During the month of May I participated in a consistency challenge on IG to see how we could “shake up the algorithm” and hopefully improve our overall following and engagement in the process. I learned a lot about what my current audience liked and didn’t like about my new posting schedule, plus what other people in the group struggled with when it came to how they approached social media. It was all very eye opening to me. There’s so much information out there about how to navigate Instagram, and I think that sometimes we forget the basics that we should follow in order to have some form of success with it. Yes, you do have to be strategic with it to a certain extent, but until you get the basics down, your strategies won’t really work and you’ll find yourself wondering why people aren’t engaging with you very much. If you’ve been trying to up your IG game, here are a few tips that may help you get better at it while still keeping the platform fun.
edit your photos
Instagram is a visual platform. While cutesy or heartfelt captions are interesting to read, your photos have to capture people’s attention to get them to stop/like/engage, etc. in the first place. To increase the possibility of people engaging with your content, you may need to better edit your photos. And when I say better edit, I don’t just mean slap on a filter (which almost always need to be tweaked anyway). Presets can’t save a bad photo. When you’re out taking pictures/creating content, pay attention to your surroundings, your composition + angles, your posing/facial expressions in the photo, and your lighting. You do NOT have to be a professional photographer to take good photos, but you DO need to slow down a bit and take your time instead of just snapping away if you’re struggling with engagement on your pictures. If you take your time and really think about what you’re trying to capture in your photos, it will only take you maybe 30 seconds to actually edit it when you’re ready to post it.
download a planning app (planoly, unum, later)
Gone are the days when people post to IG in real time. Sure, some people still do (and I find myself being able to do it every once in while), but for the most part, content creators plan out their content in advance. I like to use Planoly because it allows me to upload photos and see how my feed will look before I post to it. If all of my photos were of me I probably wouldn’t use it, but because I like to mix in images of food, products, locations, etc., using an app is a game changer because it helps me post regularly and keep my feed balanced how I like it. I still post directly from the IG app (after I know which image will work I write out my captions and just save to drafts) BUT a planning app can be a lifesaver for folks that need to plan their posts well in advance.
follow new people
Whenever I start feeling uninspired by IG, I look for new accounts to follow. Consuming the same content over and over can cause your creativity to become stagnant (especially if you follow accounts that produce similar content), so mixing it up will help to get your creative juices flowing again while also introducing you to new people that you could potentially connect with as well.
leave comments on posts
Keeping the social in social media is one that many content creators struggle with. We sometimes get so caught up on creating and posting our own content that we forget to engage with those accounts that we love too. It’s so easy to mindlessly scroll, but if you see something you like and it moves you, take a sec to like it and leave a comment, even if it’s only a few words. Engagement should go both ways if you really want to get the most out of your IG experience.
move beyond an outfit post
Sharing a photo of yourself in a cute outfit is easy, but what can you say to your audience beyond where you purchased an item or how you styled it? There’s nothing wrong with sharing outfit deets, but if you truly want to master “lifestyle” content, putting yourself in situations where your caption/conversation can evolve beyond your look is what will help take your content to the next level. Use your outfits to help you tell a story, and don’t be afraid to show people more than just your face in your photos. Unless you’re specifically trying to be a fashion blogger that’s only focused on shopping/sharing products, your content can go so much further than that.