Instagram has surpassed a whopping 500 million users worldwide, 300 million of which use the platform every day! It boasts some of the highest user engagement rates of any social media platform and has continued its steady evolution by offering a suite of advertising options and management tools for businesses.
However, gaining followers on Instagram is probably one of the most difficult of all platforms. People follow what’s relevant to them and only them. It’s where we go to look for things we want, not need. It’s more about the things we dream of, like having a new party dress or Mercedes-Benz.
Here are some of our top tips on how you can master Instagram for your brand:
1. Find Your Signature & your Rhythm
Create your signature Instagram brand consistency through similarities in the visual characteristics of each of your photos.
- Create a visual “style” – try to keep most of your photos similar in their composition (e.g. using certain colors or a specific angle)
- Use only a few filters for your photos. Followers will eventually recognize the characteristics of your photos. Just look at how H&M do it
Post consistently. Regardless of your follower count, post consistently. This gets your brand seen regularly by your followers. They will be more likely to become more regular customers this way too.
2. Create Good Content using these tools
At its core, Instagram is all about content. Dreamy, clean content. Creating and sharing quality content is the most important aspect of any Instagram campaign or page. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to take captivating photos. Here are some free tools that will help you create the best content possible:
Try experimenting with photo editing apps such as VSCO Cam to get different effects on your photos.
We love this. Boomerang is yet another stand-alone app created by the Instagram team to create better content. With Boomerang, users can shoot a burst of five photos and turn them into a one-second video that plays forwards and backward over and over in a loop. Boomerang is a fun and simple app that lets you capture moments that would be lost in a photo, but are too short for a full video.
Hyperlapse is another handy tool from the Instagram team. With Hyperlapse, users can create polished time-lapse videos while moving the camera. Cinema, Instagram’s in-house stabilization software, makes it possible to shoot time-lapse videos that previously required expensive equipment.
It’s Snapchat for Instagram and the kids love it. You can upload any content you’ve had on your phone over the past 24 hours and publish graphics on this beautiful platform. Use it like Snapchat to write overlay text on your photos and within no time your brand will be killing it.
This free app enables you to create your own text images and brand message in photos. It allows you to create pretty, clean looking content for your Instagram.
3. Use Hashtags
Use hashtags (#’s) in your updates. Hashtags are a major part of Instagram. It’s a big way of how users can find you through their mobile Instagram searches. Unlike on other sites (such as Twitter), you’re not limited by character count. Include a few tags (but not too many – don’t be desperate!) in your posts to get connected.
Use brand specific hashtags. Include your business name in some of your post tags. Also, use unique tags for particular marketing campaigns you run. For example, if you’re hosting a photo contest on Instagram, make a unique tag just for that campaign.
4. Instagram Contests
A hashtag contest is one of the simplest ways to get fans interacting with your brand on Instagram. It involves an individual posting their own picture on Instagram then tagging it with a specific hashtag that your business has chosen. You get your followers communicating about your business to their own networks while also capturing user-generated content which you can then use for future marketing efforts. What’s better than having fans as brand advocates? Not much at all.
Once in the gallery, all photos with the hashtag can then be voted on, shared or liked. This increases the reach of your contest and your business massively, allowing other users to discover you on the platform. Once the contest is over, you can choose a winner based on votes, shares, likes, or even the photos you feel represent your business best. Followers will be gained and more people will get to know your brand.