Instagram is a community photo sharing app, meant for mobile phones and providing an instant feed. Although this is a photo sharing app, you by no means have to be a talented photographer to produce beautiful photographs. Since the immersion of Instagram, it’s quickly become a popular social marketing tool and a way to produce visually appealing marketing content to a mass network of people. Beyond providing a platform to showcase curated photographs, Instagram has cultivated its own community of photo and design enthusiasts. This app has great potential for developing one’s own brand and becoming involved in a network of like-minded users. It also serves as an instant source of inspiration. So how does one harness the full potential of Instagram and capture a feeling that thousands of other users can relate with?
Firstly, because Instagram is a very visual app, editing and enhancing photographs to look their very best is important. Although Instagram is equipped with different filters designed to improve the quality of your photos, it doesn’t hurt to use another app to give your photos a certain edge. Not all photographers are provided with the same sense of style which is why trying out different photo apps can be beneficial to finding a formula that resonates with each individual’s personal brand. Apps such a VSCO Cam, Mextures, Afterlight and Pic Stitch offer different editing features such as adding light leaks, cropping photos, using pre-made formulas and providing more photo editing tweaks. Although using outside editing apps can add more complexity to your image, it’s essential to still maintain a cohesive theme within one’s own feed.
Often the decision on whether someone will follow your account or not is how visually appealing your entire feed is. Choosing an overall theme for your account and limiting yourself to a few filters that you use regularly will ensure that your content flows and align’s with your account’s vision. Asking yourself whether your posts align with the rest of your feed before they are made public is another way curate an effective gallery. A general rule to follow is to wait 24 hours before posting content. There are outside apps such as Pic Stitch that allow users to create a collage of images, giving them an advantage of preview before actually posting to their feed. The IPhone also allows users to create different albums within their photo feed, allowing a comprehensive look of the images they wish to post.
Finally, knowing how to explore and discover new networks within the app is essential in giving your account more exposure, connecting with like-minded individuals and finding inspiration. Connect with your community! If you’re a photographer, try connecting with like-minded individuals through InstaMeets. This is where passionate Instagram users connect over a similar interest (photography, hiking, products) and use the app to grow their network, perfect their photography skills and share ideas. Instagram is a full network that can be tapped into, and as with any network, the more involved you become within the community, the larger the potential for growth. Commenting on other people’s posts, offering tips or words of encouragement, liking posts and even taking advantage of the personal sharing function could expose your brand and increase your popularity. Using hashtags can also increase views and user engagement. Using too many hashtags can come across as spammy, so choose what networks you would like to expose your brand to and select carefully. Keep it simple but significant.
Taking the time to curate your Instagram feed, get involved within the community and being selective in posting content can result in a beautiful and effective account that showcases a cohesive theme. Studies have shown that there is no peak time to post that will generate more engagement (survey found here). This means using the tools mentioned above are your best bet in creating engaging visuals and attracting more traffic. These simple but significant tools, when used properly, can result in an increased following, engagement and traffic.