On average, 80 million plus photos make their way onto Instagram every day. For this reason, it is key that your strategy is on point. With the number of users increasing everyday and its high level of brand engagement (much higher than Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter combined) Instagram has really become one of the key platforms to be on for marketers across all industries.
Below are five tips on how to boost your business’s Instagram strategy.
1. Come up with a style for your feed
Instagram is completely visual so you want to begin by evaluating your imagery. You should be creating consistency across everything from color to composition. Whatever market your brand targets, the visual style of your feed is crucial in showing your brand’s story.
In order to ensure consistency you need to monitor the following:
- It is important to have a specific color palette in order to achieve consistency. Whether it is bold colors or more warm ones, come up with your own signature style.
- Prior to uploading a new image, think about the tie in it will have with the other ones you have posted already. You want to be able to preview your images before posting them so be sure to check out the many apps that can do this for you. They will also allow you to put multiple pics in a grid so you can tell a story.
- Doing a series of photos is good for helping you establish some consistency on your feed by giving you a chance to tell a story through your images.
2. You need great photography
If you scroll through the feeds of some of the most popular Instagram accounts they all have one thing in common, great photography. With so many photos being uploaded everyday, there is no room for lackluster photography. Invest in a decent camera that will give you great quality photos. Also give thought to doing a batch photo shoot where you take a bunch of images. You may even take enough to fill your feed for a month. By doing this, you can schedule your Instagram posts for the entire month in one shot. It is also a great idea to sprinkle in some real-time photos too.
3. Come up with the right mix of content
In order to keep your followers interested and engaged be sure to mix up your content a bit. This can be easily achieved by dividing up your content calendar into different groups with the end goal being a cohesive picture of your brand. Just make sure your schedule is consistent whether it’s posting once everyday or just during the week.
4. Use Hashtags correctly
When it comes to hashtags, it can be easy to overdo it and come off as spammy. With that being said, it doesn’t mean you should be using fewer of them. Hashtags help you find content that fits your interests and it is also the way other people find your content. Instagram caps the number of hashtags you can use in a post at 30, but in many cases using ten does the job. At the end of the day, the right number for your business really comes down to your brand and who your target audience is.
When deciding which hashtags to use, you do need to be strategic. Popular hashtags can be a good idea but you also do not want to use ones that are too generic like a #tbt, which pulls up millions of images. Yours would just get lost in the group. What you want to focus on are hashtags that are specific to your image. You will need to experiment with both unique and trending hashtags to find the right mix. Done right, hashtags will help you boost your number of followers, engagement and your overall relationship with your community.
5. Get involved with Branded Hashtags
The majority of the top companies are to thank for many of the most popular hashtags circling social media right now. That number will continue to go up as more and more brands find their niche on the platform. Branded hashtags are great for building a community for your fans and for both encouraging and centralizing user-generated content.
6. Go with a professional
Taking photos with the right amount of everything to make them pop is not easy. If it is within your budget, it is well worth it to hire a social media manager who can provide you with great photography. If you happen to have a marketing person already, consider outsourcing the photography alone.