7 Top Tips To Double Your Instagram Story Views In A Matter Of Days

Recently I’ve been obsessing over Instagram stories. I couldn’t understand why my follower count, likes and post reach kept increasing, yet my Instagram story views remained the same. So I decided to do what anyone with an undergrad degree and post grad in law would do -I turned to google. But the results were disappointing. All the articles I came across were just clickbait and the tips were mostly pretty basic.

So then I did what only someone with a pathological obsession would do -I started studying. I observed, took notes and applied.  And since applying these techniques, my Instagram story views have doubled in reach in a matter of days.

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London blogger, fashion blogger, uk blogger, uk fashion blogger, instagram story, instagram story view, aspinal of London, asos girl, brunette blogger London, Italian blogger, Italian fashion blogger

The Instagram story ‘grab, hold, react’ technique

Instagram’s algorithm may be a bit of a mystery, but one thing’s for sure: high engagement equals more visibility. Luckily, if there’s anything that I have learned from endless hours in front of Netflix, it’s that in every mystery the clues will be right in front of you. And Instagram story insights give us lots of them.

  • Actions:
    • Replies
    • Sticker taps (the users you tag)
    • Link clicks (swipe ups)
  • Back taps
  • Forward taps
  • Away swipes
  • Exits

In all probability, the more replies, link clicks and taps and the fewer forward taps, away swipes and exits, the higher the chance of your content being seen. Not rocket science. This means you need to somehow grab and hold people’s attention with your Instagram story and then cause them to react to it. I call it the ‘grab, hold, react’ technique. Not an easy task though! In a world saturated with media content, it’s becoming increasingly hard to get your Instagram story seen.

1. The basics (grab, hold, react)

I’m going to assume that you already know the basics. But if you don’t here is a quick list.

  • Geotags (grab). Always geo tag to maximise views;
  • Hashtags (grab)
    • Bonus tip: you can hide your hashtags by pinching them so that they become virtually invisible. I once used the hashtag “gaypride2017” at the London gay pride and got 1.5k views just from that. To optimise your chances, use all 10 available hashtags.
  • Tags (react). When you tag someone chances are people will want to know who they are and click on them.
    • Bonus tip: tag new people. My friend Shelley used to get so many taps at the beginning, but now that everyone knows who she is, the number of taps has gone down. Whenever I tag a new person they get a lot more taps;
  • GIFS (grab, hold). I love gifs. a) They are just awesome and fun and you can get super creative with them, and b) they turn a photo into a video. And videos are more likely to end up on the geotag and hashtag stories. Bingo!
  • Post frequently (grab). Instagram stories are chronological, so the more you post to your stories, the more chances of getting your story to the top
    • Bonus tip: post regularly throughout the day rather than all at once;
  • Quality content (hold, react). Don’t post just anything. Your insta stories need to either have a purpose or look aesthetically pleasing.

2. Reccomendations (react)

People love to share their views on things. Think about when you’re telling someone a story about yourself and the recipient starts talking about something similar that happened to them. It’s no wonder social media is so popular -sharing is at the core of our species

E.g. “Does anyone have any good recommendations for a new Netflix series?”

3. Secrets (grab, hold, react)

Who doesn’t love a secret? No one can resist a click bait even when we know it’s just clickbait. People are naturally curious. And curiosity is a powerful tool in the ‘grab, hold, react’ formula.

E.g. “23 Pictures That Prove Glasses Make Guys Look Obscenely Hot

I mean GOLD! I dare you not to click. Another great example was Sophie Milner, Millie Cotton and Chloe Plumstead’s recent podcast about how much they earned through blogging. Genius! Who wouldn’t want to know?! The only “downside” is that you must be willing to share your secrets. At the end of the day, you want people to trust that they will get what they were promised if you want them to keep coming back.

Here, is what you should not do if you want to write a good title.

4. Instagram story polls (react)

Instagram story polls are great because they force people to interact with you, thus provoking an instinctive ‘reaction’. But make sure you make the poll as easy as possible.

Do

This or that?

E.g. “Do you prefer the blue dress or the yellow dress?”

Don’t

Ask sensitive questions.

E.g. “Do I look good in this?”

Some people will think you do. However, others might not  and will therefore just skip the story. Anyone who says no is just socially inept. But the crucial point here is that you’re missing out on a great opportunity for engagement by asking sensitive questions.

5. Time lapse videos (grab, hold)

I love watching time lapse videos. Luke Catleugh is a master at this. He places his phone directly adjacent to him and records simple tasks in time lapse. You will usually see him either cooking, sipping on a coffee, or studying. It’s like playing sims. He even makes packing a suitcase captivating! Which is both ‘grab’ and ‘hold’ in the ‘grab, hold, react’ formula.

6. Celebrating  your success (react)

Hearing about other people’s success is always inspiring, particularly when it’s done in a humble way. And when you share your success with others, people will want to celebrate with you (reaction).

Jamie Cullen posted on his insta stories about the progress he’s achieving in the gym. I DMd him to congratulate him, and I’m guessing many others did too. If he’d only posted a mirror selfie in the gym, he would probably have received half the engagement.

7. Bloggermail (grab, hold, react)

Bloggermail insta stories. I’m not 100% sure on this -some people love them and others hate them (which is a potential for swipe aways). I personally don’t watch them often. However, it is a known fact that haul videos are one of the most popular videos on youtube so I must be part of the exception. Also, most bloggers tend to do them and there is always meaning in numbers.

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I hope you found my tips useful. Please do let me know how you get on -I would love to hear what your experience was. And of course, if you have more tips that you’d like to share, I would love to learn all about them!

V.

Top: Asos

Sunglasses: Asos

Bag: Aspinal of London

Transitional Clothing: Topshop Teddy Coat.

In the words of Albus Dumbledore: “a change of decoration is in order!”. Summer is dead. It’s time for transitional clothing.

Hello, autumn. Your days may be short and cold, but at least you allow me to layer, layer, layer. I mean, who doesn’t like to be wrapped up in what is basically the closest thing there is to your duvet? The teddy coat is the fashion staple of the season.

Topshop Teddy Coat

file-1The fashion world is going through an existential paradigm shift -it is moving away from show pieces for faceless models and closer to real clothes for real people. Practicality is taking over the runways -we saw a flavour of it in Victoria Beckham’s show in NY last week. The truth is: autumns in the UK are cold, and so we need to wrap up warm! This topshop teddy coat is warm, cosy and just god damn perfect! I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it.

For this look, I paired my topshop teddy coat with this gorgeous topshop dress in classic transitional style: bare legs for breeze and teddy coat for warmth and comfort. Floral dresses have made a real come back this season and I am totally on board with this trend. Feminine and romantic with a touch of practicality: easier to disguise those relish stains from those winter pub lunches than if wearing only one colour. And if you’re anything like me, that will come in handy. Trust.

topshop teddy coattopshop teddy coat

And of course, let’s not ignore these topshop boots. I mean…hard to ignore, really. You hardly go unobserved walking around London in these bad boys. And with LFW round the corner, I sure know these trusty topshop boots will be my friends. They make me feel like a combo of Carrie Bradshore and Samantha. Explosive, not just transitional.

topshop teddy coat

topshop teddy coatI want to thank my friend Skirmy from Mr. Salt and Pepper blog for taking these incredible photos. We had a little staycation in London together last weekend and, though I may have woken him up at 7:30am on Sunday morning, we had some really fun times going round London on our boris bikes. Yes -I was on a boris bike with my topshop teddy coat, floral dress and red boots. It felt very “An education” like.

V x

WEARING:

Teddy Coat: Topshop

Floral Dress: Topshop

Red Boots: Topshop

Belt: Topshop

Bag: Marc Jacobs

How to Style a Blazer: the Tailoring Trend

blazer, cami, straightleg jeans, jeans, velvet, backpack, suit, tailor

Some people feel comfortable in pyjamas, I feel comfortable in a blazer. I’m not sure I would sleep in a blazer, but I might try it and let you know how I get on.

Fashion reflects the times we live in, said Coco Chanel. This year, we’ve seen Exeter school boys in skirts, and frilly blouses at men’s fashion week. So the fashion world is following suit and going gender-free!

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As women are becoming more and more powerful (see, for example, our Prime Minister, and our newly appointed president of the Supreme Court, Lady Justice Hale), suits and blazers have abandoned solitary confinement to join the rest of the world. Mark my words -come September, blazers, pronounced shoulders, and double breasted cuts will be all over your Instagram feed.

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And so they should! Blazers are so versatile -they can be formal, elegant, edgy and casual, all at once, depending on how you style them. If I am ever stuck on outfit ideas (happens a lot), I will rock up in a blazer. It makes me feel powerful and feminine -perfect for the times we live in. Today’s women are fiercely independent go-getters: they have the weight of the world on their shoulders, so big padding is necessary!

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Here, I added a delicate crushed velvet cami, paired with relaxed straight leg jeans for an easy day time look. I added a black belt and black faux leather mules to finish the look off. The mules are from primark -I wish I could link them below cause they were seriously the best buy of the summer (shoe-wise).

A slogan tee and pointy kitten heel would have also looked pretty cool. Maybe I can save that look for another blogpost -I don’t think the blazer trend will go anywhere anytime soon!

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WEARING:

Blazer: Austin Reed (similar here)

Cami: H&M

Jeans: Newlook (similar here)

Mules: Primark (similar here)

Backpack: Newlook (similar here)

***

(Photography by the extremely talented @basicallylittlebee)

Summer ’17 Fashion Trend: Winter Boots and Summer Dresses

Get those winter boots back out, girls, cause this summer is all about the winter boot et summer dress combo!

winter boots and summer dress

To add extra mileage to your summer dress, try pairing it with some sturdy leather knee high winter boots -it honestly transforms a kooky frock into an edgy high fash piece.

winter boots and summer dress

You may be thinking that winter boots are not exactly the most comfortable of items to wear on a summer’s day -right you are, Harry! But since when was high fash about comfort?

Winter boots and summer dress

Plus, you can always count on some good old British summer showers -in which case you will be glad to have taken out those winter boots from the back end of your wardrobe!

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WEARING

Summer dress: Boohoo

Winter Boots: Daisy Street

Conquering fear: Tips for Bloggers Starting Out

It may not be obvious from these pictures, but there were actually a lot of people on that beach that day, all wrapped up warm in their winter coats. It was freezing and a few people were staring, but I did not actually care.

There is something truly powerful in not giving a damn. It makes one feel so alive and free! Fear is one of the main reasons for our insecurities and anxieties. Remove fear, and you’re pretty much as free as one can be! Look at children: they’re always running around naked without a care in the world. Why? Because they’re not scared of judgment, which makes them free, careless and happy.

Whenever something scares me I ask myself one simple question: what’s the worst that can happen?

Take this photoshoot as an example. What’s the very worst thing that could have happened? Perhaps if someone started pointing at me laughing and telling all their friends to come and watch this stupid girl dancing around on a freezing beach? Or maybe if someone started shouting at me or body shaming me?

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Does that sound ridiculous to you? Of course! That’s because it would probably never happen. Our brains are very good and conjuring up worsts case scenarios; but the likelihood of one of our worst case scenarios actually coming to life is quite frankly very unlikely -reality almost never beats our pessimistic brains.

IMG_9940But even if that actually had happened, if people had started laughing at me or calling me fugly, what difference would it have made? I still would have my pictures, right? Think of the upside: now I have some nice pictures and something to talk about for my first blog post! That sounds like a win to me.

You can apply this rationale to any kind of situation: public speaking, job interviews, dating, or anything else that might make you uncomfortable. It is a very liberating feeling. And once you’ve done it, you’ll want to do it again -it’s addictive!

Image-4The first time I did a shoot in public (with an iphone and a tripod!) I felt so embarrassed: I thought everyone was looking at me and judging me and laughing. The second time, I cared a bit less. Until eventually now I actually enjoy the attention -I have fun with it! You can all stare, laugh and think whatever you want. Hopefully, you are actually all really nice people and wouldn’t do that, but if you’re not, the joke’s on you (you generic, not you, you)!
What about you (this time you, you)? Have you ever done something you weren’t very comfortable with and found you actually enjoyed doing it?

All the best!

Victoria x

(…)

Wearing: Formby swimsuit by Jackwills (which I’ll probably be wearing a lot this summer as I’m completely obsessed with this pattern!);

Location: Tenby beach, Pembrookshire, South West Wales.