Social media can be quite the booger, can’t it? I’ve been part of the Teacher Instagram community for over 2 years now and I’ve definitely had a love-hate relationship with the platform in that time. But one comment from one of my favorite business ladies changed the way that I now I see my account.
Tip #1 – Treat your “people” like they are enough.
Jenna Kutcher says if you have just ONE follower on your social media account, you are an influencer. Have you thought about that? Because it’s true. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have – you HAVE followers. And these people are following you because they value what you have to say! Man. That is such a huge honor and a huge responsibility. And it truly changed the way I think about and speak to my followers. No matter how many there are, they are enough. And it’s my goal to make every follower feel like they are valued by me.
Tip #2 – Figure out who your “people” are.
Whether you’re marketing resources or sharing free ideas, it’s hard to know what to share if you don’t know what your “people” are interested in. Here’s where Instagram stories help me out a TON.
Poll your people, people! This is an amazing way to get to know your followers and figure out how you can best serve them. I like to poll my audience once every month or so, OR if I’ve had a huge rush of new followers from a giveaway or shout-out. Ask questions that will help you understand what they enjoy and if they are looking for ways to meet a specific need.
Tip #3 – Research how to serve your “people” well.
Social media platforms are a place for us teacherpreneurs to serve our community and to build a relationship with them. This space allows our potential customers to get to know us and to know if they can trust our expertise before they commit to purchasing our resources.
One of the best ways I decide what to share with my audience is by looking at my “insights” on my Instagram account. By looking at the content that has been engaged with the most, I can see what my followers appreciate and what they want to see more of. You’ll probably be surprised by this, too! (I may be a TPT/homeschool preschool account but my followers LOVE seeing pictures of our RV life. ha!) Use this as a tool to create the content you continue to share.
To find this information, first make sure you have a business Instagram account. Click the 3 lines in the top right corner of your profile, click “insights”, then click “content”. To view your most engaged feed posts, click “see all”. This will show you your posts sorted by most engagement for the last year. This has been extremely helpful for me when deciding what content I want to create for my feed.
Tip #4 – Share content that’s relevant to your “people”.
Once you know who your “people” are and what brought them to your social media platform, be sure to share what is relevant to them. Sure, it’s nice to post things just for fun every now and then. But to truly connect with your audience, it’s important to share what’s helpful to them. For example – my most engaged audience is made up of stay-at-home moms, homeschool families, and teachers in the classroom who also have little ones at home. If I start sharing high school tips or other posts just because they did well on someone else’s feed, this will be of no value to my audience! (I’ve also applied this thinking when joining shout-out groups and giveaway loops.)
*What if you’re not currently teaching in the classroom but your engaged audience is?* My advice is to share tips and tricks from other Teacher IGers that would benefit your specific audience. Of course, always be sure to credit back to them by tagging them in the actual image AND by mentioning them in the caption.
Tip #5 – Get the goods to the “people”.
So here you are with a good idea of who your audience is, and what they’re looking for. Now what? You’ve got to get the goods to the “people”. This is the most fun part, y’all! Hop on your Instastories and share some of your content there! (Funny Tip – Hop on stories in your jammies with no makeup on and watch how many people become your new BFFs because they’re thrilled to see a “real person”!) Instagram stories have been such a fun way to connect with my audience and to create true relationships! These followers come back time and time again, and are truly invested in my ideas and resources!
In terms of planning posts for my Instagram feed, I go back and forth between two strategies. When life gets really busy, I like to use a scheduler like Planoly. With Planoly, I can schedule 30 posts per month to automatically post to Instagram for free. This allows me to sort of set my account on autopilot if I need to give more attention to other things like my blog or product creation.
However, there are slower times where I like to be more flexible and not have things scheduled out. In this case, I like to save lots of posts directly on Instagram as drafts. Then I post them whenever the time seems right. (You can save drafts in Instagram by ALMOST completing the entire posting process, but backing out just before you hit “share”. It will then ask if you want to save your post as a draft!)
The bottom line when it comes to fostering an engaged audience is this – serve your “people” and engage with them often. Not only will this show your audience that you value them, it will also bring back the sense of community that we’re meant to experience with social media.
If you have any questions or Instagram tips and tricks of your own, I’d LOVE to chat with you! Feel free to contact me here through the blog or through Direct Messages on Instagram! I look forward to hearing from you soon!