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Are you a blogger or business owner who is trying to stake your claim on Instagram and grow a following that is both genuine and engaged? If so, no doubt there have been times when you’ve felt lost and overwhelmed with no idea what to post.
Yup. I’ve been there, too.
Learning and taking on the Instagram algorithm can be a frustrating, tricky beast but… I’ve always loved a good challenge! Thus, I set out to compile a list of go-to ideas on what to post on those days when you feel trumped.
Before I share the list, however, here are a few things you must be doing if you want to grow real Instagram followers who will interact with your account.
The opinions and advice offered in this post are solely those of the author’s. This post is not sponsored or endorsed by Instagram in any way. You can read my full disclosure.
- Make your account public rather than private.
- Post regularly. Successful IG accounts are posting 1-3 times a day
- Know YOUR audience. Post relevant content that appeals to them. Don’t know who your audience is? Look at your Insights and ask yourself, who am I trying to talk to? Moms? Dads? People who love to knit? Whoever it is, make sure your posts are relevant to your niche. My feed is clearly trying to appeal to moms and women aged 25 to 45.
- Be present. Don’t post and Ghost. Spend some time on the platform each day or a few times throughout the day. Like, comment and give shout outs to people and products you like (tag them!). Share other people’s awesome content (tag them!) and respond as quickly as possible to comments/messages.
- Add to your Stories daily and utilize the Instagram story polls, questions, stickers, hashtags and mentions to get more eyes on your content and stimulate even more engagement.
- Make captions creative and eye-catching. In my opinion, they don’t always need to be long to be awesome. Short, direct captions that make people laugh, do a double-take or entice them to read more are best.
- Use hashtags to get more eyes on your posts. Instagram will let you use 30. If you exceed that, your comment will not be posted. There is debate on whether or not you can be “shadow banned” if you use too many hashtags as it can look like spam. I am currently experimenting with using only 5 to 10 on each post.
- Make your feed attractive. I personally feel that it does not have to be picture perfect to be follow-worthy. Your photos do not have to be taken by a professional photographer or even have the same filter/color scheme. Do try, however, to make it consistent and clean with brightly, well-lit photos. Dark pictures don’t do great on the gram. In my feed I have chosen to do a grid pattern of picture, picture, meme (or quote or blog post promotion). It is more pleasing to the eye to have all the non-photo images on my feed line up vertically in one column.
- Put a call-to action at the end of every post.
Great! Now, let’s get to that list of post ideas:
1. A National Day
In this circumstance, I’m not referring to Easter or Christmas or any of the other major holidays. That’s too easy, right?
I am talking about the small, not-well-know holidays such as National Smore’s Day ( August 10th) and National No Housework Day (April 7th). Just Google national day today and you will be given a list of all the things that are being celebrated that day.
Use this to help fuel some post ideas. I do this at least once a week in my feed or stories.
2. A Picture of Yourself
I know, this sounds like a no brainer, but including YOU in your posts usually attracts more likes, more comments and more engagement from followers.
People like to see the face of the person they are following. It gives a face to the name (or handle), so to say, and allows followers to relate on a more personal level.
Side note: If you are not listening to Jenna Kutcher’s Podcast, Goal Digger, then you are missing out on some must-have social media tips and tricks to grow your blog or business. I mean, the girl has nearly a million followers on Insta so I think she knows what she is talking about!
3. An Inspirational Quote
We all have our favorite quotes, the ones that make us breath a sigh of YESSSSSS when we read them. Why not share them on your feed for your followers to enjoy?!
My mom has been gifting me the Mary Engelbreit calendar every year at Christmas since I was 16. If you are ever in need of some inspiration or motivation, her work is a great place to start.
4. A Funny Meme
Funny memes are pretty much my favorite. Especially ones related to parenting. Finding good ones and sharing them is something I love to do! I also create my own every now and then when funny things pop into my head during the day. I use Canva for this. It’s free!
Make sure if you are sharing someone else’s meme or quote that you tag them in the caption. Don’t take credit for what’s not yours! And, who knows, maybe tagging them will invite them to tag you in one of their own posts in the future!
5. Your Latest Blog Post
I try and have one new blog post per week and make sure to share them in both my feed and my story. Again, I use Canva to create an image for the post and, in the caption, inform people that there is a “New post up today on the blog” and that they can access it by clicking on the link in my bio.
I make these “new blog post” posts uniform so followers can recognize them instantly. I use an image in the background, a transparent circle with border in the middle and the title of the post centered on the circle. That way, when my followers see this layout, they immediately know it is a new blog post from @theflowerdonkeydiaries before they even read a thing.
6. Your Location
I don’t mean your exact location, per se. Don’t provide an address or coordinates! But… are you out to eat? At a museum? On vacation somewhere awesome? Take a solo selfie or with your crew and tag your location in the caption.
The Instagram algorithm likes when you tag other people and places so do it as much as you can but do it genuinely.
7. What you’re Up to
Some days just aren’t super exciting or overly special. But there is something to be said for just a regular ol’ day where you have to go to the grocery store or fold all the laundry. People are craving authenticity these days especially on the uber-filtered world of social media.
So your day consisted of cleaning the oven, moping the floors and taking your kids to the library? Great! Post it and let people know you are a real person, not a robot.
8. A Struggle you are Having
Again, I think vulnerability and authenticity are powerful these days. People want to know that you’re not perfect and, at times, are even up against a tough day at work, a cranky kid or a whole heap of worry and anxiety.
With that being said, be tactful about it. Make sure you are protecting those you love and don’t share stories and struggles that aren’t yours to share. If they involve your kids, family members or friends, make sure it is not something they will resent or read 10 years from now and be mortified.
9. Ask a Question or Fill-in-the-blank
This is a great way to get people talking and followers engaged. Here is an example of one I recently did. Again, I used Canva.
Even if you don’t make an entire post out of the question, include a question or call to action in your caption. Ask people to comment with their answers and thoughts! The Instagram Algorithm likes comments and puts a lot of value on conversations.
10. An Upcoming Event
Going to a wedding this weekend? Throwing a birthday party for your kid? Wanding your hair for date night? Baking cookies for your girls night in? Whatever it is, post a picture of what you’re preparing for and whether or not you’re excited about it. Make sure to ask your followers to comment with what they’re getting ready for, too. Again, a great way to start a conversation.
11. Products you’re Loving
Not every shout out to a store or product has to be a sponsored, paying post. If you love something, let people know about it! Make sure to tag the business, product or store where you bought the amazing item and share how it has helped you or why you enjoy it.
Brands will see that you are willing to give and share love for products you use and enjoy! This just might lead to future (paid) collaborations with brands and products you love!
Ya’ll, I love food and genuinely enjoy seeing what people are eating and prepping for mealtime. It may motivate me to go eat at that restaurant, make that for dinner or buy that as a snack.
Planning, purchasing, prepping and plating meals for me and my family consumes approximately 125% of my time as a mom so I appreciate when people share what they are eating. It gives me ideas!
Make sure if you share your meal, though, it is colorful and appealing to the eyes. Sharing a jumbled plate of food will most likely turn people off.
13. A Goal you’re Working Towards
Any other goal setters out there? I set goals almost daily and it could be as simple as, today I want to fold and put away 3 loads of laundry.
If you have a goal you are working towards, big or small, share it and ask followers to comment with what they are working towards.
14. Something Positive
This world needs more positivity. It doesn’t need to be fake or staged but if you see a beautiful rainbow, sunset, flower, act of kindness or anything that sparks joy in your life then share it with those around you.
Tell followers what you are grateful for and ask them to do the same.
15. Your Pet or Child
You can’t go wrong with sharing a pic of an adorable child or pet. And, in my opinion, you really can’t go wrong with sharing a funny or even naughty moment that your kid or pet is having. They crack me up and, again, show people that real life happens even in an Instagram world.
I enjoy when people share a gallery of photos, the first one being picture perfect and the next few being a hot mess of behind the scenes shots showing what it took to get the first photo. You can ask followers to swipe over and compare the “real life” photos with the “Instagram worthy” photo. Makes me laugh every time.
Good luck everyone! I know it can be frustrating and overwhelming at times but keep at it! Experiment with a few things and check your insights to see which posts are getting you the most engagement and followers. Those are the posts you want to be consistently sharing.
You got this!
Have you enjoyed reading this post from the Flower Donkey Diaries as much as I have loved writing it?! Then I would be so grateful if you’d click to follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest! Thank you so much and, as always, happy reading!