6 Tips on How to Run a Successful Instagram Account

My sister, Abby, created an account by the name of @pittsburgh_foodie back in the summer of 2015. At this time, Instagram was becoming more popular and she saw a lot of foodie accounts starting out. She took this as an opportunity to create one for Pittsburgh, as they did not already have one. Abby started sharing pictures she had taken along with submissions that other people sent her of all different types of food from the Pittsburgh area. Her account began to grow as people tagged their friends in the comments of her pictures, which resulted in more people viewing her page, thus increasing her fanbase.

In September of 2015, she was invited to her first restaurant in the Lawrenceville neighborhood in Pittsburgh. When her and her guest arrived, she told them her name was Abby, but they did not have her on the list. Her reservation ended up being under "Pittsburgh Foodie."

"I think once people started referring to me as Pittsburgh Foodie was when I realized the account had become successful."

However, running an Instagram isn't exactly easy. Abby tries to post 1-2 pictures a day that appeal to the majority of her audience in order to maintain her following.

Here are Abby's tips on how to run a successful Instagram account:


1. Follow accounts similar to your own.

This will help you advertise your page a lot, because it will get the word out about you and it will be an easy way to start gaining a following on Instagram.  When these accounts starting following you and liking your pictures, it is likely that your page will start showing up on the "explore" tab for other people.  


2. Pick a theme!

Mine is obviously food, but I've seen others that are fashion, books, and travel accounts.  I think as long as you have a theme that's something you like and can keep up with, you will do well on Instagram. 

3. Hashtags!

This is an extremely important step for gaining success on Instagram.  Since there is a large foodie population on Instagram, there are a lot of related hashtags on the app.  In every post, I use the same few hashtags: #eeeeeats #eatingfortheinsta #eatgoodfood #foodie #eatthis #foodiefriends.  If the food is a dessert, I'll tag #dessert #sweets or #icecream.  By doing this, other accounts will find your pictures when they browse through these tags. 


4. Create your own hashtag.

I think this is important for creating your brand on Instagram.  When I first started the account, I created the hashtag #pittsburghfoodie.  I've tagged all of my pictures with this hashtag ever since.  Now, I see a lot of other accounts using the hashtag, which has really helped me find new accounts similar to my own and advertise my own pictures.

5. Join a "Boost" chat.

A few months ago, I was invited to join a Foodie Boost on Instagram.  This is a group chat in the Instagram messaging section, where me and about ten other accounts communicate about our pictures.  Each time I post a picture, I forward it along to the group and they all like/comment on it.  This has helped us create a network and boost our likes/comments. 


6.  Have fun!

This is probably my most important piece of advice, because you need to have fun with your account in order for it to be successful.  Like I said before, I really enjoy going on to Instagram every day and posting pictures of food.  If I didn't enjoy it, I probably wouldn't have kept up with the account as long as I have.  Also, I just really love food, so I love sharing pictures of it with other people.  So if you really like fashion or something else, you can have fun with it too and can end up having a successful Instagram account.