As someone who has been working in social media for 8+ years, I get asked a lot of questions: what platform should my business be on? How many hashtags are too many? Can't I just buy followers to grow my account? And the answers are: depends on your goals/what type of business you have, the limit is 30 so use that wisely, and no.
I've taken the most frequently asked questions (mostly about Instagram) and put the answers down below to help anyone else who is starting to take social media seriously. LMK in the comments if you have any more questions I should answer them! If you have more detailed questions, I do consult on the side and would be happy to share my rates with you.
I don't post because I don't have any content. How to I get more content? Short answer, make it yourself. Long answer, if you have a tangible product, bring it with you wherever you go to take photo of it in different settings. Grow your content library that way. Another alternative is to start following hashtags that relate to your account. If it makes sense to regram someone then do it - with their permission and credit, first. Then, when you are happy with the amount of content you have (make sure to take different angles of it to extend the amount of images) start scheduling it. That is another thing people get overwhelmed with.
Great. Now, how do I make my content pretty? There are lots of presets out there now and the app A Color Story has some really nice ones for a price. I've seen presets range anywhere from $4-$99. It all depends on your budget and the aesthetic you want your Instagram feed to have. I personally don't have one since there's A LOT of color going on in my posts (hello, my hair is purple) and I don't want a preset to filter out anything, but that is my personal opinion for my personal account. If you want to go one step further and work on making your Instagram images/videos next level, I recommend Unfold or A Design Kit (A Color Story spin off). I use both depending on the content I'm uploading. I'll use Unfold when I want to post more than 1 images/video on one story and I'll use A Design Kit for a simple background and text. I've noticed Instagram compresses the quality of your Story once your add text or literally anything so using these apps make the content a *little* more clear.
I forget to post. Do I have to post all the time? Is there an easier way? YES! I use Later and Planoly for scheduling content to Instagram specifically. I love being able to bulk upload, create captions and edit and then see what my feed will look like with the preview feature (both have it). And, bonus, they auto-publish to your account so if you are the type that hatessss having to take time to upload both platforms do it for you so you can set it and forget it. Make sure you are satisfied with your caption and hashtag(s) before saving when doing auto-publish. Depending on your needs one might be better than the other. They both have free versions so you can test out both to see which one you prefer.
Okay, but how do I know if the content I'm posting is resonating? Well, on Later there's analytics that show you your top weekly/monthly performing posts, how many followers you gained/lost per post and more. I can't speak to Planoly because I only use the free version of that service. Otherwise, I do recommend Iconosquare for analytics specifically for Instagram and Facebook. I've been using them for years and really like the website experience. They also have a feature to add competitors so if you are in a specific market you may add up to 5 accounts to keep an eye on.
Now that you have the basics, figure out your goal for the next 1-3 months.
Gain more followers? If so, make sure you are interacting with other accounts every day. Don't just like a post. Comment on it - with great detail. There are SO many bots that comment on my account and I can tell. If I'm posting a photo of a makeup bag that says 'full of shit' and you comment 'what a beautiful picture' I'm going to know that interaction isn't authentic and I probably won't end up following you let alone check out your profile to begin with.
Get more content? Follow the steps I shared again. And, ask friends and family for help. If they aren't technically savvy or don't take the best pictures ask if you could come over and take them yourself and gift the product (if feasible).
Get regrammed? Getting regrammed is a great feeling since it helps bring exposure to your account to new people and it shows the quality of your content is resonating. Tag any other account that relates to either you or the published photo. Use the hashtags they use on posts and interact with the account often to get on their radar. There's a person behind the account so do the most to get their attention in a non-annoying matter. Don't DM them asking to repost your image because it is likely they won't and don't comment 'top', 'spam' or 'please like/share my photo'. Additionally, use niche hashtags relating to that account to interact with similar posts.
Okay, that's it for now. Comment below if there's more info you want!