Out with the old. In with the new.

Well, I guess this is going to be just another New Year blog post. But, minus the resolution in sight. Continue reading “Out with the old. In with the new.”

5 Ways to Organically Grow Your Instagram Following

 

I’m assuming 90% of you who are reading this have an account (or two) on Instagram.

When I first bought my smartphone, Instagram was the first app I downloaded. I loved it then – still loving it now. It’s easy, and I think it is one of the best social media channels I’ve been on. It’s amazing for brands (or influencers) and so much fun for an average Jane (like me!) who wants to share a snippet of their life with the audience.

When I first created my blog’s IG account, I had only 100 followers. But over the past months, my following has increased by 400% and I’m very proud of it. Not a big number per se, but I’m happy with the steady growth.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer or celebrity to grow your Instagram following. These 5 tips work for me and I think they’ll work for you as well.

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FIND A NICHE, AND LIKE PHOTOS IN YOUR NICHE

I mainly share travel and food photos on my Instagram. So I will find people with the same niche and like their photos. I’ll spend some time liking 10 – 15 photos on their IG. Occasionally I’ll drop them some comments and give them a follow. I don’t do this daily, but often enough.

How to find users of the same niche, you may ask? Well, easy, through the hashtags — we’ll get to that later.

CREATE A THEME FOR YOUR ACCOUNT

Once you figure out what your niche is, give the audience something to fall in love with. I find it helpful to have a theme to set my account apart. Filters are your bestfriends, but tread lightly. Instagram’s new update added a number of new filters and controls. But in addition to that you can also download apps like VSCO or Snapseed.

I personally have a preference towards VSCO. My photos were edited with the S2 filter with a few tweaks here and there (saturation, exposure, etc).

Once you’ve settled on a theme, try your best to stick to it. You’ll want audience to be familiar with your account, right?

#HASHTAGS

You don’t have to go crazy with hashtags. Pick hashtags that fit your niche. You can also, if you want, create a unique hashtag  and invite others to use it. This is particularly useful if this hashtag has the specific purpose. You might even be able to build a new community around it.

ENGAGE. ENGAGE. ENGAGE.

Engagement is the key to Instagram — in fact, on all social media channels in general. I didn’t believe it at first, then I decided to give it a try.

When you leave a comment on someone’s IG account, try to leave something genuine. Respond to the comments you receive on your own account. It can be taxing to reply to each one of them – sure. But think of it as something that comes from a potential new follower who loves what they see.

Don’t just follow your favorite celebrities or brands. Instead, follow real people. Be social, make new friends.

STAY CONSISTENT

Post consistently.

You could have the most beautiful theme, or the best quality photos – but it’s easier to lose followers if you don’t post consistently. I’m guilty of not following this tip too; but these days, I try to post at least once a day.

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Whether you’re about to start from scratch or you’re trying to increase a stagnant following, I hope you find these tips useful. If you have other tips on how to grow an Instagram following, feel free to comment below.

While you’re at it, tag your Instagram account below. I’d love to see some new feeds.

 

Lounging at Yuseong Hot Springs (유성온천지구)

Whenever I googled for “attractions in Daejeon” — this always comes up. Always. So we decided to, well, check it out.

Yuseong is well-known for hot springs and popular among locals/tourists alike.
The water is known to be effective in countering various infections. High in alkaline, it is also believed that the water contains over 60 elements of minerals.
According to legends, wounded soldiers from the Baekje Dynasty were miraculously healed after taking their baths in these hot springs.

The spa at the acclaimed Yousung Hotel (built in 1915) is where you go for the “original” experience of basking in hot springs.

Yousung Hotel
The “original” spa experience – Yousung Hotel

Coming from 350m underground, with temperatures reaching 56°C  – the water is known to also relax sore muscles as well as stimulate blood circulation. There are also various options that include medicinal herb baths or seaweed baths.

This particular spa at the particular hotel is apparently the best.
It is open daily from 05:00 am – 10:00 pm and costs ₩4,500 for adults / ₩2,200 for children. If you go in before 08:00 am, you’ll pay Early Bird price at ₩3,000 –

But if you’re on a budget yet still looking to sample the experience, there’s a FREE open air foot spa area at the park to the east of Yousung Hotel.

Well, we opted for this one — y’know, just to give it a try.

Yuseong Foot Spa
Yuseong Foot Spa

This foot spa area consists of four pools — but when we were there, one wasn’t filled. There were quite a bit of people already enjoying the hot springs; mostly locals. But it wasn’t at all hard to find empty spots.

Yuseong Foot Spa
Main Pool

Before you start enjoying the water, it is a must for you to wash your feet. There’s an area provided especially for this purpose.

Yuseong Foot Spa
Feet washing area with Main Pool in the background.

The temperature was very pleasant for a slightly chilly afternoon —
We spent a good half hour with our feet dipped in the water. And apparently, it is not advisable to do it for longer — there was a signage nearby mentioning this. I’m curious to know why though.

Yuseong Foot Spa
Do’s and Don’ts 🙂

It was definitely a nice way to spend one’s free time.

I’ve been to various hot springs back home; but this one here in Yuseong is simply fab. Plus, it is super clean — not talking about the water or whatever, just surrounding in general.

But, guess that’s a given when you live in Korea 🙂

This foot spa area is open 24/7 all year round and like I mentioned earlier, it’s FREE!

To visit, take the subway to Yuseong Spa station (유성온천역) and use Exit 7 to get out. Walk straight until you reach the intersection and turn right. Walk for about two blocks and you will see the area on your left.
It’s hard to miss, that’s for sure 🙂

For those of you interested in visiting South Korea, direct airfare from Kuala Lumpur to Seoul starts at RM991 per person (return flight) — you may check out Skyscanner for more awesome flight deals from other point of departures 🙂

Give it a try, and let me know your experience. Enjoy!

 

** This entry was first published in my old blog **