the main 5: guide to better engagement on instagram
I am coming to you today with some of my most valuable insights on how to approach Instagram in a way that better shows you + serves your followers / community. If you are a new client of mine, this little guide will give you some deeper insight into the process of working with me. Instagram / Facebook has often been framed + used as merely a highlight reel. The truth is that we are all imperfectly human & that our day to day probably looks pretty ordinary, right?
I believe looking in looking at social media as an opportunity to create an authentic editorial spread of what makes you shine the way only you, & your business, do.
I want to see your day to day. Before all the colour drops from your lovely face, I assure you, it doesn’t have to be ALL of it. Just the parts of your life that mean most to you & your business. This also might mean getting a little vulnerable.
If you are an expert designer & work from home, perhaps your audience would benefit from hearing some of the challenges that you face day to day. Maybe you feel a little isolated. Maybe you wish you had someone there to bounce ideas off. Or maybe you are secretly pretty happy about having a job where you can choose the hours in the day you work, & the hours where you just stare at your cute fluffy office manager. If you were sitting in your favourite cafe reading your favourite editorial magazine, except this time the whole magazine is on your life. What parts would be almost a crime to leave out because they are the parts of your story that were turning points for you. These parts are often omitted from website about pages, but they are the keys to a new level of being seen online. How can your ideal audience find you if you aren’t letting them see you?
the main five:
So what is the main five?
Give your followers more than one reason to follow you apart from just what you’re sharing & selling! Maybe they also have an addiction to peanut butter, work from home dressed like an elephant in all grey track pants, or maybe they also have the same breed of fur baby as you. How would they know unless you shared? They just wouldn’t, would they?
By sharing those human parts of you, as well as your amazing product & service, you are giving them more reasons to press that follow button & choose you to show up in their lives everyday. Perhaps not everything you share will be 100% relatable to them, but that one fortnightly post about toddler tantrums & mindful parenting has them hanging out & waiting for the next fix. This is where authentic community building truly begins.
A main emphasis point I repeat again & again with my social media clients is that it’s imperative to create a brand with a human story behind it & not just a business. I am your ongoing visual & written brand story sidekick.
Here are some pointers to help you on your way:
ONE - THE FACE OR FACES BEHIND THE BRAND
Give your followers more than one reason to follow you. & get in front of the camera, not just behind it. Humanise your business. Statistics show that showing yourself in your feed gets better engagement across all industries! Your followers want to see YOU! Here’s where I need you to take some deep breaths. This thought is normally overwhelming for most. I am here to tell you that you have something that no one else has, it is your businesses biggest asset. & that is your story, your voice & all that drives you.
Start small if getting on the other side of the camera lens is overwhelming to you. Maybe start with a cheeky instagram story selfie now & then with your dog or in your favourite dorky sweater (extra brownie points for border collies over here!) & work your way up from there. Use your stories to show your REAL life, as well as day to day live happenings within your business, as authentically as possible. Sometimes this might mean showing up for a quick snap or video!
TWO - TRANSFORM YOUR TONE OF VOICE
Are you so focussed on building your beautiful biz BIG that every post on your instagram is product & service focused? With the new products for instagram integration, YES it seems much easier now for your instagram buddies to click on over & check out that incredible product or service that you are selling.
A lot of us can just so easily forget that it’s actually such a HUGE request, asking our followers to LEAVE what they were previously scrolling through or engaging with on Instagram to look at & hopefully purchase our products & services. What I want for you to think about is breaking up those hearty, product focused posts with posts oriented around serving your community. How can you best utilise the knowledge & expertise that only YOU have to best SERVE & HELP your social media community. Maybe it’s through posting a helpful thought or quote each Monday morning, a DIY post using your product or service with helpful tips & tricks in the caption, & maybe even a link in your bio to a super helpful blog post. Perhaps even just posting once a week about being a mum will give your fellow mumma instagram boss’ more chance of finding you.
& this leads me to my next point:
THREE - INSTAGRAM STILL OPERATES BEST AS SOCIAL PLATFORM, NOT JUST AS A BUSINESS PLATFORM
Before any of these new fancy business developments on Instagram & Facebook, they were created to connect & share parts of our lives with those we care about & want to stay in touch with. Are you guilty of indulging in a good scroll or 10 a day without actually engaging or turning hearts red? A lot of us complain as brands now that the Instagram & Facebook algorithms have sent engagement ridiculously through the floor, & they have. However when we aren’t doing any engaging ourselves with our online community, how can we expect our followers to engage back with us?
When you genuinely love something you see in your instagram feed, like the sh*t out of it & let that person know with a comment that they have brightened your day. When you come across a new profile you love & a person behind that profile you love even more who is authentically themselves, follow them with everything you have, comment, like & better yet send them a direct message just for the pure reason of connecting without needing anything in return. When you bring it back to what our social platforms were originally created for: sharing, connecting, engaging - this is where you will find big shifts in your engagement. If you are serious about this aspect of your business, you can even make a routine of engaging. This could look like setting 10 minutes aside now & then to just engage with others. It’s important to keep it genuine & within your areas of interest. You can use the hashtag search function to get the most out of this. & don’t forget to follow & engage with profiles you love most of all.
FOUR - GET CREATIVE, TRY, FAIL & TRY AGAIN
Get creative. Initiate community online with giveaways, open ended captions that initiate engagement, or through trying new things visually. Be ready to fail. & try again. ZAP the notion of perfect out of your mind. ZAP, ZAP, ZAP.
FIVE - PLAN EFFECTIVELY! & AVOID OVER CREATING
Maximise, & even repurpose existing / already used content in new & exciting ways. There seems to be this pressure in the air nowadays to create more content. But the very sad truth is that due to those pesky little algorithms, only up to 7% of your following will see your post at any one time. So repurposing & reusing is not annoying, it’s actually the opposite. Most of your audience won’t have seen it the first post anyway! So re-use, give your followers & subscribers more than one chance to receive that incredible offer or see that awesome post!
Phew, we’re done!
If you are sitting there thinking, ‘yeh yeh it all sounds good, but I don’t have time,’ unfortunately our skills don’t reside in creating more time. But, we do believe in collaboration & creative partnership so that you are less alone in this crazy business thing. It starts with one step (step one in this document). Just practice & get the hang of one part of this thing at a time.
over & out.