Recently, I took some webinars on Instagram strategies. Sounds crazy and totally a Millennial thing to do…because it is. Yet, we can’t be casual or careless with such a powerful social tool. How do our posts tell a larger story? Who does our Instagram serve? How can we use Instagram to inspire the friends and family that follow us?

Each picture and caption tells a larger story.

But what story are your posts telling? If your desire is to tell the story of your messy family trying to center itself on Christ, how does each smaller post reflect this larger narrative? Setting aside time and reflecting on the larger story, allows us to post more thoughtful and heartfelt content.

Your stories either serve you or others.

Do the quotes you use, the photos you post, and the stories you tell put a smile on the face of others? It is absolutely possible to use your Instagram account to inspire those around you. Your stories can be used to point people to Christ, to highlight a social issue, or to celebrate the simple things of life.

After learning these new ideas, I needed a little reevaluation with my Instagram account. I want my account to be aesthetically pleasing, truthful, and relevant. I try to post bright photos and genuine captions because I want my readers to feel hopeful and understood. It’s not all about me, but about all of you who read the content (or at least take 3 seconds to admire the picture). I am not a social media expert, but these are two small steps I can take to become more authentic and genuine with my followers.

Take some time to really think about your story and how it serves your followers. So that, Instagram, which often causes comparison and competition, becomes a creative outlet you find life-giving and encouraging.