by Dr. R. Kay Green | Featured Contributor
If by chance you have not heard, Instagram is officially allowing people to schedule posts through third party apps.
In the past, people could use apps to set up their posts in advance, but they still had to physically have their phones in their hands when they wanted the post to go live. This development is something that many people have been asking for.
If you have been hesitant to join Instagram, there has never been a better time. Now that you do not have to physically be at your phone to post something, it is easier than ever to develop a strategy and implement it. And you will be reaching a wide audience — there are 500 million active users daily.
So, where do you get started on Instagram?
Have a Plan.
Instagram seems deceptively simple at first. Many believe that all you have to do to be successful is to take a picture with your phone and upload it. But, of course, the reality is slightly more complicated than that.
If you are considering starting an Instagram strategy, take some time to ask yourself some questions. What will you be posting? Will you focus more on quotes? Will you take pictures of your office? A mix of both? How will you relate these posts back to your brand?
Your goal should be to have a cohesive feed. Think of what people will look at when they click on your profile: your description, your icon, and your first few posts. If everything flows together and is aesthetically pleasing from the outset, people will be more likely to follow.
You should also have a plan for how often you will be posting. Posting consistently is how you build a dedicated following. Of course, scheduling apps make this simpler than ever!
Format Your Posts Properly.
Now that you have decided what you are going to post, it is important for you to know Instagram’s unique culture. What images get the most response, and when should you post them for maximum engagement?
Here are some tips regarding formatting your posts on Instagram.
- Gingham is the filter that got the most engagement. Clarendon came second.
- Posts that shared personal experiences had higher engagement (think weight loss stories, travel images).
- Captions that are short and casual were the most successful — emojis were popular.
- The study showed that posting between 6pm and 7:30pm during the week and 11am during the weekend (BST) produced the most positive results.
While you certainly do not have to follow these rules to the letter, they are still something for you to consider when you create your posts.
Understand the Algorithm.
Instagram’s algorithm is very confusing for many people. What it comes down to is engagement. Posts with more engagement are marked by Instagram as quality content and will show up earlier on people’s feeds.
Following the formatting guidelines above will help you to increase engagement. However, there are some other things you can do. Instagram stories are a fantastic way to engage with your audience — and people who click through them will have your posts show up earlier on their feed.
You should also strive to only use relevant hashtags on your posts. If you spam too many, especially when they have little to do with your actual content, Instagram will notice, and your visibility will suffer.
Of course, the algorithm is constantly shifting. If you want a truly effective Instagram strategy, you should strive to stay on top of the latest trends and changes.
Finally, Facilitate Communication.
This last tip is one that many overlook.
Of course, you should be trying to talk with your audience, the same as you would on any other social platform. The comments section of any Instagram post is where the real connections happen.
When people comment on your posts, respond to them. Answer questions, ask follow-up questions of your own, and just be a generally approachable entity. Not only will this affect the Instagram algorithm in your — it will also create a more genuine bond between you and your followers.
Dr. R. Kay Green – Marketing Expert from RKG Marketing Solutions Inc. from Atlanta, GA.
Dr. R. Kay Green is the CEO/President of RKG Marketing Solutions Inc. With over 190,000+ Twitter followers, 35,000+ Facebook Likes, and the Top 1% LinkedIn profile designation, Dr. Kay, a self-motivated trailblazer, is the Quintessential “New-Age” Professional Woman, and PhD Marketing Pro. She earned a Doctorate of Business Administration in Marketing, and has completed PhD coursework in Leadership and Organization Change. She also holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing and Management, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, and an Associate of Arts in Marketing Management.
She is affiliated with several prestigious universities and has instructed over 350 courses online. A popular speaker on Marketing and Business topics, Dr. Green is currently featured on Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, Black News, The Network Journal, Business Review USA, Digital Journal, College View, Business New Hampshire Magazine, Bay State Banner, Reader’s Circle, North Dallas Gazette, Harlem News, Top News Today, One News Page, NE Informer, Women in Business PR News, Consumer News Today, Women PR News, San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Daily Herald, The Miami Herald, and Book News Articles.