Over the past few months, I have been stepping up my Instagram game at @meglinkdesign. I attended a few workshops by Your Social Media Team, which I highly recommend, have been reading up on social media strategies on Later.com’s blog, and I am devoting more time to improving my content. Here are a few tips that I have learned along the way.
Sign up for an Instagram Business Account.
Its free and gives you access to helpful analytics including charts that display the time of day and days of the week that your audience is the most active. This is immensely helpful for understanding when your audience is using Instagram. I try to post around 3pm EST each day since that is when the my audience is most active. I also like to post on the weekends, I have noticed that I reach a greater variety of people on Saturdays and Sundays.
Write thoughtful captions.
Tell a story, be authentic and engage your audience by asking questions. A good caption can go a long way, especially if it is funny. I recommend typing your caption in an email or word processing program and pasting it into Instagram.
Research your tags.
Try to find hashtags that connect you to similar accounts and potential followers. I like to create lists of hashtags in my phone’s notepad. After creating a new Instagram post, quickly copy and paste a group of hashtags into the first comment. Another popular method for hiding your hashtags is to create several line breaks before pasting your tags into the bottom of the caption.
Lighting is key.
It really does make or break your image. No amount of editing will help an subject that is lost in the shadows. If your subject is not properly lit, move yourself or your subject to take a better shot.
Do not zoom in with your smart phone’s camera. Move your body instead. This will result in a much better photo that will be easier to edit.
Use filters to unify your Instagram feed.
I spent hours editing photos in Adobe’s Lightroom until I was introduced to the free smart phone app, A Color Story. You can purchase a variety of filters sets to apply to your images. I especially like Candy Minimal, a set of filters that makes pastels pop, and Airy a filter set that softens and lightens images. After applying a combination of filters, I use A Color Story’s adjustment tools to further edit my images.
Do not take your Instagram feed too seriously!