As of September 2017, there were 800 million active Instagram users, while Facebook is nearing the 2 billion mark with a staggering 1.86 billion users. Whether you own a business or just want to gain a reasonable following on social media, having billions of other people to compete with isn’t ideal. You may wonder how some Instagram users have millions of followers when you are struggling to reach 300. Maybe you have noticed that your Facebook ads aren’t converting like they used to, or your posts aren’t getting as many likes, or your follower count has decreased significantly. Social media is not for the faint of heart, but if you apply the following principles, you will be able to get your social media off of the ground, regain lost followers, and start raking in those likes and comments once again.

Why Do People Stop Engaging?

Before we get into the principles of a fresh, relevant, and successful social media, it is important to address why your engagement and/or follower count has decreased. As mentioned before, competition on social platforms has increased drastically. Long gone are the days when low-quality pictures of users’ dinner plates gleaned abundant likes. In the early days of Instagram, circa January 2013, there were only about 90 million users. With so many different accounts to follow with interesting and beautiful content, users will undoubtedly opt to follow and engage with accounts they find to be more visually pleasing.

Since the platforms have become so crowded, so have news feeds. The more accounts your followers follow, the more crowded their news feed is. Your followers simply may have stopped seeing your posts as often or at all.

Relevance is the golden rule of social media. Your followers are constantly growing and changing, and so should your social media image. Staying in-the-know on trends, seasons, and opinions within your industry ensures that you and your followers stay on the same page (preferably your page). When your brand stagnates, your content can feel outdated, boring, and even unrelatable to your followers.

All of the above considered, you may feel like having a fresh social media is impossible. Fortunately, there are several pro-tips you can deploy to make your social media sparkle!

Keep it Visual

It is no secret that 93% of communication is visual, yet many businesses miss the mark by having outdated websites and/or low-quality images on their ads and social media accounts. According to the experts at Xoombi, visual content receives 94% more views since visual information is processed in the brain 600,000 times faster than written information. Humans are visual creatures, making high-quality images and aesthetic social media accounts more successful. Having a social media account with a coherent aesthetic will attract customers by sparking their interest and building their trust.

There are a few simple ways you can ensure that your brand’s social media accounts look beautiful, trustworthy, and instill the desired message in the reader’s mind.

Color Your Audience’s World

The most influential Instagram accounts all seem to have one thing in common: use of color to convey a message and invoke emotion. More importantly, they seem to use a series of cohesive colors throughout their feed. In order to decide what your key colors will be, it is important to consider a number of things:

  • the message you what to send to your audience
  • which colors make sense for the type of industry you are in
  • which colors will attract your target audience

For example, a company in the ice cream business probably would’t choose a black and white color scheme, as it wouldn’t invoke the right response since ice cream is often identified by bright colors.

High-Quality Images

The importance of having professional images to keep your social media fresh can not be stressed enough. If you aren’t a professional photographer, taking high-quality photos is possible with these tips.

With a color scheme and nice pictures in place, you are well on your way to rebuilding your following and increasing post engagement.

Stand Out in a Crowd

Now that you have crafted your aesthetic and established a cohesive theme for your feed, how do you get people to see it on such a crowded platform?

One word: hashtags.

Even the most expensive and beautiful luxury jet can’t take off without fuel. In the same respect, even your best post can’t succeed without hashtags. When deciding on hashtags for a particular post, there are a few things to consider. First, which hashtags are relevant to the actual post? You would’t take a picture of a mountain in Colorado and use hashtags like “beach” or “ocean.” Not only will this cause you to rank lower in the algorithm, you may lose credibility when users searching for beach photos see your picture.

Another factor to consider when choosing hashtags for your post is your target audience. What hashtags are your potential followers already searching for? If your account is based on travel, your target audience is already searching for travel-related hashtags. Be sure to include these on each post. A quality picture with relevant hashtags is sure to glean likes and follows from the explore page.

For Instagram, be sure to check each hashtag by searching for it first. If it is a common word and nothing comes up in the search, it is most likely banned temporarily or permanently. Using banned or irrelevant hashtags too often may cause your posts to be shadowbanned.

Stay Relevant

What you need to know to stay relevant and fresh on social media all depends on your target audience. If you have noticed engagement dropping but are posting the same content from 2012, it may be time to take a look at what the newbies in your niche are doing. This is especially applicable to business, but can also apply to those who want to have successful social medias. Often times, the longer one has been in a niche or industry, the more comfortable they become with it. That is great for many reasons, but the trick is to continue to adapt to what your target audience wants to see.

The fashion industry is a prime example of an industry that is constantly adapting to its target audience. Better yet, they seem to anticipate buyers needs and even tell their audience what they want. Many fashion-based accounts on social media do very well because of the aesthetic, the customer base, and their ability to adapt their style and content each season.

By applying these tips, you can keep your social media fresh, increase engagement, and regain followers.