Happy March guys! I can’t believe that we’ve flown through the first two months of the year and spring will be starting in less than 20 days. Today, I wanted to talk about something that’s been wavering on my mind: social media. One of the biggest complaints I hear these days is about how hard it is to grow on social media, particularly Instagram. Everyone likes to claim it’s not a numbers game, at the end of the day, it ends up being a numbers game. It sucks to say, but it is true. This can be extremely discouraging for aspiring influencers to hear; however, I want to encourage you to not get lost in the nonessential. Instead, focus on these 5 things to harness the power of social and use these Instagram more intentionally!
1 Tell stories
Instagram boasts well over 25 million users – many of whom are more knowledgeable than ever about “the game”. So, it’s no longer sufficient to just post a pretty picture (although you should be posting ONLY pretty pictures). Whether you’re using Instagram for personal or business use, always ask yourself “What’s the story here? What value am I sharing?”
Content that screams “look at me” just doesn’t cut it anymore unless you’ve already established a name and following for yourself. I recommend focusing on 3 key themes and mapping out content for how you’re going showcase that.
2 Take advantage of new features
So no one truly knows how the algorithm works, but what experts do know is that social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, will push content using new features to the top. That means, take advantage of IGTV, IG Live and stories. Apparently stories is growing significantly faster than the feed itself. (What a great opportunity to turn those stories into highlights!)
I know that when you’re starting out, you probably feel shy or even silly about talking to the camera. Or, maybe you even feel like no one cares. However, I can’t stress how important it is to get over these fears and get on video. With practice, comes perfection – so the best time to start is when no one is watching!
3 Engage with others
One of the best ways to build a following is by engaging with others. (Note that I’m not a fan of follow unfollow and I don’t recommend doing this as you’ll probably just piss people off.)
You can test this for yourself by seeking out other accounts similar to yours, then engage with their audience by:
1. Liking 3-5 photos on their feed
2. Commenting on at least one photo
3. Following the account
If you’re a brand focusing on a particular geographic region, then look for users in that city. Targeting just one city can be pretty broad so maybe pick a place you know your audience likes to hang out at – like a particular coffee shop or wine bar. Doing this for just 20-30 minutes per day can drive huge results.
5 Don’t be afraid to get creative
You don’t always have to follow the status quo. One thing I notice is that aspiring influencers get too inspired by other influencers and end up replicating their content, editing style, or poses. While I’m all for inspiration, a blatant copy is not the key to growth.
Don’t be afraid to stray off the path and do something fun. I love the concept of adding text to photos, collages, or playing with light and shadow. Being creative also comes in the form of your personality and captions.
4 Follow only accounts that really inspire you
Envy is real – and it’s so easy to get caught up in following accounts that make you feel FOMO. That’s why I always recommend breaking up the fashion feed with other accounts that make you laugh or inspire you.
I personally love Ryan Reynolds and Will Smith – and I often wonder why I didn’t follow them sooner! For that extra kick of motivation, Gary Vaynerchuk always lays it straight. I’m a fan of that stuff too because life’s too short to feel bad about yourself…
As you guys know, I’m pretty sarcastic, but I wasn’t very confident about showing that side of me in the beginning. I was afraid brands wouldn’t like it or that it would tarnish my public image. Over a year ago, I started adding more sarcastic captions instead of serious ones and it turned out to be way more effective than my old boring ones. Who knew?!
Was this helpful? How are you guys using Instagram in 2020?