Are you tired of constantly putting time and effort into your Instagram content for your business, only to hear crickets in return?? No one commenting, no one resonating…? This sounds like the beginning to a bad informercial but bare with me - I have a HUGE insider secret to tell you that will help you generate more engagement - almost instantly… You in??
I don’t believe in creating content for the sake of creating content. It’s not worth my time, nor is it worth my readers time.
What I DO believe is creating intentional (relevant!) content for your communities and it starts by realizing why the hell people follow you to begin with!
(FYI- creating content = taking photos, writing blogs &/or writing captions to tell your story and promote your business online.)
Step #1 to finding your category:
Pretend you don’t know the ins and outs to your IG account for a second and ask yourself these questions:
1. If I had JUST stumbled upon my account, would I know what I’m all about?
2. If someone reads my most recent 5 posts, will they understand what I care about or what value I can provide if they follow me?
3. Is my account consistent with my message, brand and business goals?
If you answered “not sure” to any of these, I want you to take the first step to honing in on your social media strategy and find out what category you can best fit with. It may be one or two - I would say avoid making it any more than that if you can for specificity sake!
Why does finding your category matter?
Recognizing the categories you fall into for your IG account is crucial to finding more engaged followers. (More engaged followers = increased web site visits, product sales, service bookings etc…)
We all follow certain accounts for a reason, and sometimes those reasons change and we unfollow - or we get even more glued to whatever that account is sharing and look forward to what they post. Either way, our brain throws that account into a compartment for a purpose and it gets a little ticked off if that purpose is unclear or wishy washy.
We, as humans, crave knowing what’s coming. If you follow an account that shows and talks all about puppies - you’d be a little ticked off to find that the next day they shared a disgusting photo of a spider ?!! NO thanks!!
Your brain may get confused as to why you chose to follow the first place and prompt you to unfollow, or at least disengage completely from that account in the future.
In short- if it shows too many variables, your brain tells you it’s not worth your time.
which category (or categories) do you identify with?
Choose 1 or 2 of the following.
Inspiration: your main focus is to inspire your community - sharing quotes, inspirational images, positive thoughts + opinions etc. Example: @rawbeautytalks
Education: your main focus is to educate and teach your community a skill or method to your madness. You could be a DIY, educational, or guided how to’s account. Example: @latermedia
Entertainment: your main focus is to entertain! Make your community laugh, cry, resonate + share your posts with friends. Example: @scarymommy
Adventure/Lifestyle: your main focus is to share the outdoors + a way of life that is to be desired. Think backcountry hiking to adorable cabins, or jet setting get aways to tropical islands, or even gorgeous photos of your garden - anything that gives someone else a little break from their own reality. I like to call this one “escapism” too for that reason. Example: @vancitywild
Shopping/Sales: Your main focus is to show a catalog of your products and your products in action. Lots of big name stores would fall into this category such as @nordstrom or online clothing shops like @cupshe
Curated/Community: your main focus is to share other’s work and collect posts that resonate with your message or community. There are lots of mommy bloggers, or photographers who choose this route and do it successfully. They serve a purpose, but are often a side project and not someone’s main account to promote themselves. Often you may not even know who is posting to the account as the community itself has its own voice. Or, they offer “IG takeovers” to their most popular users of the hashtags to increase popularity + followers. Example: @letthemexplore
Service/Local Business: your main focus is to promote your business, tell your story, and support your brand. Your content is mainly built around your own photos + words with a few reposts from other accounts that support your business. A great way for small business or local business to use this category is by giving an insider view to what happens behind the scenes, or to promote sales + drum up more local business. Example: @moorestockoutfitters
With all of this said, I do believe your categories can morph over time, and with that - your audience will too. You definitely don’t need to know exactly what you’re all about right off the bat, but being as clear as you can in that moment (for who you want to reach) will lead you in the direction you want to go. Your community has the ability to grow with you.
For example, if they’ve been with you from the beginning when you were sharing your DIY tips and tricks for home decorating to now as a full blown interior decorator - that is a natural progression and how amazing is it that they got to see that transformation process unfold! In this case - your account may have started as 80% Education and 20% Inspiration - and has now morphed into 80% Inspiration/service & 20% education (or none at all).
I like calling my content category for @lindynwilliams the “Edu-spiration” because I find myself sharing Inspirational quotes that make me think and grow but I also love sharing Educational tips and actionable stuff to try out with visual branding, messaging, & photography.
What category(ies) do you think you best fit into and why?? Leave a comment below or follow me on Instagram!
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