It’s 2021 and to pretend that I’m not trying to find the best ways in which to market myself on Instagram would be a lie. It’s a weird world we live in (a lot of it being online) and trying to figure out how to sell product, grow a following, and increase engagement can be tricky. Trying to find the balance of being authentic while at the same time pushing my work is not always so easy. I’m still learning and social media is changing every day, so staying up to date on trends is a must. But I think I’ve learned a few tips and tricks along the way and hopefully they will help you out not only on your own platforms but with the ways in which you interact with your favorite brands as well.
First, let's talk about how to increase engagement for your own brand. While it’s totally possible to do it on your own, I’ve found that there are certain third-party apps that you can use to not only help boost engagement, but also cut back on the time you spend online. Which, as a creative and business owner, is everything. Some helpful social media planning apps include Later, UNUM, and Plann, but the one I have found to be most efficient is Planoly. Using a third-party app is a great way to visualize your grid, schedule posts ahead of time, and gain valuable audience insights. Planoly has incredible analytics that allow you to track which of your posts have seen increased engagement, impressions and reach.
Now let’s discuss the best ways to engage as a follower. Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably been liking your friends and your favorite brands posts for years. This is how we all are used to showing a little love and appreciation. Unfortunately, with Instagrams ever changing algorithm, this is now considered the least valuable form of interaction. This doesn’t mean not to like any more though! It is still the easiest way to give your support and a tap of the heart is still a very welcome way to let me and others know that you like what we’re doing!
Comments oddly enough no longer hold a lot of weight either. If you really love something - say it! Show some extra effort by writing it out...more than a few words!
Saves are next. The save icon looks like a little ribbon and can be seen on the bottom right corner of a picture. By saving something, it means that you liked it enough to return to later. While I never used to save posts in the past, I’ve found it to be pretty helpful as a creative. You can create different folders within your saves, acting in a way like pinterest boards. I personally have saved folders showcasing surf photos I love, fashion brands I want to check out, poses I want to try in my own photoshoots, and places I hope to shoot one day. This is an awesome asset to hold all of your favorite pics and is super beneficial to the creator of that content.
Finally there are shares. The share icon is the little paper airplane and this is what the algorithm currently favors the most. Sharing content means that you like it enough to not only save for later, but also think it worthwhile enough for someone else to check out. You can share to individual friends, in dm group chats, or even to your own story so that all of your followers are then able to enjoy it as well. This hopefully results in people clicking through and discovering the content creator for themselves.