Updated: Apr 29
We're going to be completely transparent with you and tell you right now that growing organically on Instagram does take a lot of time, effort, and patience. And you probably aren’t going to like the answer that you are about to read and you may feel a bit overwhelmed after reading this (because this is no get-rich-quick scam). But, if you’re still interested and we still have your attention then let’s continue.
To simplify the process we created an ideal Instagram Workflow checklist, so write it down, screenshot it, print it or memorize it... whatever you need to do to remember these steps because they are all vital to successfully and organically growing on Instagram.
Step 1: Determine your brand.
This will include things like your mission, vision, values and your why. This also entails determining your brand voice, colors, logo, typography, templates for social media posts, assets for testimonials, photos from brand photoshoots, and of course, videos. It is vital that these have a consistent look and feel because your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be – most importantly, it differentiates you from your competitors!
Step 2: Identify your ideal audience.
It’s important to figure out what kind of people represent your audience. Make a list of specific characteristics and personalities that might make up the people in your ideal audience. Knowing these types of things will help to give you a better idea of who your audience is and will help guide you in your content creation process so that you're creating content that attracts your ideal audience.
Unless you know what your audience wants from you, what motivates, inspires or intrigues them then you’ll have a difficult time creating the type of content to attract and engage them.
Step 3: Establish content pillars.
Content categories or pillars are the main topics or themes that create the foundation of your overall content strategy. Basically, this is what you will cycle through and talk about consistently on your feed/page. These categories/pillars should address the problems and goals of your ideal client/customer. To provide a variety of content, choose categories and cycle through them to highlight different aspects of your business.
Step 4: Create valuable content.
This might be one of the most important steps of your checklist. Consider that you will want to create content that makes your audience want to engage -- WANT to comment on it, WANT to share it with others or save it to refer back to later.
And this is where you can consider creating content that it is informational, educational, relatable or purely entertaining.
+ things that you’re constantly asked (FAQs) + what is your expertise
+ what are things you can teach your audience? + provide useful tips and tricks in your industry + provide useful information for ideal customer/client
+ customer reviews/testimonials
+ for more, download our guide, Instagram for Business
Step 5: Execute your social media strategy efficiently + effectively.
Most importantly, optimize your Instagram bio and feed. To learn how to do so, check out this blog post here.
Next, consider the goal that you want to achieve and then create content to help you achieve that goal. For example, if you want to grow your account then you might include a call-to-action (CTA) that says, "share this!" (more shares = more eyes).
Determine your post frequency. Again, this depends on your goals (and your lifestyle). If you want to grow at a faster pace, then consider posting more, for example, at least five times a week (or more), consider that some accounts post 2-3x a day.
Thankfully, you can utilize platforms such as HootSuite, Planoly, Later (so many more!) which will help you to organize and schedule your content and posts, however, you must dedicate at least a few hours once a month to doing this. Schedule this in your calendar in advance, that way you hold yourself accountable!
Step 6: Reflect + Review
Use resources to constantly improve your strategy.
Your insights are there for a reason, use them!
Instagram analytics are a great way to understand who your audience is, what times they are most active, and the type of content that they engage with most.
This information is extremely valuable because knowing your insights make it easier to compare your content to understand which posts your audience enjoys the most, what they engage with most, and what content drives traffic to your page or your website.
You can utilize insights to determine which posts have done the best, and then use this information to determine how you can plan future content to continue to create content that your audience wants to see.
Mindful Tips + Reminders:
+ Show up consistently. Yes, this can be very difficult. We get it, sometimes you just need time away from your phone or a complete social media break altogether, and we will never tell you not to do what is best for you, your self-care and mental health.
However, we will say this: in order to be successful on social media you have to show up and be consistent, that's just the way it is.
Social media does not have to be mentally draining, in fact it can be an amazing platform to create connections and build a community (we love our small biz community!). The ideal goal is to create a strategy that is realistic and aligns with you and your lifestyle so that you can show up consistently.
+ Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Honestly we cannot stress this one enough. There will be many times that you will feel uncomfortable and question yourself and the content you’re creating and even suffer what is known as the imposter syndrome or phenomenon, where you become your own worst enemy.
But keep in mind that real growth happens when you step outside of your comfort zone. It sounds obvious, but it's the same with most things in life: when we're first learning how to drive a car or ride a bike or having to anything for the first time on our own -- none of things are easy or comfortable the first time we attempt them but as with anything, practice really does make progress.
+ Show love to your current following! You have followers, and they chose to follow you! Continue to engage with them, create connections and build relationships. Instagram is all about engagement, therefore, it’s important to take the time to genuinely engage with your current following. You will see growth in time with both your followers and your business.
+ Start showing up on camera - Reels, Stories, Instagram Live! Showing up on camera allows your audience to connect with you more and build a relationship over time. People genuinely want to learn more about the person behind the brand (or the screen), and video content is one way to do just that.
+ You're not for everyone. Keep in mind that you won't be everyone’s cup of tea and that is okay! You literally cannot please everyone, so stop trying to! You might come across negative comments and negative feedback, but DO NOT let that get you down.
Remember that negative comments are typically a projection of someone else's insecurities and they say a lot more about the other person than they do about you.
Be open to constructive criticism and open to conducive conversations but remind your self when someone is offering constructive criticism and when someone is just plain hating.
+ Losing followers is a good thing. This means that you’re filtering your ideal audience. If someone doesn’t follow you - they are simply not your ideal client or audience.
+ Utilize tools like Planoly or Later & Canva. Canva will make your life easier when it comes to creating your content for your social media. It creates consistency by providing tools that allow you to easily create templates to cycle throughout your feed to create consistent, cohesive, and on-brand content.
Social media is not easy, and whoever told you that it is lied to you. You might not see the results immediately, but that’s because this takes a lot of time, effort, and patience before you reap the reward.
There will 10000% be times when you’re feeling defeated, like no one is listening and like no one even cares. We promise, someone is listening and people DO care.
So remain consistent (and patient), stay mindful, and your efforts will pay off.
If you're interested in learning more about how to implement an effective social media strategy and organically grow on Instagram or simply have questions that you need answered, book a Clarity Call with Adriana today!
Chief Creative Officer