40 posts

How to engage with your audience using Instagram’s’ features

What type of Instagram user are you?⁣⁣⁣
Instagram makes sure their features are easy to use for any type of user! ⁣⁣⁣
Stories allow you to share a sneak peak into your personal life! You can also have fun with stickers to engage your audience and ask questions. Plus, this content is live for 24 hours.⁣⁣⁣
Live allows you to broadcast to your audience instantly. It’s a great way to help or teach your audience in real time.⁣⁣⁣
IGTV allows the user to repurpose popular content to give it a new life. You can use it for podcast, videos, or new content for up to 10 mins long! ⁣⁣⁣
Reels – the newest feature allows you to create a 15 or 30 second long video for entertainment, educational or comedy purposes.⁣⁣⁣
What’s YOUR favorite feature on Instagram? Mine is creating stories but I love watching reels.

business not growing despite social media efforts

Wondering why your business isn’t growing despite your social media efforts?

Here are 3 tips to get you going:



  • Decide which social media platform you want to use and stick to it.  You don’t have to be on every single one. Besides knowing your place in virtual space, do you know what’s even more important? Knowing where your target audience is. Putting yourself everywhere can be tedious and time consuming—choose well by researching and experimenting to identify and locate where your business’s target market spends their time. The pay off when you do figure this out is worth it..


  • Understanding your competition helps you see what others are doing in the industry and how you can improve your business. Some business owners may think this step is unnecessary, or even a little sneaky. It’s not. Conducting competitor analysis will show you their social media strengths and weaknesses that can give insights into what works, what failed, and how you can differentiate and be better.


  • Always show up and be consistent. You’ve heard it before: consistency is key to a business’ social media success. This is easier said than done. What if you’re under a dry spell and don’t know what to post next? How do you get out of a content block? Plan content ahead of time. Curate a desirable theme of the month for your account and campaigns. Make it a point to make your content consistent and relatable so that your target audience actually engages.


Do you guys use a content calendar?  If you’re interested in the exact content calendar I give my workshop students, drop your email below or DM me at @SalmasPalette

How to grow your Instagram community without posting everyday

Posting on your Instagram feed and stories almost daily can be exhausting and also cause anxiety.  Here’s what you can do instead to stay engaged with your current followers and grow your community on the Gram!


Repost other accounts on your stories


Repost from someone similar to your niche on to your stories or mention them in your stories.  If you do not use @mention sticker, they will not be notified and they also won’t be able to reshare your story on their story (story inception 😄).  Usually when you repost content from another user they will reshare your story.  Your screen name will then be visible to a new community and hopefully some new members will join your Instagram space.


Join Instagram lives


Join Instagram lives from your current community and make sure you ask a really valuable question.  Your user name will stand out among all the live attendees.  Follow some of the people in the live after it is over and don’t forget to keep the conversation going in the DMs.


Attend free and paid online events in your industry


Attend events from your peers like co working hours.  You will make face to face connections that can lead to new opportunities and you will be welcoming new members to your Instagram community.  

I’m hosting my next co working power hour on Monday August 10th at 12 noon PST/3 pm ET. Want more deets?  DM me at @SalmasPalette with your e-mail address so I can send you the invite.

This free co working hour is for an entrepreneur or blogger that would like some online company while working on their project.  The last 3 sessions have been super successful and filled with inspiring and helpful women.

Let’s all share some juicy tips on how you are growing your Instagram page in the comments below. 

9 content ideas for high engagement

As a business or content creator we always need to create content that will be relevant and provides the most value to our audience.

Here are 9 content ideas that will be easy to implement in your social media strategy.

1) Introduction post

Introduce yourself or your company. Share some fun details about yourself or why you even started your business or blog.

2) BTS (behind the scenes)

Do you sell wedding gowns? Show behind the scenes of a gown being handmade.

3) Ask your audience a question related to your niche

There is a holiday coming up and you want to know if your vegan bakery should sell vegan cupcakes or cookies. Ask your viewers to vote on their choice.

4) Showcase you product or service

If you are a bath bomb company, show a video of you throwing the bath bomb into the water. I binge watch these videos on Instagram ;-).

5) Throwback Thursday or Flashback Friday post

Share a picture or video of your first workshop, office, or where you started your business to the present day.

If you started your business on your kitchen counter, but now have your own office, warehouse and 10 employees, then share your inspiring past and present.

6) Share a clip of your YouTube video, podcast or blog post

Sharing clips of content you posted on another platform is a great way to cross promote your social media platforms.

7) Acknowledge your employees

Highlight an employee or intern that is making great contributions to your business.

8) Educational post/tips

Are you a language instructor, skincare company or a makeup artist? Share tips that your audience will benefit from.

9) Shareable quote related to your business

If you own a social media agency, posting quotes about cats won’t provide value to your clients, but quoting Seth Godin will.

Read how to build a community on Instagram with a small following here.

Need help creating an Instagram aesthetic? Read this quick read here.

Top mistakes businesses are making on their Instagram account

Long checkout process

Why are you making it so hard for your customers to check out via Instagram?!

Please include product tags into your Instagram feed.  Are you selling a beautiful dress right before Valentine’s day?  Instead of 30 women wondering how much it is or having them DM you and wait for your reply, please use the product tag features for your account.

Glossier makes it super easy to check out. Be like Glossier 🙂

This post shares how to set up Instagram shopping.

Not talking about your product/service or talking too much about it.

People don’t understand what the hell you sell.  Your page has all these beautiful aesthetically pleasing photos and quotes, but where is your offer? Are you selling photography services? Are you an interior designer? Make sure your caption makes it’s clear so you are generating leads/sales.


Your newsfeed has the same product in every picture and your boring caption says “To buy, click link in bio” You have to learn the art of selling something without seeming spammy and sleazy.

Using the wrong hashtags

So many businesses are using generic hashtags that have nothing to do with their product, and they don’t have any hashtags based on their niche.

Your Instagram profile is not optimized

Visitors seeing your profile photo don’t understand what your company is about. No one knows where you are located. Your Instagram handle name has too many underscores or the name doesn’t align with the brand.

If you got this far and some of the above applies to you, I have great news! I’m teaching a free one hour workshop Saturday May 16th. If you are interested, please e-mail me at subject line: RSVP May 16th.

Changes you should make to your Instagram account for the new year.

Happy New Year everyone! Oh yes! Finally we get to live in the Roaring 20s 😉

So we are on that New Year, New Me mood.

How about changing up your Instagram account as well?

Below are 3 tips that you can implement to make your Instagram account feel brand new and help bring in potential customers, leads and build a community.

Change account name

I know this might be such a tough one to change, but if your current screen name is Mami, too many underscores or looks like an AIM screen name, it’s time to change your screen name.

If you are a content creator or a business, really think about which screen name will instantly speak about your Instagram account.

If you are a content creator it’s okay to include your real name in your screen name. Many people think it’s “boring” to just have your name but think about all the top designers and influencers who have branded their name and created multimillionaire dollar companies out of it.


Instagram is a community and one that you must be social on. If you have accounts looking on your Instagram stories and never engaging with your stories or commenting/liking your newsfeed, please do yourself a favor and delete them. Your Instagram algorithm doesn’t need them in your life.

I would also unfollow accounts that you are always leaving comments and engaging with but they never return the favor.

The last category of accounts you should unfollow are ones that are not active. This is the account that hasn’t posted in over a year.

Instagram account highlights

If you have had the same highlight cover colors for more than a year, switch it up. Go on to and you can easily create highlight covers.

Update your highlight stories as well. Add latest stories in your highlights so if a potential follower is on your account, they know you are active. When someone sees your last highlight was from 86 weeks ago why would they follow you?

Accounts follow other accounts that are active and contributing to their engagement.

If you need help building a community with a small following read this quick post here.

Here is a list of content creation tools to help you create content quicker.

Apps that help you create an Instagram aesthetic

Creating an Instagram aesthetic is probably one of the hardest things to create and be consistent with when creating content.

This process usually takes a few hours to do with my clients, but it helps make your profile stand out and attract new followers.

Once you have your theme or aesthetic figured out, check out some apps I recommend below.


Dress up your images with different fonts, thought bubbles and badges. Try to always use the same 2-3 fonts so it is consistent on your feed.


Snapseed is so freaking awesome! You can edit photos and even remove people from your background. There is so much to do with this free app.

Retro VHS and VHS cam

Not only is the interface for this app retro, it creates vintage and retro vibes. Perfect for B-rolls or just if you like some VHS vibes. I prefer the VHS cam app over the Retro VHS because you can do more with the app. Also omg the selfie option for the Retro VHS app is so scary. It makes you look like a monster! LOL

The interface for both of these apps are super cute as you can see below.

UNUM, Planoly or Preview.

These preview apps are SO important because they will help you stay consistent with your aesthetic.

The way these apps work is by uploading a photo or a series of photos on your Instagram feed.

These photos DO NOT get published onto your feed. It is just so you can see how your photos will look in your overall Instagram squares. If you are happy how your image fits, then you can upload directly from the app.

I suggest uploading directly from Instagram because you get higher engagement when you’re not using 3rd party apps to upload on Instagram.

If you enjoyed reading this blog check out this post here where I talk about content creation tools.

If you want to increase your Instagram engagement during the holidays read this quick post.

How to increase your engagement during the Holidays

The last week of November is pretty much Thanksgiving followed by non stop holiday parties and then New Years.

How the hell do you stay relevant and make sure your engagement is high during the holiday season?

Well homie, I did some research for you, and I’m sharing my tips with you below.

IG stories

Make your stories fun and show people what you’re up to. I know it’s hard to do 3-5 posts on your newsfeed a week, but stories are quick, fun and they expire after 24 hrs.

Are you going away for the Holidays? Show IG stories of yourself packing or at the airport.

People are nosy AF so what I love doing is just taking a picture inside of the plane or show a suitcase and ask your audience where they think you’re going.

When people engage with you, your profile is staying relevant and they remember your brand or business.

Make your stories fun and show stuff that is worth showing.

If you are a cosmetics company, show behind the scenes of a product you’re coming out with.

Public content schedule

Create a schedule of how many times a week you will be posting during the Holiday season.

Let your audience know how many times you’re posting, so they come back to your profile. Everyone knows I come out with a new blog post related to business and Instagram organic growth every Monday.

It also puts pressure on you to get your sh*t done.

Valuable content

Even if you post on Instagram once a week make sure it’s worth while. The most amount of engagement I get on my Instagram profile and blog is Mondays. My audience knows I drop a juicy blog post to help them level up on their brand and business.

How to find valuable content?

I ask my audience during the week which topic they would like to see, and I create it.

Your followers are following your brand or business page for a reason. Think about your brand and everything it entails. Give your audience content they can benefit from.

Do you need help finding content ideas? Read this quick blog post here.

How to build a community on Instagram

How to build a community on Instagram with a small following


You have to give back something to your your followers. For instance if you are a food blogger, you should be sharing much more than just pictures and videos on your page; include helpful information, like if the restaurant has vegan options, free parking or any happy hour specials. You want to be memorable and make your tribe happy, so always go the extra step in providing more information.

Nurture your current followers

Give attention to people that have already hit the follow button. Take 15 minutes of your day and comment and like their pictures. Pick 20 different people daily and reach out to them. Be genuine with your comments, and please don’t comment solely with emojis.

Follow and engage with Facebook groups in your niche

This step actually requires you to get out of Instagram and head over to Facebook. There are tons of Facebook groups ranging from mom groups, Yoga instructors, businesses, Foodie groups and etc. Join a group that is similar to your niche. Engage with posts and try to provide some value to the group.

If you are a startup soap company that specializes in eczema clearing products, do a giveaway in the Facebook group or just skim posts until you find one that you can reply to. You don’t want to be annoying and spam people. Many groups also have certain days of no self-promotions so please follow the rules.

Remember to vote on my IG stories on what topic you would like to see for next Monday’s blog post.

Read here for content ideas when you have nothing to post about.

How to increase your engagement with the removal of Instagram’s like button.

Do you still have the Instagram like feature on your account?

If so, not for long! Instagram will completely get rid of this feature.

Canada and so many countries have rolled out with this feature already.  

Here are 3 tips on how to still get engagement on your Instagram account regardless of what changes Instagram rolls out

1. Post polls and ask questions on your stories

The more people that engage on your stories lets Instagram know that you are posting valuable content. When you are posting your morning cup of coffee or green tea, have your audience interact and have fun with the story: quiz them on what you’re drinking.

2. Post meaningful stories every 3-5 hours.

If you have a business, share products that your target market can benefit from.
For instance if you are a vegan bakery, you can share content from other businesses that sell vegan icing or vegan butter for baking.

3. Engage with your audiences’ stories

Take 20 minutes out of your day and engage with the stories that are about to expire.  Instead of engaging with the top 3 you see on your Instagram home screen, scroll all the way to the right until you reach the end.  Interact with these stories that are expiring soon because you could have missed a great opportunity to connect.

When you interact with people’s stories, you are more memorable and people will return the favor by coming onto your profile.

Why do you think Instagram got rid of the likes feature?  Let me know in the comments below.

Next week I will be sharing how to build a community on Instagram.

Until then read about how to get more profile visits on your Instagram account here.

Here are content creation creation tools to help you create engaging content.

Content creation tools that help you create engaging content.


Canva. Holy snap if you have been following me, you would think Canva is sponsoring me for always talking about them. They’re not, but Canva is where it’s at!

I use it to create proposals for prospective clients and content for Instagram. They also have animated templates and story templates for Instagram. The dimensions to create content for Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are already set, so you don’t have to worry about those details.


I look for inspiration here to see how images and quotes are created. I try to create images that are different from what you normally see floating around the internet. Remember you want your content to stand out, so you have to see what’s already out there. You don’t want to create content that people just scroll by.

Mojo app

Omg this app will take your stories to the next level. Instead of just slapping a fat sticker on your Instagram stories that says New Post or Tap Here, use Mojo. This app will create beautiful animated stories and most of the templates are free. You can also use the StoryArt app as well. If you are an android user, look into Spark Post.

Creative Market

This is a paid resource. They sell Instagram highlight covers, quotes and much more! They sell content for other platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and Pinterest as well. Click here to check out some of the paid Instagram templates.

As you heard Instagram is getting rid of likes in more countries and the amount of hashtags used is also changing. Check back next week to learn about all the changes happening and how you can still stand out despite the changes.

If you need more profile visits on your Instagram account read this quick post.

How to increase profile visits on your Instagram account.

Create shareable content


Create your own post quotes using the website canva.

-Share tweets that your followers can relate to so they reshare onto their Instagram stories.

– Repost your audience’s content on your Instagram stories.

  Only repost content that your followers will benefit from. Once you repost, chances are they will repost you and new eyeballs will be on your Instagram.

Remember to mention them and do not add music.  If you add music the person you mentioned will not be able to repost to their stories.

Share your Instagram post on Pinterest

When someone repins your post they will know it came from your Instagram account and you will get credit for it. You have a higher chance of someone visiting your Instagram account.

You will first have to claim your account on Pinterest. The screenshots below will show you how.

Click the 3 dots on the top right section of your Pinterest page. Click on “Edit settings”

Claim your account on the left hand side.

Scroll down and you have option to claim your website, Instagram and YouTube account.

Engaging with niche hashtags

Leave comments in the recent posts of your niche hashtags.  For instance I go into #socialmediacoaching hashtag.  It is not a huge hashtag that has over 50 K posts, so I leave meaningful comments in the recent posts.  When you comment in recent posts, the person most likely returns the favor.

If you need some content ideas when you have nothing to post, click here.

If you want to know why you’re not getting a follow back on the gram read this post.

Content ideas when you have nothing to post

Vulnerable story 

Let’s face it, Instagram is usually full of happy faces 🙂 We normally see perfect lives depicted on our favorite social media platforms.

That’s why sharing a struggle or a personal experience is a great idea. People will empathize or your story will resonate & encourage someone going through a similar challenges.

Content ideas:

The struggles of owning a start up business

Story of failing your first 4 businesses

Share more about yourself

People are nosy/curious and want to learn more about their Instagram icons or followers.

Things you can share:

  • What you do as a living
  • How did you start your business
  • How did you meet your significant other


Teach your viewers something that provides value.  If you are a social media coach or even a content creator, you can share:

3 types of apps to take your Instagram story to the next level

Strategies to grow organically on Instagram

How to properly record a video for IGTV

Once you have your content idea locked down read about how to write a caption that gets you the most amount of engagement here

The art of having someone follow you back on Instagram

Hey welcome back!

Did you guys have a good weekend?

Save this blog post link because it’s great to refer back to.

Today I’m going to teach you two ways you can have someone follow you back on Instagram.  Before we start, here’s a quick checklist:

1. Make sure the person is in your niche (mommy blogger, Lifestyle blogger, pilates instructor, daycare owner and etc.)

2. Your bio has to be fully optimized.  Meaning if  a stranger comes on your Instagram account, they will understand what category you fit into.  Maybe you are a mommy blogger, chef, photographer, or a makeup artist. There is a link down below that will help you further understand how to fully optimize your profile.

3.  Don’t follow anyone that has more than 5K followers than your own following.  (This doesn’t pertain to you if you have over 100K followers)

Ok, once you’ve checked off these items above,we get to the fun part… finding your next IG community member.

Once you found someone in your niche, you are going to leave a meaningful comment on their latest post and like 5-6 of their photos. Lastly, you will then hit the follow button.  
Usually, this should work but say the account has over 10 K followers. Chances are they just didn’t see your likes or saw that one comment you left.

If you don’t get a follow back what you are going to do is turn on post notifications for their account, so whenever they do post again you have another chance to write a meaningful comment.  I realized asking a question relating to their caption or image works better than a compliment.

How to turn on post notifications

Once you have left a second meaningful question you are then going to slide into their DMs.  You are going to take the convo off the newsfeed and ask them another question or you provide value to them.  Read my example below.

I want a social media coach to follow me and I see she is traveling to New York.  Let’s name this girl Sarah.  After I leave a public comment, I will DM Sarah restaurants that she should check out. 

Sarah will appreciate the list I have sent her and the discount specials only a local would know.  Sarah will then check out my IG and realize oh this girl Salma is in my niche and we share similar interests!

Sarah will realize Salma has been supporting her lately and Sarah will follow Salma back. Sarah realizes that Salma will be an active community member who engages with her content.

BAM! There you go.  That’s two ways to have someone follow you back.  

Just a reminder as a business, it doesn’t matter how many likes you have but the income that is coming in.  Building a community is important and you should work on it at least 3x a week engaging with new people and nurturing your current followers.

DM me to let me know what I should help you with next?

If you’re still not getting a follow back after following the above steps, read 5 reasons why you’re not getting a follow back on Instagram here.

If you aren’t seeing comments and likes on your Instagram post check out this quick blog post I wrote.