BUILDING COMMUNITY

Hi Internet homies! Welcome back to my THIRD Instagram series post! Last week on the blog I chatted about the importance of having a cohesive feed and how you can achieve it, which you can read below so you’re all caught up!

I. Growing Your Brand
II. Creating a Cohesive Feed
III. Building Community
IV. Utilizing Instagram Stories

Today I wanted to chat about the importance of Building Community! I have to admit, I feel like I’ve had more internet besties than RL besties haha. But really. I joined Instagram back in 2012, when it was mainly just for awful filters and posting poorly taken photos haha. I cringe whenever I remember what I used to post back then.

Towards the end of college, I wanted to get into blogging so I used my Instagram to promote blog posts, share my heart, and just stuff that was going on in my little college life. I started to gain more followers because I was spilling my guts out and had people start reaching out to me from all over! I became pen-pals with some of the sweetest and most down-to-earth gals and before I knew it I was grabbing coffee with some of my Instagram followers- which I still do today haha.

Because of the community I’ve built through Instagram, I’ve not only gained amazing friendships, but I’ve gotten more engagement on my blog and Instagram and those friendships turned into clients with my photography bizz! How awesome is that?! Want to know my secrets? It’s really quite simple!

BE REAL
I’ve come to realize that people are drawn to authenticity. People don’t want to see your highlight reels on your gram, they want to know what’s “really” happening! So be real! Now, I advise this to a certain extent because nobody wants to read about someones hardships 24/7, but if you’re going through something, don’t be afraid to share a little about what’s happening! People want to “follow” someone that is relatable. One of my favorite fashion and lifestyle bloggers/YouTubers is Dani Austin because she’s so real about what’s going on in her life. Sure she has stunning pictures, but that doesn’t stop her from being herself!

START AN INSTAGRAM POD
Instagram has the option like Snapchat to create group messages, which is an awesome way to interact with other people! I’m currently in a couple “Instagram Pods” with a few photographers/creatives around the area and love it! It’s a great way to showcase your new posts (since Insta’s algorithm is all out of wack), ask questions, get/give advice, and create long-lasting friendships! Since joining the pods, I’ve had the opportunity to meet people & pick their brains 🙂 If you don’t know who would be interested in joining, ask you followers if they would be interested in joining a pod! Some ideas for Instagram Pods:

  • Bloggers
  • Photographers
  • Lifestyle
  • Health & Fitness
  • Encouragement
  • Sorority sisters

INTERACT WITH YOUR READERS/FOLLOWERS
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Start asking questions on your Instagram Stories or in your captions. People want to interact with you, hence the emphasis on SOCIAL media 😉

Here are some great questions you can ask your readers/followers with your captions:

  • Today I’m doing ____, ______, and _____. What are your plans for today? I’d love to hear what you’re up to in the comments below!
  • One of my goals I’d like to accomplish before the New Year is ______. What are your goals for this next season?
  • Needing a big cup of coffee to get me through this work week. What’s your go to order at ______? I’m always looking to try new things!

Just a warning, it might be a little awkward at first, because sometimes people feel weird commenting because they’re unsure if they will get a response back and they don’t want to be the only one commenting. So, going back to the Instagram Pod, you can encourage the people in the group to drop some comments so others can see that other people are engaging! Be sure to comment back when people share their thoughts- this will ensure them that you care about them and you’ve acknowledged their input and will encourage them to comment on future posts. Also, don’t forget to double tap and comment on other people’s posts to engage with their content as well! 🙂

I hope this was helpful to you! How are some ways you build community/engagement on the gram? Who are some of your insta-besties? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

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