Even though the algorithm keeps changing, and many brands are finding lower engagement rates with their posts, Instagram is still one of our favourite ways to connect with customers and fans. Here are five super simple tips for getting the most out of this platform:
Don’t be a cheater
Buying likes and followers is a really inauthentic way to build a following, and it can backfire. As you grow your following, you want to be engaging with the people who take the time to leave a comment on your page. If you’re sifting through hundreds of computer-generated, generic comments, you may miss the opportunity to connect with a legitimate follower who has taken the time to leave a comment on your feed. The community you build from genuine connection is worth so more than the vanity metrics of likes and followers.
Improve your photography
Social media platforms are mostly visual platforms, if your photos aren’t beautiful, your feed – and your brand, by association - will look amateurish. You just need your smartphone, a bit of an understanding of light and composition, and some basic editing knowledge. If you’re time poor, don’t know how much you should pay a photographer or overwhelmed at the thought of doing it yourself, there are a number of social media agencies who can organise this for you at an affordable rate. (Insert plug for our affordable, effortless and super professional services here)
For many niches, it can really help your brand to have yourself in the photo. If the thought of being photographed brings up traumatic flashbacks of school photo day, consider having some photos taken of you just going about your daily business. Images that capture you in action will always look more natural and authentic than a front-on photo taken against a blank wall. Have fun
This is possibly the most important of these tips for Instagram success. Be consistent in the images you choose and how they’re edited. If you’re doing it yourself and loving it, try aps such as Lightroom, VSCOcam, and a Colour Story to take your images to the next level. Engaging professionals? Try to stick with the same photographer or photographic style, and if you’re rebranding, phase into your new image to avoid confusion. We’ll be sharing how we took one brand from inspirational quotes and regrams to a clean, curated feed in a later blog pos.
Also, really try to be consistent in the number of times you post per week and what you post about. Develop a brand voice and remain true to it. And those raving fans who like, comment on, and share everything? Be consistent in doing the same for them in return. Scheduling tools such as Grum can help you batch schedule your posts for the month to ensure consistent delivery.
Use Instagram lives and Instagram stories to stay front of mind
Instagram live is a fantastic tool to make sure you’re seen by your followers. Not only does it allow you to have a direct conversation with your followers, you can also give them a peek behind the scenes. If you save your Instagram live, it will remain on your stories for 24 hours and you’ll be one of the first pages they see in their Stories. As an added bonus, you’ll be building up your confidence in front of a “live” audience and learning that one little tongue-stumble isn’t the end of the world.
If Instagram Lives are a little daunting, consider Instagram Stories. Instagram favours users who use all of its features, so if you’re not keen to get in front of the camera to do a video, you can always create a still screen image to include on your stories. We use InShot and Canva. There are so many apps and programs available to create still images, so have a play around and remember – you can always delete an image if you don’t like it.