No new notifications.
That’s not the good morning greeting you were hoping for.
Every morning starts this way. You turn off your alarm and attempt to scroll through your feed with your eyes still barely open. You check your notifications to see if you received any new comments or likes.
They say social media is supposed to be your “always on” employee helping you grow your following while you’re sleeping, but it’s not happening. Not yet, anyway.
You know it’s possible by looking at the Instagram accounts around you but how in the world do you do the same? What gives?
To see notifications start to roll in, you have to produce more engaging content.
A simple, pretty photo doesn’t cut it anymore. I know, it’s the worst.
Now you need a perfectly styled Instagram grid, witty captions, interesting Instagram stories, and you have to keep doing it regularly. Are you tired just thinking about it? Me too!
But creating engaging content can be easier than you think.
1.)Stick to your Instagram theme
The major rule of Instagram growth is that you NEED to post high-quality Instagram content consistently. If you post every day for a month only to be followed by silence in the following month, you won’t be able to grow your social media presence. Bummer.
But don’t lose hope! When you define your unique Instagram theme, you’ll have a clear picture of what colors, textures, shapes, and types of content you’ll be looking for.
If you’re having a hard time choosing what your Instagram theme should be, check out my earlier post on How to Find Your Instagram Aesthetic. Then you can high-tail it over to Get Found Stock to download five free stock photos to help you get started!
2.)Switch it up
If you only post desk flat lays, you’ll start hitting the snooze button on your Instagram growth. No one wants to see the same kinds of photos over and over again. It’s time to change it up!
One of the easiest ways to take more engaging photos is to change the props inside the photos. Instead of always having a coffee cup in your desk shots, try adding a journal, candle, or writing tool.
To take a step further, switch out your backdrops so you can create even better imagery. A nice, minimal white background is nice every once in a while but it’s even better if you can add in sunrise shots or pictures at the beach.
Here are a few of my favorites to help you start brainstorming:
- My Favorite Props: My dogs (do they count?), wine (can you blame me?), my favorite outfits, any kind of home decor
- My Favorite Backdrops: Rustic wooden furniture, my white desk, Golden State Bridge (because duh), walls with pops of color
3.)Ask a question in your Instagram caption
Have you ever felt stumped on how to comment on someone’s photo? You really like the photo (no, love it!), but you want to say something more thoughtful than “hey, nice pic”. Besides, that sounds super spammy.
What you may not realize is that people are probably having the same reaction with your Instagram content! If you want a simple way to create more engaging posts, try adding a question to each of your photos.
Take some time to get creative with your captions and think about what kind of questions you’d want to engage with. Chances are they will entice others to comment back, too.
4.)Use fun emojis
People love it when you don’t take yourself too seriously, especially on Instagram. You don’t want followers to feel like they are reading a resume or annual business report when they click into your photo. #yawn
You may think you need to be ultra professional and buttoned up when you write your Instagram captions, but let your hair down a little. People want to connect with someone real, and nothing says real like an intentional use of emojis.
Look at your emoji keyboard and see which ones are your top five. Using those top five, think about how you can weave them into your content. Where might they fit?
As long as the emoji adds humor or adds a relevant reaction, it’ll enhance your content rather than taking away from it. Or maybe I’m biased since I have to add at least one emoji to every Instagram photo. See what I mean?
5.)Engage with comments already on your Instagram photos
Have you ever felt like you were talking to a wall? This can often happen when you excitedly replied on someone’s Instagram photo and don’t receive a reply back.
Hey, I’ve been there too. It sucks because Instagram isn’t a one way street. It takes two people to have a conversation.
The more your followers see you interacting with people in your comments, the more likely they will be to leave one as well. The proof is in the pudding!
If it’s a long, thoughtful comment, I make sure I write a comment in a similar length to show I care. If it’s a short, witty response, I reply back with something funny in return. Try to feel out what feels most comfortable as you go.