Instagram is more than just a mobile photo and video sharing social network, it provides a perfect opportunity for businesses to reveal insights into the core of their brand identity in a visual, creative and engaging way.
Instagram is the fastest growing of the big social media platforms, with 800 million users more than 25 million active business profiles and two million advertisers.
Making an Instagram account is easy, but growing your account to a successful level takes a little longer and requires some work. In this post, we'll look at some of the best ways on to build a successful Instagram account, and boost your performance in 2018.
1. Choose an Instagram Aesthetic
Looks are everything on Instagram.
You need to adopt a general brand aesthetic to your account and stick to it. This will help you attract the right audience for your brand and create an engaged community.
For example, a fashion account might have sleek and sexy images, whereas a lifestyle account might stick to brighter photos. Find what works for you and make sure your feed is appealing to look at.
Pro tip: you can use apps like VSCO or Mextures for consistency.
2. Maintain a consistent look
Successful Instagram accounts are synonymous with consistency.
Consider limiting your range of filters to one or two, and apply them to every photo. Having a limited range of filters to choose from can also go a long way in creating a niche for your account, as well as helping build brand recognition.
3. Interact with your followers through captions
Involve your audience as much as you can in your photos and captions They want to feel like a part of your story. Talk with them through captions, and reply to every comment you can on your own posts.
4. Be picky with yout content
You should avoid just posting anything to your Instagram account - having a consistent, visual approach in mind is key to optimal success.
If you have a photo that you want to share, but it just doesn't fit your brand values, consider creating another Instagram account which is private and purely for family and friends, rather than potential customers - or sharing on another of your social networks.
5. Add videos and boomerangs to your account
Photos are awesome, but videos will also help boost your engagement rate.
Boomerang, unique to Instagram, can be a great way to generate engagement and are worth considering in your regular content rotation.
Make sure you also use hashtags correctly on videos - hashtags can significantly amplify your video's reach.
6. Go live
Interact with your followers in real time, strengthen your connection with the audience - but don't use live sessions with the sole intention of selling your products or services.
Showcase your brand values while using the Instagram Live options.
7. Plan your content
It may feel like most of the successful accounts have random and sporadic posts, but the truth is, a lot of planning goes into them.
Create new content regularly, but post it at the right time of day for your niche to maximize views. This will be even easier now that Instagram is enabling post scheduling via third-party tools.
8. Use Instagram stories
Instagram Stories has already proven very popular with businesses - in fact, a huge 33% of the most viewed Instagram stories are from businesses,
Stories can help customers develop a deeper connection with the brand. You can show behind the scenes content, run competitions for your followers and unleash your creative side with the various tools on offer.
Pro tip: use tools like Canva or Adobe Spark to customize your Instagram Stories.
9. Curate your posts
In addition to uploading eye-catching photos and videos regularly, you should also ensure your posts are cohesive with one another.
As you can see from Oreo's Instagram feed, the style, color selection and filter use is consistent, creating a more comprehensive brand presence.
A feed which is consistent, but also entirely individual in style, is hard to accomplish, but it's worth the extra effort.
10. Study your competition
Put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and study your competitors on Instagram.
Check their engagement metrics, which hashtags they frequently use, when and what they're posting?
How are they engaging with their audience? Which content types are generating the best response, and what’s falling flat?
Use these insights to optimize your own content to ensure you remain one step ahead of your opponents.
11. Use appropriate hashtags
Hashtags are crucially important on Instagram, and I recommend putting at least six hashtags on every post you make.
Make sure the tags you use are appropriate to your content and fit what you're posting about. You can reach new audiences by using targeted hashtags, and expand your brand messaging by promoting your branded hashtags.
12. Be active in the Instagram community
Instagram is a community, and in addition to interacting with your customers, you should interact with other Instagram accounts and businesses also.
When you all support each other, you're going to become more well known, and your feed will grow from there.
Join Facebook groups, chat in forums and get the word out there about your Instagram page in whatever way you can
Instagram is one of the best tools for showcasing your business and what you offer. You're not going to become an Insta-sensation overnight, it takes hard work and dedication, but by putting the above-mentioned steps into action, you can start to grow your presence, and build your influence on this fast-growing platform.
Stop delaying - you know how to create a successful Instagram account. Time to make it happen.