Instagram is a huge opportunity to expand your brand awareness, connect with current customers, earn repeat business, and solidify your online presence. When done correctly, Instagram marketing is one way you can grow your business and earn more money in sales.
But, how do you create an A+ Instagram page? Below, we discuss several Instagram marketing do’s and don’ts that will definitely take your page from below average to five stars.
Instagram Marketing: Do’s
Write Good Captions
Instagram is a visual platform. The quality of the images you post will set you apart from other competitors. High-quality photos will get your more followers, and therefore, more business. But, it doesn’t stop once you take the picture.
Writing your caption allows you to give that photo a voice. A voice that reflects your personal brand. Instagram captions explain what the image is about, include a call-to-action, and should leave your followers wanting more.
Here are 5 tips to create kick-butt Instagram captions:
- Write a couple of drafts first: It won’t be perfect the first time around. Play around with humor, puns, and different angles.
- Use the Inverted Pyramid: Keep the most important stuff at the front. Remember, Instagram cuts off captions after about three or four lines of text. If you don’t grab your reader’s attention by then, they aren’t going to keep reading or take action, which brings me to number three.
- Always include a call-to-action: What do you want your reader to do after viewing your post? You may want to direct them to a landing page on your website or to a blog post. Or, to up your engagement, you may want people to tag their friends who would like your post or ask a question that will generate a lot of comments.
- Use emojis! Be fun and creative. Add personality to your posts with this fun tool. Use them at the beginning of your caption to grab your reader’s attention, or use them in place of certain words (like sun☀️, beer🍺, or coffee☕).
- Along with being creative, use the correct tone. LinkedIn is the place to be more formal and serious. Instagram, however, is a place to show off the personable side of your brand. So use humor where appropriate, be lighthearted, and be authentic!
Edit Photos Correctly
You can’t edit a photo well if it isn’t a good photo to begin with. Make sure you have a great shot! Once you do, then it’s time to edit the picture to make it even more attention-grabbing.
Add a filter for some fun, creative flare. Each filter will drastically change your photo, so play around with them all to see which one you like best.
For example, Lark pulls out blues and greens (great for landscapes). Moon is a black-and-white filter that will make your image look vintage! Valencia warms your photo, giving it an antique look.
You can also use Instagram’s manual settings to change aspects of the image such as brightness, contrast, structure, warmth, saturation, and more. Use the slider to find the look you prefer.
Editing photos will make your images pop and will be more eye-catching to your followers.
Take Advantage of Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories, like Snapchat, disappear after 24 hours. Users can upload photos or videos separately from their feed that can be seen by all their followers. Instagram Stories are a great tool to generate high engagement.
When using Instagram Stories, you can broadcast live to your audience, post images, and videos, and use cool video effects like Boomerang, Superzoom, and Rewind.
For businesses, Instagram Stories are a great place to post footage of an office event, timely news about your industry, product demonstrations, and previews to blog posts.
You can also be really quirky with Instagram Stories and use stickers, locations, hashtags, as well as run polls, ask questions, add music, change your text to a cooler font, and more.
Play around with Stories, and watch your engagement rise!
Instagram Marketing: Don’ts
Don’t Buy Instagram Followers
We cannot stress this enough. You may think you are cheating the system by buying a list of 1,000 followers that’ll look good when people view your profile. But, in actual reality, these 1,000 followers are almost always all bots and inactive accounts. These bought followers will not engage with your posts. So you’re spending money for absolutely nothing.
Not to mention, if real followers start looking at who follows you and realize most of your followers are fake accounts, that isn’t going to create a sense of trust between them and you.
Keep in mind that Instagram also identifies and purges fake followers. Instagram removes any likes, follows, or comments from third-party apps that are designed to artificially grow accounts’ audiences. Since buying fake followers is against Instagram’s community guidelines, you could face Instagram suspending your account.
Don’t Share Too Infrequently or Too Frequently
How often should you post? A very common question that many people have different answers to. In our opinion, once a day will suffice (this doesn’t include to Instagram Stories, just to your actual feed).
We suggest creating a content calendar that details what you will be posting about and when. This will make sure you don’t forget to post to your page for several weeks in a row and thinking you should make up for it by posting three times a day for a week, ultimately spamming your audience.
Need some ideas for Instagram content?
- Behind-the-scenes images/videos
- User-generated content (customers using your products/services, etc.)
- Inspiring or motivational quotes
- Interesting industry-related statistics
- Timely or current events posts
- Humorous photos or videos
- Employee spotlights
- Office outings like birthday lunches or holiday parties
Don’t Go Silent
It’s not enough to post amazing images. You also need to interact with your followers and similar brands.
Make sure you are liking other posts, commenting on pictures, taking part in other people’s polls, and sharing the love!
If you take the time to engage with other people, people will remember and engage with you! Plus, this builds trust with your audience, intensifying the relationship they have with you. If you are responding to comments, feedback, and questions, your audience will see that you do genuinely want to help them, which will make them more likely to refer you to their friends and family.
Instagram Marketing: Honorable Mentions
Don’t Forget to Create a Killer Instagram Profile
Set yourself up for more success with a perfect Instagram profile.
- Make sure your username is searchable (generally your business name).
- Use an on-brand image as your profile picture or your logo
- After your profile picture, your bio will be the first thing users see. You only have a max of 150 characters, so be sure to be sweet and to the point. Tell people what you do, how you can help them, and include a call-to-action (could be telling users to click the link in your bio or inviting them to share pics of themselves using your product/service that could be featured on your page.
- Include a link in your bio to your website. You can change it regularly to either different landing pages, shopping pages, blog posts, and FAQ pages, etc.
Use Hashtags Sparingly
Hashtags are important on Instagram and Twitter. Hashtags allow other people to find your posts. As long as you have a public account (if you have an Instagram business account, yours will be public), anyone who searches for the hashtags you use may find your Instagram post. Hashtags connect people to your page who aren’t already connected but are interested in the same topics and brands.
There is a lot of debate on how many hashtags you should use in a post and where you should post them. In our opinion, less is best. However, if you are just starting out and need to build your following, then use more. But, if you already have a decent-sized following, use less hashtags so you don’t appear spammy to your existing followers. A general rule of thumb: 10 or less!
We also suggest listing all hashtags at the end of the post so it doesn’t cloud your great caption.
There you go. We hope these Instagram Marketing best practices and fundamentals got your brain turning and thinking about how you can spice up your page to make it the best it can be.
Of course, if you have further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! We are here to help: 804-577-8679.