If you have an Instagram, you have an Instagram routine. Whether you know it or not. At the moment, your Instagram routine probably looks a lot like this: Log in. Check notifications. (We can’t help it.) Post. Watch Stories. Hit your feed or the explore page if time allows. Log out.

We all fall into the routine trap, but not only is that boring – not changing it up might be killing your account growth. Those few seconds you first log into Instagram are crucial moments that determine the productivity of your Instagram time. And make no mistake – that’s time you should not be wasting.

What if I told you that you didn’t have to stick to a boring Instagram routine, and that there were much more productive ways you could spend those first moments on Instagram? Ways that could really help out your Instagram following. It might be time to give your Instagram login routine a face lift.
If you want to grow your account, you should start from the moment you log in. Without further ado, here are five routines you can start as soon as you login to Instagram:

Instagram Routine #1: Engage With Your Community

Engagement is about more than just an algorithm. It’s also about making your followers feel seen and heard. Your Instagram community may be led by you, but it’s ultimately FOR them. So don’t leave them on read! An engaged community leader always fosters stronger connections with their followers – who are then more likely to follow them somewhere else.

How to Engage:

  • Step 1: Check and respond to DMs.

A true leader will make everyone feel seen and heard, no matter how seemingly insignificant they may be. While you don’t have to type out a heartfelt response for every single story clap, acknowledge genuine efforts to connect with you – even if that’s a simple like!

  • Step 2: Respond to comments.

The same thing about DMs is true to comments! Make sure you’re being an engaging community leader by acknowledging at least a few comments on your posts. We get that isn’t possible to hit every single one, but making any kind of an effort shows you care and strengthens your bond to your community.

  • Step 3: Watch stories.

Part of being a creator is also being a consumer. If you’re only outpouring content, but not absorbing any, you aren’t participating in the community you’ve created! You don’t have to watch every single story of every single person you follow, but take a minute to watch your favorites. It will boost engagement ratings if nothing else!

Instagram Routine #2: Post to Your Story.

Your followers want to know what you’re up to – even if it’s nothing! You most likely pour a lot of time and effort into your Instagram feed. But don’t forget about your stories! They’re fun, interactive, and right at the top of Instagram. Throw up a Q&A or fun sticker. And don’t worry about time – just use an Instagram stories template and you’re good to go.

Instagram Routine #3: Check Your Instagram Business Insights.

Keeping an eye on your Instagram business insights is the best routine you could start. It’s literally a treasure chest of data cherry-picked just for you. It tells you what kind of content is performing best, who and where your audience is, and more. While looking at your business insights, here’s what you can do:

  • Organize Your Highlights

Having a highlights section is a good move to give people an overall idea of what to expect on your Instagram. While looking at your insights, consider where to place your upcoming posts in your highlights.

  • 2. Decide When to Schedule Your Next Posts

Take a minute to look at when your posts get the most engagement. It may have changed from last time if your followers have gone back to school or work. You can also check what types of posts are getting the highest engagement rates, and plan accordingly.

  • 3. Suss What Type of Content is Performing Best

Do the masses demand more bikini pics, or more doggos? Your Insights is the only place you’ll be able to find that out. Don’t scrap any of the work you’re doing right now – just keep in mind what’s performing best as you go forward!

Instagram Routine #4: Check Out the Explore Page

This Instagram routine lets you know what kind of thing is popular on Instagram at the moment. You can check out if your content has any chance of making it up there. Take a good look at the kinds of accounts on the explore page, and the kinds of accounts they’re reaching! You can definitely target new followers from the explore page.

Not only that, the Explore page can also open you up to new and interesting things. If you feel like your content has hit a rut, definitely check out the Explore page. You’ll see a lot of new and unique ways people are uploading that you can use on your own account.

Instagram Routine #5: Find Someone New to Follow

Keeping on top of your follower/following count is a good idea for any influencer. Routinely purge fake followers and increase engagement. But why not spice it up a little bit? Again, part of building a community is participating in it. Here’s how finding someone new to follow can spice up your Instagram routine:

  • It increases engagement.

If you find someone in your same sphere, they might just follow you back. Especially if you’re one of the first people to like their post! Congratulations, you’ve got another real person following you. At worst, that means your engagement rate gets boosted – at best, you might even make a new friend.

  • It inspires you.

Part of the greatest thing about Instagram is that it’s constantly opening you up to new viewpoints and experiences. Changing it up with what you consume is a great way to drag yourself out of an artistic slump.

  • It challenges you.

Likewise, broadening your pool will also challenge you to do better. When you see other people working hard, you’ll get inspired to work harder. You can take some great ideas away from other Instagram accounts! And you’ll be reminded why so many people want this job – it’s totally worth it.

Make Your Instagram Routine Serve You

Re-examining your Instagram routine is the first step to creating a better life for yourself on Instagram. If you’re uninspired, the explore page can help you. If you’re lonely, investing in your community is a great way to bolster your community.

With Instagram, it can be easy to fall into the trap of a routine. But much like a marriage, trying new and interesting things can not only ease your boredom, it can strengthen your own relationship and community.

Instead of mming and aahing over your friend’s shot from Bora Bora and thinking “Why aren’t I there?”, take those first few moments and use them to take productive steps towards your account growth. Not only is good for your engagement rate, it’s good for your community. The next time you log into Instagram, put one (or all) of these routines into use, and just watch what happens.