Instagram is an online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.
On February 27, 2013, Instagram announced 100 million active users, only two-and-a-half years after the launch of the app. As of September 9, 2013, the company has announced a total of more than 150 million monthly active users.
As you can see the social media landscape is very crowded. Whilst this is great for getting in front of the masses, it presents a somewhat larger obstacle: how exactly do you make your profiles pop?
We’ve tackled Facebook, G+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Now it’s Instagram’s turn.
Fully completing the information fields of your online profile is the first piece of advice I give to anyone setting up a new social media account. Your profile gives other users an impression of your business, and it’s the ONLY place on Instagram where you can have a link to your website. It is vital that you work on your profile before you start to engage with potential followers.
Your profile image should be clear and representative of you and your company. Beyond your profile page, your image will show up on all your friends’ feeds when you share an image, on the ‘following feed’ where users look to see what’s new, and on the news tab where users can see what their friends have been up to recently. The bottom line? Use an image that works for your company and that people can easily distinguish.
If someone stumbles on your profile they will want to know whether or not you’re worth following- if your information is scattered it will put people off. Make sure your bio tells people who you are, what you share, and what you do
Hashtags are the only way to search for images on Instagram. This means that if you want to be found, you really need to start tagging your pics. Users can follow hashtags and there are lots of tags that will encourage ‘likes’- however, for a beginner user I suggest sticking to hashtags that make sense for the image you are sharing.
The images you share are the most important part of Instagram. You need to make sure they fit within the feel and vibe of your brand, but also within the vibe of the Instagram community.
If you want to survive on Instagram, you’re going to have to play by some of their rules. I’m not saying you have to be Richard Avedon, but a small amount of knowledge about photo editing wouldn’t hurt. Filters, B&W images, block colours and filter effects go down a treat on Instagram.
To succeed on any social network you must post regularly. Keeping engagement high and staying at the forefront of your followers’ feeds is vital for turning leads into customers- and consistency is the key. Ideally you should be posting at least three times per week.
The more likes your images get, the more you will start to show up on people’s news feeds.
Comment & Like
The Instagram community relies upon involvement. It’s a good idea to like and comment on other people’s posts. Not only will this make your profile appear more active, but user’s are likely to reciprocate the gesture- boosting your online reach even further.
Another good promotional tool is Instagram’s geotagging feature. When you share an image, attach your post to a particular location, especially if it’s your own place of work. Not only do people search for places on Instagram, but they are more likely to pop in and have a look around if they have been encouraged to do so.
Tagging is a great way for your posts to show up in other people’s feeds. You can tag Instagram users within an image or in the picture’s comments section. One way to really grow in terms of virality is to ask your followers to tag their friends in your image. This is a great way to get new users onto your page.