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.