More and more brands are getting on Instagram and it’s time we all up our game. No matter how big or small your brand is, Instagram is an excellent platform for your company. Recently we talked about ways to share some love and build your followers but at the core you need to make sure your Instagram handle is up to scratch! See some of our tips below to maximize your Instagram business handle.
Optimize your Bio. Your bio not only clearly states who you are to someone having a look but it can also help drive leads or new users. When creating your bio, consider keywords that associate with your brand and constantly update the link in your bio to coincide with your posts.
Plan ahead. Create an editorial calendar (duh) that allows you to plan out your posts in advance alongside any other marketing or social media activations happening. Also consider any potential trending topics or holidays (think national ice cream month or Labor Day). Our friends at Hootsuite have shared a great template to get you started on a full editorial calendar for all platforms.
Establish a posting pattern but don’t over post. With your editorial calendar make sure you keep up to date with a posting pattern so that you give your users something to expect. On the other side, never upload an entire album and in fact with a small follower base it’s best to space out posts as to not annoy your audience. Photos on Instagram with accurate tagging will actually have a much longer lifespan so you don’t need to post as much as on, say Twitter.
Take advantage of trending hashtags. Instagram’s new Explore feature allows you to easily find posts related to trending hashtags such as #LoveWins, #CanadaDay and #FullMoon.If any trending tags are relevant to your brand, include them in timely posts to aid discovery.In addition, updating the hashtags you use based on what other users are using will allow you to stay in front of your potential audience.
Create your own hashtag to engage. Creating, using, promoting, and monitoring your own hashtag has some great benefits across all platforms. Encouraging users to use the hashtag will allow you to easily search out and engage your users. In addition, you can feature user generated content and amplify your efforts.
Shoot your photos square. If you are using a phone camera, choose a square option if you can so that you know what your image would look like within Instagram from the start. If that’s not an option, try using one of many apps to help you maximize your phone photos (try Camera Awesome).
Make your graphics share-worthy. Sometimes it’s not enough to just post an image but pairing images with captions is an effective way to engage your audience. Using a tool such as Canva can help you add any branding, hashtags or inspiring quotes to your images for stunning and shareable images.
Tell a story. Using Instagram shouldn’t be salesy or too much of your brand but instead should tell your brand story. Sharing behind the scenes images, company shots or other exclusive photos to your Instagram creates a compelling reason for users to follow and engage with you.
Take and share high quality images. As an image-based social platform, content is high-interest by design. Make sure your photos are the best quality you can, even using a phone there are some basic techniques you should be sure you are using (no selfies). Give some of these techniques a try to make sure you are creating the best photos possible.
Measure, analyze and adjust. No strategy is complete without understanding what’s working and adjusting accordingly. Trying a variety of post types, times of days and hashtags will help you in the beginning to get a feel for how your audience responds. Once you get a good understanding you can adjust your strategy and incorporate it into your plan. We use Iconosquare to see how we are doing along with Keyhole.co to check our hashtags constantly.
So now that you know how to build your handle and grow your following, it’s time to get creative. Push your boundaries, have some fun and see how well you can grow your brand. We’d love to see your best examples!