I recently obtained 10K followers on my teacher account & I’m really excited to meet this milestone! For many teachers we desire this mark because it enables the swipe up feature in stories. I have gotten a lot of questions about how to get here, & I want to first and foremost communicate that I have had this account for FOUR years of teaching.. so it took me a lot longer than many others I know! However, I really didn’t become intentional with my account until this past school year. I will give you my best insight & share some easy tips that will probably get you there a lot faster than I did, now that I know what I know! (:
HUGE preface- I know that 10K doesn’t make you a better teacher, or that you have to even have 10K to be a good teacher, etc. I just want to throw that out there! ‘It’s not about the numbers’ although I will keep it real & say it’s okay if you really want it like I did. YOU do YOU!
- SWITCH TO BUSINESS. Get a free business account. Like right now. Go do it. Just switch in your settings! The only requirement is for a Facebook page to be tied to the account. I just made one with the same name as my Instagram but I don’t post very regular on it for now (maybe one day) & honestly you don’t even have to do anything with the tied FB account! Why should you switch? Having this type of account shows your engagement levels and when your followers are active. Let me show you..
So on this post reading from left to right, I can see there were 718 likes, 94 comments, 38 people ‘sent’ this post to someone else (that’s what the little paper airplane means) & 272 people bookmarked or saved this post. This lets me know this content was very appealing.
- TIMING MATTERS. This is probably what changed my posting strategies the most- look at those times!!! This is during the summer months so teachers have the freedom to check IG all day.. I will probably update this post once we are back in school so I can show how drastically these times change when we are all working. I am in the CST zone, & my bar graph is still pretty low around 12 and 3 pm during the school year. THIS is why I quit posting while I was at school. LIGHT BULB MOMENT when I realized that just because it was 10 AM and my kids were in PE & I had free time to post, other teachers were TEACHING and not going to interact. My followers on the West Coast are 2 hours behind me and were just kicking off their day- more than likely not in IG. (To clarify, I may post a story at school but I do not post a POST at school.. did you get that (: lol)
Why is that important? Due to the IG algorithm, if your post doesn’t receive engagement within the first hour or so, it can get lost in the shuffle of other posts bc followers don’t see posts in chronological order as we all kinda wish they would sometimes. So in a nutshell, you want your post to get some attention right off the start, meaning DON’T post it when only a small portion of your followers are active. For me, 6 PM is the sweet spot bc the East Coast is only an hour ahead of me so it isn’t too late and MST/PST zones are finally out of school. (Although I have followers from all over, the majority of my audience is from the states, also shown through the business account. So 6PM really is the sweet spot for the bulk of my followers due to my location and audience.)
- BE INTENTIONAL Recognize that IG is a VISUAL platform. What vibe do you want people to feel when they visit your page? Do you want them to notice your transformations, organization, student engagement, a little bit of it all? I started being intentional with what should go in a story & what should be in a post. Think of yourself opening the IG app. We all look at the photo first, then read the caption. If you want the caption to be read, make the photo engaging enough to stop someone from scrolling past it. I don’t use any fancy apps for posting but I just try to take a decent picture. I do use some apps for stories & I try to post in those more- you can track engagement levels with that too. I really think people like to see YOUR face which I’m still working on doing more.
- HASHTAGS Use them!! & I try to vary them. I save them in my notes & when I post I just copy/paste a group of them. #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofig #teachergram , etc. You can see how popular a hashtag is by searching it just like you would a person, except tap ‘tags.’ Try to use popular ones!
- GIVEAWAYS One last note- GIVEAWAYS. Okay so I like them, don’t get me wrong. But don’t try to get to 10K through only giveaways. A LOT of people unfollow after those. I have done some this summer bc it’s been really fun & I had time for it, but I also want my audience to be as authentic as possible- that’s just me. Just remember you could gain 300 followers from a giveaway but lose half of them the day after the giveaway ends- really. Do some, but not too many!!! You can join them easily by filling out the forms on a giveaway page bio on IG. For me, I would do them when I felt I needed a little boost. (:
I don’t consider myself an expert by any means, but I began the school year with a little less than 2K and when I started the business account around late August or September, that is when I started seeing a difference. (It is now July for future reference!) I made the changes above & it helped so much. If you have any tips to share with others please comment below! If you have a question also feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org You can follow along with my teacher ig @brooklynsbrightest.