Instagram is the world’s most photo-centric social media marketing platform. Sure, other social platforms use photos, but they have nothing on Instagram. It combines text, hashtags, photos, video, and followers into something truly unique.
Due to how unique it is, you need specialized Instagram tips that will better your marketing, get you more followers, and help your pictures pop. Follow these seven pieces of Instagram marketing advice and watch your account grow!
Five Instagram tips for better photos and marketing
Make sure your bio is complete
Creating a unique, memorable, and applicable bio for your Instagram account is so important. This is your chance to tell people why they should follow you after they like one of your pictures.
A few tips to create a great Instagram bio include:
- Make sure people know what it is you do, or what your most important piece of information is right now.
- Use some emojis to spice things up a bit and have some fun. This is Instagram, not the boardroom.
- Change your fonts, spacing, and alignment by creating your bio in Word. Cut and paste a few and see how they look.
- Include a website link.
- Use keywords and hashtags that your audience are searching for. Try to incorporate them naturally, don’t just tack them on. #Attheend
Make sure your bio isn’t being used for some empty, flippant remark. Unless that’s your thing…
Realize what hashtags are really for
We’ve all seen that Instagram post which uses every hashtag they can think of, or which goes so far as to make every word a hashtag. This is what we can call hashtag spam. Your account will be much more successful with a streamlined approach to hashtags.
There are three instances where you should use a hashtag:
- When you want to use a brand or account specific hashtag that connects one post of yours to another post of yours.
- When you want to connect to specific hashtags from other people which directly relate to your content.
- When you want to jump on a trending topic.
All other uses of hashtags, such as hastagging #every #single #word, are wastes of time. Hashtags are for natural content discovery, and when someone sees you trying desparately to get recognized via hashtag spam …well, we all know how desperate people are treated online!
Here’s a fun example from @RedBull:
They use the #journeywithchoi hashtag to connect with that specific hashtag, and then add #skate to get in with the active skateboard community. Exactly the right hashtags for the content and audience. Cap your hashtag use at 5 relevant and useful ones.
Is your audience big enough?
The size of your audience matters. They’re the people who will interact with your pics, share them with friends, and really make you famous on Instagram. You are just shouting into the wind without an audience.
Building that audience takes following the Instagram tips in this article, and a little bit more. You see, the easiest way to get an audience is to already have one. Social proof is an important part of all social media marketing. It shows that accounts with more followers have an easier time gaining the trust of new followers and getting them to follow.
This is where an Instagram follower service, several reviewed at the link, will help. Everyone from a newbie to an established brand has a chance to boost their numbers, and let other Instagram users know that their content is great!
The most popular Instagram user is @Instagram. The next most popular, with 56.2 million followers, is @TaylorSwift. She shares incredible content like this:
Look through her account. A little bit too much of her content is one step above LOLz Cat territory! An audience builds an audience for sure in her case, because some of that content is …less than inspiring.
Follow the written, and unwritten, rules of Instagram
Every social media platform has its own rules and etiquette. Out of all the Instagram tips here, this can be a harder one to learn. For instance, Twitter’s audience tends to tune out at around 3 hashtags. Facebook can barely stand one, but Instagram can get away with five.
This comes down to knowing your audience. Follow competitors and see what is and isn’t working for them. Follow the most popular accounts and see what they’re doing so well with their audience. Each industry and genre is a little different, and you’ll need to put in some time to find your little nuances.
There are also the written rules of Instagram. This is big for video. YouTube videos can be as long as they need to be. Vine keeps them to 6 seconds. Facebook video is limited to 1GB or 20 minutes. Instagram videos are limited to 15 seconds.
Think of Instagram video as a place to repurpose other, longer, content. You can take your ad, or Youtube video, and chop it up into the best 15 seconds. Create a link in the description that sends people to the full video, or to a website. Take a look at @Nike just doing it here in this short video (which wouldn’t embed, follow the link to see):
Choose a theme and run with it
No one is ever a master of everything. You need to create a specialized focus for your content to attract what you ultimately want: An audience. This audience will engage with, promote, and remain interested in your account.
A great branded example of this is @MountainDew. Their Twitter account is famous for being off the wall, but their Instagram focuses almost exclusively on their Dew Tour content:
Know your tools
Something that many people don’t know about their smartphone is that the rear-facing camera actually takes much better photos. You use the front facing camera so you can look at yourself for close up selfies.
The rear facing camera on nearly every smartphone on the market is built better because you’re supposed to use it to shoot what’s in front of you, which are usually larger photos requiring higher resolution.
To look at Apple’s iPhone:
- iPhone 6s: Front camera 5MP, Rear camera 12MP
- iPhone 6: Front camera 1.2MP, Rear camera 8MP
Those are HUGE differences in photo quality! Will this ruin your selfie quality as you turn the phone and can’t see the screen? Nah, practice makes perfect in aiming your camera!
Edit your photos before uploading
Editing your photos more before actually uploading them is a next level step for serious photographers. Taking the time to put your photo through a real editing program will really make them stand out.
Suggestions for programs to use include:
Every little push to make your photos unique will help your account grow. Out of all the Instagram tips presented, this may be the most important one. Great photos is all that truly matters to Instagram users, everything else is the marketing!
Not all Instagram tips are about marketing and hashtag optimization. This one is about beauty and art, don’t forget this part of your Instagram account!
Feature image via 10 Face / Shutterstock