a 1,000 followers to more than 40,000.
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1. Set your intention.
Start your process exactly how you would start a yoga class. Set your intention.
Get a clear vision in your mind of why you want to grow your account. Do you have something beautiful you want to share? Do you have a story to tell that you know will inspire others?
Get clear on your “why”, then decide who you are looking to reach. Who is your target audience? Do you want to share your story of how yoga helped you battle depression with those currently battling depression? Do you want to empower women to love themselves through the yoga practice?
Take some time to journal, meditate, and reflect on what your purpose is. Trust me, it’s much easier to achieve a goal when you know what that goal is.
2. Be consistent.
This may sound pretty obvious, but consistency is key.
Make sure that you are posting daily. There is no rule for exactly how many times a day you should post—some people say once a day, others swear by three times a day. My best advice is to figure out what works best for you and how your audience responds to it.
This goes for timing too. There is no “best time to post” for everyone. It depends on where your followers are. In the first few months, try posting at all different times of day and check to see what times seem to work best for you. The way that the Instagram algorithm has changed is actually making the idea of a “best time to post” obsolete because posts no longer show up when they are posted. Many posts don’t show up on your follower’s feeds at all.
So...how do you make sure that your posts are seen?
3. Create "save-able" content.
On Facebook, content should be “share-able”, but Instagram looks for “save-able” content and content with high engagement to show in people’s feed. Take your time with your captions, take quality photos and videos, and take your time editing them.
Make sure that each post is authentic and serves your greater intention. Posts that have a lot of comments and likes (especially within the first 30 minutes) and posts that have been saved a lot are the most likely to show up in in your follower’s feeds. They are also more likely to show up under hashtags. Now that you can follow a hashtag, your post may show up in someone’s feed even if they are not following you. Which can drive more traffic to your page!
Speaking of hashtags…
4. Use the right hashtags.
Maybe you heard of the shadow ban? It sounds much scarier than it really was, but Instagram started flagging accounts for spammy behavior if they used the same hashtags over and over.
This means now it is more important than ever to use relevant hashtags than the most popular ones. You can use up to 30 hashtags on each post, but it’s not always necessary or helpful to use all 30 of them.
Make sure that the hashtags relate to the content you are posting. For example, if you are posting a photo of Downward-Facing Dog, use #downdog rather than #yoga. Also, be sure to put your hashtags in the caption, not in comments. Hashtags in comments will not show up in feed or under the explore tab—which means you’ll be shouting into the void.
5. Give Instagram stories a try.
Use the stories feature #everydamnday! Stories not only put you up front and center for those already following you, but they also show up in the explore tab.
Within your stories, be sure to use all of the possible features (not all in one story). If you are attending an event, use the event’s hashtag or location in your stories. Have fun with the GIFs, stickers and filters! Instagram really likes when you use all of their features.
You may have noticed Instagram recently rolled out a stories highlight feature! This is an amazing feature that you absolutely must utilize. When people land on your page, they are very likely to watch your highlights reel.
Introduce yourself! Create an “about me” highlight, and then add highlights of anything else that your page is about. So say you are a yoga teacher that also shares running inspiration and vegan food recipes, your top four highlights should include:
- About me
- Yoga related things
- Vegan food
Call these anything you like! Just make sure it’s authentic, show your personality, and most importantly, introduce who you are and your intentions with your potential followers and your current ones.
6. Focus on your brand.
Now that you’ve gotten people to your page, how do you ensure that they hit the “follow” button?
Think of your yoga Instagram feed as your own personal magazine. Make sure it’s something you’d want to read! Photos should feel pretty consistent when you look at your page. You can do this by color coordinating your posts or somehow theming them. Do you like a lot of loud colors, or softer tones?
Try to keep your posts somewhat cohesive. This can be challenging to do if you aren’t scheduling your posts in advance. I use UnUm to plan my posts. I make it a point to take a lot of photos all at once and then put them into my “grid” to see what order looks the best.
I like to think of my account in chunks of nine. Ideally I have nine photos that work with a theme and a soft transition into the next theme. This may sound time consuming, but realistically it should only take you an hour or two per week to schedule out.
7. Participate in challenges.
The yoga community on Instagram has a really unique way to interact with each other and grow their following. And this is through challenges.
When I first started to grow my account I would do one challenge every month, sometimes more! It’s important to not only participate in the challenges, but also to engage with other participants, the hosts, and the sponsors of the challenge. Not only do you get the chance to win awesome prizes, but it gives you a great way to engage with other Instagram yogis and gain followers. And who knows, you might get to try some fun new poses in the challenges!
Overall, growing your Instagram as a yogi should be fun! Don’t go into thinking of it as a job, grow your yoga Instagram because you want to engage with others who share the same passion as you.