Instagram is quickly becoming the world’s most impactful social media platform. If you’re not yet making the most of this wildly popular photo-fest, you can bet your bottom dollar that your competitors certainly are. In this post, we’re highlighting exactly what you need to stand out and build a great following on Instagram.
Let’s get going!
1. Use Insta as your brand’s online portfolio
Originality is king on Instagram, so you need to be posting your own purpose made content almost exclusively. Every photo you put up needs to depict the story that your brand wants to tell. Cut anything irrelevant as it’ll muddle the focus of your feed. Someone should be able to look at your profile and instantly be able to see what your business is all about. Still posting a little bit of everything? Then your collection will look just like the millions of other personal feeds that have no focus. Don’t have much of a portfolio? Then show off your team culture, delve into the humans behind your brand!
Desenio know how to show off their products.
2. Go for quality over quantity
Selling something beautiful? Every single photo needs to be jaw dropping or it shouldn’t make the cut. Have a brand that stands for fun and excitement? Put all your effort into selecting posts that are all truly lol worthy. Fill your feed too quickly with average shots, half funny jokes or photos of every meal, and you’ll throw your profile right into the “common as muck” zone.
Yep, you heard it here first.
3. Post consistently but not too often
Set yourself a reasonable target and stick with it. It’s much better to post once a week for a prolonged period of time than to miss a few weeks here and there to then throw out 5 posts in one go. Consistency is key to keeping your followers attracted but not overwhelmed. Between 2 posts a week to one a day is a sensible amount. The more consistent you are, the easier it is to enjoy your posts without feeling bombarded. Panic bursts of blurting out content is more than likely to lose you more followers than you’ll gain.
4. Use filters sparingly
Filters might feel like a prerequisite on Instagram, but you could be damaging photos more than helping them if you over-use this handy feature. Your chief aim should be to highlight colours as much as possible, but every filter causes at least a little damage to the resolution of an image. Sometimes the best results will come from not editing a your photo at all.
5. Be social and engage with other experts
Posting is half the battle, the other half is engagement. Get involved in conversations with others in your market by commenting and raising debates. The more conversations you join, the more your profile will be seen by others as an active entity in the field. Create relationships with some of the more potent influencers in your niche and you could reap the benefits of potential collaborations down the road.
It’s almost as easy as that!
6. Speaking of engagement, engage with followers
Have a search around your market on Instagram and you might be surprised by how many of your competitors don’t respond to people thoroughly enough. If so, you could definitely stand out by being the guys that reply to every comment and engage with followers extensively. You can build up the awareness of users and followers through Instagram social ads by targeting them with your best content.
Everyone else can see and judge your response levels, so this could be a great way to make your mark. If people can see you rarely bother replying, why would they ever bother saying anything to you in the first place? The more you engage, the more your followers will feel like engaging with you.
7. Post at the right times
This might take a bit of studying but it’ll be well worth it when the chips come in. Use Statigram to identify the times and days that are yielding the most engagement for you. Once you’ve spotted a trend, try and develop your posting schedule to exploit these times. You can find the best times to post on Instagram by reading our top tips for building a solid following on social media.
8. Take landscape shots now and then
Square is the norm, but widescreen cinema-style shots are different and captivating. Since Instagram made it easier to upload landscape shots in 2015, only the platforms best photographers have really taken advantage of widescreen photos. Most of your photos need to be in the regular and feed friendly square format, but throw in a beautiful wide shot now and then to mix it up. If it’s pretty enough, the fact that its wide and different will make people want to see it properly which in turn, leads to more clicks through to your profile.
9. Don’t overdo hashtags
You won’t have to search far into your niche before running into countless examples of users that insist on blasting an absurd amount of hashtags with every post. Not only is this arguably more effort than it’s worth, but some followers will be annoyed by massive strings of hashtags so much that they end up unfollowing you. Be selective with your hashtags and you’ll earn valuable brownie points for having simplified posts that are easy to enjoy.
If you wanna keep your posts tidy but also feel the need to get them out to as many hashtags as possible, enter the bulk of your hashtags in the comments instead of placing them all in the description.
10. Create informative captions
This is also something too many Instagram fiends don’t do enough. The caption space on each post is an opportunity to provide viewers with meaningful information or further entertainment. Put just as much effort into creating quality writing as you do to produce the photo itself and your posts will have twice as much punch as those that have a neglected caption space.
11. Last but not least, avoid spamming or buying followers
Even if you suspect some of your rivals are playing with these tools, don’t fall prey to them. There are shady methods out there now that enable users to post spam comments, purchase bursts of fake followers, and manage vast portfolios of ghost accounts. Dodge all of these practices as they’ll only net you a bad rep from the real people you should actually be trying to connect with. Do everything organically to protect yourself from devaluing your brand and stand out against those that are clearly forcing things the wrong way.
That’s it! Those are our 11 favourite ways that brands can stand out on Instagram. Think we’ve missed anything? Let us know in the comments below! We’re always excited to explore the latest moves and hear what others have to say. Like with most social platforms, building a great following is all about persistence and staying up to speed with what’s cool and what’s not. We hope some of these pointers help you get there!