Putting my best foot forward when creating content for my personal interest Instagram account.
When it comes to creating content, it is always about quality over quantity. You’re simply wasting your time trying to throw out several pieces of random content compared to consistently posting just a few great pieces of content.
I can just talk the talk, I’ve got to walk the walk too.
My personal interest project is centered on showing the unique places Gainesville has to offer. I chose this because as someone who comes from Orlando I spent almost every weekend exploring and trying new places. When I moved to Gainesville it was quite the adjustment for me. It seemed like the only things to do were spend all my money at the Target on Archer road or drink at Midtown. Considering most UF students don’t come from Gainesville, a lot of them must feel this way as well. A lot of them come from other big cities like mine, such as Miami and Tampa.
However, I quickly discovered that there is so much more to this town that newbies just need to learn about. There are so many developments going on that it can be hard to keep track of them all. So, I’m hoping my personal interest project can get people exploring all the spots that Gainesville has to offer.
Here are some of the practices I’ve been using.
- Speaking to my audience
In order to maximize my efforts, I always make sure my content is speaking to the audience I am trying to target. I use language and tone of voice that will likely cause them to engage with my content.
Knowing my audience is younger than me, I spend time learning the language. This means understanding current trends on social media and making references to things they will know.
2. Visual storytelling
When it comes to Instagram, it’s all about aesthetics and pictures. I always think about how can I make sure to pique people’s interest through just an image or video.
This requires a good eye for pictures and making sure your feed looks cohesive. By doing this, it establishes a sense of trust between you and your followers. And if you have a certain aesthetic, people will be able to quickly pick out your content and know it is you. I always try to edit my photos all the same way on Lightroom where I have saved presets to use. I also try to be consistent on Instagram stories where I try to use the same filters as well.
Also, you can’t forget about emojis. Emojis make everything more visually appealing and can easily grab attention, so if there is an opportunity to use it, I always do. According to Postify, tweets that contained emojis within them saw 25% more engagement, and on Facebook, posts with emojis result in 57% more likes, 33% more comments, and 33% more shares.
3. Providing something to your followers
Getting followers these days is only getting harder. People care so much about their following-to-follower ratios (especially my target audience sadly) so you have to give them a reason.
What I’m providing is useful information about things to do in Gainesville. I also am aiming to make sure this information is unique compared to looking up what to do online.
Stories are another great feature of Instagram, as a public profile people can quickly gather the information they need by scrolling through your posts. However, stories give a great reason for people to follow you. So it’s important to educate your followers through the stories feature as well.
In social media, timing is everything.
These practices mean nothing if you’re not posting at the right time. In order to create the biggest impact, you have to know when your audience is active on social media. These times also vary from platform to platform.
If you’re posting at times when your audience is more active, you can reach more people which drives up your engagement because they are more receptive to hearing from you.
Let’s take a look at optimal posting times for Instagram.
This picture is so useful. When I used to work at an ad agency as a social media coordinator, I used Sprout Social for scheduling content and they would let me know the optimal times for posting. Since I don’t use Sprout Social for my personal interest project, I have these charts printed out at my desk so they are easily available.
This chart can be overwhelming to look at so let’s break it down.
According to Sprout Social, these are the best times to post on Instagram.
- Best times: Wednesday at 11 am and Friday from 10–11 am
- Best day: Wednesday
- Worst day: Sunday
And if you’re looking for consistent engagement, overall the best times to post is Monday-Friday from 9 am-4 pm. If you notice on the image there are other random points of engagement, which is due to the rising popularity of Instagram stories.
The main takeaway…
Always put your best foot forward on social media, and always make sure it’s at the perfect time.