Instagram is meant for fully “Focused” content. The audience here is proactive and it’s essential to keep them engaged with the relevant and meaningful content. In order to post regularly, you require to invest all the resources available.
Your Instagram Profile has to be perfect as it is your first impression. One very important point to be remembered – You can view a content on website of Instagram but cannot upload any content and for that Instagram App is required to be installed.
Opening Instagram Account
You will be given two options, Login with Facebook or Sign up with phone or Email. Be careful to sign up with a business email to avoid linking you Instagram Profile to your personal Facebook Account.
Your profile picture is very important and it should be in sync with your branding. You can consider a Logo. The corners are to be left blank as your image is cropped into circle by default.
Next is your Instagram Bio
As there is limit of 150 characters, you should introduce your business in a summarised manner, give a hint of your personality and a reason why people should follow you. Please do not bother about using keywords and hashtags here as Instagram Bios are not searchable.
Your Bio is the place where you can encourage users to take a specific action like visiting your website or using certain hashtag. one of the important peculiarities of Instagram is that your Bio is the only place where you can provide a clickable URL link and direct the traffic to an external website. It is therefore a common practice among marketers to update their featured URL in their most recent post.
In case you decide to provide a link, don’t forget to use a link shortener or a tool to avoid clutter in your profile. When the URLs are tracked, it helps you to understand better the volume of traffic you get on your website from Instagram.
In case you want to change your URL, bio, username, name or photo in your profile, there is Edit Profile Button for the purpose.
Instagram Settings are Very Important
Apart from just changing the passwords, you can view the post you have liked, manage notifications and many more important tasks.
Story Settings –
You can customise the categories of viewers who can interact with you for your stories. It is advisable to allow all your followers to see and respond to your stories as it increases brand engagement.
Integration with Facebook Account is Important
In order to avail the full benefits of Instagram’s Business Tools, you have to switch to a Professional Account by which your profile is identified as a business profile. These benefits allow users to contact you, you can get in-depth insights and allows you promote your contents. If you want to switch to an Instagram Business Profile, your business must have a Facebook Business Page. Go to Settings – click Account – Switch to Professional Account to access these features.
To switch to a business profile, choose these settings —Login to Facebook, allow Instagram to manage your pages. Select a Facebook page to connect to your Instagram Profile for which it is necessary for you to be the Admin of Facebook Page. In this way two platforms can be connected and you can avail of the benefits.
Next Instagram on its own will import the relevant information to your Facebook Page which you can edit. Now you have an Instagram Business Profile. Do check your profile insights and account settings.
This enables you to hide comments with certain keywords or phrases. In order to do this, you have to enter the specific words and phrases into your Instagram settings and turn on the feature. Please remember that the comments can be encouraging and also certain comments may go against the brand values or annoy your audience. You can manage this feature from settings, click Privacy > Comments.
You can add up to five additional accounts and switch between them without logging in and out.
Instagram Posts – Categories
It’s the most common type of posts. There should be a variety of photos as it shows the diversity of your products/services. The quality of images should be excellent and outstanding to stand apart among numerous other images. There should be genuineness, not only advertisements. The culture of your company with live shots. Avoid excessive posting. Please look for the trends, study the likings of your audience and be creative in your posts.
Realistic images are liked more rather than photos of staged scenes.
Reposts from employees, fans , supporters give human touch. Not to forget to give credit to the original poster.
Posts showing How-tos or educational contents –
Study to create videos or images on important and relevant topics which are useful to your audience and make their life easy. People are smart enough to isolate such meaningful stuff and always admire.
Posts involving the Influencer
When a post involves a well-known, repeated figure or a celebrity using you product or services, it crates great impact to the audience. A feeling of trust and authenticity is generated which plays important role to enhance your business.
Please remember that Instagram is the most effective and popular platform for posts involving the influencer as the well known figures have greater engagement rate due to their fan-following.
Among the huge crowd of N number of posts on Instagram, the Influencer Posts stand apart.
There are celebrities who have remarkable fan-following on Instagram and their involvement in your posts makes a positive difference. There is a classification of Influencers depending on number of fan-following, like Nano, Micro and Mega Influencers and naturally their charges are also according to their standard. Selection of Influencer of right category does matter. E.g. for day to day products, micro influencer connects better with the audience than a celebrity. According to a study, almost thirty three percent of all Instagram channels are micro influencers with less than 100k followers.
If you are aiming at lot of engagement it’s advisable to engage with Micro Influencer whereas
If increasing awareness of your brand is your goal then the influencer’s reach and traffic should be looked for.
Posts to encourage motivation
A combination of simple visual with and inspiring text make a post with motivation. This type of posts encourage the audience and enhance the value of your brand. There are apps available which help in adding text to your photos in a consistent way.
Contents Generated by Users
Posts from your fans and followers with tags to your posts or reposts and vice versa is another way to enhance the impression of your brand. It shows your true connection between your brand and the customers. Do not forget to give credit to the original post with a tag or in a caption.
There are apps for reposting like Repost For Instagram.
Posts Involving Trending Holidays
Look out for local, National or World trend for such Holidays. Join in the fun and celebration. It’s also known as Newsjacking Posts. There is a scope to post contents with humour relating to an event. During the period like National Ice cream Day, National Sibling Day, Valentine Day there is rush to buy the related articles, gifts which should be explored to enhance the sales.
Optimising The Photos on Instagram
When the images and photos are the prominent way of posts, the same have to be of the best quality like high resolution, suitable format. There are specifications for Landscapes, profiles etc.
There are tools and technologies available specifically for Instagram Posts, use the suitable one or entrust this important task to a professional. There are many factors to be considered for the best photos which require expertise.
Instagram allows videos of maximum one minute duration and without sound. You should use a caption or text that explains the video content instantly. There are editing and improving tools for videos as well which should be used according to your requirement.
There is a special feature called “Boomrang” which has significance for special purpose like fun videos or a repetitive playing of backward and forward which enables to display the characteristics of a product better than the normal video playing.
Hyperlapse from Instagram
This feature enables you to condense a lengthy video in shorter duration suitable for posting.
It has ability to create time lapse yet smooth videos with built-in stabilisation. You can manage the speed of playing from 1x to 12x.
It enables you to post at a higher frequency and prevents over posting or stuffing your main feed. The common drawbacks of stories are that the images are not polished perfectly or more organic. Your Instagram stories disappear after 24 hours.
Authenticity is of prime importance in case of stories. While the photos have to be well finished, the stories can be little raw, if it shows reality and reflects your company culture.
There are three options to post Instagram stories –
- Camera in the upper left corner can be tapped
- Tap “Your Story” above your feed
- You can swipe right to access the camera.
- Other Important Settings of Camera —
- ‘Type’ – A text post can be created.
- ‘Music’ – You can pair a music clip to an image or a video.
- ‘Live’ – You can capture and publish live contents to Instagram.
- ‘Superzoom’ – An animated zoom can be added to a video.
- ‘Focus’ – You can focus on a subject and blur the background.
- ‘Hands Free’ – You can capture a video without holding the ‘Record’ button.
You can add personality to your content through stories. Make yourself familiar to all the options of setting to improve your posts.
Instagram Story Highlights
These are the stories which have been preserved after their 24 hour limit and posted to an Instagram Profile. Story Highlights are the best option to display your best stories and are preserved for longer duration. Another benefit of this feature is links to external sites can be added here to showcase the products, services, promotions and more.
It can serve as menu of different categories.
As the location of Story Highlights is at the top of an Instagram Profile, it can be considered as the extension of your bio. Many marketers make the best use of this feature by posting most important and relevant information which the audience are looking for – shop location, business hours, current sales, videos and more.
Please note that the images and videos cannot be added directly to a Story Highlight. You have to create a Highlight for the purpose or Story Highlight should be previously posted and currently live. You can stories from your Archive to Story Highlights. In short pay full attention to this section and utilise its full potential to benefit your business.
This feature enables you to display the real time content. The users can comment on the live video using the built in chat feature.
It’s the latest addition to Instagram where the users can view long-form vertical videos posted by Instagram Creators. E.g. videos on cooking, interviews of celebrities, tutorials and more. The duration range is from 15 seconds to 10 minutes.
Writing Instagram Captions
The picture is more effective than texts in conveying a message. At the same time it is challenging to write an effective, engaging and outstanding caption. The best way is to draft different versions of a caption, show it to your friends, co-workers and seek their opinions, suggestions. Patience is required to create a great caption. Instagram gives great importance to engagement, likes, comments and changes their Algorithms from time to time. Each user can have an idea regarding his feed. The visibility also depends on the amount of response of a post.
Though the caption can be of maximum 2200 characters, the user can only see the first 3 to 4 lines of each caption. To view the entire post they have to click ‘More’. It’s obvious that the first few lines of the captions have to be most important and catchy.
The longer captions are not neglected subject to their content is interesting.
Engage is The Keyword
A Call To Action should be included invariably in your caption encouraging the audience for comments, likes and share your post. Provide links directed to your most recent post. It’s advisable to use shortened tracking links in your URL to enable you to view the traffic volume from your account or a post.
Adding a Geotag is always beneficial as engagement rate is higher in posts with Geotag.
Recognise Your Instagram Message
Every platform on Social Media has its own pros and cons and the methods, contents patterns differ. Instagram is famous for its authentic, light-hearted tone and it takes some time to create an impression among the users. When the visual is very strong and expressive, the caption can be brief.
Hashtags are Very Important on Instagram
As about 85 million photos are shared on Instagram every day, it’s much more challenging to get noticed, that’s why hashtags are so important on this platform. Hashtags consolidate posts into a single feed. Please note that only public accounts are shown in searches based on hashtags.
Users can easily find tagged contents based on word or phrase. The results of search are divided in four parts – Top, Accounts, Tags and Places.
Hashtags can be created using characters, numbers or emojis and a maximum of thirty are allowed in a caption. Don’t forget that your account has to be ‘public’ in order to appear on Hashtag Feeds.
Find out the trends and popular hashtags within Instagram itself. ‘Explore’ tabs can be useful for the purpose. Work out for the most suitable blend of general, trending and specific hash tags, you can also create your own branded hashtag.
Avoid spamming, it has been observed that on average about 2.5 hashtags per post is common. The placement of a hashtag can be at starting or end of the caption, the result is the same.
Make a clear strategy for marketing on Instagram
Be clear about your goals, determine the target audience on this platform, Carry out complete analysis , work out an a calendar for editing, aim to build a consistent brand on Instagram, endeavour to broaden your Instagram Follower base and last but not the least – all these efforts cannot be justified unless your Instagram followers are converted into your customers.
Do look out for an experienced and reliable team of experts for this entire exercise.