IG, Insta, The Gram, whatever you like to call it, it is a platform to be reckoned with. But, how do you get started? We’ve compiled our favorite (and useful) tips that will help you translate your Instagram profile into an extension of your brand and attract more #InstaLove.

Social Media is all about storytelling and engaging with your community! So, with that in mind here are some rules of engagement (see what I did there) to help drive your number of followers skyward!

5 Tips to Get You Going:

  • Is it Instagram-worthy
    • First and foremost, you have to ask yourself “Is the photo Instagram-worthy?”
      • And that question relies on a couple of things:
        • You must understand what you are promoting
        • Then, make sure a majority of your posts have that focus. This doesn’t mean that all your posts need to be geared towards that particular focus (you can post a puppy now and then, as long as the caption remains on message) but a majority of you posts need to convey your focus
    • Second, does the image speak to you on an emotional level?
      • You know, a picture is worth a thousand words…so if it doesn’t evoke an emotion from you, how do you expect it to speak to your audience?
  • Hashtags
    • These are vitally important. Using just one hashtag in a post leads to 12.6% more engagement than posts without
    • Think of hashtags as the SEO of Instagram. Which means that they will help you gain exposure
      • Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags. However, using more than 3-4 tags will look silly
      • A little Instagram hack, use more hashtags in the comments section
    • Hashtags allow you to target new audiences. Thus, helping users discover you, and hopefully, engage with your account
      • Tag your location
      • Use popular hashtags
    • Hashtaging @ people can also get you featured, so make sure you know who the influencers are in your space and use their specific hashtags
    • For more on, specifically, Instagram Hashtags check out this post by Later
  • Create an Aesthetic/Voice
    • Each social platform has a different audience and a different voice. It is your job to find that audience, create your aesthetic, and hone that voice
      • This comes down to filters, content/copy, and hashtags
  • Frequency/Publishing times
    • Commit to a time (or times) of day
    • And, ideally, post 2-3 times a day
      • However, spread the posts out a bit, somewhere around three hours apart is good
    • There are peak times to post, but this can depend on a number of factors: time zone, industry, audience, etc. Scheduling apps can help you, first, figure out your best posting times and, second, make it much easier to post at those times

(which leads me to the final tip)

  • Tools
    • Running your social accounts can get daunting! And typically, social teams only are made up of a few people. So what’s a marketer to do? Automate. Mind you, don’t automate everything (I am speaking about those automated direct messages)! It feels impersonal and inauthentic. But you can lighten your load by building out schedules, at the very least
    • Here are some great scheduling tools to help you make the most of your time (and sanity)

Ok, ok, I know what you are thinking, but what about the new Instagram Story feature? Well, here is the synopsis. It walks like Snapchat and talks like Snapchat, but it isn’t Snapchat. And here is why:

  • No selfie filters
  • No memories feature
  • And IG already has a super engaged platform (about double that of Snapchat’s)

And in case you want more on Instagram Stories, check out this great article by Hubspot.

To sum it all up, don’t post for the sake of posting. Yes, maintaining a cadence and posting regularly are important. But, if you post simply to post, you’ll (mostly likely) lose followers. Bottom-line, you need to be posting for your audience. Which, hopefully, you know who that is.

So, what do you think? How do you tell your unique story on Instagram?