Instagram has grown exponentially since its launch in 2010. The photography based social media platform has been populated with an array of accounts, including personal and professional profiles.
Creating a profile
Businesses in a variety of sectors use Instagram to gain attention from a wider audience, as well as to keep up to date with events and social updates that may affect their demographic. In response to the large number of professionally occupied profiles, Instagram created their business blog. Any user attempting to create an Instagram profile for their business should make themselves aware of Instagram’s business blog, in order to keep up to date with the most forward thinking ways to use Instagram for their sector.
Companies and brands should be easily recognised by their logo, and an Instagram profile picture should have this same level of recognisability. Instagram allows users to set a profile photo (usually something that sums up the account, or, if a personal profile, presents the occupier of the account). Businesses should set a profile photo that either features the logo of their business, or a quote that is directly linked to their company. In addition to this, a username should be the name of the business in question, or similar to that of their Twitter handle. Having the same (or similar) username across all platforms ensures continuity. Consequently, viewers of your profile can link it back to your company name.
The biography of an account can be what makes a user either click the follow button, or turn back to their home page. Setting a biography can prove to be difficult for some users, but the trick is to sum up your account using a few adjectives, then string these words in to a sentence. If your account will feature images of a specific nature, ie. fashion, a user may decide to bullet point their biography to reflect what will be featured. Biographies should generally be kept the same throughout the lifetime of an account to ensure continuity, as well as be recognisable for returning visitors. However, if the biography becomes a huge stumbling block for new users it can be changed incredibly easily. It should also be noted that subtle changes to an account can make returning visitors more alert.
What to post?
Once the (quick and easy) process of creating an account has been done, then comes posting content. Keep in mind that a picture can speak a thousand words, and anything that you post will reflect your business/brand. It can be quite easy to fall down into the trap of only posting content when you are advertising your business. Instagram is a social platform, and users follow accounts that they can get enjoyment from, as well as information. At this present time Instagram features posts in a chronological order, therefore, it will be very easy to spot accounts that are only active for personal gain. A mix of posts will ensure that you not only maintain the attention of current followers, but also attract “likes” from those that wouldn’t necessarily look out for your business, or the services it provides. Users should keep track of their most liked posts to strategically plan future content.
Building a following
Everyone has to start somewhere, and all Instagram profiles will begin with zero followers. Build a following by linking all of your social media platforms together, and regularly sharing content from your Instagram to your Facebook, Twitter and other platforms that will suit this style of content.
Keeping your profile public, and making use of hashtags will mean that your posts can reach a far wider audience than just your current followers. The purpose of social media is to be social, however, many people make the mistake of only focusing in their own photographs and not interacting with others. By ensuring you comment on and “like” posts from accounts with a similar target audience to yours, you can attract the attention of their followers. Supporting others on social media will also earn you support in return.
Although emoji’s can make your comments stand out, it is advisable to comment things that require an answer. Comments that promote interactions with your account can provide you with an opportunity to build your company brand, and become known for holding certain values or traditions.
Use of Filters
The most popular Instagram accounts are themed. Instagram provides filters that allow a user to provide all of their photo’s with certain features. Themed accounts are popular as followers know what type of post to expect, whilst others will actively seek this type of photo by searching for specific hashtags. Making use of a theme that reflects your brand will make your profile aesthetically pleasing, and ensure users actively search for your profile to see such posts, as well as respond positively to them when you post new content. In order to stand out from the crowd, users may also download extra filter applications online.