Known for being the place to post your visually appealing content on the go, Instagram is one of the top social media networks right now. Its popularity continues to rise while there are currently over 1 billion monthly active Instagram users worldwide according to Hootsuite. Here are some tips and tricks to make your Instagram stand out among the crowd!
Think of Yourself Like a Business / Brand Yourself
Before you start posting photos of your smoothie bowls and dog selfies, you need to set your profile up properly. A great profile picture is recognizable and high quality – this means no blurry or poorly-lit pictures! Make sure your Instagram handle indicates clearly who you are or what you do, and write a bio that includes a quick summary of what people can expect to see on your page. If you’re setting up your page for business use, be sure to also link to your website.
Because Instagram is a platform that emphasizes visual aesthetics, it’s important to plan out your profile’s look. In other words, you want to “brand” your profile in a similar way to a business. Using the same filter on all your photos can keep your style looking a little more consistent. To plan out your grid, try using an app like UNUM for iPhone users and Planoly for iPhone or Android.
Use Hashtags Mindfully
Hashtags help Instagram users navigate through millions of posts to find what’s relevant or of interest to them. They can help by categorizing posts. To use hashtags, add them to your captions but be sure not to over-do it. Research shows that you should avoid using more than 10 hashtags. Hashtags can also clog up your caption, making it look less visually appealing which might actually deter engagement. To avoid this, try putting them in a comment instead of in your caption.
No matter how many hashtags you decide to use or where you put them, be sure to make them relevant to your post! If you’re not sure what hashtags to use, you can check out which ones are popular using a tool like Hashtagify. To make things easier for yourself, save time by putting hashtags you use often in your notes app. This allows you to easily copy and paste your hashtags into your comments or caption.
Post to your Story
The Instagram story is a relatively new feature that lets you post content temporarily. Stories are typically more casual and “in the moment” photos or videos that don’t necessarily have to look as pretty as your posts. Stories don’t show up on your grid, but rather are viewed in the form of circles at the top of your feed, and automatically disappear after 24 hours. To get an idea of what other people are posting to their stories, check out some popular celebrities, your favourite brands, and your friends’ accounts!
You can also use stories to engage with other people’s content. Replying to someone’s story is a great way to connect, or you can share other people’s posts to your story. To do so, find a photo in your feed that you wish to share, click on the paper airplane icon, and then click “Add Post to your Story”. From here, you can click the image to change its appearance. You can also change the background color by clicking the pen icon at the top of the screen, choosing a color, and holding down on the background.
Are you just starting out with Instagram, or do you want to want some tips to spice up your account? Check out our 11 tips for Instagram beginners article.