It’s the fastest growing social network. It’s gaining more attention and popularity among adults and young people. There are 300 million monthly active users. We’re talking about Instagram. And if you haven’t hopped on the #insta bandwagon yet, it’s about time you consider it.
As we all know, every social network is different, and needs to be used differently and this visual platform is no exception. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
If you’ve just started your new account, post at least 12 photos before adding people. This will make it look legit and not like one of those "fake" accounts or “bots” we all choose not to follow back.
Differentiate Instagram from other social platforms. If you have multiple social media platforms for that same business (Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat), make your Instagram platform unique, with it's own strategy and content. This will encourage people to follow and engage on every platform, as they’re getting a different experience.
Try not to make your account look too crowded or busy when you look at it as a whole. You want it to look like pages from a magazine as you flip through. Alternate text (or quote images) with photos. This makes it more visually appealing.
If someone already has your desired Instagram name, opt for using an underscore (_) in the name instead of adding numbers on the end. It's easier to find for people searching you out and also looks more professional.
If you want your own personal Instagram account, but also have a business, choose to have two different accounts. It's better to keep your personal life personal and have your business separate unless your business is based upon your personal brand (singer, actress, athlete etc).
Keep the party pics, drinking photos on a personal account, never on a business. Nuff said.
Be sure your bio has a few key essentials. It should include a description of your business and location, handles from other platforms you are on, and your email or website (this is your only opportunity for a click-through on Instagram as they don’t allow links within images, so be sure you have something input and it’s the best place for your followers to go next to interact with your business). You can also include common hashtags you use to encourage followers to utilize them as well!
Try to stick to a similar look/filter for your photos. It makes it look more appealing when you choose similar filters/lighting and builds into your brand.
When possible, ALWAYS use natural light for taking photos you plan to post. Natural light is the best possible lighting and makes your photos look clear and beautiful. If you are inside at a restaurant/cafe for instance, sit by the window.
Post 1-3 posts per day. This will keep the engagement going and will ensure you remain memorable.
When people comment on your photos—respond! To anyone and everyone. If it’s positive feedback, thank them. If it's a negative comment, you need to be tactful with how you respond (and be sure you have a consistent policy in place for managing these instances on all social platforms). We never recommend deleting comments (unless offensive) as people don’t want to feel censored. We suggest acknowledging them right away and offering to connect with them offline somehow to resolve. This ensures anyone reading the comments will see how prompt and responsive you’ve been and how eager you are to find a resolution, without having the entire discussion publicly.
When showcasing a product or company (or even a person) in a photo, be sure to tag the product/company, include the location, and use any relevant product/company/campaign hashtags. This makes it easier for your followers to learn more and also supports these businesses by encouraging others to participate/follow/engage. These businesses will appreciate that, and you never know when they might send some love back your way!
Now that you know how to post and present yourself to get started, you’re probably wondering how to best build an audience of followers on this platform. Stay tuned for our next Instagram blog where we'll share some tips on growing an engaged community!
Get us on Instagram at @media_mad.