Guest Blog Post by Cordelia_hearts
Hi there, my names Jenn & I ‘blog’ in the loosest sense of the word over at Cordelia Hearts, in fact, what would be nearer to the truth is that I’m obsessed with Instagram & sharing parts of my life on there, particularly outfits I wear & my journey as I decorate our first home – and for some reason, people like to see that 🙂 I also sell slogan tshirts, which can be customised too, and I love nothing more than sharing customer pics wearing them!
There’s a lot of hype at the minute about instagrams algorithm & how it’s messing up who sees what, it’s annoying, I get it, particularly for small businesses – but if your posts are getting high engagement, that will get you one step above the rest with pushing through the Instagram jungle. So I’m sharing some tips on how to get your posts noticed..
Tell your story
This is something that has made such a difference to my account lately. I’ve let my guard down and just told my story. This is unfiltered, rather than feeling that people only wanted to see filtered and perfected posts. People follow you because they like you (well, I know for a fact that’s not always true haha) but they definitely follow you because they want to know more about you. I was in love with someones home on instagram, it was a dream, but the personality behind the posting – not so much, so I ended up unfollowing them. You need to offer your follower more than just a picture, this isn’t pinterest. Using instagram stories is a great platform to offer your ‘micro story’. I’ve found myself checking instagram and only looking at my stories and not scrolling through my feed at all – that way I know I’m getting the most recent content from people and it feels more real, don’t get me started on the feed algorithms.
What can you offer?
How to’s, Ikea hacks, makeup tutorials – there’s a reason that these are some of youtube most viewed content, it’s offering the viewer a way of getting better at something or simply how to do something. See how you can bring this to life in your instagram. I’ve recently started sharing my skincare routine, or my everyday makeup, I didn’t do this before because I just didn’t think people would be interested when all the popular bloggers do it already, but it was my most viewed and engaged content in ages! Something that seems simple to do to you, might be really appreciated by someone else, so have a think what you can bring to the insta-sphere that people will relate to and want to see more of.
Have a look at the likes of Dee Campling and Lisa Dawson who talk about instagram, Erica Davies who shares her styling tips or Lisa Potter Dixon who shares her makeup tips – these ladies are all offering expertise about an area that they know best, have a think about what yours is. Or maybe you just have a USP, Donna Kelly for example is her potty mouth and give no effs attitude haha – she’s hilarious! The thing that you’re able to offer someone might simply be a giggle before their day starts!
Ok, so this sounds pretty obvious to some, but not everyone knows actually how they work or what’s the point in them – a hashtag helps people with a similar interest to discover your content, so you need to make sure that the tags are relevant! Using the hashtag #Ilovefood (I really do!) on a picture of your bedroom just isn’t going to do you any favours, and it’s a waste of a hashtag – remember, you only get 30 to use in one post.
Have a look at what hashtags people who you like to follow are using, and genuinely look at the picture you’re posting, what do you see? A #PinkDress a #MarbleFloor ? Then put that. I use hashtags to search for inspo all the time, current searches include #leopardshoes and #geometrictiles – it’s so helpful when pictures relevant to this come up, and then I always end up discovering new accounts this way too.
If you click on the search icon, followed by ‘tags’ – start typing a hashtag, for example #interiors and it will suggest a whole host of other ones to use that are similar and popular, try to not use the ones right at the top though, your post will get lost in a sea of content.
Even though the above is ‘sound advice’ and is strictly speaking, how it works, have a play with your hashtags too, try some posts with only 7, some with none and some with 30 to compare – 2 of my most liked pictures on instagram didn’t have any hashtags – either instagram liked that I didn’t use them and decided to put it infront of more people, or people liked that I didn’t use them as it didn’t feel as desperate for people to like and follow my page! #YouCantWin
I can’t hear you!
Have you noticed that your first story gets lots of views but this sometimes decreases as you go through them? There of course will be lots of reasons for this, but have you considered that someone’s watching your story without the sound on? If you’ve posted 5 stories in a row talking, but haven’t included any captions, chances are, you’re going to get the dreaded swipe away! Use captions in your story aswel as you talking, to ensure that you’re catering for the millions of us who watch stories on silent – get creative with your fonts, gifs and emojis – people will feel instantly more engaged and interested with your post rather than it being simply face to cam, leading to what you’re aiming for, them wanting more!
Take a step back from the instagram bubble, how do you normally talk to people and get a conversation started? Safe bets are, asking a question will normally get you a response and get the convo flowing. So if this is what you’re looking for with your instagram, people commenting on your posts, try asking them a question for them to reply to. Chances are, if they’re following your account, they will want to write something anyway, asking them a question helps them just as much as it does you! A great way of introducing questions to your instagram is via the poll app in your stories, this week I simply asked ‘At the cinema, which arm rest is yours’, the engagement was crazy, i’ve never had so many people respond to one of my polls before – sometimes the simple things really are the most effective!
Even though I stand by everything I’ve written, I guess the one thing I’d like to say before I end this post is – try not to focus on it too much, some of my posts get 100’s of likes, some struggle their arse off to get to 50, just have a little look at what posts have done well for you in the past, this gives a clearer indication of what your followers want to see, but remember to evolve, I only ever used to fashion related pics, now I’d say I post 60% interiors!
Oh and if you want people to engage with your posts, you need to be engaging with theirs too, it’s a two way game and the community is flipping’ lovely once you get chatting to them..
Creative Designer, Blogger, Queen Of Slogan Tees & Digital Attraction Marketer