Blog: Top 6 Instagram tips
AKRON — Predictions from a lot of marketing companies and social media gurus are that social media will become more visually centered in 2015 and into 2016.
The proof is in the 25 percent of teens that have been jumping off Facebook since 2011, according to Mashable Inc., in favor of Instagram, SnapChat and Pinterest.
One thing these sites have in common is their visual nature. They all put images on a pedestal and other aspects — like communication, hashtags and chatting — take a backseat to the images.
If we could suggest one social media site to be on to make a visual impression on your customers and social media followers, it would be Instagram. The site is easier to use than some others, and it's got more business purpose than trying to figure out how to market on SnapChat.
That said, here's how to hop onto Instagram and make a quick impact for your brand. Use these tips to get followers and to engage potential customers on behalf of your brand:
Inform your followers
Once you are on Instagram, let your followers and fans on other social networks know. The first step would be to add the link to your Instagram page in the brand description on your other networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Instagram works cohesively with these networks, making it easy to push an Instagram post through to your other social media outlets. Also a “Check out our Instagram” style posts with a link to the page is also an excellent way to help get the word out and bridge some current fans and followers over.
Post a picture
The beauty of Instagram is that it can make anyone a photographer! If it is your first time editing a photo, it is worth learning what the different settings are before you post your first photo. Here is a good guide from Instagram. Start out by taking a picture or uploading an older one, putting a fun filter on it, editing it to your liking, then add a description with hashtags and post.
A good rule to have for hashtags is to include about three in the description while still allowing it to flow. This also makes it convenient when you push it through Twitter or Facebook. Once posted, it is a good practice to comment on the picture and add a few more hashtags if applicable. That way it doesn't clutter the description and also will increase the visibility and reach of the post. Always shy away from over hash-tagging in the description because often times it gets perceived as spam and may cause a decrease in followers and engagement.
Learn who your followers are
A big question a lot of people have when taking the plunge into Instagram is “what should I post?” When it comes to answering this question, Instagram is no different than the other social networks: It is about a brand building a relationship with its followers — but this time it is visual. A great way to obtain insight is with Iconosquare.com, which also outlines the best times to post as well as popular hashtags and how your posts are doing. Another great resource is Gramory. This mobile app helps dig deeper into your Instagram account with easy access to trending hashtags in your network, finding other posts by geographic location, popular posts, in addition to a favorite function to always have quick access to a specific hashtag or user.
Who to engage with? That is what hashtags are for. Search relevant hashtags and you will see a plethora of different photos by an array of users and potential followers. Once a picture is open, it is as easy as double-clicking it to “like” it. Instagram also utilizes comments, tagging other users, and most recently the ability to edit your descriptions once posted. Another common practice is reposting pictures by other Instagramers. Though this isn't native to the Instagram app, there are a lot of third party options available. A good one to try is Repost for Instagram by Red Cactus L.L.C.
Have fun and spice it up
Now that photo sharing has gotten so popular, Instagram isn't the only place to find good photo filters. There are infinite options on how you can enhance your photos using apps. A few places to start with are Afterlight and Aviary. Both of these have more options for photo editing than Instagram, along with different filters and the ability to buy more effects. There also are apps for creating collages (ex. Pic Stitch) and slideshows (Flipagram). Instagram also can host video clips with a 15 second limit. A couple of months back they released the Hyperlapse app, which can play videos in sped-up time, giving it a cool, fast paced feel. See an example below.
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