A couple of weeks ago I published a blog post on why it was so important to become a brand on social media. So, you’ve got your name and niche ready to go but you hit the biggest stumbling block, what on earth do you keep posting and talking about and how do you produce the all important engaging content for social media and specifically, Instagram?
You look back on your photo album on your phone but all you can see is pictures of your cat/family/contents of your kid’s nose (is it just my kids that take photos of their nostrils?? ) The most important advice I gave on how to become a brand on social media was consistency, but how can you be consistent when coming up with good content is a struggle?
A bit like coming up with your brand image, your content has to be about the things you have a real interest in, love to take photos of and write about in you captions and blog posts. It is so important to build up an audience on social media that is loyal and engaged and will want to keep coming back to your posts, whether that be for ideas, tutorials, new products or just for a bit of every day life. If you know who your audience is, this will help you to understand what content you need to create.
Create Meaningful Content and Let Your Audience Follow You on Your “Journey”
Are you currently redecorating a room? Are you following a new healthy eating or exercise plan? I can guarantee that someone, somewhere is also thinking of doing the same and would love to see your progress.
Some of my most engaged story content is when I am showing a room whilst being decorated and I know a lot of Instagrammers who say, even though their story content doesn’t relate to their main feed, people love to see behind the scenes. This in turn, keeps people engaged and you can continue the conversation in your captions and snapshots on your main feed.
I have been talking a lot about my play room revamp in stories and showing mood boards gets a lot of feedback
Create Inspiration for Your Followers
One of the main reasons people go on Pinterest is to find an answer to a question. Pinterest needs to be looked at like a search engine where people type in an inquiry and are confronted with imagery answers. I regularly post my images from Instagram onto my Pinterest account with a caption explaining what is in the image, like “How To Create an Open Plan Kitchen” or “Using Wallpaper Murals in the Bedroom” and often people will appear in my DMs on Instagram saying they found me via Pinterest and thank me for the inspiration.
If someone is inspired to do something or take action after reading one of your blog posts or images on Instagram, then you are producing fabulous content.
Before and After Transformations
Another contents winner on Instagram is showing a before and after of a redecorated room. If you have any old photos of your house when you first moved in, dig it out and compare it to how your room looks now.
I wasn’t on Instagram when we first moved into our house so I have used estate agent photos of our house to compare our progress. An audience loves to comment on this type of content which is fabulous for engagement rates and can also help people pop up in your DMs asking questions and share your post. It doesn’t just have to be a room revamp though, you could post about –
A new piece of furniture in a room
A shelfie update
A rug changeover, moving it to a new room
A change up of cushions
Reviewing or Showcasing a Product
Yes, I know #ad, #sponsored or #gifted posts are seen as the anti-christ on Instagram these days, but if the product fits in well with your feed and you generally love the product, it can do wonders for your engagement.
One of my most popular posts ever was the reveal of my new Pink velvet sofa and once again, the comments and shares of the posts were far higher than normal (bearing in mind, Instagram likes to favour comments and shares over likes of a post to determine whether a post has been received well).
A bit like the before and after transformations, it doesn’t have to be a super expensive product! I have revealed things in the past like a mustard yellow throw with tassels (£12) which nearly sent my Instagram feed into meltdown, or some new bar stools.
Another thing that seems to do well on my social media accounts is talking about being eco-friendly, I recently wrote a blog post titled A – Z of Sustainability of Home which was received well. It is such a diverse subject, it can pretty much cover all niches and everyone has a vested interest in this topic!
DIY Tutorials, Advice, Learn a New Skill or Anything that Increases Your Audience’s Knowledge
This goes back to creating inspiration for your followers. A lot of people go to the internet to find an answer to a question or problem they have and your social media feeds and blog can help point people in the right direction. For example, if you have recently created a gallery wall, post a picture with a caption detailing how you did it and point people to your stories where you can talk about it in more detail.
I often get asked a lot of questions about Command strips which I use for my gallery walls and could probably publish a blog post on this alone! It doesn’t matter how big or how small the project, there will always be an audience for DIY tutorials!
Command hooks holding up my metal grid in the office. I always get asked a lot of questions about Command strips.
Which Leads Me onto Broad Posts and Detailed Posts
Have you recently redecorated a room? You probably want to talk about the room as a whole and do a full room shot to show what you’ve achieved, but you could also break the room down into segments. Maybe a photo of a carefully curated shelfie and what products you bought to fill it or talk about the rug and cushions you bought for the room to add texture and colour whilst taking a closeup of your sofa.
You could even do some stories on all the light fittings you highlighted and create a blog post on the 10 best light fittings for a colourful front room.
Be A Trendsetter
One of the best ways to get engagement and people interested in your content is to know what the current trends are. I always feel a little bit unsure about trends in decor because your home is your private sanctuary and should only be decorated how you want it to be! But the trends are still there and as with people looking for inspiration, it is always useful to highlight what is trending in the shops and how you can fit that into your home.
But, it doesn’t just have to be rushing out to the shop to buy the latest ribbed cabinet or velvet sofa. Over Christmas there was a huge trend for people to create masterpieces on their mantelpieces and the enormous efforts people were putting into their creations meant they were getting the engagement they deserved!
At the beginning of the year, I wrote a blog post about the interior trends I thought we would see more of in our homes in 2020
Think Ahead to the Next Seasonal Event and Create Content For It
A bit like trends, seasonal events can be a gold mine when it comes to creating content. Look how crazy everyone goes over their décor at Christmas. Every year it seems that seasonal décor is getting bigger and more idiosyncratic, from pumpkins painted all the colours under the Sun for Halloween and Easter trees popping up in living rooms across the country.
Again, Pinterest is an amazing space for finding ideas and you can create your own seasonal decorations with how-to’s in your stories, IGTV and blog posts.
One of my favourite mantelpieces over Christmas, Jen did a superb job! Instagram: @thehousethatjenbuilt_
What Are Your Audience Asking You?
I get an awful lot of questions about the size of the rooms in our house and how we find the layout, so I often talk about this in captions. I like to talk about family life frequently on my Instagram but I find that I get much more engagement when I stick to interiors, even when I find myself dull talking about it again and again.
I’ve also noticed that the most prevalent question I get asked is how did I “conquer” Instagram and build my following and realised that people actually enjoy reading content about this. The number one answer to that time and time again? It’s… time! You have to keep working at it and be consistent with your content!
One of the questions I get asked the most is the dimensions of my bathroom. So I created a dedicated Instagram and blog post around our bathroom renovation .
Which Naturally Progresses To, What Are You Asking Your Audience?
The best way to get people to engage is to ask them to engage! This is still one of the best ways to get people talking on Instagram and I get the most responses to my stories when I actually ask people what they think/ask for their opinion/ ask for recommendations! Use that Poll and Questions stickers in stories and you will find that the answers will help you create even more content!
Read, Read and Read a Little Bit More
Read a LOT (if you can find the time to do it, Instagram is definitely a time sapper). I read a lot of blogs, Instagram posts and interior magazines as they help give me inspiration and ideas. When reading, don’t always centre around your niche either. I find sometimes that reading a blog post about healthy eating or a fashion Instagram post gives me just as much ideas as if I was just to stick to home décor.
Practise makes perfect and I can assure you that the more you create content, the more you will learn and become better. I have been doing this social media lark for nearly 3 years now and I cringe when I look back at the content I was producing to begin with and thought I was the next Kate Watson-Smyth! Haha.
I hope this has given you some ideas to create killer content!