If you are anything like me, you have a love/hate relationship with Instagram. I mean, it's such a great way to share fun photos and ideas and get to know other teachers around the world. BUT if you are trying to use it for marketing purposes as well, to share about your resources and lead people to your TpT store, then it can be so frustrating when you can't seem to gain followers or get much engagement.
This last summer I really took some time to research Instagram and learned some great strategies to help gain followers and get those followers to actually interact with your content. I want to share with you the top 5 things I've learned to help you grow your Instagram:
1) Use the rule of 80/20. 80% of your posts should be something of value to your audience that doesn't cost them anything, such as inspirational quotes or stories, tips and ideas, funny memes, free resources, or just something to make them smile or think. Only 20% of your posts should be directly about your paid resources. No one wants to follow you just to see post after post of what you're selling. Gain your audience's trust by becoming a source of valuable ideas and information.
2) Use Smart Bio (completely free). This is an app that allows you to share more than one link with your audience. You create a smart bio link and use that as the one link that Instagram allows. Then when someone clicks on it, they are taken to another page where you can list out multiple links. So for example, I have links to my TpT store, my email sign up list, my blog, and my Boom store. You can also add in links for specific posts through the Smart Bio. Check it out HERE!
3) Include a CTA (call to action) on as many posts as you can. This means that you are asking your audience to do something instead of just reading and moving on. You can end your post with a question for them to answer in the comments. You can lead them to the link in your bio to check out a blog post or resource. You can say, "Tag a friend in the comments who can relate," or "Drop a 👍🏼 in the comments if you agree." When a person interacts with your account through liking, commenting, sharing, and saving, then your posts will show up more often in their feed.
4) Be consistent. The Instagram algorithm rewards consistent posting but trying to come up with an idea every day and posting it is challenging for most of us. Spend some time at the beginning of each month brainstorming ideas for posts and write them on a content calendar. Think about ideas and tips, funny or inspirational stories, resources, and things about your classroom you want to share. Each week, spend some time writing and scheduling out your posts. This is one of my favorite tricks to being consistent on Instagram. I will get all my posts for the week scheduled on a Saturday, and then I don't have to think about what to share on Instagram for a whole week! I just pop on throughout the week to interact with my audience and respond to comments and questions.
5) Engage with others! Always respond to comments and questions you get on your own posts, but make sure you are leaving meaningful comments on other people's posts as well. Look for posts from relevant hashtags to find new people to engage with.
Instagram is a great place to build a community, and if you can implement these strategies, you will be well on your way. Nothing happens overnight, but just be consistent and you will see steady growth!
If you're ready to grow your Instagram and want a plan of action that is already created and ready to go, then I encourage you to go through my Instagram 30-Day Challenge. It breaks down all of these strategies and more into daily tasks that you can complete to really see a difference in your following and engagement. It will keep you motivated and moving forward as you learn:
👇🏼 Just click below to check it out! 👇🏼