Social media is as overwhelming as you make it. With implementing the right tools, you set yourself up for the best possible results! Here are 5 strategies succeed on your platform! Since I have lived in San Francsico for 8 years now, I am gearing these tips to San Francisco, and greater Bay Area readers who create content! Note that these strategies are relevant on other platforms as well!
#1: FIND YOUR NICHE
There is a common misconception about a niche. This does not mean that you are defined to a single box. This strategy recommends you to pick 2-3 categories that you believe speak to who you are and the content you like to naturally produce already, then center your feed, bio, and content to align with those categories. This starts from your social media bio. Treat this as your virtual resume. When someone first looks at your page, they should be able to name at least one of your categories within the first 5 seconds of initially seeing your page. A cool feature that Instagram has implemented is that all bios are searchable, if you optimize it. Put keywords (your categories) in your bio's headline, alongside where your name goes. For example, if one of your niche categories is fashion, your profile will be discoverable to anyone who searches for "fashion".
#2: CULTIVATE COMMUNITY
I learned the importance of this in late January when I was starting to post consistently. People want to engage with you if they believe you will give the same in return. To grow, it is necessary to go through your feed and actually engage! Not just scroll through or just like. Is not enough anymore!
This was overwhelming for me at first and still is sometimes. My strategy is to carve out pockets in a given day to go through at least 50-60 posts on my home feed and engage. This means leaving a GENUINE comment, not just “this is so cute!”. People want to feel SEEN and HEARD. Trust that people will remember you as someone who stood out to them with a thoughtful and insightful comment. Know that this is such an important component of the growth process and work to improve yourself!
I can honestly say that I made a handful of friends on the Instagram platform that I still have yet to meet! It feels so great knowing you have a community of supporters cheering you on, and its all attainable if you actually put time and energy into making it happen.
#3: BE ACTIVE ON STORIES
Instagram Stories is a space that you can really show personality! Even before I really started to get into posting on Instagram consistently, I ALWAYS loved Stories and I believe I am pretty good at TELLING a story through my Stories. I am a very visual person, so it is important for me to make all my stories vibrant, informative, and appealing to the eye. A strategy I learned a few months ago to improve engagement is to utilize the Instagram features such as polls, questions, and quizzes to get the audience opinion. People like to be involved at the end of the day, so incorporating these items into your stories will go a long way! I believe that doing them 2-3 times a week is a great place to start!
Need ideas for your story? Ask your followers for TV show recommendations, places to travel to, restaurant preferences, really anything you find relevant! The more real you are, the more people will want to follow along because you are showing RELATABILITY.
#4: PLAN AHEAD
An important part of the process is carving out time to obtain content to post! Batch creating is a key part of a successful content creating strategy and allows the creator to produce content for multiple weeks in a few hours of shooting! It’s been a game-changer and I’m looking forward to doing more of it! I recommend batch-shooting twice a month and each shoot plan for 8-10 outfits and concepts to have lots of variety.
In order to making posting as seamless as possible, it is vital to plan your posts ahead. Thankfully, there are applications that make this easy. Planoly and Tailwind are two apps that I use regularly to plan out my posts, including which hashtags to use, drafting the captions, what time of day is the optimal time to post, and how my picture will look on my feed. Both are available on the app store and free to users!
#5: FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE EVERYTHING
This strategy intends to pull the reader in to your caption! The objective is for them to stay on your post and truly absorb the content you are sharing, not just like the picture and keep scrolling. The first line in the caption needs to grab their attention! I suggest asking your audience a question like "what is one goal you want to achieve this week?" or a guide-motivated post such as "Denver travel guide part 1". These are more likely to be saved and shared with others which will increase your exposure. People also really love tips! For example, starting a caption with "3 ways to style a blazer" will really pull your audience in, if that fits your audience! I also find that writing the first line of the caption in all caps stands out more to the reader and they will be more likely to pay attention to it and engage.
I hope you enjoyed my post and found it helpful! Please comment with thoughts and questions, and share with someone who would benefit from this! Thank you for your continued support!