Where are my creative small business owners and wedding professionals? This blog’s for you!
I should start off with a disclaimer…
One thing I won’t claim to be is an expert at Instagram or social media. Perhaps if I were a Marketing major at Purdue in current time, I would be! But so much has changed since earning my degree many moons ago – a big one being the emergence of social media platforms.
Though, I will say I’ve learned a lot about Instagram through our presence on the social media platform over last few years. Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned, which can help your Instagram exposure, increase your post likes and interactions, and help you gain followers.
We all know Instagram has an algorithm that determines where you show up in others’ feeds. These tips and tricks will essentially help boost your clout!
- WHO YOU FOLLOW
First, it’s important to interact on a regular basis with those that you follow. Be sure to spend a 5-10 minutes a day scrolling through your Instagram feed, liking and leaving comments (4+ words is the rule of thumb. Emojis are fun but don’t count towards your word count!).
- BE SURE TO FOLLOW BACK
When new instagram accounts begin to follow you, it's important to follow them back! Instagram will pick up on the fact that you're interactive with your followers. My usual rule of thumb: If the account is semi-relevant to my line of work (for example: weddings, graphic design, laser cutting), I will follow them back. The exceptions to this "follow back" rule would be the obvious fake or "sales" accounts, who will likely unfollow you within a day or two.
*** A tip to manage this, to weed out the "follow for follow" seekers: download an app that generates instagram reports, such as Reports+ (my go-to app). This will tell you who has unfollowed you - so, if you see someone on this report that you followed back, just unfollow them. They were just fishing for followers anyway!
- FOLLOWING HASHTAGS
Start following a few hashtags that are of interest or relevance to you. For instance, I follow #weddinginvitations, #engagementphotos, and #indianaweddings (to name a few). I follow about 10 hashtags total. This gives you some diversity in your Instagram feed & allows you the chance to like and comment on other’s photos that you don’t necessarily follow (another element that helps boost your clout!).
- INSTAGRAM STORIES
Utilize your “stories” feature! It shows Instagram that you are an active user, not a passive occasional one. These can be as personal or impersonal as you’d like. Though, I’ll say from experience, the first option tends to get more interaction. Show your followers what you’re working on that day, give sneak peeks into projects or events, or create a fun poll (either business or non-business related). Be sure to include a hashtag to gain more visibility. Also, if your story involves another Instagram user, it’s important to tag them! They’ll then have the opportunity to share your story in their story – and BOOM, upping your clout again. =)
- POSTING NEW CONTENT
Post new content 2-3 times a week consistently. I know this one is a struggle during our busiest times (I fail at times). If you fall off the posting wagon, just hop right back on as soon as you can. You’ll notice you may have lost a tiny bit of clout (with less likes and followers), but you’ll quickly pick back up! With each post, it’s important to utilize your hashtags (you can use up to 14) and tag others when you can (i.e. the venue featured, the photographer’s work who should be credited, other individuals who also contributed to the content of the photo or setting).
I hope you’ve found these quick tips and tricks to be somewhat helpful! For more advice on how to increase your followers and post interactions, we highly recommend checking out Gary Vee’s strategy. He spells it out simply on why it’s important to share your “two cents”, in order to get that same investment in return from others. Give it a read, you won’t regret it!
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