Jun 1, 2020 | Authentic Business | 0 comments

How To Create An Authentic Instagram Presence

 

I was scrolling through an Instagram experts feed last night, looking for clues as to what makes her photos and captions attract 122k followers. I still have no idea, but I did read something interesting. In one caption, she stated that the people at Instagram told her it was getting harder to get new followers and would only become increasingly difficult. Her solution to this problem was to encourage us to be more engaging in our captions and photography to stop our existing followers scrolling past our posts and take the time to leave a comment and create a conversation. The idea is the more interaction you receive on your posts, the more the algorithm will recommend your account to other people. 

Doesn’t this sound a bit like Facebook to you? 

I’ve only recently made a comeback to Instagram. I stopped using it for my business because it was more time suck than a successful marketing tool. You can read about that here. So I don’t have any real attachment to the platform, but I do enjoy being on Instagram. It’s a sweet way to share beauty with other people, and spend time looking at other people’s representation of beauty. Even with all the algorithm changes and advertising popping up everywhere, I still think it’s a positive platform, and that it’s possible to create an authentic Instagram presence.

Is there such a thing as authentic Instagram?

I’m saying yes!

Despite the show ponies and the bots and the follow/unfollow palaver that Instagram has become famous for. Despite everything, you can still create an authentic Instagram presence that showcases who you are and engages your followers. Here’s how:

Make Instagram Your Vision Board

I’ve heard a lot of chatter about social media being damaging to people’s mental health because people only show the best of themselves in their feeds, and this leads to comparison. Of course, people only show the best of their lives. Be honest with yourself, do you want to see a feed packed full of misery? Hell No! You have enough of your own stuff to deal with without watching someone else’s train wreck on your iPhone screen.

Instagram is a tool for inspiration. I choose to use it as my vision board. But one that I create for other people.

In my “real life” I almost always have a huge pile of clothes waiting to be ironed in the corner of my closet. But why would I post that Instagram? You don’t need to see the pile of laundry in the corner of my closet, I’m pretty sure you have one of those of your own right?

Look Up

But maybe it would lift your day if I told you about the wool coat hanging above that laundry pile? The gorgeous turquoise coloured coat that I found in an op shop for $30, that I wore throughout my first Tasmanian winter. How I was as broke as I have ever been, trying to change my career and make a new life in a new state. How that coat started a love affair with op-shopping in Hobart and kept me warm as I door knocked looking for new real estate listings. And how I was wearing it the day I landed an invitation to list a restored Georgian farmhouse that gave me my first million-dollar listing. That listing turned my fledgeling real estate career into a success. That’s inspiring, right? Encouraging people to keep going, keep pushing for your dreams, success is just around the corner. And it’s a true story, it’s my story.

Using Instagram as a vision board, sharing your stories to inspire people is one way to create an authentic Instagram feed.

Who are you? Instagram is a voyeurs paradise, people want to know who you are. If you want an authentic Instagram presence, then express the best of yourself. 

Check Your Intentions

Because you’re choosing to use Instagram as your vision board, it needs to be more than pretty pictures. A vision board has intent, everything you put on it serves a purpose. 

You use a vision board to create a visual reminder of what you want to manifest in your life. The same goes for your Instagram vision board, but with one big difference. 

Because you’re creating a vision board for other people, you need to ask yourself a few questions when deciding what to post:

How do I want people to feel when they see my posts?

What action do I want to inspire them to take?

Once you’ve answered these questions you can confidently create pictures and captions that inspire and uplift people.

Express Yourself And Create An Authentic Instagram Presence

Who are you? Instagram is a voyeurs paradise, people want to know who you are. If you want an authentic Instagram presence, then express the best of yourself. 

Stories

My favourite Instagram accounts are the ones where I get a sneak peek into people’s lives via stories. A 15-second snippet of their dog running madly around a park. Or a quick peek into their home office set up. It’s hard to fake a story because it’s so in the moment. Even people who share meme’s they find entertaining from other people’s accounts are giving you a little glimpse into their truth. Use stories as a way to show people who you are and the moments that you enjoy in your everyday. 

If Instagram is now all about engagement, then stories are the easiest way to engage people. I get far more DMs when I share something fun and in the moment on my stories then I do anywhere else on my feed. Unfiltered, genuine moments of joy or silliness help people to feel connected to me and my life. We all crave connection, right?

Put Your Best Foot Forward

If you’re serious about creating an authentic Instagram feed for your business, then make sure you are always giving your best. Don’t just slap a picture up, write a few hasty words and be done with it. Plan this thing out. Would you just throw some kind of wonky flyer into a letterbox to market your business and expect it to draw hundreds of customers to you? I think not. You would plan that flyer out to the last detail, getting the graphics and layout just right, ensuring your copy was engaging and expressive. Do the same for your Instagram, give it the best of your creativity. Take time to craft your message, find or take the best scroll stopping picture. Edit it, add a filter, make it stand out. Taking the time to create something that shows a spirit of excellence is another way to attract people to your business via your Instagram feed.

Let Go Of The Numbers

At the beginning of this blog post, I mentioned how hard it was becoming to attract new followers. Instead of getting angry with the algorithm, use this as an opportunity to get to know the people who are already following you. 

I’ve long been an advocate of letting go of follower counts and focusing on delivering value to people instead. The followers you have are into what you’re doing, so stop concentrating on getting more and give your attention to giving more. 

Ask your people what they like by:

  • Adding question stickers to your stories
  • Asking them questions in your captions
  • Looking closely at what they respond to 

I’m sure you would agree with me that a lot of the problems we are experiencing in our world are due to people being thought of as numbers? Well, why do that to your Instagram followers? That’s not 199 followers, that’s 199 people who are into what you’re putting out. Create an authentic Instagram account by talking to those 199 people like your business cares about them.

Put Everything In It’s Place

And my final tip for creating an authentic Instagram is this: don’t sweat it!

Put Instagram in its proper place. It’s a tool to market your business. That’s all. Spend more time working on your business and yourself than you do on Instagram or any social media platform. Don’t allow yourself to become a slave to it. Your life and business are so much bigger than a follower count, a post insight, or an algorithm. Make Instagram your bitch, not the other way around.

I hope these tips help you in your quest to show up online and create an authentic Instagram presence. You already know you’re a fantastic person with a brilliant business. Go out and show people. If they’re into it, they will engage with you, if they’re not, well, then they’re not your people. It really is as simple as that.

Come over and join my Instagram community, you can find me here.