With the staggering growth of Instagram, it’s no wonder brands and businesses are clamoring to carve out their niche on the platform. The visual first platform has become the go to social media marketing channel for many businesses targeting teens and young adults ages 13-29. If your brand or business falls into this category, then the following 11 Instagram tips will be vital to creating a viable social media profile on Instagram.
For beginning, and intermediate users of Instagram, consider the following tips:
11 Instagram Tips
- Ensure that your username is your brand or business name, or as close to it as possible. You don’t want to have to explain to people how to find you. Try not to use underscores( _ ) or dashes ( – ) if possible. If your brand name is already taken you have several options:
- Use an alternative name or slogan that is synonymous with your brand
- Reach out to the person that has the profile name and ask them for it. This may cost you some money but can be well worth it.
- Use underscores or dashes as a last resort, and try to use only 1. Make sure that the use of the underscore or dash makes your username as close to your brand name as possible. It should also make it easy to find your brand. ex: @averagegiant could be @average_giant
- Utilize your profile link to drive traffic to your website, product, or event. Use a call to action in the caption of your posts directing followers to click the link.
- Use hashtags to get found easier. Hashtags are social media’s search engine. Utilize hashtags that are relevant, and highly searched within your industry. Search your hashtag on Twitter and Instagram before using. This way you can see how often the tag is used and whether or not it will generate additional content views.
- Don’t flood your photos with hashtags. Although most “experts” will tell you the more the merrier when it comes to hashtag usage, it is better to use 4 or 5 strategic hashtags rather than 20 random tags. Your post with dozens hashtags looks like spam or “like bait” to most users. You’ll notice these posts rarely have a high engagement rate.
- For brands: Instagram is a great branding platform. Understand what brand image you want to portray before you start posting. It may be hard to reverse after you’ve started down one path.
- For pictures that don’t look good cropped, utilize a photo/ video squaring app such as Video Squarer. Most of these apps are free with the option to upgrade to the “Pro” version. The free version usually puts the apps watermark on the image so I’ve found it worth paying the small fee to upgrade and get rid of the watermark.
- Reposting from other profiles is great, but do it correctly. For individuals it is okay to use the free repost apps that credit the profile taken from. For brands this looks very unprofessional. Spend the couple of dollars in order to get a downloader that doesn’t show a watermark in the image. However, be sure to credit the profile borrowed from in the caption. This is a better way to tag as the person you borrowed from will see the post in their notifications.
- Utilize apps like Flipagram or a picture collage app to post multiple photos from an event or project. Do not flood your follower’s feeds with 5-10 consecutive photos unless they’re really that interesting, it’s just not good platform etiquette. This isn’t Twitter.
- Selfies are KING! People love to see you, that’s part of the reason they followed you in the first place. Showing your face in photos every now and then is a good thing.
- Use filters to make your photos look better. Choosing one or two filters to consistently use makes your profile look more coordinated. Likewise using multiple editing apps to create a unique look for your photos is highly recommended.
- Be consistent! This is probably the best advice you can get. Don’t let your profile become stagnant. Your followers will stop checking for your updates.
Read also: “Don’t Care How You Grow Social? You Should”
Instagram has become the go to social media channel of choice for brands targeting teens and adults under 30. While these are just a few tips to help your marketing, there are tons of best practices out there. We encourage you to try these tips, and any Instagram tips you find. The only way to know what will work for your brand is to try. The great thing about social media is if something doesn’t work, you can always try something new. Keep testing various Instagram tips and tricks until you find the mix that works for you.
While you’re at it follow us on Instagram (@averagegiantmarketing) for more social media tips and best practices.