Social media is an important part of business these days! Everyone knows it takes time and work to actively grow your social media but not everyone knows the right steps to take:) I don't have all the answers but below are some of my thoughts on how I've been able to grow my social media and get great work opportunities from it!
I heard someone say that with online business, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” This is so true. The more long-term your mindset the better. Try thinking 5 to 10 years down the line. There’s people that will tell you that online business can happen really quick (and it can) but usually it takes time. If you can take a long term approach, I believe it’s definitely possible to build a meaningful business doing something you love!
The goal is to get a group of people to Know, Like, and Trust you. If you can do this over a long period of time, you will be able to build an online business. I start by focussing on people getting to know me through Instagram. Once they know me a little on Instagram, they usually will end up going to my website, and from there a percentage of people will hire me to do wedding or brand videos for them! :)
Steps to Grow Your Instagram
Choose 4 themes. If you try to target too many kinds of people you won’t be able to really target anyone so you must choose roughly 4 themes and stick with them. For example, in my Instagram you will usually see love, travel, ocean, and beach. Staying true to your themes is important because it will allow you to start to attract the right kind of audience. Also, I’ve noticed that pictures with people usually do better. If you have a picture with a person in it for at least every three pictures you post it helps. People that start following you want to get to know you, your story, and the people in your life. If you can incorporate pictures of yourself, friends, and people you meet in your feed and it will help people get to know you and your personality.
Choose 4 colors. Feeds that really stand out usually have around four common colors as you scroll through their feed. For example, my colors are white, green, turquoise, and pink-ish. Now, it’s totally fine if you want to post a picture that doesn’t fit within these colors but if you keep around 80% of your feed in the same color range it helps a create a nice looking feed. Now sometimes you’re going to take a picture that has the right color but maybe it’s a dark blue instead of a light blue. In this situation, you could use a simple editing app like vsco or you could use a more advanced editing software like Lightroom to change to blue a little to match your feed. For planning out your feed and making the pictures look good together I use the UNUM app. This just lets me plan out my posts and see what they will look like in my feed.
1 post each day. Now, you don’t have to post every single day but the more consistent you are the better. Since taking a new picture everyday can be draining, I’d suggest picking a day to go through fun pictures you've taken to and plan out your posts for the week. Then you can post those pictures throughout the week. With each post I include a thought-out caption, 30 hashtags, and 20 tagged accounts on the pictures. You don’t always have to do this but I’ve found that it helps when I do it on most of my pictures.
The caption. For the caption I try to make it something that helps people get to know me better. Sometimes it’s my thoughts on the picture, a story about the picture, my thought on what’s going on in my life right now, something cool I learned, or something I’d like to share with everyone.
30 Hashtags. Right now Instagram has a limit of 30 hashtags so that is how many I put. You want to find hashtags that have something to do with the picture and you 4 themes. For me there usually something about Hawaii, videography, travel, beaches, ect. Including hashtags gives more people the opportunity of finding you on Instagram. Also note, you want to switch up the hashtags you use on each picture because Instagram with block you if you always use the same ones. I made a list of a lot that I cycle through.
20 tagged accounts. 20 is the limit of accounts you can tag in your picture so that’s usually what I do. I have made a list of accounts that I think are similar to mine and tag them in the corner of my pictures. This gives people another way to find you and could give you good exposure if that account or brand has a lot of followers and ends up reposting your picture. Like the hashtags, you need to switch up the accounts that you tag or Instagram will block you. As you go you will start to make a list of good account to tag in your niche. These accounts usually have a lot of followers.
Be social. Being social means following accounts that you like(although I don't suggest follow and unfollow random accounts-this gets people to not trust you and doesn't feel genuine to me) liking and commenting on people’s photos that you like, and replying to people that comment on your photos and message you. The more you interact with people the more people with get to Know, Like, and Trust you and want to follow your Instagram. I’ve found that if your feed is starting to look really good, you can usually get anywhere from 10 to 100 people following you a day just by “being social.” Note: if you are doing any one activity too much, Instagram could block you for a little bit. If you run into this problem, just remember what triggered it and don’t do that as much next time. If you get blocked again and again Instagram will start lengthening the time it blocks you from doing certain things. Remember, it's not about how many "followers" you have. Worrying about followers will never bring you fulfillment at all. It's about building relationships and helping people to get to know you and your business:)