Hey y'all! Participating on social media is a great way to make new teacher friends, be exposed to new perspectives, and look for new ideas for your classroom. It can also be really overwhelming, and you can feel like you don't know where to start.
I'm here to show you that it's not as hard as it sounds, and anyone can do it! You don't need a lot of time, experience, or fancy pictures to start posting right away. Want to start your teacher Instagram? Here's how to do it.
STEP ONE: JUST START.
There are a lot of details to consider on Instagram: photos, captions, filters, profile images, handles (that's your account name), profile information, hashtags, stories, links, etc. It can be really easy to obsess and worry over having all the details just right, but thinking about your ideas won't get you anywhere. All the little details, like your account name and profile details, are easy to change later.The most important thing to do when creating your teacher Instagram is simply to get started. Pick a name. Add a profile image. Make your first post (or three). Just start!
STEP TWO: BE CONSISTENT.
Once you've started posting, don't stop! Try to post at least once a day. There are lots of suggestions out there about the times of day to post, but that isn't as important as simply being consistent. People tend to follow accounts that already have posts, so you need to give them something to see when they stumble across your account. Once your followers know that you're going to show up every day, they will be looking for what you're going to share next. Think of the accounts you like to follow - most likely they post consistently about topics that you're interested in.
STEP THREE: BE INTENTIONAL.
Give people a reason to follow you. What do you have to offer that makes you stand out? What message are you sharing? What impact do you want to have? Once you've determined what your message will be, be intentional in how you post. For example, if you want your message to be about helping struggling readers, then you need to post frequently about struggling readers. I would not recommend making every post about this topic - you don't want to be one-dimensional. But. Don't leave people wondering why they're following you.
STEP FOUR: FIND FRIENDS, NOT FOLLOWERS
This sounds silly, so let me clarify. Obviously, when you create your account, you're looking for followers. But if your goal is to share a specific message and have an impact, you need engaged followers in order to grow your impact. Think of engaged followers like friends. They like and comment on the things you post. They reply to your stories. They click on your links. They tell their friends about you. These are the kinds of people that you want to find, because when your posts receive a lot of engagement, the Instagram algorithm understands that your content is valuable and it makes your posts visible to more people. These are also the kinds of people that you want to find because connecting with others and finding friends is what makes participating in this community so enjoyable. Here are a few strategies for finding friends, not just followers:
Once you've followed these steps, be patient, and don't give up! Growing your account will take time. Try not to get too caught up in comparing your success to the success of others. When you're ready to take your account to the next step, you can read this post about How to Build Your Teacher Instagram. Happy Teaching!