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How to Create Meaningful Content on Your Instagram

Updated: Jul 16, 2020

by Erica Yong |

I love Instagram. I do. It is on this platform that I get inspiration for my art, catch up on what’s going on in the lives of people I care about and be encouraged. With every post I put up and every Instagram story I share, I can only hope to do the same for someone who’s viewing it. I want it to be meaningful, to resonate with my audience. To avoid putting out meaningless content, I ask myself these questions before I hit the “share” button on anything.

1. Is it ‘me’?

The first thing to consider is whether what I’m putting out is true to who I am. “But that’s so vague!” you might say. It differs for everyone, but for me, whatever I put out must be either relevant to my interests, my beliefs or something involving my life. I find that content like that will speak to people, and it is fun to view it months down the road for reminiscence’s sake. This makes it more unique and meaningful because it reflects me.

I like to post about my milestones. One example of this is a series of posts that I made showcasing my old art. I took the time to reflect on my progress and how my art has changed, which was such a good trip down memory lane for me; and I’m glad that people liked the sentiments of some old journal entries I shared.

Another element that one can incorporate into their content to make it ‘theirs’ are their values or things that they believe in. Are you passionate about the environment and sustainable living? Are you an advocate for mental health? What is your story? A good example of this is @humansofny, an Instagram account showcasing stories of people in New York. Each story is unique and highly personal, making it so interesting to read.

It doesn’t mean that your content has to be super personal though! What you want to share is up to you. It can be on what’s going on in your life right now, like time spent with friends or special occasions. It can be on books you’re reading or games that you’re playing, outfits to showcase your fashion sense or even food that you have made. It can even be sharing great photographs that you took and love. Sharing such content helps showcase your personality and your interests. I like to draw art related to the media that I am interested in, like the art I did below for a short film that I loved, it may not be perfect, but it’s mine!

Here’s how you can start coming up with content that reflects you: Make a list of things that’s on your mind right now. What is something that you cannot stop talking about? What is something that you go to during your free time? These are the things you should take note of, and perhaps share with your audience.

2. What is my message?

Coming off the previous point, another thing that I consider is the message that I’m trying to convey. From the start, I created my Instagram account to share my hand-lettering art. It was to document my growth and maybe inspire people on the way. Almost every post that I put out has a topic of some sort. Take this picture, where I talked about in the caption about my need to remain committed to practising my craft.

It doesn’t need to be deep and inspirational though; sometimes it can be funny and witty too - it all comes back to your personality and preference. For the not-so-feely users, the meme accounts on Instagram bring doses of laughter to people, and I'm sure they’re always appreciated.

Think about something that you would like to tell others about. Is it something that you're passionate about, yet not many people know of? Is it something that you have learned recently that would benefit the public? Jot them down, do some more research, and curate a meaningful, informational post.

3. Is there an occasion or need right now?

One last thing you can think about is the current occasion. Posting something relevant to the season or current events makes it meaningful. As I'm writing this, the Movement Control Order is still ongoing. People on my Instagram feed are posting messages of encouragement, to stay strong in this time of isolation; a few were giving out freebies, like free classes or free products to keep people occupied at home; others were educating the public, creating videos or infographics on the coronavirus.

To start, consider your audience. What will they be needing right now? What is going on in the world right now? Can you provide content related to that? How can you respond to these events?

With social media being so rampant in our lives, it’s important to use it wisely. Creating meaningful content for Instagram or any other platform does take a little more thought and time, but seeing your content help, inspire, and impact your audience is worth it. I hope these tips helped shed a little light on how you can get started; have fun, creators!

You can learn more about the writer on Instagram.

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