There are several things about social media you should know…
- Social media is important to your business and/or your brand.
- Social media has loads of potential for “fame and fortune” growth.
- Social media is harder to maintain than you may think it is.
There are so many platforms on the internet filled with people that want to engage with content. However, due to the algorithm of these platforms, only some people will be able to get in front of the majority of their audience (and, even then, that is only if they can figure out the algorithm – or, at the very least, figure it out as much as the platform will allow them to).
The algorithm for every platform is kept a secret by the company.
Of course, this makes sense. The platform wouldn’t be fair if there were select groups of people that knew exactly how to get in front of their desired audience.
Therefore, no one but the company staff members truly know how the algorithm works. If someone took the time to try to dig up the untold truth of social media engagement, the companies tweak it so much that it would be completely different before the information could even be leaked.
However, that does not mean we do not know common trends that work.
By following what large “influencers” on the platform are doing, it gives us tips on what works, what does not work, and how we can include them in our social media to increase engagement and gain followers.
The platform we are going to be focusing on is Instagram, mainly because it has such a huge amount of younger viewers. In fact, 71% of users on Instagram are under the age of 35! If your brand or business is targeted toward a younger audience, Instagram is a VERY profitable platform to get involved in!
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Promise To Commit
The biggest failure I have found in Instagram marketing is most people do not commit to keeping up with distributing content. Inconsistency will break an Instagram account – that is certain.
As an example, my main Instagram account has a whopping 722 followers total.
The biggest fault I find with my own Instagram, which I use as a hobby site for my friends and family to stay up to date with my endeavors since I’ve moved, is I am in no way consistent. While this is alright for hobby sites like mine, where the intention is not to gain buckets of followers, it will not work for businesses and brands.
I would recommend posting at least once a day. Of course, you do not want to spam your followers, but if you can manage posting up to three times per day, that would increase your chances of getting on someone’s feed, and staying on their mind.
That way, if you post again, there’s no chance they will say “when did I start following this person?” and then unfollow. They will just remember you from the beginning.
Content, Content, Content
Say it with me: Content is key.
Let’s say you have a great schedule set up. Now what?
Creating content is the next step. In fact, it is step 2, 3, 4, and 5. Content will be one of the hardest things about having a social media account, mainly because it is the most important thing you will have to focus on.
Think about it… The algorithm might work if you are posting consistently and proving you are an engaged person on the platform. Therefore, it will allow you onto a person’s feed. If that person does not like your content because it comes off as lazy or poorly put together, why would they stay around to see more?
I am going to use one of my friend’s Instagram account for this example. She has created many relationships with local photographers, exchanging her face, skill, and time for professional looking shoots. Therefore, her Instagram has quality content.
Know Your Niche
I cannot stress this enough. Everyone, no matter if you care about social media or not, should always know your niche.
Are you the cute goth? Are you a nature follower? Are you a traveler at heart? Do you inspire people to become entrepreneurs? Are you a craft maker? Are you a body positive model? Are you a baker?
Finding where you belong is so important when creating your own corner of the internet.
For this example, I’m going to use a good friend of my boyfriend. One of the most obvious things about his social media is he is cemented into a niche: the traveling in America niche.
“Okay, but why is this even important? Wouldn’t I be able to reach more people if I am a part of more than one niche?”
The best way I can describe why narrowing down your niche is so important is this:
If you really, really love oranges, and you want to create an online community of other orange enthusiasts, you would post about oranges, right? Now, let’s say you want to reach more people, so you begin adding content about apples, a whole new niche. Sure, you will reach more people because you will have apple enthusiasts and orange enthusiasts following you, but your overall engagement will suffer because your followers will not be engaged with everything you are posting.
It is better to have a small community of engaged followers, than a large community of people who do not care about what you are posting.
Stop Listening to People That Tell You to Follow, Unfollow
This has to be one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to Instagram. Instagram is full of people who follow the “Follow, Unfollow” trend. There are a few reasons this should not be followed:
- It’s rude. There is no other way to say it. There is no way to create an engaged community that has been essentially tricked them into following you, in hopes that you would follow back.
- It’s a lot of work. I have done this before, and it is so much more trouble than it’s worth. Out of 100 people you follow, only several will actually follow back.
- There are better ways to use your time in order to gain followers.
- Sure, it’s quick. But the people that will follow you back will not engage with you like you’d like for them to.
Engage With Other People’s Posts
One of the best ways to create a community is to actually engage with the community. Creating an atmosphere where other people want to like your content because they feel that you two have connected via liking each other’s posts is a great way to create online relationships with others.
The easiest way I’ve found to do this is to choose a hashtag (I always use beach or ocean, because that’s what I consider my overall niche/vibe), scroll through the content, and like posts you genuinely like.
This will work the same way with comments.
However, one thing I should mention about comments is that you 100%, absolutely, positively should think about your comment before you submit it. People see right through copy and paste comments (you know, like the ones with three fire emojis, or “nice picture”).
Leaving at least ten words creates a genuine response, which, in the end, will create genuine engagement back toward your profile.
Think of it like karma for social media.
If you have another social media profile on another platform that gets more engagement than your Instagram, why not promote your Instagram profile on that platform and bring the same people who already want to follow you over there?
Charly Jordan, who has a flourishing Instagram profile with 2.3 million followers, is the perfect example of cross-promotion being utilized. Her Youtube, which does not have as many followers, is being promoted to people who already want to see content from Charly.
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