How to Actually Use Instagram

Instagram is a powerful marketing platform when it’s utilized correctly. It gives businesses the opportunity to show off and garner easy engagement. And it’s fun! There is literally nothing boring about Insta. But just because it’s an easy platform to get involved with doesn’t mean that your posts should be all over the place. Consistency is key. Let’s take a look.

 

Professionalism

First things first, your business Instagram isn’t a meme platform. Make a second, more personal account if you’re so invested in the latest laughs. Keep in mind your target audience and how your posts with come across to them. Keep things business-related. There’s nothing worse than a business page that doesn’t showcase their products at the forefront. Keep images and posts tangential to the culture of your company and keep in mind how you want to come across to your consumer. Remember–everything you put on the internet is there forever. Be careful with what you display; your Insta is just as strong a representation of you as, say, your website. And be sure to use a high-quality camera. Don’t stage the perfect shot and have it ruined with low resolution. Keep in mind, too, that Instagram automatically compresses your images. Feel free to fake some of that sharpness back in with a quick edit.

 

While we’re on the subject, be sure to switch your account over to a business profile.

 

Subject

What do you want your Instagram to portray? What about your company do you want to highlight? Do you want to post only products? Team members? Inspiration for followers? Think about how you want to be seen online. What part of your reputation do you want to bring to the forefront with Instagram. And then start building from there; work with your team to brainstorm the best images that represent those aspects and attributes, and start taking pictures! (Gotta point out that it’s probably a good idea to photography waivers signed for everyone that’s going to be posted online.) Keep your subjects consistent–if you never post employees or customers, don’t post just one and never touch the concept again. The flow of your feed shouldn’t have one jarring set of eyes staring back at you.

 

Timing

Just like the insights on Facebook, Instagram can track your engagement (hey, they did buy Insta out). Use that to your advantage. Find out when your customers are engaging with your content and start posting in meaningful ways. Sometimes, it’s better to slip in a post just before people are typically pulling out their phones to scroll through social media. But don’t post too early and get delegated to the bottom of their new posts. If you’re having trouble reaching an effective audience, take a look at when you’re posting and try tweaking it.

 

Theme

Theme (sometimes called voice or mood) is a feeling you want to portray and evoke. A spa, for example, probably wants a soothing Instagram feed that mimics their brick-and-mortar business. This is when you have to decide what content, visually, you’re putting out there. There’s nothing wrong with adding some verbiage to your page. Uplifting sayings (that are applicable to your company), little updates about big projects, countdowns to something the company is revealing or big changes can all add some much needed depth to a feed without looking trite. It’s good to narrow down your theme before you start posting. Pick two or three things you want to commit to and then start snapping away. Our spa from above might pick dim lighting and fabrics, sayings, and an overarching theme like “Tropical” or “Moody.” All their photos will contain these aspects.

 

Color

Hand-in-hand with theme is the idea of visually unifying your feed. The cleanest (and honestly, the most fun) way of doing this is picking a filter and sticking to it. Whether you’re trying to make all your images look warmer, or want to add a very-on-trend darker feel, you have to be consistent. Picking your filter shouldn’t be a flippant choice–this is something your company is committing to (ideally) long-term. Find something that visually keeps with the mood of your feed and culture of your business, while also bringing out the best in your images. Record the filter and any edits and always start with those changes on any new image. If it looks off, start tweaking it a little at a time until you have images that compliment each other all across the board.

 

The key word with any Instagram profile is cohesion. You want your feed to come across as a true business account with thought and investment behind it, not something an intern (even if you are an intern (we’re proud of you)) threw together. Keep your images similar, keep your color scheme the same, and keep your posts consistent and professional. Most of all, though, keep us in mind if you want to give Instagram a real marketing shot.

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