They say a picture is worth a thousand words and social media seems to be proving that to be as true now as it ever was. (Posts with photos on both Twitter and Facebook get way more interaction than text only posts!) But of course, the one social platform that has taken the art of the photo to the next level is Instagram.
Instagram is an awesome platform for your business but running an account for your business is a vastly different thing than maintaining a personal account. But it doesn’t need to be intimidating! In fact I’ve got ten smart Instagram for business tips below:
Top 10 Instagram Tips + Tricks
1. Post Pretty Things
It might go without saying but Instagram is all about the visual. So make sure you only post beautiful images! Blurry or dark images are never going to get as much interaction as crisp and clear ones. However, sometimes you have to work with what you’ve got! Fortunately, there are a ton of photography apps out there that go a long way towards cleaning things up. (I’ll cover my favorites in a separate post later.)
2. Post Your URL
Always make sure your blog URL is posted in your description box at the minimum. This might also sound super basic but I’ve had to go searching around for a few people’s websites and that’s just not cool. So don’t make your fans do that!
Since you can’t post a clickable URL in your post, you can also take it a step further by switching up the URL in your bio to your latest post every time you update. Personally, I use a bit.ly URL but it’s still a bit of a hassle as someone would have to manually type it in for it to work. Hopefully Instagram will change this some day but for now this is what we have to do.
Use hashtags! People actually search Instagram through hashtags so using them is a great way to those grams in front of waaaaay more people. Basic hashtags like #design, #photography and #food get tons of views which then translates into more likes for you. Try out a few different ones and see what works best for you! Of course, you should always make sure your hashtags are relevant and never get carried away with them! Using too many hashtags just comes across as desperate.
4. Create Your Own Hashtag
Now take the hashtag concept one step further! Create your own branded hashtags and encourage your followers to use them. A blog that is a great example of this is DesignSponge, who has a special hashtag every month focusing on different visual themes like #dsshapes, #dscolors and #dstexture. This is also a great way to connect your community since your readers can search by these hashtags as well.
5. Get Personal
Don’t be afraid to share your personal side. Your fans want connect to the real you, not just to a faceless brand. So feel free to be yourself from time to tim: inspiring, funny, poetic, whatever that is. Consider sharing the not-so-perfect bits of your life on occasion. Show the behind the scenes or a preview of what’s coming next. While we’re used to seeing a happy filtered world on social media, the occasional glimpse of a not-so-perfect reality is usually handsomely rewarded.
6. Use A Scheduler
Posting to Instagram around the clock can be challenging. But so far there’s no real way to schedule things in advance; you must still always log in to your account to make an actual post. But scheduling programs like Later are still useful because you can do all the work ahead of time. Then they send you a reminder to tell you when to post. Again, I’m hoping for a better solution from Instagram eventually but for now this is it.
7. Be Consistent
Work on developing a consistent look for your photos. No matter what you choose (washed out, super saturated, black and white) a theme makes your feed look professional and cohesive. Some bloggers even go as far as only posting photos that correspond to their branding colors. To me this feels a bit too extreme but I won’t deny that it results in a great looking feed.
Think carefully about whether you need to incorporate watermarks or logos onto your work. I don’t do this personally but, if you’re an artist, designer or photographer, it might be important for you to consider it. iWatermark is one great example.
It can be hard to get your feed noticed but there are a few ways to do it. Try liking or commenting on other people’s feeds as much as you can. Of course, don’t be spammy and tell them to follow you! But telling them you enjoy their photos or adding another relevant comment will make people pay attention to you. So even though it’s time-consuming, try to find some time every week to reach out to some like-minded people.
10. Don’t Fake Your Followers
I must also offer up a quick word of Instagram warning. Like all social media sites, Instagram has a ton of people who will try to sell you followers. But as tempting as the quick gratification might be, don’t go for it. Instagram has been cracking down on this lately and it would be super humiliating to see a huge drop in your numbers overnight after spam accounts are removed. As with any other platform, aim for normal organic growth on Instagram. You want to build a base of real fans who will actually interact with you, not spam-robots. Gaining true fans anywhere does take work but it’s ultimately worth it.
I hope you enjoyed this bit of Instagram insight today! If you liked this article, please share it or pin it. And as always, feel free to ask any questions in the comments.