Your Best Instagram

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Instagram’s new algorithm caused a huge stir around the internet these past few months. We all knew it was a possibility, but it seemed to hit us like a ton of bricks once it became a reality.

With Instagram now placing our posts in the feed based on the posts that we’ll most likely want to see, it’s more important than ever to have an IG strategy that will help our posts play nice with  the complex and mysterious algorithm formula.

The following 5 tips will help you no matter the algorithm or not, because they are simply sound practices for your marketing on IG. The most important thing to remember is to share your authentic branding voice — it’s been projected that “brand authenticity” is the number one most important factor in the success of any business today.

1/ HASHTAGS: They matter more than ever. Why? Because they are still in a…CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER even though our feeds aren’t! Using hashtags that are relevant to your brand, business and products helps your posts stay relevant, longer. It’s a fact that your posts won’t be seen by every single one of your followers because of the quick, moving feed. By using branded relevant, branded hashtags, you appear in the search feed under those hashtags and your posts can live on…longer.. Having a contest? Create a branded hashtag. Want your studio to appear by one easy search? Always use a hashtag. Want to extend your audience within your community? Search and use relevant hashtags. NOTE: to keep your post caption clean, consider posting all of your hashtags as a “comment” below your original post. By using a series of periods (3 to 5 periods all on a separate line) you can “push” the hashtags out of view so they become “hidden”.  You can use the “Notes” app on your phone to create this and then “copy/paste” into a comment immediately after you post.

2/HAVE AN AMAZING BIO: First impressions matter. Studies show that you have approximately 2/10’s of a second for an online visitor to form an opinion about your brand. Take time to create an excellent bio! Share who you are but also, what you can do for “them”! What makes you special? What makes you stand out? What do you do for your audience that will benefit them? This small amount of space should be well-thought out. Want to make it pretty and have control of how it looks? Use your “notes” app  on your phone to insert spaces, extra lines etc. and then copy/paste into your bio section.

3/CALL TO ACTION: You know that link in your bio? It’s gold. Where are you inviting your IG followers/viewers to go? Oh…more pretty pictures on your website? And…then what? My point is this: they can already see pretty pictures on your Instagram account. Why do they need to see more on your website? Don’t get me wrong…you WANT them on your website…but do you have a call to action that they are landing on? For instance…a model application? Or…a mailing list? Or…an event to sign up for? Get my drift?

4/DON’T BE THAT SNOB AT THE PARTY: You wouldn’t go to a dinner party or an event and walk right past someone who said hello to you or greeted you, right? You would at least say hello back, right? The single most important thing you can do on Instagram is to acknowledge the people that comment on your posts. Answer questions…thank them…engage. If you have an enormous amount of comments, it can be a challenge to acknowledge or interact with every single comment, but even if you engage with a few you are showing that you are “present” and real. Also—share the love and “give back” by liking and engaging on their posts too. There’s a HUGE benefit to this: your engagement now affects the new IG algorithm. Instagram uses “engagement”  as one of the measurements for determining who should show up in our feeds!

5/THEMES: Did you know that teens and seniors are engrossed in having an Instagram…THEME? They actually take care in posting a certain “color” or “effect” or “filter” so that their entire IG profile looks cohesive with an intentional aesthetic. They actually look to see what “theme” other IG’ers have and will actually follow a brand or IG account based on loving the theme (of course relevancy matters to them too). So how do you present your images on IG? When you click on your profile, do the first 9 squares look…cohesive? Well branded? Interesting to a new viewer? This is something that is a “thing” out there…and something to be aware of when presenting your brand to the world on Instagram.

With Instagram being one of the top marketing tools for photographers, it’s worth the time to consider these 5 tips so that you can have an amazing Instagram account that will attract new followers that will in turn, become new clients for your business.