1. Quality photos and videos
Instagram is primarily a platform for users to share photos and short videos. So, it would make sense to ensure that the posts you share are high quality. Your Instagram followers don’t want to see a post that is grainy, out of focus, or oddly cropped.
Quality shots don’t necessarily require an expensive DSLR camera, but at least use a late model phone camera! For some great advice on uploading HD video to Instagram refer to this excellent post.
Bonus tip – sharp and focused posts generally receive more likes and comments than the same post in a lower resolution.
2. Don’t rush
Take your time to set up your shoots so that you end up with a shot that is right for your profile. Remove the dirty clothes from your bedroom floor, fix that smudged eyeliner, or wait until your pug has stopped dribbling. Great Instagram shots often require a bit of planning – some of the most well known Instagrammers will spend hours taking a good photo. One of the keys to a great shot is lighting so check out these tips for some ideas.
Once upon a time you could continue to hashtag a photo in the comments long after it was posted and generate some delayed likes and comments. However, Instagram has recently updated their system and in their words:
“Keep in mind that if you add a hashtag to a photo after it was posted, the photo will still appear on the hashtag page according to the time it was originally posted, not the time the hashtag was added.”
Some quick hashtag tips:
Use hashtags that are relevant to your post.
Use hashtags that are relevant to your post so other users can easily find your account. However, avoid using super popular hashtags such as #love, #beautiful, #summer, etc. Photos posted using hashtags like these will be buried almost instantly by newer photos.
Niche hashtags are good.
Following on from above; use hashtags that are specific, but not too specific! What do we mean? For example, if you live in London and you post a shot of the London eye:
- A post tagged with #london has to compete with 45,368,248 other posts already on Instagram – and growing every second. Trust us, your shot will get buried within seconds.
- Instead, tag your photo with #londoneye where you will ‘only’ have to compete with 1,063,028 other posts.
- Better yet, #londoneyeview – if you use this hashtag you only have 3,859 other photos to compete against!
4. If you have a theme, stick with it.
Instagram engagement is at an all time low. Most users, including celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Justin Beiber, only receive likes from between 2-5% of their followers. While most users concentrate on picking up followers you should also place emphasis on generating engagement, in the form of likes and comments, from your existing followers! If your followers follow you because you post hot selfies, cool cars, or epic landscapes then keep sharing those types of posts.
5. Location tagging
Instagram provides the ability for you to tag a location in your posts, this is called geotagging. Use it! Putting a location tag on your posts is another way that users can find you. Use geotagging, especially if you’re a local business. This is a great way to catch the attention of local users. If your content isn’t being seen it’s worthless.
Actively engage with your followers and other users! Engage means like, comment, and follow other users regularly. This is where we, at Harvey Insights, can help although there is a LOT you can do yourself. Instagram is the perfect platform for businesses to interact with potential customers and other businesses. Targeted engagement can help you build your brand, prompt sales, and even build partnerships. Be intentional about your liking and following, and more importantly, leave thoughtful comments.
- A tip for businesses: run competitions. Competitions prompt users to share your page for you! #winning.
- For personal and business: Arrange promotions or shoutouts with other users. To do this, simply find users in a similar niche, and with a similar follower count, and arrange for promotions or shoutouts to help build each other’s audience.
7. Promote your Instagram account outside of Instagram
Leverage off your other social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or even Tinder! If you go to instagram.com/username you can copy get a direct link to your Instagram profile, which you can then share on any of your other social channels.
8. Post regularly
Instagram = quality over quantity. However, you should be posting regularly to keep your followers engaged. Use tools such as Iconosquare to track the engagement you receive on posts and then refine when and how often you post. In our experience, based on our clients’ data, you should post at least once every 48hours. Keep in mind that the goal is to ensure your photos appear in the feeds of your followers so they can interact with them.