Whack up a photo every day and you’re good to go right?
Potentially yes… but probably not.
The thing is, instagram isn’t as straightforward as it used to be.
Back in the days before 2016, the news feed was ordered chronologically, which meant that your post was pretty much guaranteed to pop up for your followers to see, albeit with a bit of scrolling.
Nowadays, content is prioritized on engagement – meaning that the more engagement you can create, the more likely your posts are to be seen (both current and future posts).
So if you don’t create engagement in the first place… go figure.
In this blog we will discuss all the little tips and tricks to get your social media booming, including:
When it comes to Instagram, we are talking about THE most visual platform going. So it goes without saying that the visual content is important! There are a few different things we can look at when considering visual content, but I will start by stating the obvious – high quality photos perform better than low quality photos. Thankfully it’s easier for us to get these kinds of photos now with modern day smartphones.
Research has also shown that instagram tends to favour images that have a background, texture (not smooth), a single dominant colour, more light and blue-ish/ colder colours.
Here is a great example of utilising this tactic, with a bold background with lots of space, light and an obvious dominant colour.
Carousels are a great way to create a story or a narrative surrounding you, your product, or your team.
They are a great way to get a viewer to invest in who you are, and you can use the opportunity to do something a little extra creative and create an interesting story.
Airbnb utilise this strategy well to give users ‘the full experience’ and make them feel part of their homes. They use carousels to create a story and immerse their audience in their homes.
Videos and Gifs
When you think about a users experience on instagram, it’s a quick process, which means something has to catch someone’s eye for them to stop scrolling.
Moving visuals are a great way to do just that.
Videos are another great way to showcase your/ your brand’s personality! After all, social users buy into personalities over business profiles, so get in front of the camera and show them exactly who you are and what you stand for.
Studio Koto do a great job of this – even the smallest animations work wonders when it comes to catching someone’s eye.
UGC, or ‘User-Generated Content’ is any content created by people rather than brands.
As an authentic and relatable form of marketing that resonates with other users, it tends to generate strong engagement.
UGC boils down to generating authenticity and trust between you and your audience, as they are more likely to buy into an idea or a product with a good recommendation backing it up.
Keep an eye out for public posts containing products or info about your brand and kindly ask to share it on your social media.
Shein uses this tactic frequently by reposting customers’ images in their clothes.
Everyone loves a bit of insider information right? The magic that happens behind the scenes?
This is a great way to show you and your brand to be HUMAN.
After all, this is the kind of thing that people feel a connection to, and therefore will appreciate and engage with.
Here is an example of Pixar demonstrating some behind-the-scenes from their films.
While this might not be appropriate for all brands, utilising influencers within your niche can significantly drive engagement.
If you imagine the impact that they have alone – associating them with your brand looks pretty damn good.
It’s also going to have a huge effect on your engagement if they share the image or even post it themselves.
We’d recommend tagging them in a story post too as they are more likely to share this with their followers than they are to post it on their feed (unless previously agreed).
Here is an example of GymShark working with Sprinter and Olympic Medallist Asha Philip to showcase their clothing.
Whilst the image is arguably more important on instagram, captions still matter!
In my opinion, if you’re missing out on these few things, you’re missing an opportunity!
Firstly, when it comes to structuring a caption, make sure the important information is first. With Instagram’s click “more” function, you need to interest your users with the very first sentence.
On the same note, make sure you’re engaging people with nicely spaced captions (steer clear of block text!)..
You want it to be easy to digest, like THIS:
A simple way to encourage engagement on a post is to ask a question – it’s probably best to stick to ones that are relevant and generate engagement that is meaningful.
You could ask users to share a story, ask for feedback, or ask for questions yourself! Even better, you could go the extra mile and jump on Instagram Live for a Q&A afterwards!
As I’ve said before, getting personal and showing yourself/ your brand to be human is exactly what users like to see on instagram.
This will also help to reflect the authenticity of your brand to connect with your audience.
A few examples could be asking for feedback, sharing a story & asking for similar stories or asking a simple yes or no question (for those who otherwise wouldn’t bother commenting).
Lego told their story through instagram when they celebrated 10 years of the LEGO Winter Village.
It’s a fine line between using too few hashtags and too many!
Typically posts with lots of hashtags don’t do so well in the instagram algorithm – the key is to use fewer, more relevant ones.
If you’re a business who sells products, then shoppable tags shouldn’t go a miss!
Effectively, shoppable tags make it a far shorter distance between a consumer seeing the product and winding up on the purchasing page.
Hopefully, you’ve learned that Instagram takes more thought than the odd photo here and there if you want to gain meaningful engagement!
When it comes down to it, none of the tips mentioned in this blog are super complicated or time consuming to do, it just takes a little thought.