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Anna Cruickshank, our account manager (and Instaguru), shares some advice for making the most of your Instagram account.
Beautiful, aesthetic, appealing. Three words to describe the Instagram content we view daily. Read our top tips to help make your brand’s account fly.
Tip 1- The power of visuals
It is important to remember that quality over quantity is the best way forward when it comes to Instagram. Don’t underestimate the power of visuals in your posts.
Free editing programmes, such as VSCO or Afterlight, are great tools to enhance your images easily. Some 93% of buyers on Shopify cited “visual appearance” as the main reason for their purchasing decisions, with almost 85% saying colour was their motivation.
Tip 2- The importance of planning
Our next tip is simple, but it could be the key to creating your perfect Instagram. Having an organised content plan will minimise errors and allow you to balance the type of content being posted.
We recommend a Google Sheets content planner, to be shared with all administrators of your Instagram account. Aim for three posts per week as you establish your platform, growing this to daily – or more.
Plan your content a month in advance, including as much detail as possible, specifying how your content will be shared, whether that’s via stories, IGTV or live posts.
It is important to schedule your posts to go live during optimum browsing times, which, according to recent global research, are Wednesday at 3pm, Thursday at 5am, 11am and 3-4pm and Friday at 5am.
As your platform evolves, monitor when you receive the highest engagement, as you may find that posts outside of global optimal times gain more consumers. This is valuable information and can help you tailor your content timetable accordingly.
Tip 3- Achieving audience engagement
To achieve successful engagement, your users must feel involved and excited by the content. Be certain to vary the topics of your posts and remember that videos are an option, as well as photographs.
Of course, promotional posts do have their place, but always consider what your audience wants to see. Encouraging user-generated content builds trust for your brand, as it shows an interest in your consumers. Customer advocacy is one of the best marketing tools out there. Consumers believe fellow consumers, which is why testimonials are so important to a brand’s reputation.
If users feel they can get something back from your brand, they are more likely to engage. Competitions are a great way to drive follows. Asking you customers questions is a useful and easy technique too. Use the Instagram Questions function to set these up. It is a great way to garner user-generated content that can create an active connection between your brand and audience.
Tip 4- Gaining followers using specific functions
Social media trends are constantly changing, and the Instagram app is always being developed. Lots of new features are added regularly.
It is important to keep up with these trends as being the first to try new functions can be a shortcut to picking up followers. When Stories was launched, the first users were pushed hard by Instagram via the “explore” function by Instagram. Stories are great for ad-hoc content, such as videos at an event or vlog-style chats. To avoid losing the good content from these stories, which only last 24 hours, showcase your stories on your profile using the “Highlights” function.
Other features to use continuously include tagging accounts of anyone participating in your content by using @mentions. This sparks a chain of events for friends of friends to notice your brand, doubling engagement. Tagging the geo location and using hashtags also gets more consumers to discover your posts through participation of trending topics. Branded hashtags can work wonders for your marketing strategy.
These techniques really work because your content will be opened up to new audiences on the Instagram “Explore” page. So don’t hold back – give them a go!