Once you’ve set up your business account, incorporated the ‘Gram into your social media content strategy, and kickstarted your Instagram presence, how do you keep the ball rolling? Here are a few tips for making the most out of your Instagram account.
Don’t post it and forget it.
The visual nature of Instagram’s platform can make it all too easy to forget that it’s still a social media platform. One more time for the people in the back: social media.
So • cial (adj.) - /ˈsōSHəl/
: of or relating to human society, the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society.
Yes, your visual content is important, but it doesn’t matter if you’re posting three times a day, seven days a week (please, don’t) if you’re ignoring the responses to your content. Blasting users with content and forgetting about it is rude, spammy, and a surefire way to get yourself booted farther down in your followers’ feeds. Instead, when someone comments on your posts or when you see a post that you love from someone you follow, comment, like, and share from your business account.
Folks follow brands on Instagram because they find them engaging and they identify with the brand’s values, style, and/or product. Let them see that there are empathetic humans full of personality and flare behind your account!
Do it for the ‘Gram, and only the ‘Gram
Want more followers? Run a campaign. Want to launch a user-generated content platform? Run a campaign. Want to promote an upcoming event? Run a campaign.
Instagram campaigns require intense focus on a specific goal for a set timeframe and require effort from both your organic strategy and your paid ads resources. SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely) and targeted campaigns specific to your Instagram strategy can help you check off certain goals more quickly than simply following a broader Instagram strategy without much catered content. Sure, the broader plan is still beneficial to your business, but an Instagram-specific campaign can help you get. it. done.
While you can cross-promote platforms and share similar content across your social media channel, it’s best to keep each channel unique in some way to encourage your followers to engage with all of your accounts. Instagram is a great example of allowing your social media channels to work together without posting the same content across all channels.
Balance consistency with authenticity.
Like any good relationship, Instagram works best with a lot of consistency and a little bit of spice. Your style, tone, and even which filters and presets you use should be cohesive and consistent. Instagram offers visual (and to a smaller degree, written) insight into the heart and soul of your brand. If your posts look sloppy and elementary, your brand will look sloppy and elementary. If they look too staged and plain, your brand will look staged and plain. Sure, timely events and candid shots have their time and place, but even those should be thoughtfully considered before you slap them up on your Instagram feed.
There are tons of ways to use Instagram effectively, with very few of them standing out as “right” or “wrong.” As we’ve said before, you’ve got to find the right combination of scheduled and spontaneous, candid and polished, and approachable and professional for your company and your target audience.
If you’re stuck, connect with your people. Think about your brand and your mission. Brainstorm ways that you can ensure that your social media strategy reflects the key traits of your brand and honors the people behind the brand.
Speaking of the people behind your brand, it’s important to take good care of them, too! Check out these tips for keeping burnout at bay when you use social media in your personal life and your professional life.