I am taking a new approach to Instagram. As most of us probably know, this app seems to be forever changing, and so should our growth strategies. We need to adapt with the app if we want to keep up with where it’s headed. It might be annoying at times, but it can also be fun and refreshing! In this post you will learn all about the new approach I am going to take on Instagram and what I am no longer going to be pouring my time into. Let’s get into it.
The common Instagram tactics you hear for growth:
- Create 5 content pillars and rotate through them
- Engage with other accounts regularly
It’s not that I don’t agree with these things. BUT I have found that this is no longer driving the biggest results for myself and for others. Now I do believe that it is worth mentioning. If you want to create even more engaging content that is on brand, and saves you time, then consider joining my content resource membership the Social Herd. If you join the Social Herd today, you get access to hundreds of social media captions, graphics and illustrations designed by a professional graphic designer, social media templates for your feed, stories, and more! There are also western inspired stock images you can use however you see fit for your business or social platforms, monthly action plans giving you step by step instructions for how to tackle each month in your marketing strategy, as well as lots of educational resources to expand your knowledge on content creation and social media marketing. Plus you will be a part of a community where you can ask questions, give input, share your work, collaborate and more!
Spend less time creating content and focusing on aesthetic
Now that i’m a mom, my time to get things done in a day is VERY limited. And this really caused me to have a “sink or swim” mentality when it came to my social media. My choices were to sit there and be frustrated that every piece of content didn’t look exactly how I wanted it to OR decide that done is better than perfect. Can you guess which one I decided on? Yep. I had to get in the habit of just hitting post even if it wasn’t as “pretty” as I wanted.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a pretty feed as much as the next person, but I am not going to harp on it. PLUS there are ways of achieving this without spending hours thinking about it. Social media templates and a feed theme. Focus on keeping certain on brand colors at the center, and use the same fonts. Don’t change things up too often. Reels can be videos already in your phone with text thrown over the top. Sure, there is something to be said about quality, but if quality is keeping you from posting consistently and often, it’s not worth it.
Pick a lane and stay in it
We are not one topic kind of creatures. So many of us are multi passionate and love so many things but you need to niche down harder if you want to see growth quickly. I know you want me to say that having a niche doesn’t matter, but it does. The exception is larger accounts who already have an established community. But if that’s not you and you are trying to grow, you need to choose one topic, one person to talk to and have all your content rotate around that.
If you don’t know what your topic is or should be, ask yourself this: what is the thing that I could talk about for HOURS and never get bored of? Or what is something that I could create a keynote speech for right now if I had to? The next thing to consider is: who is your ideal audience? Who are you talking to or trying to reach? Keep in mind, there is a time and place for sharing personal content or content not within your niche. Stories are a great place for this! But feed posts and reels should be very topic based.
Stop getting too personal
Hot take: stop posting content that is too personal. This would be one of those things where my opinion has slightly shifted. Before, I would tell people that they should share about themselves and their personal lives… but there’s a line. Trust me when I say this. Your audience doesn’t care as much about your personal life as you think they do. When you are posting content that is TOO personal to you it will be unsharable. The goal is to create sharable and relatable content. If I were to create a piece of content that has something to do with my motherhood journey, I don’t want that content to be SO specific to me and my exact life, that if another mom watches it she doesn’t feel like it’s worth sharing because its TOO specific.
“Do you ever wish you could post without having to think about being strategic?”
Someone asked me this once when I was teaching Instagram strategy and truth be told…. no. There is this notion that because you are trying to grow a platform and creating content for a specific purpose that your heart isn’t in it. That is simply not true. My content is not created with the purpose of being solely transactional. But I want it to resonate with others. It should mean something to someone else. Otherwise, why share or post anything at all? It’s called social media for a reason right? To be social and to connect with others.
Maybe when you think about it your opinion is that you want to share what is going on in your life with others. But I would probably argue that you are posting for selfish reasons. You want the attention of the fact that you got a new car or a new house or you had a new baby. Harsh? Maybe. But am I wrong? Hear me out. It’s different to share those things on a page that falls under a niche where that can be relatable. But if you are just posting your new car for the sake of posting it….. ask yourself why that matters to you….
This is probably one of the biggest changes I am making in my approach to Instagram. My plan is to start selling my offers more often, but in different ways. Yes. You should still be nurturing your audience long term, but I think there is something to be said about short and quick sales pitches. In my business, my email funnels are for long term nurturing, and my Instagram posts are for connection and short term sales. In other words, a caption sharing a personal story with a quick punchline at the end to tell people how to purchase a related offer I have.
Content is fast moving these days. Especially with reels being at the forefront. I am a believer that selling in almost every post isn’t going to harm you as much as it probably would have in the past. That is not to say your Instagram account should be just a constant billboard of sales posts, but there are ways of selling without sounding like you are selling. Most of my posts are not direct sales posts. Meaning they are value driven first and then my call to action at the end is going to be how to take a next step with me. Sometimes that looks like commenting a response. Other times that looks like Dm-ing a keyword so I can send relatable resource. And sometimes I do straight up say “Hey P.S. you can buy my XYZ for $5 right now link in bio”.
Remember: only about 6% of your audience are actually seeing your posts. SO there is no guarantee that if you have 1000 followers, all 1000 of them are going to see your posts.
GET IN TOUCH: Podcast@SarahElrod.com
I'm Sarah Elrod
I'm a Cowgirl turned serial entrepreneur.
I'm a horse trainer, western wedding photographer, business coach and ranch wife.
I help women in the western industry grow thriving businesses from rural America.
When I am not strategizing new marketing tactics, you will find me riding my horses, cuddling my cattle dog, or kissing my hot husband.
There is also a good chance I am buying way too many outfits from western boutiques.
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