Instagram is one of the largest platforms for social media! It has over 700 million monthly users as of April 2017, and is being used on a constant basis to market people, products, agencies, etc. Being a pictorial platform, Instagram provides people, companies and brands with their visual footprint. It showcases your voice and community, but it’s not always easy to drive engagement and increase your following. That’s why we’ve developed some tips to help step up your game and do it organically!
1. Post Consistently
The best brands post at least daily content and do so in a manner that is strategic. This may entail posting 2-3 times per day, depending on the different messages they want to be picked up by their audiences. The key to posting consistently is to build your own stock of images that allow your messages to be sent out into the world in a fresh, dynamic manner each time.
Tip: Experiment with different angles, environments and light to create engaging material.
2. Popular Hashtags
Hashtags are key in getting your content discovered and possibly helping it go viral. The Instagram algorithms help curate content from the hashtags people use, but be mindful of how many hashtags you use and the frequency in which you use them. If you tag #Foodie in every one of your posts, there may be a chance your content isn’t seen as much as Instagram is working to take out the “bots,” or fake accounts, that operate in that way.
Tip: When including a hashtag in your post, wait a moment and it will show you how many posts have that hashtag. This may be an excellent way to monitor the popularity of hashtags.
3. Visually Stunning Content & Keep it User-Generated (UGC)
Since Instagram is entirely visually-based, it is imperative your content be stunning and captivating. This includes having high-quality images as well as different angles, subjects, depth, focal points, etc. Users respond to content that makes them feel something. Figure out what your audience likes and how your content caters to that.
Also, make sure a chunk of your content is user-generated. While it is perfectly okay to share content from other people, brands, agencies, it’s important to generate your own content so that people may share it as well. Users respond better to content created by you or your brand so make sure you keep that in mind.
Tip: Think about the “rule of thirds,” when taking pictures. A frame is divided in three, so experiment with putting your subject in different sections of the frame. If your subject is a person, maybe have them on the left section since people read left-to-right.
4. Digital Story
You may not think of it like this yet, but Instagram is your visual portfolio, or your visual-digital story. It’s the visual representation of your brand and it represents what you look like to yourself and to your audience. Therefore, it is important to understand what your digital story is; does your usage of light colors mean that your brand is focused on minimalism? Do you usually use pastels into your posts, meaning that your brand celebrates vibrancy?
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then your profile is your autobiography, so think about what it’s telling your audience. It’s nice to incorporate some sort of theme, but don’t get caught up in it either.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to experiment with your content, after all it’s your story and it will only speak to your character.
5. Engagement with Community
One of the keys to being a successful brand, agency, entrepreneur, etc. is to engage with your community. This goes beyond just following users that relate to what you do, it involves liking and commenting on your followers’ content, sharing their content with friends via direct messaging, tagging others in their posts and tagging them in your own. Instagram is built off being a community to build your own and interact with it on an authentic and consistent basis.
Tip: Try doing posts that challenge users to tag others so you can get more engaged with their networks.
Harness the restorative properties of a mischievous time
Mercury in retrograde was definitely blamed as the culprit for some of our communication mishaps this summer and shaped some important decisions, such as the launch of this website after the period ended.
Diehard astrological fans will explain how some planets appear to be traveling backward through the zodiac. This illusion is referred to as retrograde motion. Mercury in retrograde causes an unease because the planet rules all things communications. Whether that’s emails, texts, letters or smoke signals, it’s a popular occurrence for the channels we use to communicate to not always be on our side.
Much in the way we can’t avoid Mercury Retrograde, neither can we put a halt to the hard work and communication that needs to get done. So, how do you survive Mercury Retrograde? The answer is to take many deep breaths, remembering that it’s all temporary and perhaps tapping into the following tips:
Tie up as many loose ends
Get things finalized before Mercury Retrograde hits. Effective communication needs to be on your side, so take advantage of it before the planet enters retrograde and contacts become slightly harder to reach.
One of the biggest areas proponents advise against is signing important contracts or making big investments during Mercury Retrograde. However, we don’t want you to miss out on a great opportunity just because of a planet! If such things require your attention, then review every aspect of it carefully before signing on the dotted line. And we mean reviewing every. single. detail.
Back it up. Back all of it up.
This is when it pays off to have backup plans to your backup plans. If your company will experience a big event or launch, chances are that some sort of alternative plan is already in place to ensure things go smoothly. Confirm that all schedules, meetings, and parties involved are still good to go. Make sure all alternatives are intact, but here’s hoping you won’t have to use them.
Digitally speaking, little patience will be shown for files that can’t be summoned when they’re most needed. Avoid falling into the pit of computer errors by properly storing and backing up all essential documents. It’s also worth noting that when it comes to digital communication, comb through emails carefully to secure that key messages aren’t buried or lost before hitting the send button. And of course, keep an eye out for emails that fail to send but mysteriously end up in your “drafts” folder.
Review and revamp
Mercury Retrograde welcomes more than a little chaos, as it can actually serve as a restorative period.
Think of Mercury Retrograde as a time to check-in and assess all that’s happening with your company. Is it time for a new campaign? Is your website in need of a serious clean up? Is your company’s social media losing momentum? Use this time to dig into these questions and create strategies for revamping areas that may have been overlooked too long.
The aforementioned tips addressed areas that businesses should look into regardless of their sentiments for Mercury Retrograde. With the next retrograde expected to cast over us between December 3 - 22, we invite you to read more on Mercury Retrograde