In part two of our Social Media Breakdown, we’re tackling Instagram. Weighing in at around one billion users — 500 million of them logging on daily — Instagram is a social media powerhouse.
Many businesses and companies either don’t use Instagram or don’t use it properly. The reasons for this can be summed up in the following statement: Instagram is hard. It just is. With an ever-changing algorithm and a huge variety of user interests, it can be very difficult to gauge what your audience wants to see and even more difficult to deliver it.
When used correctly, Instagram opens doors that other social media networks cannot. Here are some tips on how to create content that works:
- Your posts have to stand out. Most importantly, before uploading anything to Instagram, ask yourself is this STYLISH? Instagram followers scroll through pictures faster than they can see them. They won’t slow their scrolling speed for a poorly-produced post.
- Make your own content. Again, style is very important to Instagram success. Making your own content assures two things: originality and creativity. Show off your brand! Boost company morale by getting your team involved — the possibilities are endless!
- If you can’t make your own content, use high-quality stock photos from sites like Pixabay or Unsplash. Instagram is all about the quality of your photos, and if you can’t create your content, you still have to post something worthwhile. Plus, websites like Unsplash give you the opportunity to tag the photographers and give them credit, bringing even more engagement to your post.
- Always be mindful of the grid. If you go to your Instagram profile, you will notice the photos are arranged in a grid format. Try to keep the same style across the grid, or at least try to keep each season the same. Use the same editing process for all of your photos and take advantage of stories! If you have a photo you’d love to share, but it isn’t high quality or doesn’t match the style of your grid, do not post it on your Instagram story!
- Speaking of stories, USE THEM! Instagram stories give you a unique opportunity to share short snaps with your audience. Share a coupon that only lasts 24 hours or a funny moment that happened in the office. They can be informational or entertaining.
- Take advantage of Instagram Live. The ability to go live with followers is so cool! But, it can also be a real deal breaker. Utilized properly, your followers will really love tuning in to your Instagram live sessions. Utilized improperly, people will unfollow you pretty quickly. A good rule of thumb for Instagram Live is to ask yourself, “Would I watch this?” Don’t just hop on Instagram live to chat without an agenda. Use it as a tool to be genuine and in-the-moment with your clients but always have a purpose behind the conversation. Most importantly, remember it is live. You cannot unshare or unsay something afterwards.
Instagram has so many positive aspects! Besides the immense volume of users to be reached, there are many opportunities to set your company apart and show your followers an inside look at how you and your team work. But like all other social media platforms, it has to be used thoughtfully and stylistically.