Here are 5 simple rules to keep in mind when using Instagram. After you read this, please feel free to add your own tips and rules in the comments.
Find interesting ways to capture your products and services — Nobody wants to see bland, generic photos of your products. That’s boring. Instagram is all about finding unique ways to tell a story through your photos. For example, Starbucks uses its Instagram to show photos of real people enjoying their coffee in unique everyday settings. Every photo is its own interesting story, and it shows how the customer interacts with the product. Find interesting ways to capture your products and services so people can get a deeper understanding and form a bond with them. You can even encourage users to take their own photos with your products and tag you.
Don’t overload your followers’ feeds — Instagram isn’t like Twitter where the conversation moves at real-life speeds. You can’t post 10 photos in the span of a couple of minutes without clogging up your followers’ feeds, annoying them, and having them look at you like a spammer. Space your updates out throughout the day so that you’re not bombarding your followers all at once.
Interact with your followers — Instagram isn’t just about sharing cool photos; it’s also all about the social aspect. Like Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks, Instagram thrives on user interaction. So, take the time to respond to comments, like other people’s photos, and build your network.
Study what kinds of photos your followers respond to — The better you understand what your followers like and want, the better equipped you’ll be to give it to them. Pay attention to which of your photos get the best responses, and look at what your followers are posting and what else they’re liking (this can be found under the Following tab in the news section).
Use hash tags to help your photos get discovered — Adding hash tags to your photo updates can help them get found more easily. For example, Starbucks might hash-tag a photo with “#coffee” or “#cappuccino” along with other hash tags related to the photo (e.g. a photo of someone enjoying coffee while watching football, might have a “#football” hash tag as well). Just don’t go overboard with the hash tags or try to be too clever. Use 2-4 per post, and try to use them to get your photos discovered.
What are some other rules for Instagram success? Share yours by commenting below.