Specifically, this is about Instagram, but concepts can be taken and used for other forms of social media as well.
A few years ago, I decided my pup, Rain, was beautiful enough to have his very own Social Media account! (@aussierain) See for yourself:
This was a social experiment to see what it takes to grow a following and I was seeing success for a while. What I found is that as soon as I pulled back even a little, I saw my progress stall and even cycle backwards! Insights only go so far back on the platform, but I only have 236 follower now – possible upwards of half since I stopped being active (I lost three in the past month). Social media can be a lot of work!
I started my planner Instagram account, meganbplansitall, on June 8, 2020. By January 28, 2021, I had 2,000 followers!
How did I do this? Let me give you some insights I’ve learned in the past 7 months:
Respond to the people who interact with you and find people to interact with. Like other account’s posts you find interesting and comment to tell them why you like what they are doing! Answer the questions they pose in their captions and stories. Share posts you find particularly inspiring, beautiful, or impactful. Support small shops and businesses by sharing their posts and products (buying isn’t the only way to offer your support, but it does help). Help other accounts find each other.
Come up with a schedule that makes sense to you that helps you stay consistent. Followers want to see new content on a regular basis, or they may get bored with you. On the other side, the only way for new people to find you is if you are posting new content. As soon as you stop consistently producing content for your followers, you will start to see your numbers slide in the wrong direction. This is what happened with my account for Rain.
You also want to remain consistent with the type of content you post. People are following you because they like what they see; if you suddenly change course, you are no longer speaking to your followers. If your account is about animals, you should stay with that theme (or create a new account for your next project).
Be Interesting by Finding your Own Voice
Likely, there are a lot of accounts that post content similar to yours. Therefore, you need a way to stand out and you need to find your own voice. This works best if you are genuine and speak to things that are important to you. I’ve struggled with my mental health my entire life and I know I’m not alone. With my account, I wanted to reach out to people who may feel alone and let them know it’s okay to talk about their mental health and their experiences. In doing so, they also may be able to help someone.
Let people know who you are. Although their content may be similar, there truly is no one else out there who is exactly like you! If you are your authentic self and you let that shine through, your content will inherently be unique and interesting.
Figure out what People want to See
Pay attention to the content you post and how your followers react to it. If you get a lot of traction on something, try to stay on that path. And look to the people you follow for inspiration. If another account inspires you, you’ve found another way to interact! Post your content and make it clear who has inspired you! People like to be acknowledged and you might even help that account find a few more followers!
Follow Other Accounts Like Yours
This one might be controversial because I’ve seen content creators complaining about accounts that follow “too many” people. I follow a lot of accounts because there are so many amazingly creative people out there and I want to see as much as possible! I also believe this is a great way to find a bigger audience and interact with more people. I’m sure I don’t see everyone’s posts, but I would have no hope of seeing all this content if I wasn’t following them. So much of this content is inspiring to me and I also get to see what people, on a wider scale, are responding to. Also, the more people I follow, the more people I am introducing to my account. Even if they don’t end up following me back.
Use them all! Instagram lets you use 30, use 30. Space them out either in a new comment or away from the main part of your caption so they don’t overwhelm, but use as many as you can come up with.
If you are having a hard time coming up with them, take a look at the tags on another account and copy them. This is going to be how people find you – either when they manually search for accounts using said hashtags, or you’re showing up in a search Instagram has done for them.
If you’re not sure what to say or how to caption your content, use a quote. Find one that speaks to how you’re feeling that day, what you wish you were feeling, or what you want others to feel. People love quotes.
I hope some of this is helpful to you! Any other tips?? Leave a comment and let me know!!
Peace & Cookies!
Here’s what’s going on on my Instagram:
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