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Instagram – it’s the fun, free photo-sharing app that allows you to connect with other users from all over the world. For businesses it’s a great way to promote your brand and increase brand awareness. But before you start snapping pictures of your morning latte, here’s some tips and tricks for maximum impact of your business’s Instagram account.
Strategy and Scheduling
The first step to establishing a solid, worthwhile Instagram account is to have a plan. Decide what type of content you will be posting and stick to that clear message and branding. Create a schedule that will ensure you’ll be posting content regularly and consistently. People are more likely to follow an active account with a strong style.
Once your account is up and running, watch your analytics carefully so that you know which time of day your posts are having most impact and what type of photos your followers are responding to. Adapt your schedule accordingly.
Hashtags are the easiest way to find new followers and promote the message of your brand to a wider audience. Use hashtags relevant to the individual photo, to your brand and account as a whole, as well as general hashtags used by the Instagram community. #throwbackthursday, #instagood, and #photooftheday are very popular general tags that you can add to any photo to reach thousands of people scrolling through Instagram.
Keep on top of what hashtags are trending and get your photos in front of the eyes of all of those movers and shakers by monitoring websites like Top Hashtags.
It’s the magic word for all social media related marketing strategies. Engage. Instagram is no different. You get out what you put in on this platform, and when you make the effort to consistently “like” other people’s posts or comment on them, they will return the favor. Gaining followers can be as simple as following a bunch of people and expressing interest in their account. Keep it genuine, though. Commenting and replying to comments is a powerful way of expressing the personality of your brand.
There are plenty of apps out there to help make your pictures really pop. There are ones like Pic Stitch and FrameMagic which will allow you to make a collage of pictures, or Afterlight for those who want even more filters than the Instagram app provides. There are also apps which allow you to add text to photos. Text is an excellent way to capture people’s attention and really drive you message home.
Use A Filter
The results are in: photos which have filters get more “likes” than those which don’t. Researchers found that photos with increased contrast, corrected exposure, and warmer tones were more likely to be liked. Blue based filters tend not to perform well. Our brains are trained to stop when we see a red colour, so Instagram pictures with a red subject or red hues will subconsciously stop people in their tracks and really take a look at your photo.
Use a consistent filter scheme and stick with it. A consistent visual identity on your Instagram profile makes your account easier to recognize by your followers. An increased recognition equates to more likes.
Use Photos With Faces
Unless your business is a café, photos of coffees and brunches are old news. #boring. Photos with faces get more likes. Studies have found that photos which include faces are 38 percent more likely to be liked and 32 percent more likely to receive comments. You also have the added bonus of being able to tag the people in the photo, leading to engaging with all of their followers.
Take Better Square Pictures
Instagram is famous for its 1:1 aspect square photos. When you take photos for the purpose of posting them on Instagram it’s essential to keep in mind how it will be cropped to a square. There are plenty of tutorials to help you take better square photos, which include tips like making sure your subject is in the center, filling the entire frame, and keeping your eye out for symmetry…
If you’ve taken a photo that you’d love to post to Instagram but it doesn’t quite fit in the square, you can use an app such as NoCrop, which will use effects that eventually allow you to post your original photo to the app.
You don’t need to pay for likes or follows, or annoy people by asking for a “follow4follow?” Just use these tips and tricks to keep your Instagram account beautiful and engaging. Don’t settle for #instagood when you could be #instagreat.