Does your Instagram feed speak to you?
Choose your own adventure! Remember those? Make your choices below to liven up your Instagram feed, slay the dragon and, errrr, find new business.
For clarity, when I refer to your feed I am talking about the lovely, diverse collection of posts that come from the accounts you follow. My first question is:
1. Do you check your feed most days and engage with the accounts you’ve chosen to follow? (Yes? - move straight to question 2)
Do you mostly use Instagram to just get your content out there? What you might call a Postie – drop the goods and run (remain on this adventure).
If you’re looking for quality follower growth (and by quality I mean the sort of followers that you need to be building relationships with to support business growth) then you have to get social on social. It’s a slightly tired analogy, but imagine you’re at a party or networking event and you walk in, chuck your business cards on the table, loudly introduce yourself, then walk out. How many valuable connections have you made? Rewind. You go back into that room, grab a drink, and start joining some conversations. You know how to be charming (much easier online than face to face), you listen first, engage with the current conversation, and only come onto yourself when it feels your audience are going to get some value from what you have to say.
So dragon slayers, your feed is key to your Instagram success. Nurture it, love it, use it!
2. Do you scroll through your feed, check some of your favourite hashtags and every now and then have a whizz through your ‘following’ list? (Yes? - you probably don’t need to be here, if I were you I’d skip past the flame throwing giant and look for a better adventure).
Do you just scroll through your feed? (sorry, still on this adventure, which probably needs more rope bridges and deathly ravines).
I don’t know about you, but I find my feed can get a bit stale. You see, most algorithms like to show you more of what you like, so if you spend time viewing and engaging with the accounts on your feed, you’re going to get more of them in your feed. Vicious (fire breathing) circle alert!! It’s really not difficult to shake it up a bit. A couple of quick ideas to try:
* Go into your ‘following’ list and have a scroll for some accounts that you want to interact with, but haven’t been visible in your feed for a while. There’s a good chance they’re still active, but just haven’t been showing up on your feed. Go into their account, check out their recent content, engage with the posts that interest you, then move on. Hopefully this interaction will nudge the algorithm and they’ll start showing up in your feed again, giving you more opportunities to keep in touch with them. I’m often surprised when I do this how many great accounts I’m following that I’ve forgotten about.
* Have a look through that following list and make sure they’re all accounts you are interested in. Any account which doesn’t push your buttons can be unfollowed, freeing up more feed space for the stuff that you love. Obviously, careful who you could upset here!
3. Hashtags – Do you use them in your posts and for searching content? (Yes? - go and put the kettle on)
Do you just add them to your posts? (tighten your helmet, you’re coming with me).
You’re using a good range of well researched hashtags on your posts. Brilliant. But to get full value out of hashtags you need to be using them in the other direction too…. yes, to find people/businesses/accounts…. which is exactly what they are for. Two ways to use hashtags to keep your feed interesting:
* Engage through your hashtags. Use the hashtags which are most relevant to you, eg #bristolcreatives or #buckinghamshirewedding. Tap on them and have a look at the content that comes up. If you’re using that hashtag regularly the chances are that lots of other people using it will be of interest to you. Check them out, engage with them, and if you enjoy their content, follow them.
* You can also follow hashtags. If you tap on a hashtag it gives you the option to follow it. This means posts from people who you don’t necessarily follow, but have used that hashtag, will come up in your feed.
By taking these small, quick steps (easy to say when you’re being chased by a three headed serpent) you should be motivated to keep checking in with your feed, and therefore keep nurturing the relationships you’re on social media to build.
Good luck, and drop me a line if you’d like to book in for bespoke training to optimise the time you spend on Instagram. Adventures are optional.