Just when you feel like you've found your social media flow, you receive a message from Instagram on the introduction of a new feature that leaves you feeling discouraged. Yet again, there is another tool that you have to learn to keep up with social media trends! Understanding the algorithm and changing nature of social media can be a challenge and it can impact the results you are looking for when you post that dance-worthy reel. But with a little bit of research and inspiration - success may not be that hard to find on social media!
While there is no catch-all solution, there are steps you can take to increase your chance of viral success so your hard work doesn't go unnoticed. The most important thing to remember is that social media is supposed to be a space for FUN and CREATIVITY. It's a place for experimentation, exposure, brand awareness, and storytelling. Instead of thinking about what sets your content apart from others (don't overthink it - your product is already unique!), take inspiration from accounts you love, focus on what is trending, and think about how you can apply content that is already going viral to your brand.
It's also imperative that you make processes as simple as possible so you can free up your time for making content. Gravitate towards scheduling platforms that lets you plan out your content in advance, but also provides helpful tips for best social media practices. Here are a few of my favourite tools that keep my social media game strong.
1. Do an audit with Iconosquare
Take a moment to bring your social media strategy back to the basics. It's important to do routine audits so you can evaluate whether your profile has all of the elements it needs to stand out amongst other users. Instagram favours accounts and users that are taking advantage of everything the app offers - so this tool helps to break it down, from the way you frame your bio, to using hashtags, to the ratio of video content you are making to grid posts. The best part about it!? Doing an audit through Iconosquare is FREE! If you'd like to take things to the next level, once you evaluate your report you can upgrade your account to help build out and organize your strategy, as well as gain extra analytics (although most of this information will already be available within your Instagram app).
2. Map out your content with Planoly
Planoly allows you to preschedule everything on Instagram so you can create and then move on to your next post without wasting time. It also gives you the ability to map out how your feed will look so you can maintain a uniform grid style that is eye-catching and easy to view for your audience. If you feel like getting extra adventurous, Planoly also has a Reels planner so you can edit your videos with professional design tools and a Pinterest planner for those who are looking to create their own storyboards.
If you are in need of inspiration, their blog has many articles that I refer to on a daily basis. Here are a few of their tips for making engaging reels on Instagram.
3. Stay on Trend with Later and @the__socialcreatives
You could scroll forever on your Discover page until you find a sound you'd like to use for a reel, but why not make it easy by narrowing your search with the most viral sounds every month?
For more generic updates on feature changes and weekly trending sounds, I'd recommend following @the__socialcreatives. This account is a hidden gem that details upcoming changes to social media technology, trending hashtags, and tips from content experts.
4. Upgrade Your Bio with Pico-Link
It's important to have a link in your bio that new and current followers can refer to when they are searching for more information on your brand. Many of you may be familiar with LinkTree - but how about Pico-Link?
Pico-Link is a newly launched link page tool that is free and allows for more customizability. Not only can you add graphics and banners to your page, but my favourite feature of Pico-Link that sets it apart is the ability to embed forms (like a newsletter sign-up!) so you can build your mailing lists and improve your e-commerce strategy directly from the link. It takes away that extra step of the user having to navigate to your website to submit their email and we are all about making things easier for the shopper!
5. Measure Engagement with Phlanx
When working with social media influencers, you need to determine the scale and impact of their audience and measure whether it's a realistic opportunity to grow your brand awareness. Phlanx's engagement calculator allows you to plug in Instagram profiles (including your own - so test it out!) and it will give you the metrics needed to assess whether that influencer is the right fit for you. Someone may have thousands of followers, but if they have an extremely low engagement score, then there is little chance their post with your product will be seen by their audience.
Phlanx recommends working with micro-influencers that are in the 2-3% engagement range because they will be more community focused for local small businesses. Engagement rates that are above 5% are typically held by viral influencers.
By Jess Arcand, Venturepark Labs Community Coordinator