it's no secret I'm an introvert. I was in high school when I found that out, and ever since then I've been making excuses for avoiding learning how to make small talk.
but *sigh* sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
as it turns out, small talk really isn't that hard or unbearable. you simply comment on things so absolutely mundane that the other person couldn't possibly fathom having a negative reaction towards it.
however...small talk does get pretty unbearable when, well, you're the only one making an effort. have you ever been stuck in a conversation with that one person at the party that has no clue how to make small talk?
you: (desperate for the silence to end) crazy weather we're having, right?
them: eh. pretty typical.
you: (looks away)
(takes multiple sips of your drink)
(finds excuse to walk away)
yikes...yup. safe to say we've all been there.
engaging your audience on instagram isn't that much difference than making tolerable small talk at a party.
the purpose of small talk is : "In spite of seeming to have little useful purpose, small talk is a bonding ritual and a strategy for managing interpersonal distance." (straight from wikipedia, so you know it's legit)
see? it does have a purpose.
instagram small talk has a purpose, too! engaging with your audience is a strategy to get them involved in your content. when someone engages with your post by saving, liking, or commenting, it's as if they made eye contact with you across the party, smiled, and waved.
it's an acknowledgement you exist, and moreover, they're happy to see you!!
you're probably thinking, sooo lexi how do i get people to acknowledge i exist on instagram?
here's 3 ways:
1. start providing value in every single post.
now listen. i know that it's all too easy to slap up a picture of the flowers that just started blooming or your latte from starbucks, but what are you saying in the caption to accompany those pictures? if someone stops scrolling to take a look at your picture, you need to deliver. that means providing value in the caption, if not in the image.
(and, by the way...when i say "provide value" i'm referring to teaching, inspiring, or entertaining. please stop it with the "happy monday who needs coffee ;)" )
here's a couple ideas to get you started:
- my faaaavorite platform for keeping track of content
- x strategies I use to sell my client's products in facebook groups
- the reason I kicked (insert strategy that doesn't really work) to the curb & why you should too
2. better yet, use images that encourage them to interact.
an informational graphic or an inspiring screenshot practically moves their thumb to hit that bookmark icon. a helpful caption? great! a well-laid-out template? even better!
pro tip: using screenshots or graphics formatted in a way they're already familiar will get more saves, shares, and likes, i.e. higher engagement rate! think: tweet screenshots, notes app screenshots, or infographics.
3. don't forget the basics! add a call-to-engage at the end of every caption (if you don't already have a call-to-action).
a call-to-engage is a question or prompt that takes a few seconds for them to answer. it spurs on conversation, making it a no-brainer to comment on your post. it's easy to engage with, on a light-ish topic, and gets their attention.
bad example of a call-to-engage: have you ever experienced deep traumatic loss? please describe in detail.
good example of a call-to-engage: we're getting pizza tonight and i'm so excited! okay real quick- are you team #pineappleonpizza or team #banpineappleonpizza?
okayyy I'm so excited for you to use these!! real quick, have you hopped over on instagram to hang out yet?? click here to join my lil corner of instagram, and dm me if you're going to use any of these tips!