I often get questions about how I grew my Instagram. For those of you who don’t know me, I run an IG account named @onedrinkaday (drinks/cocktails). The truth is I can’t say for sure but looking back retrospectively I can see a few factors which may have helped boost my growth. Just be mindful that everyone’s case is unique and this is only my experience.
There are way too many factors/opinions when it comes to growing your social media (in this case we are looking at Instagram). The most generic ones include:
- Having a niche e.g. food or beauty
- Posting good quality photos. You don’t need fancy equipment (even your smartphone can take great photos) but make sure your shot is at least in focus and the lighting isn’t shit.
- Cohesion. Your page should look like a whole unit. When someone views your feed in a grid form they should feel as if your photos/videos blend together well. Even better is when someone views your content, and recognises it’s your work just by the style.
- Blah blah blah and much more of this generic stuff which I’m not going to mention here.
So assuming you are doing the basics right why is your IG account not growing?
1. Content. The saying content is king is true but what does this actually mean? How do you produce good/viral content? I believe your content has to connect with a wide variety of people. This may seem counter intuitive given you belong to a specific niche. What this actually refers to is that your content fits into your niche but it also resonates to multiple other niches.
For example this photo was reposted by @Succulentcity who have a following of 314,000. Exposure like this is amazing as followers of Succulent City may also enjoy cocktails but because of IG suggestions would never have come across my account.
2. Think about the general public. I try and tailor my content so that someone sitting at home with no experience behind a bar or without any equipment can re create what I do. I want them to feel that it’s achievable (which it is!). This is why I don’t create too many complex cocktail recipes. Obviously if you work as a bartender that’s a different story.
Most of the equipment I use as well as the surroundings I work in represents a home environment. People seem to get a sense of connection and an urge to try it for themselves. I really love seeing people re create my work.
3. Be inventive. Try and come up with recipes, techniques, methods etc that no one has seen or done before. I sometimes think I’m just good at discovering things before anyone else. What I create may be super simple but because I thought of it first, I get recognition for it. Inventive concepts create intrigue and discussion.
The cucumber weave. It’s a little bit strange and you can’t really tell how it got there. Things like this will get people talking.
4. Instagram is more of a visual platform. There are many people who are amazing at providing education in their captions/have a following because of this but for the majority of us we need to use aesthetically pleasing content to capture the attention of potential new followers. This is why I don’t post a photo of a martini for example. I love drinking them but i know it’s not something people (who don’t know your page) will look at and be bothered to pay attention to.
The first cocktail was far more difficult to make. However visually a tree looks a lot more interesting than a purple drink with a lotus root (although this is also interesting) hence the discrepancy in likes.
5. Post daily. This is such an underrated tip. I know of amazing accounts which were growing at the same rate as mine but over time stopped. One of the reasons I believe was that they stopped posting regular content. Once you stop posting, people lose interest pretty quickly.
6. You’ll probably lose sleep. If you are serious about social media, you need to devote a lot of your free time (assuming you still have a day job) to your craft. I wish people could see how many hours I’ve spent creating content. The sad thing is half of the stuff I create doesn’t even get featured on my page. A great way to prevent burn out or feelings of anxiety when you have nothing to post is to dedicate a block of time (if you can) to producing content which you can save for future use. Another tip is to never force the issue, which I struggled a lot with earlier on. I would force my self to make content even when there was nothing I had in mind. I ended up with shit photos that didn’t even get used, a total waste of time and energy.
7. Know what works. Look back and analyse which photos or videos received the most likes, comments views, shares, etc and try find reasons why? I’ve had many times where I thought I had posted something amazing but had such a crap response. Finding what your audience wants is very important to increasing engagement. Having a business Instagram account will give you all the statistics you need.
This shows my highest performing posts in the past 1 year.
8. Videos. Try and incorporate videos. People love watching the process behind something.
These are the statistics of my highest performing Instagram video. 85% of people reached weren’t already following me which is a great opportunity to boost growth.
9. Remember that having a large following does not make you an expert in your niche. I have about 6 years industry experience and training under my belt. However this was so many years ago and knowing how fast the food/drink scene changes I would definitely not classify my self as an expert. This is why I focus on simple drinks/cocktails (most of the time) and the creative side of mixology which I’m hundred percent confident in. Of course you can always learn and develop but there is nothing worse than an influencer thinking they are an industry expert when they haven’t even had previous experience in that field.
10. I think the most important thing when it comes to social media is to genuinely enjoy what you do. So cheesy but true. If you are trying to grow your IG to for the sake of ego, money, etc you’ll get over it so quickly (especially when the reality does not meet expectations). If you do it because it’s your passion (even if you get nothing out of it) you know all the hard work, sleepless nights, missing out on social gatherings, money and time invested would have been worth it because it makes you happy.
Hope this helps you out in some way!