I wanted to share with you today some of the things I have learned during my time on Instagram, in terms of building an audience on Instagram. I have used Instagram to find like-minded people. Using Instagram has helped me open up and find my path. I have found my voice and along with that, like-minded people have come into my life. Instagram to me is a way of connecting with my audience and helping others.
We all have something special to share with the world, but sometimes need a helping hand in the method. This blog was created from a desire to help and open your eyes to the benefits of Instagram.
Your profile should tell us quickly what it is you do. Narrow it down to 3 words or a sentence that briefly and clearly describe your thing. You can use emojis to represent what you do. Who you are, what you do, where we can find you. Use the website section of your profile as your website URL. Or, if you need to, put in specific links to promotions on your post here. Within the post write “Link in Bio". This is necessary because Instagram doesn’t allow direct links in posts. Your profile picture - we want to see you! Not your logo…
Stay on brand - keep it streamlined. You get approx 2 seconds for someone to decide whether to follow your feed or not. Keep it tight and interesting. Images - use great images - not perfect ones but good images. If you know what you are about, then show it. Do not mix beautiful landscape photography with pictures of your dinner or dog. It's one or the other. Pictures of your dog or dinner can be interesting, but they belong in your stories.
Post regularly. Consistency is key and the effort you put in will pay off. Remember that consistency and predictability build trust. There is no given amount you should post. Just be regular with it. It depends on how much you want to grow Instagram. The more effort you put in the more you will grow. But don’t do this; forget to post for weeks and then catch up with 10 posts on after the other. You are bombarding someone's feed and will lead to people unliking your feed.
Add your location for visibility. Use great photos, write good interesting content, and use relevant hashtags. Try not to overthink what to write. Just write from the heart and don’t worry about the number of likes and comments when you are writing.
If you are looking to create a following and want to be posting almost daily it is a good idea to get organized. Consider what it is you are about and how many categories you could write about. If it's just one main theme, then that’s fine! I have several themes I write about. But sometimes it is simply something I have been talking to someone about that day. It doesn’t mean that each post has to be day-specific but it's nice to have a few. Ie; you can schedule ahead posts that aren’t actually written on that day. Here are some example categories that I use so you can see what I mean.
- About Me
- The outdoors
- Personal Insight
- Showcase Product/Service
Hashtags & Tags
Hashtags are signals for people to find you. Think about interests and topics. Collate hashtags somewhere safe so you can add them quickly. Create sets of hashtags that you can use for different styles of posts. If you use the program Later to schedule, you can save your hashtags in sets. Tag other accounts in your photos. Tag accounts that may be interested in re-sharing or reading only. Look for medium-size accounts or accounts that exist purely to share others' images. Such as @visitscotland. I keep a list of possible accounts to tag for any given category.
Try and respond to comments if people have taken the time to write one. And don’t forget to comment on other people's posts. Try to remember that it can make someone's day to get a positive comment and they will often look you up and follow you. Only do it genuinely though and make it more than 3 words if you can….
It's all about building a relationship with your audience with stories. Quick, real insights into your life and day that last for 24 hours. Keep it interesting. These are snapshots and don’t have to be perfect, but they do have to be interesting. Use hashtags and location tags, tag others in. You can draw on these stories. You can use images or videos and overlays, music, or gifs and use text to tell everyone what’s it's all about. It's a great way to share other people's accounts and put a shout out to other businesses and Instagram feeds. At the bottom of your story, people can react or send you a comment. Instagram stories are important. They allow you to connect to your audience, build trust, and boost engagement. The more quick responses you get from your stories, the higher Instagram ranks you.
I hope this has helped in some way and that you find it useful in growing your audience on Instagram and finding your path on this platform.