Instagram is, without doubt, one of the fastest emerging social platforms, between its launch in October 2010 and April 2012 they amassed 100 million users, a stat which although sounds incredible has been far surpassed and now there are 200 million active users every month, with some 13% of the population on the internet utilising the platform.
Then surely it makes sense to hone your Instagram skills and get promoting yourself and your blog on it, if you are unsure of the best ways in which to harness the unbridled power of Instagram, these 7 tips are sure to help make your Instagram stand out;
It’s All In A Name
The most frustrating thing when I am searching for a blogger or celeb that I love is when they have various different names on all the platforms. I know it can be tough if you are just starting out on Instagram as most of the names have been snapped up, but making an effort to have the same name across all platforms is important. Although my Instagram isn’t the same as my blog, it is the same as my twitter and as I share similar content on those two platforms it is important they are the same. The key is consistency.
This is your intro to the insta-population, treat it with as much consideration as you have your “About Me” page on your blog. Keep it short and sharp; who are you, what do you do, where can they find out more. Don’t forget to include your blog URL, this is the only place you can include a clickable link. Finally don’t be afraid to include a bit of sass, this is mine;
Freelance Creative with a dark wit & penchant for crossfit & juicing, loves dogs, dirty martinis, smiling & high heels firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.theawkwardmagazine.com
If you’re posting regularly to Instagram, sharing blog images, lifestyle shots and purchases, there’s a good chance you’re also sharing the images on Twitter and a Facebook page to increase promotion. If you are doing this, you aren’t giving your followers an additional reason to follow you on Instagram as well as Twitter and Facebook. Keep some snaps back from your blog posts and use them on Instagram to promote, or as a teaser the day before posts go live. Keep the content fresh, keep followers coming back for more, another great way to do that is to share ‘behind the scenes’ and candid shots, rather than the styled blog images.
Hashtag How To
Just like twitter and Google+ Instagram search function uses hashtags, the function is much more accurate on Instagram and therefore is the best way to guide new users to your account. However, hashtag with caution, I know it’s really tempting to go all out and add a tag for every single aspect of the picture, but in all reality 1-3 is optimum, at a push 5! Another great way to engage with the insta-comminuty is to do a little research into popular hashtags, have a look at other bloggers you admire, check with brands Instagram feed to see if they are using a specific one for their products/campaigns. Some examples include #manimonday #TBT
Keep it Regular
Like any social platform, there are pages of advice out there, advising on ‘best practice’ when it comes to the regularity for posting on Instagram. I have my own thoughts on that, which have in turn seen my likes, comments and followers rapidly increase. I post 3 images a day, that is all, no more, no less. Having used some great analytics tools, the one I got the most from was Simply Measured, the report is free and digs down into Instagram insights and includes; top engagement times and days, most popular filters and top posts. All of this information helped me to craft an Instagram plan, which has seen engagement rapidly increase.
Engage With Brands
The majority of fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands are on Instagram and a large percentage of them are active and make a considerable effort to engage with users who share images of their products. Just as you would tag a brand on twitter if you had blogged about them, do so on Instagram. Not only can you include them in the descriptive comments about your image, you can also ‘tag’ them which they receive a notification about. I have actually gained more work/collaborations with brands via Instagram that I have on any other platform.
Make It Your Own
This might seem like the most obvious of statements, but it really makes such a difference. Use Instagram as a platform for creativity, use the filters, make the most of the new tools, if you are struggling with these at all Emily wrote a great post about the updates. There are also some great, easy to use apps to make the most of your images, my favourites include Afterlight for advanced editing, A Beautiful Mess for adding text to images and PicFrame for cropping.
So there you have it, my whistle stop how to guide to making your instagram stand out! If you like food, puppies and fashion then by all means head over and give me a follow!