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Guest Post by Social Media Coach and Yoga Instructor Kayla Kleinman
There is A LOT to focus on when it comes to crafting an Instagram strategy for your business. It can feel like you’re feeding an angry monster called the algorithm as you perfect your hashtag approach, overall content strategy, and dive into making Reels.
We can forget that the first word of social media is SOCIAL. It’s about connecting with your community, not just feeding the angry algorithm monster. By focusing on connecting with your community, you’ll get people invested in you, the person behind your business. This is important because people buy from people. If they feel a connection with you, your brand, and what you’re doing they’re going to be more likely to want to buy what you’re selling.
There are a bunch of fun ways to connect with your community on social media. Here are a few of my favorites:
Use Instagram Story Polls To Get Your Community Involved:
There are a number of creative ways to use the Poll feature on Instagram Stories to get your community involved. This feature can also help you tweak your offerings based on what your community wants.
In addition to being a social media coach, I teach Zoom yoga classes with fun music themes like 90’s hits, Boy Bands, Showtunes, and more. I use the Instagram Story poll feature to ask my community what music theme they want next. Not only does it get them involved in the process, it also literally helps me based on feedback and interest — which means the class will get more sign-ups. It’s a win-win.
Another fun way I used Polls was to help me decorate my apartment. I recently moved and was making a ton of design decisions for the new place. I’d poll my audience on which rug or furniture item I should pick. Did I always choose what they wanted? No. But my audience got very excited to be part of the design process.
Use polls both to ask big questions like gauging interest in a new offering, but also silly questions like do you prefer coffee or tea.
Include questions in your captions:
People love sharing their opinion! At the end of your Instagram captions, ask a question that inspires discussion and gets your audience involved. It can be a simple question like: Do you relate? Or maybe you ask a specific question related to the post.
These questions don’t have to be earth-shattering! For example, in a recent Instagram post of mine, I asked “Are you a fan of fall, or a hater like me?” A simple question, but it sparked some surprisingly fun discussions in my comment section of that post. Whenever I talk about books in a post, I always ask for book recommendations from my community.
Respond to every comment:
Social media is more than just a one-way conversation. As you start to ask questions and get more engagement on posts, it’s important to respond to all of those comments. This can allow you to keep the conversation going, but it’s also an opportunity to listen and further interact with your community.
Set aside time every day or two to respond to every single comment you’ve received on recent posts. It can be a simple thanks or emoji if that fits, but when possible keep the conversation going to further connect with that person.
Show up as a person, not just a product:
People want to buy from people they know, they like, and they trust. Instagram gives us this really awesome way to build that know, like, and trust by showing up as YOU.
Share something about yourself, even if it has NOTHING to do with your business and what you do. Give people a peek behind the curtains of what your life looks like both when you’re working, but also “off-hours” when you’re having fun being a normal human.
Every Thursday I have this tradition of getting sushi from my favorite place. I call it Sushi Thursday. I didn’t share this tradition on Instagram until more recently. Let’s be real, eating sushi has NOTHING to do with my life as a blogger, yoga teacher, and social media coach. But it has become this funny little weekly tradition that I look forward to in real life, and now my followers expect to see it on Instagram.
I get tons of messages on Sushi Thursday if I haven’t posted it yet — and it’s also now inspiring people to have their own Sushi Thursday. I love getting tagged in these posts knowing it’s a cute thing I share with my community. It’s a silly tradition, but showing this little bit of my real life has been a fun way for people to get to know me a bit more.
Remember: It’s SOCIAL Media:
Set aside some time to get social with your community — both those that already follow you but also potential followers on Instagram.
Go see what they’re up to on their own accounts and interact with them authentically. This doesn’t mean liking 25 posts in a row and just leaving comments like CUTEEEE. Actually engage with the content they post!
Maybe you answer a question they asked in a static post. You can reshare something to your own stories and tag them. Maybe you resonate with something they talked about in an Instagram Story and you let them know. Focus on quality, not quantity, and how you can use these interactions to further build your own community — and foster those that are already a part of it.
Call To Action:
Are you ready to level up your Instagram presence and learn to confidently navigate your social media strategy, attract new clients, create a clear road map for Instagram, and take the stress and frustration out of posting?
Follow me on Instagram for more social media tips at @yoursocialmedia.bff and book your free Instagram audit today here.
About the author: Kayla Kleinman is an NYC-based social media coach and blogger with a background in yoga and fitness. As a coach, Kayla focuses on helping solopreneurs show up authentically on Instagram while also creating engaging content that converts. She previously held social media and marketing positions at start-ups like ClassPass, Daily Burn, and NicePipes Apparel and has been featured by Teen Vogue as a top fitness blogger to follow. Kayla holds a BFA in Theater from NYU/Tisch and a Master’s in Social Media and Mobile Marketing from Pace University. More often than not you can find her in yoga pants, drinking an oat milk latte, and reading a juicy novel.