Welcome to the second post in my social media for yoga teachers series.

Does it seem like every yoga teacher on Instagram seems to have cracked the code for social media success except for you?

I promise, there are no secret codes for growing your Instagram following full of the exact students and clients you want to attract. There are just some simple principles and the hard work that follows them up!

But first…why use Instagram for your yoga business at all?

A few key reasons:

  1. Your target clients and students are most likely there.
  2. It’s a great platform for conversations: real engagement with real people!
  3. Yoga content lends itself beautifully to this visual platform.
  4. It’s a platform that’s still getting great organic (unpaid) reach.
  5. And of course, Instagram is key to helping you brand your business.

Just like with Facebook, the first thing you need to do to get started with Instagram is define your goals.

A few options are:

  • Grow your email list
  • Increase class or workshop attendance
  • Increase studio or website memberships
  • Build awareness for your brand
  • Attract new customers to purchase physical products
  • Grow brand loyalty to turn clients and students into raving fans
  • Attract new students to attend your classes
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Engage current clients and students as well as prospective clients and students

Clearly defining your goals will help you create an effective strategy.

Your strategy will define your content. For example, if one of your goals is to engage your current clients and students, you’ll probably want to ask them a lot of questions in your posts. If one of your goals is to increase class or workshop attendance, posting photo or video stories of current classes can help you do that.

Your bio is key. Your bio is one of the first things people see when they click on your page and are deciding whether or not to follow you— so make it good! Clearly share who you or your business is, what you do, and why they should follow you or what your mission is (Some accounts that do this well are Yoga With Adriene, Brittney Carmichael, and Cassandra Bodzak).

Choose your content. There are two formats for content on Instagram: posts that go in your feed on your page, visible forever (unless you delete them) and stories, which disappear after 24 hours.

Your feed is a great place to cultivate your aesthetic. When people visit your profile, you want it to be really easy for them to figure out what you and your brand are all about.

Stories are a great place for more casual, less staged photos and videos. Maybe your feed is all about minimalist yoga photos, but you want to incorporate some more lifestyle elements, too. Your Instagram story is the perfect place for that.

I recommend using stories often! You can also use them to direct people to your latest post with calls-to-action like “Check out my last post for X.”

To learn more about the purposes of different content, click here.

Growing your Instagram. Now we’re getting to the good stuff! Read below to discover a few key ways to grow your Instagram as a yoga business.

1. It starts with good content. No matter how many growth strategies you use, if you don’t have quality content, your following won’t grow. Make that your priority, and then use the tips below to continue to reach more and more of your ideal students and clients!

2. Hashtag every post. There are different schools of thought on this, and it’s even thought that Instagram might do away with hashtags at some point. But for now, hashtags can still be a great part of your strategy! The key is to use the right hashtags.

When you search for hashtags, you want to hit the sweet spot of more than 100,000 but less than 1,000,000. This means that there are enough people using it that your posts will get seen, but not so many people using it that your posts get buried.

The other things to remember with hashtags? Switch them up, and use any trending hashtags to join a relevant conversation!

3. Engage. There are three audiences you want to engage with (and by engage I mean like, comment, and follow):

  1. Your followers. First and foremost, engage with the people who already follow you to cultivate a strong community.
  2. Relevant hashtags. Go through relevant hashtags regularly and engage with the users who post there. Remember to switch these up, too! There are so many yoga and spirituality-related hashtags that you’ll never run out.
  3. Likers and commenters of accounts that have your target audience. This is one of the best ways I’ve found to engage with my ideal clients. It starts with getting clear about who your ideal clients actually are. Then ask yourself, who do they follow online? Maybe it’s a yoga-based subscription box, an inspiring author, or a public figure. Visit those pages, and engage with the people who have liked their posts.

4. Use call-to-actions in your posts. Want people to comment with an emoji, click the link in your bio, or tag a friend? Let them know! “Tag a friend who needs this mala,” “Tag a friend you want to bring to this retreat,” or “Tag a friend to try this pose with” are all great examples of call to actions that both get engagement and help other people discover your account.

5. Ask your other followers to follow you. Already have a following on another platform like your email list, Twitter, or Facebook? Invite them to follow you on Instagram, too. Chances are, they will!

6. Geotag your photos. This is a simple but great way to share your photo with other people who’ve used the same geotag! Get specific, like a restaurant or neighborhood, or go general with a city.

7. Collaborate with other users. How can you collaborate with other users with similar audiences to benefit you both? Can you host a contest or start an Instagram challenge? Can you take over each other’s stories for the day as guest contributors? Can you start a group where you all like and share each other’s posts? Get creative!

What other questions do you have about using social media for your yoga business? Comment below and let me know— I would love to help!