HR professionals often overlook Instagram in favor of focusing on Facebook and Twitter. Personally, I think this is almost always a mistake. Instagram can boost brand awareness and help you connect with many potential customers.
With over 500 million users, including 300 million daily users, Instagram has a lot of potential for many brands.
Here are all new, all different Instagram tips you can start using today:
Start Thinking in Images
Almost everything on Instagram is either an image or a video. So you have to make your brand fit into this format. Text posts simply aren’t worth your time here.
If you sell a physical product, great! Instagram works really well for almost any type of physical object. You can publish multiple shots of your product so potential customers can see it from all angles. You can also show your product in real world action. We constantly use images to promote us as the best digital agency.
If you’re selling a service or a virtual product, you’re going to have to be a little more creative. For the most part you’ll be promoting your brand. This means finding images which convey the specific emotions you’re trying to create. Some examples you might want to convey include “speed,” “professionalism” and similar.
Here are Two Great Images Sites You Can Use
If you’re looking for help finding and/or manipulating images, I recommend Pixabay and Stencil. Both are free, easy-to-use image platforms with image banks and editing tools.
If you have photography skills, you can also take your own photos. For e-stores which sell physical products, usually your best bet is to hire a professional photographer. This will let your audience see your wares in the best possible light.
Note that sometimes an amateur looking photo is better. We’ll discuss this more later on.
The Best Ways to Display Your Instagram Images
These aren’t rules you must adhere to. Instead, these are general guidelines. While they don’t apply to every post, I run through this checklist before I publish anything:
Is the image generally light or dark? Brighter images average about 25% more likes than dark ones. Only post a dark image if you have a specific design-related reason to do so.
Images with a high degree of texture have an average of 50% more likes than images which look smooth.
Photos which appear to be taken by an amateur often outperform images which look professional.
This last one is pretty big, so let’s take a deeper look.
Instagram is a social media platform. This means people want to connect with other people and not necessarily with brands.
You want your images to look homemade, natural and even a bit unpolished. This will create a familiar look. You don’t want your images to stand out as too stiff, corporate and calculated.
Make your posts resemble those a person with smartphone would take. Avoid stock photography or anything too slick.
A Quick Exception to this Rule
If you sell a physical product, such as a shoe, sink or lawnmower, then you want to hold back pretty significantly on the “amateur look” described above. This is because the images of your products need to be clear and easy-to-read. People want to see exactly what they might buy.
When to Post on Instagram
Why does someone follow a page on Instagram? The simplest answer is because they want to see more of the content on that page.
You want to publish content consistently. Avoid publishing a whole series of images all at once. This often ends up appearing “spammy” to many Instagram followers.
There’s no one posting schedule to stick with. For physical products, I post about two or three times a week. With a virtual service, I post about once or twice a week and tend to focus on sales or other special events. You can always adjust your posting schedule based on follower feedback and engagement.
Advanced Tips for Instagram Success
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