It’s a very exciting time, as most states are beginning to open up just in time for summer. For myself, summer is the time of year where I am most inspired to create, whether it’s capturing photos of gorgeous beach sunsets, baseball games, or the scenes of my neighborhood. Being able to share these posts to not only my friends and family but also to many of my followers who keep up with my content is such a great way to engage and connect with people all over the world. It’s also the time of year where I find myself most active on social media and try to boost my posts more than usual. Especially as a store or business on social media, summer is the best time to grow your page to reach a wider audience because this is the time when most people are out of the house looking to explore new things.
Using simple tips like experience sharing, authenticity, and trending hashtags are effective ways to reach your target audience for your business or personal brand. Reading about these tools will have you on your way to creating a real influence on social media.
Make Good Use of Hashtags
Using the right hashtags can be a direct link for users to find your content. When used correctly, you can begin optimizing hashtags and bring real engagement to your posts just by giving others the opportunity to view your posts.
If you have a public Instagram account, we recommend trying some popular and relevant hashtags for your pictures in a separate comment beneath your pic. As you can see, this photo got over 100 likes and that wouldn’t have been the case if hashtags were not used.
Hashtags can help you gain more likes and followers because there are potential followers who constantly search for popular hashtags. To discover some of the popular tags, you can search for them on Instagram or do your own research. Instagram adds all the photos with the tags to the other images with those same tags. If you share your photo on Facebook or Twitter, hashtags carry over to those applications and help with the picture’s exposure.
Instagram has a limit of 30 hashtags per post. A general rule of thumb for a business is using between three to five hashtags to not make your photo look cluttered. It’s okay to stray from the rules and experiment sometimes!
According to The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Hashtags in 2021, an Instagram post with at least a single tag averages 12.6% more engagements than posts that do not use them. This is also a helpful read if you are looking to understand Instagram a bit better and contains links as to where you can find more hashtags.
Strategize Your Hashtags
When deciding what hashtags to use, there are a couple of things you should consider. First of all, it is obvious that a simple hashtag such as #Summer or #Fun will have tons of people following these hashtags, however, there will also be a lot of other people using these hashtags on their own posts on a daily basis. This raises the competition and means the chance of your posts being seen by other users is much lower. In most cases, the simpler your hashtag is, the harder it will be for people to find your posts.
Now if you want to give your posts a better chance of exposure, using hashtags with what I like to call, “medium strength,” can be a useful tool. Medium strength hashtags essentially refer to those that are not as commonly used as the ones previously mentioned, but they are still generic enough for new users to find your posts. An example of this may be location tags of the city or area that you are currently in, such as #Boston or #DowntownBoston.
Lastly, the third category of hashtags to consider is “specific hashtags.” Specific hashtags refer to those that are very specific to the activity or event that your photo was taken. The method for the use of specific hashtags is to cater to those that are looking for a particular subject or industry. While this may have fewer viewers of these hashtags, the people who do search these hashtags will have a higher chance of finding your posts and engaging with your page. Some examples of specific hashtags may be #HotdogsInBoston or #BostonMarathon2021.
As we consider the ideal number of hashtags for each post to be around 3-5 hashtags, a great way to get the most out of these hashtags is to diversify the terms with simple, medium strength, and specific hashtags. Using this strategy will help cover your bases in order to reach a wider audience and put your photos in front of viewers that will actually be interested in your content. You can use this strategy and test out on your own posts which hashtags and competitive level, work best for your posts.
Best Instagram Content Tips to Engage Followers
There are many different styles of content that you will find on social media, and while some work better than others depending on the audience, there are two rules of thumb that are effective across almost all industries and demographics. The first being the use of real people and real stories in your content. The second being, when it comes to your content, the focus should be on quality, not quantity.
By effectively including these two rules within your content, you will begin seeing active engagement on your posts which will hopefully lead to an increase in your follower count. Once you have curated a strong audience base, that is when you can really influence and engage with your audience in a positive way.
Ultimately, the key is to post valuable content, and here are some great ideas to get you on your way.
A trending type of content that’s lighting up the internet is knowledge sharing. This includes posts like using quotes from books, step-by-step tutorials, or making recommendations. Quotes from books can reach us in a way our own words can’t sometimes. By relating to people with the use of quotes, it will allow for a deeper connection with your audience. People love to share their lives and interests. Another reason that book quotes are gaining popularity is that they can help you find your next favorite read!
Knowledge sharing can be a great teaching tool because you are able to cut down the information into a concise overview of the bigger picture. We may feel alone in our feelings or that a certain emotion is only happening to us. But with the use of an effective quote, you can create a bridge to show that you are not so different after all. Providing valuable information will lead your followers to then share your content on their own.
You can use Markup to highlight quotes in EBooks, and then instantly share them on the Internet. We provided a few photos below as an example. After you make your creation, be sure that you hashtag #SummerReads to optimize your chances of getting more likes.
The best way to connect with your potential followers is by telling them stories and sharing your personal experiences. You want to let your audience know who you really are and what you or your business stands for, and nothing works better than sharing personal stories of your experiences. This does not just mean that you want to only share stories that make you look your best, it means to also share stories of learning lessons and taking away from the experience.
These stories could include your travels, trying out new products, or even accounts of how your business is growing. There are many different ways that you can share your experiences, and you can surely get creative with it.
Authenticity is Key
When growing your social media page, one of your biggest assets would be your authentic followers. Your authentic followers are those that are committed to you or your business personally. These are the ones that feel involved with you and continually stay up to date and wait for the next part of your story. These people are so important to your growth because they are the ones that will engage with you and share your content on their own. It is important to cater to your loyal followers and continue to provide them with valuable content so that they can continue to engage with you.
There is a rule in business called the 80/20 rule. This means that 80% of a company’s sales come from 20% of its customers. I believe that a very similar rule applies to your social media pages. The 20% refers to your authentic followers, and they are responsible for a majority of your growth and engagement.
On the other hand, the other 80% of your followers may be considered inauthentic followers. This means that they may only be engaging with your content for their own personal gain, or they are 1-time purchasers and not repeat customers.
It is important to understand who your authentic followers are and provide them with great content.
Catch the trends
Successful social media growers focus on their content strategy and looking to what will be popular in the future. Sometimes it’s fun to follow the crowd and try to be trendy on your social media accounts. While the Internet can be a very fun place, it can also be very strange with several types of trends. A few of them have ranged from charcoal hairstyles, crazy-looking ice cream, travel photos, embroidered straw hats, one-piece swimsuits, and more!
Keeping up with these trends can not only be a great way to grow your audience but it can also be an exciting way for your followers to engage with your posts. Another great way to bring engagement is by running campaigns on your social media pages. This may include clickable links to the promotions or discounts for your business, giveaways, or anything else! The key for your campaigns is to drive traffic to a specific location or to create user-generated content. This may include following your page & liking your post, sharing your post to their Instagram story, or rewarding them for tagging your branded hashtag when they make a purchase. The possibilities are truly endless, which allows you the opportunity to really get creative!
Good Photography Matters on Instagram
Instagram is a very image-heavy social media platform. When you are scrolling through your Instagram feed, what will make you stop and read into the captions? The answer is “images.” Eye-catching photos allow you to stand out from other accounts, earn attention, and encourage users to engage with you. As more people view and engage with your photos, the more the Instagram algorithm rewards your post and shows it off to even more people.
Now let’s get into some key aspects to making impressive Instagram photos.
Master the Art of Staging
The first thing is the art of staging. This is how you can set the scene for your photos. It may include the lighting in the picture, the background or setting of the image, as well as the angle at which the photo is taken. Now there really are no “correct” ways to take a photo, as there are so many variations that can work, but the key for you is how to best show off the purpose of the post and really set the stage.
Choose the Matching Color Palette and Filter
The next aspect is considering the color palette and making good use of a filter. Just like how you want your clothes to match before you leave the house, you should look for your photo to match before you post. Balancing the color palette of your photo may include considering the color schemes of you vs. the background so you can properly accent what it is you are looking to be the focus. While matching with the background is not always possible, something that you can use to help is by applying a filter. Properly applying filters to your photos can drastically improve your photos and really make them pop out on your social media.
When making a post for your social media pages, you want to think of yourself as a content creator. Just as the name suggests, you are essentially creating content that will best suit your audience. By putting in a bit of extra effort into your content, you will really see a difference in your post’s engagement.
Interact with your followers and other creators
Just as you want your followers to interact with you, you also need to be interacting with them. Interacting with your followers and other Instagram accounts is a proactive way to gain authentic followers. Showing that you care about your followers and putting in a little bit of extra effort really will go a long way. There are many little things that you can start doing on your social media pages that will really make a difference in the long run.
The first thing that you can start doing is replying to all of the comments on your Instagram posts. If someone took the time to write out a comment for you, the least you can do is reply. This not only refers to questions that are asked but also regular comments, too.
Another thing that you can do is explore other Instagram accounts and begin interacting with them as well. Find similar accounts to you or your industry and begin engaging with them. This could include following them, liking their posts, and commenting on their photos. You can also go a step further and send direct messages to these users to try to build relationships with them. These relationships may lead to cross-promotions between your pages, which will be very beneficial for both of you. By interacting with other users organically, will incentivize them to also check out your page.
An important thing to remember is that you are not just interacting with them to promote your own page, but you want to provide value in your interactions. Like we mentioned before, providing value is the #1 way to promote your page.
Authentic Followers Bring Value to Your Instagram Account
Authentic followers bring you not only a sense of achievement, but they are the key factors to a successful business, brand, or portfolio. Building strong relationships with your authentic followers will be a key way to grow your audience and be able to provide even more value to your followers.
Creating engaging content with the use of authenticity, knowledge sharing, and good-quality photography allows you to set up your personal brand or business. Then with the proper application of hashtags, user engagement, and the following of trends, you will really be able to see your content pop off and attract more and more authentic followers.
With the kickoff of summer just around the corner, this makes it the perfect time to really dive into the improvement of your social media in order to create a wide audience that you can lead to your business and engage with all year long.
Take advantage of this timely opportunity with the use of Creativity 365 to greatly improve the quality of your posts. Using apps like Markup, NoteLedge, Write-on Video, and Animation Desk to create content that’s as unique as you are can give you the positive boost your page needs to grow your audience all summer long.