Instagram is becoming one of the most popular social media platforms out there. Now hitting over 1 billion users and over 500 million active daily users, it’s clear that the photo and video sharing app is going from strength to strength.
But how can you stand out from the crowd and make your Instagram follow worthy?
Users follow individual pages due to their content. Having a brand or social presence that appeals to the target market means that you have to be consistent with your images. For example, successful online clothing brands create a uniform page with shots that are photographed in the same style, to show their brand personality and attract a loyal following.
By posting high-quality, consistent content, followers are never disappointed and remain engaged, they also become curious and excited to see what the next image will be.
Another word to the wise, keep promotions to a minimum in order to avoid the public thinking our page is “spamming” their timelines with unwanted deals.
Don’t Just Filter, Edit!
One great feature that has kept Instagram a social media leader is their great selection of filters to choose from. Their names alone have become internet sensations with X-Pro II and Valencia featuring in songs and in viral videos. However, the lesser used Edit tool is definitely worth getting to know.
This tool is a great way to give your photo that extra polish. To do this, simply upload the photo and to the right of “Filter” is the button “Edit”. Here you can choose from a range of options including Saturation, Brightness, Sharpen and Highlight. These options can make your photos clearer, enhance colour and highlight certain areas of the photo that filters can’t reach. Once edited, pair it with a great filter to achieve the wow factor.
Fore more information on editing photos to make them more professional looking, click here…
A difficult obstacle with Instagram is that it can limit the dimensions of your photo. If you shoot a full length photo on your phone, more often than not Instagram will crop this in order to fit it within their given parameters. But what if you need the full image to tell the story?
Using apps like SquareReadycreates a border around your photo and allows you to pull in the image to fit within the Instagram frame. Furthermore, the app allows you to customise colour of the border to make it more attractive. This can also be a great way to make your photos look more professional.
The All Important ‘Top 9’
An important part of an instagram profile is not just about the individual photo but the overall aesthetic of the profile page. More people are being influenced by the “Top 9” Instagram photos of someone’s page. This is the first nine pictures that appear when you visit a profile.
The appeal of your page depends on how well these images come together to create an overall look. So again, consistency is important – use the same filter for all your images and keep the subject similar.
An easy way to design a pleasing nine-square is to post images in a sequence of three. So, that each line in the square tells a story. See example below from Instagram Queen Kylie Jenner.
Ref: Instagram – @kyliejenner
The image balancing of Top 9 photos is quite crucial to attract followers as well. Using planning apps like Later’s visual planner allows you to easily schedule up Instagram posts and re-arrange the images as they would appear on your profile. This will allow you to balance busier looking photos with simpler ones in order to create an overall aesthetic that suits your intended layout.
Recently brands are adopting the photo split effect on their instagram profile, which is the process of posting just a segment of a bigger picture, when all nine images have been posted the final image is revealed. This not only looks great but creates intrigue and encourages profile visits.
As important as the images on your Instagram are, the wording within your profile and posts are also crucial to make your page more appealing and accessible to the public.
The first important element of your profile that will stand out to users is the page’s bio. This is the text box at the top of the profile that describes what you will expect to find below. In order to make the most of this box, it is a good idea to summarise what your audience should expect when following the page. Keep it short and snappy but inject some of your brand personality too.
Engaging captions and hashtags on you posts are also important to make sure your pictures are seen. Make the copy consistent to your brand and decide weather you will keep captions short or tell a story with each one.Are emojis appropriate to your brand? They can be a good way of adding humour…
Use topical but relevant hashtags, this will allow your profile and post more visible on the discovery page on Instagram, thus leading to more exposure.
Good timing is important in so many aspects in life, including Instagram! Posting at the right time of day will give your posts a better chance of being seen and therefore mores successful.Be tactical, when are most people using Instagram? When are your target audience most likely to login? A bit of research and common sense thinking will go a long way.
For example, a cafe will consider when are people thinking about food? When does the hunger kick in?Posting photos of their dishes early in the morning and before the lunchtime rush will be most effective.
One crucial way to make sure your Instagram is attracting users is by updating your Instagram Story on a regular basis. This could either be by promoting brand offers, market research to your audience or simply pushing images that may look great. By keeping an active story on your page, it shows to the public that your profile is updated regularly and communicates well with their followers.
For more information on stories and some great tips, click here!
If you are looking to get the edge on your Instagram competitors please contact the Cunning Plan Team, we’d love to hear from you.