Happy Week three of the TBP Challenge! Today we are wrapping up the social media portion of the challenge with one of our favorite platforms – Instagram!
*Note- we’re skipping Twitter because truthfully, we don’t really use it!
Oh the wonderful world of Instagram. Isn’t it crazy that some influencers make a living solely based off their Instagram channel? It’s crazy that this microblog can be so influential that some Instagrammers are making millions. Okay, that’s like .0001% of us, but still!
We love Instagram because it’s sort of like a mini-me extension of your blog…and then some. Davida and I are both huge fans of mixing promotional material for the blog and every day life. That way, you are still using Instagram as an outlet to promote your content and also creating a sense of individuality with your personal posts. For example, FFF focuses mostly on food and healthy living, but sometimes I like to sneak in an outfit post here or there because I know it resonates with my following and helps give some personality to my feed.
The idea of your Instagram account being looked at as a “feed” rather than just individual posts is definitely a topic of interest lately. Not only are you expected to post beautiful pictures individually, but every image must also work cohesively to build a beautiful feed. It’s like a job in itself! Nevertheless, don’t let that deter you. Here are some steps to putting in place an Instagram Plan:
Fill out your Description Appropriately
The description box below your name tells future followers exactly what you’re all about, so use it to your advantage! You don’t need to overflow it with words (you’re not allowed to anyway), but make sure the words you choose are efficient. If you blog about healthy food, make sure you include that! Think of it as a place to set expectations for your followers about what they will see on your feed.
Have a Content Strategy
Having a solid content strategy on Instagram is essential for building a following. Like your blog, your Instagram feed should also have its own style. This could be a certain color story (think “filter”), bright and fun colors, top down shots, only food, only fitness etc…
So what should you be sharing?
- New blog posts – promote your new blog posts and use a shortened link (in your profile and in posts) to encourage your readers to check out your blog!
- Old blog posts – don’t just let old content die. Promote some of your older work that is still relevant
- Real time fun – it can be hard sometimes to share real-time fun because you don’t always want to stop what you’re doing, edit a picture, write the text, hashtag etc…while you’re in the middle of having fun. But if it isn’t inconveniencing your life, go for it!
Have a Posting Strategy
While there is no magic number to how often you should post on Instagram, being somewhat consistent is really important. Trial and error is a great way to figure out what days and times of day get the most traction with your community. We’ve found that posts get the most likes early in the morning and late at night and weekends too. There are sites like Iconosquare, which you can pay to get access to these analytics.
Have a Hashtag Strategy
All we have to say is get on dat hashtag train! Hashtags are a great way to gain followers in your specific community so do your research on which ones are most relevant to your brand. Use those hashtags to find other instagrammers to connect with, but using them also allows these instagrammers to find you. I don’t care how lame you feel about hashtagging, it works!
P.S. A great tip is to put the hashtags in the first comment that way it doesn’t clutter up your text and with enough comments, this comment will not appear.
Engage Engage Engage!
Instagram is not just a platform for sharing your own content. If you want to garner a large following than you need to be super active! Comment, share, like other people’s content. Find them through their blogs or through hashtags. Build a small Instagram tribe. Spread the IG love. The more active you are, the more likely you’ll appear in other people’s feeds.
New Bloggers– Start your IG channel! Fill out your description and start implementing the strategies we recommend above. Link to your new IG channel and what strategy you’re aiming to stick to over on the TBP Community
Experienced Bloggers– Re-evaluate your IG channel and if you’re following the recommendations above. Give your IG some love if it needs it and start making engagement a priority. Link to your IG channel on the TBP Community so we can follow you too!