NOTICE: Before you begin reading, please note that this is NOT a “How to get Started with Instagram” kind of article. Instead, think of it as Instagram 2.0 or a 201 Level Course.
Here are your pre-requisites. Before you read any further, you MUST:
1.) Have an Instagram account and use it often.
2.) LOL when your friend asks what “#” means or how you get your photos blurry around the edges.
3.) Have a business, brand, product, or service to promote, and you agree whole-heartedly that social media is NOT optional.
Now, here’s what you WILL learn in this Instagram series: some of the best practices to build your brand on Instagram as well as tips that will put you ahead of the pack (including a little known secret way to send a private message to a fellow Instagram follower).
All set? Great! Let’s get started…
1. Post consistently.
Instagram is unlike social media platforms like Pinterest and Facebook where followers can click on your page or photo to see all of your photos at once. Instead, as of April 2012, Instagram streams all of the pictures posted by everyone you’re following in chronological order.
Think of Instagram as similar to how one might use/view Twitter with no way to sort friends or people you are really interested in. After you post a photo, unless your target market is ONLY following you, their stream is filled with ALL the photos from ALL the other people they follow…in chronological order.
An Example: This means if you post one picture at 9am, and your target audience doesn’t get a chance to check their Instagram account until 3pm, they probably won’t ever see your photo. Think about it: there’s no way they’re tracking six hours back into their stream.
The less you post, the less likely you are to be seen in the stream of an Instagrammer following many other users.
(BUT, keep in mind the value of your photos will dictate whether or not your followers actually LOOK for your pictures on your page, and whether they continue to follow you.
So, how much is too much? How often should you post your pics?
Just like all forms of social media, it has changed and will continue to change as more and more users jump on the Instagram bandwagon.
As a general rule for August 2012: most experts agree the best practice is to post two to three photos in a row no more than every two hours. Some of my personal favorites post two times per day at very specific times, and they load bundles of four to five related photos at once.
The key is to post consistently. However, every brand is different. And remember, the only rule in social media is that THERE ARE NO RULES!
2. Provide a behind-the-scenes view.
Let’s be real…commercial photos and perfectly posed perfection just aren’t all that interesting. I follow a few celebrities… and the celebrities that continually post pictures that clearly were not taken from their iPhone and instead have the glossy PR feel are missing the true “spirit” of the Instagram community. If people follow you for your glamorous lifestyle, well, then by all means, give that to them… but do it from an angle that can’t be found anywhere else.
Instagram is all about voyeurism. Your audience wants to feel like they have the inside scoop. They want to see photos like the ones you would otherwise be texting to your bestie. Give them something they can’t find elsewhere.
A Celebrity Example: Kim Kardashian, is arguably one the most influential Instagrammers on the planet. Pics like this one of her and Kanye at Space Mountain are not likely to find their way into US Weekly, and this makes her account all the more follow-worthy for her fans.
Instead of using Instagram as another platform to post advertisements for your product or service, provide followers with a behind-the-scenes view of what your brand is really all about.
Get the rest of the 10 tips to Instagram Your Brand. Just fill out the form below, and we’ll send them to you!