Are you debating whether or not you want to dip your toe into the Instagram waters? Is your business already on Instagram, but you're feeling a bit unsure of what to do beyond posting photos here and there? Follow these five strategy tips and you'll be boosting your Instagram influence and increasing interaction in no time!
Understand and Engage the Power of the Hashtag (#)
Instagram photos can be a visual playground for the photo-sharing network's fans, and when you hashtag a photo with descriptions of what your image is, you help lure readers over to your world! One way to do that is with a general description hashtag: #dog, #accessories, #inspiration, #smallbiz, #vegetarian, #HungerGames, #FarmersMarket....you're helping people who are interested in those things find you and your photos. In the same way you can use general hashtags to label your images, you can also use hashtags connected to larger events, social media campaigns or trends, such as: #NYFW (a popular hashtag during New York Fashion Week), #MakeupFreeMonday, or the popular #TBT (Throwback Thursday).
Comment on Other Instagram Images You Enjoy
Don't just be an Instagram Poster be an Instagram Participator. I recently developed a total social media crush on the Lorimer Street Kitchen blog. How did I find her, you ask? She was chatting in the Comment box of a photo that The Champagne Diet posted on Instagram. This has happened to me more than once on both ends: I've been "discovered" as well as discovered new Instagram feeds I love by accidentally stumbling upon them in the comment fields. This also goes back to engagement. Simply watching everyone post and posting your own photos is fine, but I encourage you to let your digital voice be heard when you have something to say about an image as well!
Turn Some of Your "Selfies" Into "What I see" Posts!
As much as I'd like to think it's a trend that is nearly over, I don't see selfies fading any time fast (I'm guilty of 'em as well). That said, when I see an Instagram feed that is only focused on one person's face I get bored. What I do like seeing is what I call the "what I see" post! Turn the camera away from yourself and onto your world. Give your followers a look at the city, neighborhood or office you're in. Give them a new landscape to explore. Sure, we love your pretty face, but we want to enjoy your pretty world too! A couple of my favorites Jackson Engineering (it's like building and landscape porn) and Greenpointers.
Link Up to Your Other Social Media Feeds
Before I go any further let me tell you that even I can get a bit of Instagram fatigue when I see people posting on Facebook speaking "hashtag", and I'm not saying you have to share every single Instagram image across all of your feeds. That said, I do share all my posts via my Twitter feed, and when I want to share an awesome image (and kill a few birds with one stone) I'll click on the "share on Facebook and Twitter boxes" before I post an image. Not only does it "feed the beast" social media wise and share images (who doesn't love a picture) on these feeds, but it lets people know I have an Instagram profile in the first place, and lures them over with the promise of more fun photos!
Bonus tip: for Twitter followers, it helps if you actually have a good photo description when doing this so that people are intrigued and actually want to click through to see it!
Invite People to Your Feed in 4 Powerful Places
Nobody can come to your (photo) party if they don't even know you're having one! It seems like a no-brainer but we often forget to regularly share our Instagram profile (or any social media profile) across our brand network. Here are four places you want to be sure people are being notified of your Instagram profile:
- your biz and personal Facebook pages
- your Twitter
- your website (link it up baby)
- and your newsletter.
I don't just mean link to your feed in your Facebook "about" section (though please do), I also mean sharing fun reminders asking people to come on over and check it out! Proclaim it! It's not always true that "if you build it they will come" - they need to know you've built it in the first place!
Now go forth and photo share! And come hang out with me on Instagram via @SabinaKnows ; )