I am going to honest, although I absolutely LOVE Instagram, it has gotten me a little discouraged lately. The ebb and flow of this widely adored platform can make a person’s head spin. I’ll break it down, maybe you can relate. First off, sometimes I wonder if anyone is seeing my posts or if anyone cares. Secondly, it seems the posts that get the most engagement and connection are the personal posts which I am a private person. Lastly, I am not sure I can compete with what everyone else is sharing. This is what I have been telling myself for a few months now. Well….last week while running I was listening to THIS podcast and decided to do something about it. At the end of the day, it’s not about the number of followers but connecting with all of you.
Let me also start by addresses that Instagram has a NEW algorithm as of a few days ago. What does this mean for you? Well, it is now personalized based on what you like, literally, the more you “like” an image the more you will see that account in your feed. Instagram is also prioritizing recent posts and making it known that building relationships on this app matters. The more you comment on a feed, the more you will see it. It also looks like the more you use the app, the more engagement you will see. There is so much more to know, you can read all about it HERE.
Ok, back to the podcast, it was the kick in the pants I needed to look at this from another perspective. Basically she (Jenna Kutcher) says, if you aren’t getting a huge response the way you are currently doing it on IG then take a chance and try it another way. She decided to post more of herself and she said her engagement went through the roof! All I really want is to reach more than 14,000 of my 70,000 followers, is that too much to ask, ugh:)?!
I thought, what if I just shared a little more of myself. What is the worst that would happen. And what is the best thing that could come from it. And so I did and have. Little by little I started showing my face on IG stories, revealed that my house is kind of always in a messy state, shared video and some personal stories and struggles on my feed.
So now what?! I got to work. Read, listened and watched all I could get my hands on about increasing engagement so that YOU ALL could actually see what I am posting again:).
These are my big takeaways….
1. Stop being scared and just try it a new way.
2. Refocus on why you started blogging and what you represent. You want your feed to reflect that.
3. Update your profile so it speaks to who you are in a few shorts lines.
designer-writer-stylist-BHG stylemaker-runner-believer in kindness-mom of 2 boys + cockapoo-wife to water sports enthusiast-New York based
4. Figure out the highlight feature. It can be really helpful to showcase what you do for people clicking the profile/bio.
5. Use 5-7 hashtags and use them in the story when you can. Now this is debatable but the majority of what I heard is, don’t over use. Be sure to vary them and use ones that have a large & small #.
6. Wait a full 24 hours before you edit your posts.
7. Tag your location!!! This is a big one! When I do this I get tons more interaction.
8. Like your own photos. Yup, you heard right. Julie Soloman says it’s business and she is right.
9. Respond to your comments within 1 hour, this is sometimes tough but I am going to try it and see.
10. Stay consistent about posting even if it’s one post per day. This has been tough for me. I don’t use a scheduler so I am trying to stay consistent. THIS article is helpful to finding the best times to post to increase engagement.
11. Do stories! Mix it up and ask questions, polls and share video. This new algorithm says stories and video won’t increase your chance at being seen but I think it is a great way to showcase a different side of you. A side that feels more personal than just an image.
12. Continue to be you. I may need to change my perspective on interacting and what I share but it doesn’t mean changing me. Stay true to you and the rest will follow.
13. When commenting leave more than 3 words. This will increase your engagement for the ones you follow too.
14. Since it’s all about engaging and making connection with others in your feed, this is a good time to clean your closet so to speak and “unfollow” feeds that don’t make you feel inspired. I have been doing this over the last few days. I am at a point where I don’t feel bad about it, it feels good to see people I actually want to see again.
15. It’s ALL about producing great content. I have heard this over and over again. It can be tough to figure out what your followers want to see so I have been going back through my feed and looking at the “insights.” It is really helpful. You can even ask your followers in the stories. Post 3 top genres you focus on and ask them. I have gotten so much info from those polls, I am kind of obsessed!
I have one small favor of you. If you like seeing my photos and stories on Instagram, then be sure to turn on post notifications for my feed. This is what you do, go to one of my images in my feed, click the … at the top right corner. Then click TURN ON POST NOTIFICATIONS.
OR….if you want to see more of what I post then just “like” it or leave a comment. You can follow me HERE if you aren’t already.
I hope some of this is helpful for anyone trying to grow their audience or engagement.
Have a happy day!