Want some of my best tips for Instagram for 2022? Let’s be honest, Instagram is a completely different place than it was 8 years ago when I started posting my artwork on the platform.
First of all, there were fewer users. But there were also way fewer people using the app for business and posting their creative work. It may be hard to remember, but it’s the truth! No, I wouldn’t scroll through my feed and see one perfectly styled photo and sales pitch after another. It was mostly just photos of dogs, shoes and random sightings. Since then, the app itself has transformed. Users have begun to use it as a tool to reach more people, grow a community and generate business.
And then 2020 happened. The big bad algorithm and speculations around content creators being shadowbanned happened and more. It’s just a monster now and I’m sure a lot of you are wondering, “How do I even approach an Instagram strategy in 2022?” Or, “Is it even worth it or possible?”
As an entrepreneur, Instagram has been completely life-changing for me. When I first started posting my artwork eight years ago, it was how I gained exposure. I had no reputation, I was still working my corporate day job, and I used the platform to introduce my art to vendors in the wedding industry. Because I started out just doing pointed pen calligraphy for wedding jobs, I would comment EVERY DAY on wedding blog accounts, wedding photographers, etc. I just wanted them to see my name over and over again and eventually click! Along with that, I used a slew of hashtags that brought my post to people who maybe would’ve never seen it!
Nowadays Instagram is totally different. Content is no longer seen chronologically. There’s an Algorithm that’s constantly changing. Hashtags don’t work the same way they did back then, and it’s harder to get noticed with alllllll the pretty, curated accounts landing in one person’s feed. If all of this seems impossibly overwhelming to you, keep reading.
My best strategies for Instagram in 2022
Tell Your Story
As a business owner or artist, it can be SO hard to not look at someone else’s feed and covet their engagement, or how they go about writing captions, how they appear in stories, etc. The thing is, people want to get to know YOU. If you’re using a tone of voice that doesn’t come naturally to you because it works for someone else, GUESS WHAT?! You’re not only going to attract followers and customers who aren’t in line with who you truly are, but you won’t be able to fully engage and use the platform to its full potential! People are already scrolling through their feeds seeing sales pitch after new products. Followers are longing for connection. Relate to them. Tell your story of how you got started, what your office looks like, how you spilled coffee on your shirt or didn’t make it to that meeting on time. This makes you real, it makes you relatable and therefore, your followers can engage because they have something in common!
Tip: If you aren’t already, start showing up in your stories! Let your followers see your face, hear your voice…I know it’s scary, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. I promise! And this allows for your community to get to know you, making them more likely to engage with your platform!
Call. To. Action.
Call to action or CTA is a tried and true marketing term that is used to help generate clicks, sales and ENGAGEMENT. Whether you’re wanting to gain more followers, generate more business, or just develop a community, engagement should be your main focus. This is how the more people are able to see your post in their feed, what gets certain posts to hit the explore page, etc. and one of the main ways I drive engagement on my posts and stories is through using call to action. So, next time you go to post, ask your followers a QUESTION, get their opinion on something. People are wayyyy more likely to actually comment if they’re told to do so or they have a strong opinion on something.
Example: In this post, I wrote a simple caption about how I’d rather read books than watch Tik Toks. Most people have an opinion on this, so it made for a lot of activity in the comments section. This actually boosted my post on the algorithm, and since I posted this video a month ago, I get 1,000 views a day!
Video Is King
Now that Tik Tok is Instagram’s hottest competitor, IG is making Reels, IGTVs and video content a priority in the algorithm…specifically reels. Now, stop right there. I personally am NOT interested in spending my time pointing and dancing at text and do not want Instagram to take up any more of my sweet and precious time. I’m guessing you’re the same, right? So, all I do is take a video of whatever I’m painting on my camera app on my phone, using my favorite phone holder (use code JENNA10 for 10% off!) and post it just like I would a regular video, but as a reel! No added text or chopping anything up, I just post it and add some music to it. I tested reels vs IGTVs on my feed a few months ago and guess what? Reels always received more views and engagement.
Tip: Follow @mosseri on Instagram! He’s the head of IG and anytime they’re rolling out a new feature on the platform, he’s talking about it. This usually means IG will be prioritizing that new feature in the algorithm, so stay on top of that!
Now, after reading these tips, I want to point out the most important strategy I have for Instagram in 2022:
You do you, beau.
If it doesn’t feel aligned or causes a huge life alteration for you to actually post and show up on the platform, don’t do it! Just because it seems like the place to be for business owners to market their work, it’s not the end all be all. In fact, I’ve always been a way bigger fan of email marketing than social media marketing. Social media is always changing, and I even have a hard time being on these platforms…especially with how divisive and addictive they can be! So show up when you can and how you can.