With 400+ million daily users, Instagram is a powerful platform where being influential can be very impactful.
I mean, everyone is trying to grow their influence on Instagram because individuals and businesses alike realize that it’s an incredible platform for those looking to create community.
Over 60% of users log in daily, making it the second-most engaged social network after Facebook.
Not to mention, it’s expected that 70% of brands will have an Instagram presence in 2017.
So, there’s no debating the popularity of the platform.
Instagram is powerful and popular, and you should be prioritizing the channel as a part of your marketing efforts.
Thanks to the functionality of stories, it’s also an impactful channel for bringing your fans behind-the-scenes and creating more personal connections with your tribe.
However, growing your audience on Instagram isn’t easy.
Algorithms are at play, meaning that it’s not enough to post regularly. If you want to succeed on Instagram today, you need to focus on 3 C’s.
On Instagram, your content matters. A lot.
In fact, your content is the first thing you should think about when starting your strategy.
Think of content as your output on Instagram; it’s the image and the copy.
When it comes to content, quality matters most. Your photos should be crisp and clear.
This means that when you’re shooting photos yourself, you want to take a few of them; give yourself options to choose from.
It also means that if you’re curating photos, you want to be sure to provide photo credit to the original poster.
Providing photo credit is the *right* way to re-gram. Stealing the photos of others and posting them without credit (which I see happen daily,) isn’t.
Not providing accurate photo credit will kill your credibility and community before you’ve even built it.
Takeaway tip: every piece of content you post should aim to inspire, educate and/or entertain your followers.
Education, entertainment, and inspiration are attractive. It’s this type of content that is sought out, engaged with and re-posted.
If you want to create repeat visitors and loyal engagers, you want to create this kind of content consistently.
The second key to crafting a killer Instagram strategy is consistency.
You need to be consistent in order to grow trust on the channel.
When thinking about consistency, you want to be sure to cover all of the bases. There are multiple areas that you need to apply this consistency towards:
- Frequency: stay consistent in how often you post per day, week and month. It’s confusing for your followers if you post 3x per day for a week, only to start posting 1x per day for a month. Creating standards, and following them over time, is important in creating an expectation with your audience for when to hear from you. It’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver. Start small and build up; I’d rather see you go from posting 1 to 2x per day, than have to scale back due to an inability to stick to the schedule.
- Timing: just like you want to post the same amount during the day, week and month, you want to aim to post around the same time of day. Decide when you want to post: morning, midday, afternoon and/or evening? When you post at the same times during the day, you prime your audience to know when they should be ready to engage with you. For instance, my fans know to expect a fresh post from me when they wake up each morning.
- Format: Keep the way you write your captions consistent. Decide early on whether you use lowercase or caps, emojis and/or hashtags in the body of your caption copy. Once you decide, stick with it. Your audience will come to know you through the way you format your captions. When you’re consistent, you create a sense of “knowing,” where your audience feels like they can actually hear your voice speaking the captions aloud in their head.
- Hashtags: Aim to use the same sets of hashtags for your posts. By being consistent in your hashtag usage, you capture attention and awareness from the same folks on a regular basis. This makes you more likely to tap into the community of users that engage with these topics. It’s also a great way to become known as a top contributor for these topics.
- Color scheme: Try to keep the hues and color tones for your photos in the same spectrum. This will allow you to create a cohesive, beautiful feed. Consistency in color helps you to attract the *right* people – people that find your content inspiring, entertaining or educational.
Takeaway tip: apply consistency to your posting habits to increase the likelihood that people will find and engage with your content daily.
When it comes down to it, the main reason you’re taking the time to post great content consistently is to grow your community.
The community aspect of Instagram is probably *the* most attractive, addictive part of the platform.
Being influential on Instagram is like being a part of an exclusive, awesome club that everyone wants in on.
The best part? Regardless of your industry, I guarantee that you can find hundreds (if not thousands) of people that want to engage and connect with you.
However, it’s important to keep community in mind.
If you approach these relationships from a self-serving mindset, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Instead, start the conversation by seeing what you have in common and how you might be able to collaborate.
But how do you find these folks?
Use Instagram’s Search and Explore feature in order to tap into this community and start creating connections.
Remember: Instagram isn’t about sales; it’s about connection.
Ask people questions, feature other people’s photos, and engage with others on the platform daily.
Tapping into the community is how you become memorable and meaningful.
Takeaway tip: create community by showing your fans that you care. Let your audience know that you appreciate their attention and engagement by giving them shout outs.
I use Instagram and Snapchat stories not only to provide free, educational content to my fans. I also use stories to provide individuals shout outs in order to create a closer connection to my followers.
When you craft your Instagram strategy to focus first on content, then consistency, and lastly, community, you set yourself up for success.
What do you think? What do you focus on as part of your Instagram strategy?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below! Then head over to my Instagram and let’s connect!
Thanks for the post.
I have been doing all of the above for several months and it was going well, I had around 150 likes for my content every day, continuous follower growth, real engagement with comments, then the other week it just crashed down to a couple of likes. The other day, 15 hours after posting, I went back and only had 1 like for the day???
Can you advise?
Dee, you are not alone so don’t worry! Instagram is having some wonks with their hashtags and there are some people who are getting “hurt” by using too many hashtags. Do you use any tools to manage your Instagram account?
I always manually post my Insta, I was sometimes using up to 30 hashtags but have also reduced the number to around 8 but haven’t seen any improvement – it’s been going on for weeks now 🙁