I’ve used Instagram as a regular place to share photos with friends and family for many years and it’s my absolute favorite social media platform. In December of 2015 I decided to create a separate public account to share all things motherhood and connect with new people.
It was the perfect place for me to get comfortable with networking, becoming a social media influencer, and reaching out to brands! It’s also the catalyst for this blog venture and I’m so glad I did it.
In a little over a year I’ve grown my following to around 9,000, have collaborated with around 30 brands, made friends with other bloggers & influencers, and have learned many ins and out of the Instagram world.
Here are the 5 biggest lessons I learned using Instagram as a social media influencer.
- Instagram is one of the top dogs!
There are over 600 million monthly users on Instagram. You can see the stats here. That’s a whole lot of people checking the app daily! It proves Instagram is here to stay and makes it a prime place for influencers to settle in. This is even more true now that Instagram has stories, disappearing photos, direct messaging, and live feed. They’ve taken all the amazing parts of other social media apps and put it all in one place.
- You Don’t Need a Blog to Work with Brands.
Yes, this may sound surprising but it’s true. I started collaborating with brands when I had around 1,000 followers and many were open to working with me even without a blog. I reached out to smaller brands first and found them to be very nice, welcoming and encouraging. When I contacted a brand I made sure to be honest about being a social media influencer and not having a blog but most didn’t seem to care. I’ve now collaborated with around 30 brands solely using Instagram!
- Time is of the Essence.
I didn’t realize how time consuming being an influencer is. On average, I spend anywhere from 20-35 hours a week on Instagram alone! That’s a part time job! When I started out, I thought it was just for fun but quickly learned I had to be in it to win it. To be active and relevant, I have to post a minimum of 1-3 times a day and posting isn’t just always snapping a pic with my iPhone and hitting share. Sometimes I need to take pictures with my camera, download to my phone or computer, edit the photo, write a detailed caption and then post. It can take up to an hour just to share a one post!
Connecting with others is what social media is all about. With Instagram, engagement is key. I didn’t know how important it is to actually reply to comments, like other’s posts and create relationships with the people behind their handles. Not only does this make people want to follow you but the more you engage, the more your profile is boosted through the instagram algorithm. I’m not tech savvy and don’t really understand what an algorithm really is but I know it helps grow your following making it easier to be an influencer. What I do understand is our instagram feeds used to be in chronological order and now they are shown to us by who we interact with the most. This is why engagement is key! The more you interact with others, they will likely reciprocate and you will appear in their feeds more.
- There’s Room for Everyone!
When I created my account I had no idea how many bloggers, specifically mommy bloggers, were on there. I got intimidated right away and wanted to quit until one of these bloggers reached out to me and was so sweet. It made understand there’s room for us all to succeed. Even if there are thousands of other mommy bloggers & social media influencers out there, I have my own unique story to share. This is really the biggest lesson I’ve learned in the past year. Instead of letting it scare me I’ve made friends with other influencers and we all help each other out. Of course there are a few rotten apples in the bunch that don’t share well with others but it’s okay, they are the minority. There’s a huge community of us sharing tips, tricks, words of encouragement and it’s a beautiful thing.
I hope these lessons can help you out if you’re thinking of becoming a social media influencer and use instagram. These are based on my personal experience and I’m not an expert but I like to think I’ve got a pretty good idea how to make instagram work for me.
I love everything I’ve learned in the last year about this amazing app and can’t wait to see what they have in store for the future!
If you’re not already, go follow me on IG and let’s be friends! Click here!