Do it for the Gram: Top 10 Steps to Instagram Success
It’s Tuesday morning. Your lukewarm, homemade coffee is already running low; the toll of your lengthy, talk radio-laden commute has yet to wear off.
You are tasked with the obligation, nay, the pleasure, of creating and managing an Instagram for your blossoming brand.
But with the intimidating monumental presences of big brand names (with McDonald’s, NBA, and Nordstrom constituting a small sampling) casting a shadow on “the little guy,” how can you measure up?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Fear not, fellow associates.
Becoming Insta-famous might not exactly be a quick process, but it’s a worthwhile one. Use these 10 tactical tips to kick start your “Gram” glory.
- Make an easily discovered username and clever bio.
The first step of any efficacious campaign is to be seen, because (surprise) if you’re not seen, you’re likely not heard. So think SEO: if you were Jack’s Surfboards, would you christen your account “oceansrcool22”? Probably not. “Jackssurfboards” works just fine. Leave your excessively crafty titles to personal use and make sure your account is effortlessly found amongst the masses.
Okay, so depending on what type of biz you’re in, a “clever” bio may only extend to comprise your corporate mission statement. Yet, chances are…if your brand’s personality even aligns itself to the Way of Instagram in the first place, then you may inherit adequate creative leniency. If relatable to your message, branch out. Use an emoji or two along with a stylishly written description.
Just be sure to link back to your website!
- Social media without a strategy is like blindly parachuting into a dark, thick forest, rampant with spiders and other dastardly beasts, without a compass or water reserve.
Possibly not the analogy you were expecting, yet it does a sufficient job of describing the feeling. (AKA, good luck without a map.)
Instagram is 100% included here. What sort of pictures will you include in your account? Will you be hopping on any regular trending hashtags, i.e. #ThrowbackThursday? Who will be responsible for taking the pictures, and when will you be posting? How often? We suggest a realistic 3-4 times a week for optimal engagement. The more you post, the more likely followers will interact with you and see the relevance of your brand.
Have a plan, Stan.
- Make your angles interesting.
When you take photos, make sure you don’t recreate the same pose, angle, and structure of your images prior. Avoid boring your audience to tears – show your brand in a new light. Use behind-the-scenes images. Try a birds-eye view. Have fun and experiment! Your Instagram shouldn’t just mimic a cookie-cutter gallery your user could find on your website. They follow you because they want to see something unique.
- Mix up the type of image.
Don’t just incorporate photos you take - throw in some computer-designed images!
Creating graphics can be a cool, trendy Instagram ingredient - if and only if you harbor the proper, necessary talent to do so.
- Reward your followers for following.
Aside from the perk of gaining VIP access to your illustrious works of art, your Insta followers should have ample incentive. Run contests, giveaways, and promo codes for their online shopping pleasure.
- Witty captions.
Witty captions are an excellent way to top off any magical shot. Only saying what’s actually in the picture is so 2000-and-late – you can be more creative than that.
- Respond to others.
What’s the good of Instagram if you don’t engage with your viewers? If you get a compliment – say thank you! If you get a question – answer it! If you get a complaint – ignoring it would probably be the worst thing you could possibly do from a customer service standpoint! I cannot stress enough how important it is to remain both attentive and human.
- Listen to others.
Keep your eyes and ears out. Monitor your Instagram page and pay attention to what you’re tagged in. As with Tumblr, [link to this blog here]. Instagram is a special way to witness how your viewers use and interact with your product, as well as the personality and lifestyle that they associate with it.
Scouting for consumer feedback is a fabulous way to see if your marketing messaging is working.
- Have fun with filters!
To a point. Feel free to try something new, but depending on your brand, don’t get too crazy. A slight, more natural hued color tint placed to make the photo look a bit edgier is fitting. A filter that makes your employees look ghostly or strange, is likely not the route you should go. Be careful when tweaking and distorting real life – I wouldn’t recommend doing so very much, for instance, when you are simply displaying a product. A haphazardly infused filter could dupe the consumer into thinking that cobalt sweater is actually emerald.
- People love people.
People love seeing people (even if they won’t always admit it.) Humanizing your brand is sometimes as simple as showing the actual humans behind it. If a customer already loves the brand, this part will be fascinating. If they don’t, your inviting, cheery smiles, awesome events and hard-working employee candids should help steer them to your page.
Keep calm and Instagram on, my dear reader.
What other methods has your company been using for a successful Insta? Give us a heads-up below!