Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday with part one of this three-part series on Instagram best practices. The list features top tips, tricks, and tools to help you get the most out of the platform.
With 600 million active users (Via: Instagram), it sure has the potential to give you the followers, engagement, and brand awareness that you need.
Still not convinced? We bet this will get you excited:
“The average Canadian user checks his or her Instagram app an average of 11 times a day, six days a week.” (Via: MarketingMag)
To put this into real, honest perspective, I practically checked my IG 11 times JUST AT LUNCH TODAY! (I know you’re thinking ‘man this girl needs some new hobbies…’)
Follow these hacks and never look back 😉
1. Keep your app up to date for best performance and newest features.
2. Study the profiles of Instagram celebrities and influencers with a massive and engaged following to inspire your own.
3. Have a catchy but relevant username. Make it personal and creative. If your brand identity is already taken, play with the use of “.” or “_” to make it work. You can also add “the” or “.com”.
4. Don’t put complicated words or lot of numbers in your username.
5. It may seem an obvious tip, but do not forget to create a profile that’s totally public!
6. Have a profile picture that speaks for itself (depicting your brand or you appropriately).
7. Make sure your profile is a business page to receive and track insights. Go to your settings and click Switch to Business Page.
8. Adjust your settings so any potentially embarrassing tagged photos won’t show on your profile without your approval.
9. Visit the profiles of each person you’ve identified as an influencer in your and “Turn on Post Notifications” to be notified every time they share new content.
10. If your business has an issue with social media trolls or other negative engagement, then filter your comments by keyword or even turn them off entirely for a particular post via the advanced settings.
11. Block irrelevant and unethical users or commenters.
12. Be on top of recent or upcoming tools and features by regularly checking out the Instagram business blog. Go to settings and click blog.
13. Follow @Instagram and participate in their projects to expose to a new audience.
BIO / LINKS
14. Build a short and interesting bio. Review some of your favourites and your competitor’s pages for inspiration!
15. Add line breaks in your bio to make it stand out. If you can’t press Enter after each line, write your bio in Notes or somewhere you can easily copy and paste it out of, with the line breaks.
16. Include a link in your bio. Link it to your website, blog, or landing page.
17. Keep changing the link every month, directing it to the latest happenings around your brand.
18. Use Latergram to schedule posts to be released automatically at a later date.
Click the image below to learn how to use Lategram
19. Post Daily. We recommend at least once a day. You can post up to 3 times a day for maximum reach. But don’t spread yourself too thin or start something you can’t keep up with. Consistency is key!
20. Post regularly. Instagram is all about consistency. And we are about to give you a TON of topics to talk about so you really have no excuses!
21. Search similar hashtags and conversations to be a part of. Keep track of this in a spreadsheet or similar tool!
22. Always be on the lookout for topically relevant and trending hashtags. Be sure to add them to your list!
23. Try to create your own Hashtag that either describes your brand, service or product. It can become your brand identity. #2web
24. Let your hashtags be only a word or two long. #BigNoForLongHastags
25. Include a Call to Action, in the description, comments, or in the hashtags. For example, asking to like (#likeforlike), comment (type “YES” if you agree), or follow.
26. If you are hosting a contest, create and use a contest specific hashtag.
27. Merge the online with the offline. Promote a hashtag during events or product launches.
“Posts with at least one hashtag, get an average of 12.6 more engagement than those without” (Via: Simply Measured)
28. Quick fixes for picking up followers: “Like4like” and “Like4follow”. While we don’t recommend doing this often or consistently, it helps to occasionally pick things up.
29. Take part in general hashtag trends such as #MondayBlues #MotivationMonday #TravelTuesday #WeddingWednesday #WednesdayWisdom #ThrowbackThursday #FlashbackFriday #FunFriday #FridayFeels #SaturdaySelfie
30. Other trendy hashtags that never go old: #instagood #photooftheday #picoftheday #foodstagram #quoteoftheday #love
31. Keep your captions clean. Use a few main hashtags in your caption but then add extra hashtags in the comments. It will help your audience get the most out of your caption while also maximizing your reach with the hashtags.
32. Load up the post comments with relevant hashtags. You can use up to 30 tags on a post.
33. Reuse hashtag groups by saving them in your phones Notes. You can easily copy, paste, and reorganize them before posting into your post comments.
34. Try different timings to post. Rumor has it that the best times to post are during lunch time or after 8 PM.
35. Make sure to have a gap of at least 4 hours between your posts for improved reach. #qualityoverquantity #allday #everyday
36. Try different Caption Length. Since most people just scroll through their feed until something interesting catches their eye, it is best to be engaging. Be able to catch their attention with a brief statement. Or else, if you like you can then include a longer detailed description under the eye-catcher, or else in the comments.
37. Storytelling is a great way to get engagement so sometimes it is best to use descriptive captions.
38. Use the caption to ask questions or tell useful tips related to the image.
39. Add emoticons in your post.
“50% of Text on Instagram Contains Emojis” (Via: Engadget)
40. Avoid excessive use of black and white photos because they don’t stand out in a feed. You can strategically use it, say for example when you can’t fix the lighting on a post.
41. Maintain the content style and quality.
42. Image clarity and quality are very important. You want to be eye-catching.
43. Add your logo or a watermark to generate brand awareness and recognition.
44. Visit the places tab to see and engage with what’s happening locally.
45. Use location tags whenever possible to garner local attention and engagement on your posts and feed.
46. Join the discussion by creating something relevant around trending topics – a national holiday, event, or news. Hey, Summer Holidays are coming up, you may want to cash in on that.
47. You can add URLs to certain lengthy posts or videos, it won’t be clickable but the interested audience could surely use them. If you’re going this route, be sure to use a branded link shortener (we recommend Bit.ly) so people can easily type in the link if they’re really engaged.
48. Use 1080px by 1080px size for images
49. Make sure you are consistent with image fonts. Pick two or three standards to reuse throughout your feed to create a branded and cohesive appearance.
50. We love the Font Candy App! It is perfect for easily adding clean, stylized text to the photos you upload to Instagram.
51. We also love the Instaquote App! It is powerful and mobile so you can generate quote images on the go. #quoteoftheday
52. My personal favourite is the Canva App. I use it to make reusable, branded templates for posts.
53. Pay attention to your color palette. Like the fonts, it is important to have a distinctive style. Choose two or three to reuse throughout your feed to create a theme or branded appearance.
54. Choose a similar style of filter every time for consistency.
“60% of the top brands on Instagram use a consistent filter” (Via: Contently)
Can’t believe you already went through 50? 😮
Just so you don’t over exhaust your brain, we’d suggest you to start implementing these. And check back for best practices 55-110.
Go on now. Get to work. Try as many as you can! 😀