Jackie Candelaria, a former product marketing and partnership manager at Instagram, is now helping brands and creators grow their businesses and audiences on Instagram. Candelaria was among the 11,000 people laid off by Facebook in November 2022. She launched a 29-part course for Instagram consultants on Kajabi, priced at $350, to help brands and small businesses grow on Instagram through one-on-one coaching and strategy. Candelaria shares several strategies to help people grow their audience and community on Instagram. One of the strategies she shares is that Instagram and TikTok are very different, so people should approach them differently. Candelaria also highlights the importance of telling stories on Instagram reels and taking a holistic approach to account success. She further emphasizes that building a community on Instagram requires time and effort, and there is no universal formula for success.
According to Candelaria, one of the biggest mistakes people make is taking strategies from TikTok and replicating them on Instagram. However, the ecosystems of content and the algorithms on both platforms work very differently. Instagram, for example, was built around connections between people “you chose to engage with and that you chose to follow.” TikTok, on the other hand, is still the opposite for many users. “If you want your account on Instagram to be successful, you can’t just rely on one viral video to take off, and then you’ll immediately have a bunch of followers and fame,” she said.
Candelaria further emphasizes that building a community on Instagram requires time and effort. “If you want to build a strong community, you have to respond to your audience, you have to give them attention,” she said. She advises people to start with a posting cadence they feel comfortable with, then closely read the data and insights provided by Instagram. “Identify how your community is reacting to this content and then based on their reaction, this is how you can double down,” she said.
Another strategy Candelaria shares is that a good reel has to tell a story. She advises people to avoid reposting content from their Instagram stories as reels, which the app directly encourages. Creators and Instagram itself are still calibrating around what type of short-form video content is the best fit for the platform.
Finally, Candelaria emphasizes that there is no universal formula for success on Instagram. While Instagram has advised some creators to post a certain number of posts each day or week, there isn’t a silver bullet. “Every single person’s Instagram audience behaves differently,” she said. Therefore, she advises people to take a more holistic approach to account success.