Instagram has quickly grown to be one the largest, most used apps of this generation, and tails only behind Facebook. Not only does Instagram get more engagement than any other social network, but it’s also used by 48 million Millennials, with a total of 600 million users total. The app has doubled in usage since 2012.
Instagram is a platform that allows you to have that one perfect photo and show it to the world. Honestly, there has been a little uproar since Instagram has now allowed people to post albums, slightly defeating its previous platform of having that true “one perfect photo” moment. Regardless, with that aside, Instagram is useless to you if you do not know how to utilize it correctly. Here are eight ideas that will help you grow your Instagram shrewdness, number of followers and increase your engagement.
No. 1: Create A Strategy
Instagram is seamless in that it allows you to just jump right into and start posting this and that to your page. But be careful, you can easily into the habit of over posting, multiple posts throughout the day without much cohesiveness or common theme. Being enthusiastic about your Instagram is essential but don’t just jump right in head first; take a moment to create a strategy. Some of the best businesses in the game have a clear, concise, cohesive look to their Instagram page, and while we would like to think it just happens that way, there is actually a strategic plan behind the creativity.
Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of time for spontaneous photos of perhaps an outing your business may be on, or a client meeting in a shiny new conference room. Planning, however, gives you the opportunity to make creative campaigns that will grow your audience.
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No. 2: Know Your Audience
One of the biggest challenges one faces when building a brand on Instagram, is knowing what to post. The first tactic in figuring out what to post is understanding and knowing your audience and what they’re looking for. For example, I’m an artist, so an emphasis on the feedback I receive is important, not only when it comes to the posting of the pictures of my final product, but I’ve discovered posting images and videos of the creative process also produce great results. People are genuinely interested in learning about the process and methodologies used to achieve the end results. The ability to understand and read your audience, while identifying what attracts them to your product is crucial. Do some A/B testing with your posts in Instagram.
No. 3: Use Videos for Engagement
The appeal of images on Instagram can’t be understated, as it is based off the ideal of being “the one perfect picture” platform. However, videos tend to do very well on Instagram in engaging the audience. An immediate impact is necessary since Instagram videos are very short windows. Be sure to grab their attention immediately and make them want to watch it through to completion.
No. 4: Focus on Quality
It’s quality over quantity when pertaining to Instagram. You don’t want to overwhelm Instagram users with a ton of pictures all at once, especially with photos and videos of an inferior nature. Direct your energies toward focusing on that one photo, the one that places an emphasis on what you want to say about your brand and business. Make sure the image is attractive to your audience, one that’s a high resolution photo. No one wants to see gritty pictures on Instagram. Take their breath away!
No. 5: Creative Hashtags
Get creative with your hashtags. You should have a specific hashtag that no one else has used to promote your business or brand. For example, mine is #LrenTheArtist. The great thing about having an original hashtag is that when the user clicks on it, they see all of your work at once without the interruption of someone else’s, so you can avoid getting distracted or following a bunny rabbit down the hole.
Also, use hashtags wisely. You want to think of specific hashtags that relate to your image as well as possible. You want to use hashtags to summarize your image in words. Don’t use too many, because if you do, it will begin to look as you’ve been inundated with spam, and it’s like you’re just out there screaming “GIVE ME LIKES PLEASE”. Yeah, you don’t want that.
No. 6: Location, location, location
When you post on Instagram, you tag your location right when you post the image. If you’re at your business, tag the location so people who see your hashtag for cleaning supplies know exactly where to search for them, at your store. The location feature brings up a little map when you click on the location so people know exactly where to find you. Plus you can see all the pictures taken at that location too.
No.7: Links in Instagram
One fault, or perhaps feature, of Instagram is that they don’t create links in the descriptions of images even if you put one in there. If you want to direct people to your website or a certain Internet page, you can put the link in your bio and then direct people there in the description of your image; it’s a little loophole around the link issue but you won’t always get follow through. However, it is better than nothing, and you never know if it may lead to a conversion.
No. 8 Consistency is Key
Last but not least, is being consistent in how often you post. You want to be loyal to your followers and keep them for as long as possible, so posting on a consistent basis helps them to learn about you more, while keeping your audience engaged in what you’re doing. If you’re posting once per day which is a good flow, then keep with it. Don’t fall off and only post once a week, because in doing so, you’ll lose crucial interest. Taking breaks is okay, but stay with it. The money will start rolling in if you use Instagram properly. And if money isn’t what you’re after, then just have fun and stick with it!