—and helping ambitious business owners elevate their social media is my cup of tea.
I specialize in helping business owners in the food and wellness space grow engaged online communities with a creative, strategic, community-first social media presence.
“Steal my strategy!” “Here’s what I posted to reach 100K followers!”
This ain’t that, I promise.
If you rolled your eyes at that first line, you’re in the right place.
Every business is different, so following someone else’s Instagram strategy or post schedule is unlikely to work for you. And everyone’s goals are different – some businesses focus on reaching new customers and others focus on having a super engaged customer base. Which means their strategies will be different.
But there are foundational social media strategies, better known as best practices, that work for every business. Here are 7 effective strategies that any business will benefit from.
The most effective strategy for increasing your Instagram engagement (or achieving any marketing goal, for that matter) is to know your customer.
Once you know who your customer is, marketing your business becomes simple, streamlined, and crazy effective.
But we’re not talking about demographics here. Age, gender, and location is a starting point, but that’s not how you get to know someone.
You want to know where they hang out online, what kind of language they use, the pop culture they’re interested in, what their problem actually is, and exactly what they need to click ‘add to cart’. Then you’ll know exactly where to market your business, how to connect with them, and what to say.
What you need is a customer persona, and here’s how to get it.
Once you know who your customer is, you can talk to them, and NOT to everyone.
What do I mean by that?
When you use vague statements, generic words, and ultimately try to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one.
Instead, you want your target customer to read your marketing and think “OMG they’re talking to me – this is exactly what I’ve been struggling with, this is totally how I feel, and they have the perfect solution!”
When your customer has this lightbulb moment, they’re going to engage with your post (hello likes, comments, shares, and saves) AND they’re going to buy. Which is the end goal, right?
You know who your customer is and you’ve got marketing messaging that speaks to them, but what about the visual content? Social media is visual – even if it’s a classic grid post – and as a SMM, I think the visual component is vastly overlooked. One of the biggest mistakes I see small business owners make is posting ecommerce product photos, photos that are blurry or dimly lit, or the same ten photos over and over.
Don’t make this mistake.
Instead, invest in a product photographer (you can email me for my faves!), learn how to take high-quality photos yourself, or play around in Canva or Photoshop (like this launch post I created because we didn’t have photos).
Another way to create scroll-stopping Instagram content is to invest in social media templates for your grid posts, stories, and reel covers. The templates will make it so easy to quickly create a consistent look and feel for every single Instagram post.
Get more Instagram design tips here!
When you create a reel you should have at least three hooks:
You know you need at least three hooks, but what hooks actually work? How do you write one yourself? How do you know if it’s strong enough?
You can absolutely steal hooks from a social media manager – we share them all the time!
But that’s not really sustainable, is it? Your customers will get bored with the same five hooks over and over.
I teach you how to write an effective hook statement here, but the short & sweet version is this: use a question, an introduction to a dramatic story, or a startling statistic.
Use questions like “Did you know…” if your customers like to learn new things. Try using a story to share a lesson that your customers can learn from, as long as it’s connected to your brand and products. Slide in a statistic if you want to really stop their scroll.
Get my hook sentence checklist here to make sure you’re using the strongest, most captivating hook sentences.
If you’re in a pinch and want to get started asap, download 50 hook statements here (plus 20 call to actions!).
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: if you’re not using a call to action, your content is not as effective as it could be. I promise.
In this case, skipping a call to action is leaving likes, comments, shares, and saves on the table! As much as your customer might’ve liked your post, they’re less likely to “like” your post if you don’t remind them.
When you’re trying to increase your Instagram engagement, use an engagement-driving call to action, like:
If you’re already using engagement-driving CTAs but you aren’t getting much engagement, consider if your content is actually providing value. Is it something your customers will find helpful? Something they’d want to share with their friends or save for later? Because no amount of CTAs will make up for boring content.
Download 20 call to action ideas here. You’ll also get my step-by-step process for creating CTAs that’ll work for your customers.
Last but not least: simplify your messaging.
Our attention spans are shorter than ever. You have about 8 seconds before your customer’s eyes wander elsewhere, so you’ve got to make them count.
If your messaging is complex and filled with industry jargon, customers are going to scroll away. They don’t want to spend time looking up terms or trying to understand what you’re saying. They want entertaining content that’s easy to understand.
Use words that are easy to understand, short and clear sentences, and keep your messaging brief. Use a strong hook, introduce the problem, identify your product as the solution, and end with an engagement-driving call to action. Boom, done.
If only it was that easy, right? 😉
For post ideas to increase your engagement, download 45 Free Post Ideas here.
To learn how to understand your customer, check out this blog post.
If you don’t know what to post on Instagram stories anymore (one of the best places for Instagram engagement!), read these ideas.
(But if I’m being honest, those four titles are just a fancy way of me explaining all the ways I can help you leverage social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok to grow your community, build your customer base, and get more sales.)
let's work together
Download my FREE guide of 45 post ideas to increase your Instagram engagement and see an improvement in your followers’ interactions with your content as soon as you implement them 🤯 And, no—this isn’t a growth hack, these are my tried-and-true ideas. Enter your email to get started!