What’s Working Right Now on Instagram with Expert Natasha Samuel

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This episode is presented by Feathr – Nonprofits of all shapes and sizes use Feathr’s digital marketing tools to increase awareness, engage donors, promote events, and hit fundraising goals. Feathr provides a central place to manage digital advertising, email marketing, and peer-to-peer campaigns, as well as build ads, landing pages, and more. Click here to learn more.

Today we’re getting tactical and nitty-gritty with Instagram. From how to build authority with a small audience, the ins and outs of reels, Instagram Lives, why you shouldn’t freak out over hashtags, and what metrics to track.

Does Instagram rank saves, comments, and shares higher than likes? What are the best tools for scheduling social media content?

Natasha Samuel is an Instagram Strategist, podcaster, and YouTuber who helps small businesses shine online and her content is so inspirational and intentional. If you’ve been intimidated by Instagram Reels, keeping up with posting consistently, and engaging intentionally with your audience, there are so many gems in this episode that you’re going to love.

How to use Instagram to build thought leadership 

You may not naturally think of Instagram as a thought leadership platform in the way you would say, LinkedIn, but as Natasha began using Instagram to share her expertise on a consistent basis, incredible opportunities started rolling in (like getting to speak at Social Media Marketing World!) and her following propelled forward.

Video is EVERYTHING. Think of that 15 second Instagram reel or 20 minute Instagram Live as your speaker reel. You’re showcasing your energy, your diversity, how you engage with an audience, and your competence. It’s such a powerful opportunity to captivate someone who might be looking for their next podcast guest or mainstage speaker.

Even if you have a small following, you can still cultivate a tight-knit community on the ‘gram. This goes back to influencer marketing. Brands don’t always want to work with accounts that have over 10,000 or a million followers and no substance to their content.

As you focus on building your leadership on the platform, Natasha encourages us to experiment and test. Look at what’s working well and what’s taking off in your industry. When you see what types of content and formats are resonating with your audience, you can disrupt that or offer a different point of view.

It’s a muscle we have to practice.

The nitty gritty of Instagram Reels (and the difference between “trending” and “show and tell” reels)

I get it, reels can be intimidating. They cause us to stop our scroll, marvel at someone’s creativity, and think, “I can’t do that!”

But reels can add a TON of value. Natasha breaks down two common types and how you can leverage both in your content creation process on Instagram.

Trending reels are naturally going to get you a lot of reach. They may be based on a specific audio clip or involve lip syncing or dancing, very similar in nature to the culture of what we see trending on TikTok. Here’s the thing – don’t copy a reel just for the sake of it, but draw on it for inspiration. Apply the trend in a way that’s “on brand” and as laser-focused on your industry and niche as possible. 

Show and tell reels are an amazing vehicle for offering bite-sized value and a mini transformation. Visually show something with a voiceover or talk to the camera with your music choice, whether the song is trending or not. This type of reel may not give you that overnight viral sensation effect, but it’s a powerful way to jump on the short-form video trend.

Natasha even shares a juicy bonus tip that’s highly underutilized. If someone replies to your reel with a question, reply with another reel! It’ll create a content thread on your Instagram, continue the cycle of conversation, and deepen engagement with your audience.

The success metrics we should be tracking on Instagram

I love how Natasha approaches social media so organically, so I was curious to dig into metrics with her. With the many types of vanity metrics out there, what numbers should we be tracking to measure our success on Instagram? What’s really important to look at?

First, take a step back and get complete clarity around your goals.

From there, look at your Instagram Insights and observe how many new people that you’re reaching vs. how many of your current audience members you’re reaching. Take note of how many shares, likes, comments, and saves that you’re getting on your content.

Natasha appreciates that Instagram actually separates the data between non-followers and followers, and further breaks it down by reels content vs. feed content.

As you review your metrics holistically, take a look at them every week, month, and quarter. Dream up ways to repurpose your best content or even give life to new content that didn’t perform as well that needs a second chance in a different format.

Natasha’s Ask

“I have a baby YouTube channel, so I’d love to hear how we’re doing and what type of content you’re looking for on YouTube, related to Instagram. We’re testing, experimenting, and getting good feedback, but we’re still a baby channel.”

Check out Natasha’s YouTube channel for Instagram strategies to help make your business shine.

Notable Quotes from Natasha

“I was showing up and creating a community and showing up imperfectly for so long that I really built that trust.”


“Consistently showing up for your community is way more valuable than cranking out a lot of content for the sake of cranking out content.”

Resources & Links

This episode is presented by Feathr – Expand your reach, further your mission. Use Feathr’s digital marketing tools to increase awareness, boost online donations, promote events, recruit volunteers, and ultimately do more good. Learn More. 

Connect with Natasha on her Instagram, @shinewithnatasha, subscribe to her YouTube channel, and tune in to The Shine Online Podcast. You can also grab her FREE 3-minute video lesson, 3 Steps to Repurpose Instagram Content.

Check out Natasha’s 3 favorite social media scheduling tools: Buffer, Later, and Planoly. She also recommends InShot for video editing and Canva for graphics.

Natasha recommends that we follow @blairimani on Instagram for unique perspectives on politics and history and @klassynetwork on Instagram and TikTok, who have blown up on social media with a product brand.

Check out my NEW $27 mini course, Visible Reach In A Week. In 30 minutes, you’ll learn how to create a $3 a day ad campaign that will drive brand awareness with your supporters.

Want to make Missions to Movements even better? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram. Be sure to tag @positivequation so I can connect with you.

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