What to Post on Instagram to Grow Your Engagement and Following

When you’re trying to use social media to grow your brand or business, it’s important to make sure that what you’re posting is going to convert best for you, because what’s the point of doing all of this if we’re not going to get business from it?

So I’m going to assume that you already know who your perfect customer is, what you have to offer, what you’re selling, all that kind of stuff. What we’re going to focus on is how to take that information and turn it into engaging and converting content to grow the brand. So here’s some of the things that I want you to consider when you’re putting all of this together.

Categorize Your Content

First things first, you want to put everything into specific buckets. So you as a person, you as a brand, have very specific things about you that you can group all of your content into. So for me, for example, a lot of my content is grouped into YouTube and live streaming and video marketing. The middle part is a lot about my life, all the craziness that it is, and this third part is all about agency running and being a social media marketer. So these three buckets that I have are what I use to create all of my content,  everything that I do ties back to a message that supports what that is.

You need to be very clear with the kind of content that you want to create in those specific buckets. Let’s say you’re a real estate agent, your buckets could be something like things to do in the city that you’re in, houses that are on the market, and how your customers love you and how you take care of them. These are the three buckets that you’d want to clump everything into.
Let’s say you do something in a service business, like insurance or something. So then maybe we have information about insurance, information about you and why they should trust you, and then how you’ve helped people and examples of why people need insurance. So these three buckets are going to be where you live.
I suggest that you do at least three, but the more you do, the more muddy your content can get. But if you have less than three, it’s going to be two, one note, one message, and I don’t want you to be there. So pick your buckets that you can put your content into. So you are always checking back to ensure what you need to say fits into these buckets. If it doesn’t, you don’t do it. If it does, you go with it.Find the Right Hashtags

Next thing is to find hashtags that match your three buckets, and you also want to make sure that what hashtags you create aren’t super vague and super overused. I don’t want you to use #love for everything. That’s super overused and not going to get you anywhere.
One of the really easy ways to find out the right hashtags to use is to go see what your competitors or people who are parallel to you in what you do are using for their content. Obviously, not just anybody, if your competitor doesn’t have a social presence then that’s not going to work, I’m talking about people in your industry that are dominating or doing really well, go see what hashtags they’re using and see if it aligns with what you’re doing.
Another thing to consider is local hashtags. What are the hashtags that are being used locally in your community or city? I live in Phoenix, for example, and some really popular hashtags would be #SupportLocalAZ, #LocalAZ. Things like that. I can go to those hashtags and find other hashtags that match it and group them into what I’m doing. Association is the best way for people to find you and hashtags accomplish that.
Categorize Your Hashtags

Once you have different hashtags that you want to use, you want to line them up into buckets. Again, that’s why the original bucket point is important. So if I’m talking about lifestyle stuff, I want to keep all those hashtags grouped together. If I’m talking about business, YouTube, and video, I want to keep those hashtags together. If I want to talk about business and social media, I want those hashtags grouped together.
You want to make sure that your hashtags are independent of each other, but you’re also going to want hashtags that you use across the board. So here’s how I’m going to encourage you to do this. You can have up to 30 hashtags on anything that you post, so what I suggest is to have 20 hashtags for each bucket and then 10 hashtags that you use for everything. That way those things about your brand never change. For me, everything is #YouTuber, #WomenofYouTube, #Creator, #WomanCreator, #Womanpreneur. These are the ones I use all the time because everything I create is associated with those hashtags. So create those and put them somewhere you can save them and keep referencing them. I recommend a Google doc because that’s what we do internally at my agency.
Create Your Content

Now that you have your buckets for content and your hashtags that you’re using, now we need to create different kinds of content. You need to make sure that you’re creating a good variety of content. Instagram is a plethora of different kinds of content. There are carousels, reels, images, videos, Instagram TV, and stories. There’s so many options so it’s really important to make sure that you’re creating a variety of content types that fit into what keeps your Instagram fresh.

Freaky, freaky, fresh.

But also keep it relevant. If you’re just posting image after image, after image, it’s going to get stale, and the algorithm and your users are going to recognize that. So make sure that you add in that variety because that’s the spice of life and it’s going to make your account and your stuff so much more fun, so much more engaging, and so much better.

Study Your Analytics

It’s really important to make sure that you’re taking the time to study your analytics. Your analytics are going to tell you what content that you’re creating is posting best, when you should be posting it, and what other things that you can be doing to increase your reach. A lot of people, I find when I’m diving in through Instagram analytics, is that they’re posting content regularly and even maybe doing it at the right time, but their outreach and engagement isn’t quite there because they are having a one-way conversation with people. So they’re not engaging back and that is reflective in your analytics.
Your analytics will also tell you things about your demographic to make sure that you’re aligned with your target audience, with that perfect customer that we vaguely talked about at the beginning of this. It is also going to be really helpful for you to know ‘okay, this content did really well, other days of the week, this content piece did better’. Studying your analytics is going to tell you what is and isn’t working, so make sure you lean into it to figure it out.
Like I said before, your analytics will tell you if you’re not engaging, but you do need to engage. Having an outreach plan is vital to your success in Instagram, and it doesn’t take that long. So many people think that engaging on Instagram is really time-consuming when in fact, with just 15, 30 minutes a day, you’re going to be able to do far greater good for your Instagram by engaging and reaching out versus just trying to have these one-way conversations and waiting for everyone to come to you.
Dollar Eighty is a really awesome tool that I use on the daily with our agency with my own account, which allows me to track specific hashtags so that I can go find other people that are using them and talking about that and engage with their content. And then of course, when I see that those people have engaged back, I’m able to continue that conversation and continue that relationship. It’s very important and very easy, and I highly encourage you to think about how you can take a small percentage of your day and turn it into engage-able content.
Until next time, I’ll see you soon.

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