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Roxy Jacenko's no BS guide to building your social media following and becoming Insta-famous.

It’s 2020, so if you’re not Insta-famous or at least trying to be, then why even use Instagram?! Everyone needs more selfies, vague ‘work situation’ pics featuring lattes and more importantly, perfect bikini shots in their feeds. And as any influencer worth their sponsored post will tell you, being super generic is the only way to really stand out and become famous on the platform with 1 billion users and counting.

I’m joking of course, but it does seem that way sometimes – don’t you think?

Watch the trailer for Mamamia’s influencer podcast, Social Squad. In each episode, host Tully Smyth sits down with some of the most influential women on social media. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

Instagram turns 10 this year and it’s come a long way from blurry dog snaps and over-filtered food pics from the early years. If you want to stand out, get traction and become an influencer on the platform today, haphazard posting won’t get you anywhere. You need a strategy, exceptional quality imagery and a point of difference.

Regardless of how you personally feel about influencers or influencer wanna-be’s, there is no question that social media is here to stay and is a super powerful tool for anyone who has a message, product or service to share. You are your own personal brand and social media, particularly Instagram is a fabulous way to connect with your audience.

If you want to build a brand – professional, personal or something in between, here are my top tips and hacks to become Insta-famous! *wink, wink*

Think about your why

If your only goal is the become Insta-famous for the sake of it, let me save you your time, effort and endless, over-filtered selfies. Don’t bother.

As I mentioned above, Instagram now has 1 billion users. This is both a challenge and fabulous opportunity – that’s an awful lot of people you can share your message or brand with, and an infinite number of niches that you can own.

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However, you’re never going to get traction on such a crowded platform with no real purpose. To stand out to the right audience, you need to have a clear reason for being there. What message do you want to share? What product or service are you showcasing? What reasons do you give people to want to follow you – what are you doing differently or with a fresh angle?

If you’re serious about building a loyal and engaged following, really think about your reasons for wanting to do so. If it’s just to get freebies or invites to launch events, forget it.

Why do you want to be Insta-famous?

 

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Landed in China ????????

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Showcase a point of difference

The aim is for people to instantly be able to recognise that a post is yours by the look and feel of it. Imagine what someone will see when they view the grid on your profile and are deciding whether or not they want to follow you. Do you have a signature style in which you take you photos, or a noticeable theme?

The most successful Instagram accounts are the ones that have a point of difference that makes them stand out. Chose your niche, inject your own personality and be authentic. People are highly attuned to overly fake and forced social media accounts now – perhaps you could get away with it in the early days, but certainly not anymore.

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Give people a reason to want to follow you, as though they’re missing out on something if they don’t. You’re only going to achieve that by giving them something they won’t find elsewhere.

Be consistent

Choose a posting schedule and stick to it.

Sure, there might be days or weeks when things don’t go exactly to plan but you can’t go posting 6 shots a day on your holiday and then nothing for weeks.

You want to be front of mind for your audience, somewhere near the top of their feed when they open the app. If you’re only posting sporadically, I promise you that your followers won’t be seeing your posts in their feeds.

Try and post to a regular schedule and use the story feature as often as possible, to build momentum and keep the algorithm Gods happy.

Aim for quality

This doesn’t mean that every picture needs to be perfectly staged and curated within an inch of its life (people actually want more real content now) but, the image quality should be exceptional.

Make sure your images are crisp, clear and well-lit. If you’re going to post, make sure you’re posting something of quality. Instagram is a visual medium and while the captions are becoming more and more relevant, if you don’t have a high-quality, engaging image, you won’t stop people in their speedy scroll-haze.

 

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When my most stylish friend @lukerhyswilliams lands from London for summer holidays ❤️

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Be real

You can post quality images and have a consistent theme or niche and still be real.

People go on social media to be social, to connect with someone or something. A brand, whether personal or for a product or service, needs to have a tangible personality.

What ‘voice’ are you using when you post? Can you keep this up indefinitely? (hint: if you’re being fake or trying to be someone you’re not, it’ll get tiring super-fast). Are you being relatable for your audience and giving them content that they can and want to engage with?

Don’t be afraid to be real, share an opinion and be yourself. Sure you’ll lose a couple of followers here and there but the ones that stay will love you, connect with you and want to hear and see more.

Engage

Social media isn’t a one-way street, it’s designed for engagement and conversation.

If you’re posting and expecting people to engage with your content, you too need to be engaging with others. Both on your own feed and on other people’s – regularly and consistently.

Use Instagram as a tool for engaging with likeminded businesses and brands. Look for opportunities to collaborate, offer feedback or answer questions that people ask you in the comments. Be generous with your followers and give them your time. This needn’t be something you spend hours on a day, even just 20 mins once a day to respond to comments and messages can be beneficial.

While boosting engagement with your posts and engaging with other accounts is great in terms of keeping the algorithm happy, this should happen naturally if you’re being generous, authentic and using social media for a purpose other than ‘getting famous’.

In short, if you want to be Insta-famous or any kind of influencer on social media, don’t try and be like everyone else! Like anything in business and life, there are no shortcuts to success. Consistency, generosity and authenticity will always come out on top.

Feature image: Instagram/@roxyjacenko

Doors are now open to Roxy’s Brand Bootcamp, the ultimate online course to help you build a powerful brand. To find out more and sign up, click here. But hurry, doors close on Sunday 8th March.

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