Instagram Business Tips

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Whether you work in e-commerce, education, or media and publishing, it pays to build a presence on Instagram. But if you really want to get ahead, you need to know the platform (and your audience) inside and out, including what kind of content resonates most, how to build an Instagram Stories strategy, and how to track your metrics and KPIs.

When Instagram first popped onto the scene back in 2010, it was just like any other social platform: filled with selfies, pets, and pictures of food. That was a smart base for it to grow into a visual system. Best for enjoyment.

Using hashtags is a great way to increase your reach on Instagram, encourage more engagement and even attract new followers. Unfortunately, some people take it way too far. Their captions are often bloated with hashtags — many of which aren’t even relevant to the topic of their photo. If you do decide to use hashtags, make sure to keep it to a minimum, and only use keywords that are relevant.

Video Topics

Do not cheat the system (02:29)

2. Improve your photography (03:12)

3. Develop a consistent editing style (03:49)

4. Be an active lnstagram user (04:41)

5. Interact with the right people (05:16)

6. Change your profile picture (05:46)

7. Optimize your bio (06:13)

8. Use all the hashtags (06:33)

9. Choose the right hashtags (07:04)

10. Geotag your photos (07:26)

11. Experiment with captions (07:40)

12. Include a call to action (08:30)

13. Tag others in your photos (08:50)

14. Stay on topic (09:27)

15. Work in big trending topics (10:1 1)

Hashtags on sites

Twitter Instagram Facebook Google+ Tumblr Pinterest

Hashtags are an essential way to categorize content on Twitter. Users will often follow and discover new brands via hashtags. Try to limit to two or three.

Hashtags are used to build communities and help users find topics they care about.

For example, the popular NYC designer Jessica Walsh hosts a weekly Q&A session

tagged #jessicasamamondays. This hashtag helps fans find and reference the series later. Limit to a few hashtags in your caption. If you have more than a few hashtags, put your list of hashtags in a comment rather than in the caption.

 

Facebook accepts hashtags but they can make your Facebook content look overtly promotional. In general, avoid Several hashtags on Facebook.

A few hashtags can help here. Use hashtags to tag and classify your content (such as #recipes #cookingtips).

Hashtags help to categorize content for users.

Choose hashtags that reflect the interest category of your content.

some social network does not actively encourage hashtags, though some experts believe they can aid in helping your content rise in search results. Use sparingly.

Instagram is all about providing value to your followers, especially if you want more engagement. In this case, your goal should be to post photos and videos that evoke some kind of emotion — happiness, humor, motivation, nostalgia, love or anything else. High-quality photos with a lot of colors tend to get the most action on Instagram.

Live stream video allows you to broadcast live from the Instagram app on your smartphone. Followers can comment in real-time as you broadcast. You can stream for up to 60 seconds, and after 24 hours the video disappears (live stream is part of Stories).

GIFs can now be used in Instagram’s direct messaging platform.

This is a pretty straightforward feature, and it would best be used to establish client relationships and communicate with them organically.

If you want to keep followers engaged, you need to post new content on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean you need to be posting 10 photos a day. In fact, posting once a day — or at least once every other day — should be frequent enough to keep your current followers interested. If you go long periods of time without posting, don’t be surprised if you lose a few followers.

Never ignore your most loyal followers who regularly like and comment on your photos! That’s a surefire way to eventually drive people away. Instead, you want to make your followers feel valued. Reply to their comments or even go check out their account and like a few of their photos. You can use a third party tool like Iconosquare (formerly called Statigram) if you want, to track comments and see which users are interacting with you the most.

Their new Nametags feature allows users to create personalized “nametags” that can be scanned by other users within the Instagram app. When someone scans your individual Nametag, they’ll be shown a prompt to follow you.

The goal here is to make it easier for users to connect and reduce the need to go through long searches.

Nametags can be a big asset to brands looking to grow their followings on Instagram (which is almost all of them).

Especially since your nametag does not have to live only within your Instagram app.

You can take a screenshot of it and post it on your site, on social media, in email marketing campaigns written with the goal of increasing followers, and even in printouts in store.

Use awesome images

Just like shooting film or digitally — capturing good photographs for Instagram requires planning. Occasionally there are happy accidents, but according to Wheatley these are rare.

“It’s about putting yourself in a position to get a good photo,” says Wheatley.

You probably see the world around you rushing by from the inside of a bus, car, or train, or even on foot, but Instagram helps you see things in a new way. Instagrammer Paul Octavious (pauloctavious with 502,000 followers and counting) explains why he takes photos of the same object multiple times.

“For me, photographing the same thing over time helps me evolve as a photographer. It helps me learn, and I start to see things differently.”

I typically use the native camera app on iPhone or Android, rather than the Instagram camera when shooting for the social network — it’s easy to access from the home screen, allows them to take multiple shots of the same scene without much fumbling, and offers for more control than the Instagram camera.

Use the grid on your iPhone (settings > camera > grid > toggle it on) to align the vertical lines of interior walls with the camera’s vertical lines.

I make sure to pay attention to detail. Because we’re all snapping on our iPhones constantly, it feels less important to spend time composing a photo — the reality is just the opposite. Noticing how level the horizon is, how the light is hitting your subject, or how the image is being framed is a big deal. The tiniest details take a phone photo from being good to great…always look for that little something.

One of my favorite aspects of iPhone photography is how easy it is to capture different lighting situations and angles. Use your camera to explore many perspectives, like overhead, straight on, close up, and far away. Also, if you’re shooting inside, try finding a sun patch, dark corner, or spot by the window, and see what light shows your subject best and creates the feeling you want to convey in your image.

Instagram has undergone significant changes since the app first launched, and they’ve evolved slowly but steadily with a consistent stream of updates that are rolled out gradually each month.

Examples from my Instagram

See IGTV Directory with clickable images and links

Roger Keyserling


Instagram Business Tips was originally published in eCom Tips on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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