There are no hard and fast rules on how to make sure your Instagram posts work for you. There are only a few rules of thumb and I think Neil Patel, author and Internet entrepreneur, nailed some of them down in an article.
But I’ll keep it short if you don’t have time to go through each of them yourself and alternate the importance according to what I think is important for an Instagram post without beating around the bush.
Invest in a good image
Not all of your posts have to be postcard ready; all you need are some good quality images that bring out the best in your products. Once upon a time there was a food delivery site I followed on Twitter that made the best food but had the worst lit photos on Instagram. I thought it was a waste of potential and asked if they could tweak their images a bit with filters before posting. They did and their photos have been delicious ever since!
Give your Instagram account a face, someone they can relate to, or post a behind-the-scenes image. There’s a good reason why people search for BTS videos on YouTube before watching a movie or TV series. Human beings are curious in that way. Once they can relate to you, they’re kind of hooked.
Be fun, be wacky, be informed, be cool, or any of those
If you can’t be funny, be quirky. If you can’t be extravagant, stay informed. If you can’t keep up, be cool. Choose one. This way, people will remember you every time they look around the corner. They see you out of the corner of their eye and know it’s you and they’re interested again. That’s brand.
get an influencer
I was born around the time you call someone an influencer, your parents probably thought they were drug dealers. But in the digital age, it means someone who has a large following on their social media accounts. If you can pay one of those Youtubers or Instagrammers to feature your product or service, great. If you can’t, find someone affordable you can work with, preferably within the same industry BUT not your competitor. I did Really do you have to say that? =) There is a list on the internet showing the ones with an international platform. If you go local, don’t be afraid to bargain with them.
Use Instagram ads
As long as you stay within your budget and have a fairly eye-catching short video, DO IT. You shouldn’t be spending thousands of dollars on ads anyway. Once you’ve split the cost between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google, you can enjoy a decent ROI. What you want to enjoy, at the end of the day, are the eyeballs.
Run contests and encourage positive engagement
Posts that offer something clever or simple will surprise even the best of us. Some people will go to great lengths to win a notebook, a couple of theme park tickets, a bottle of hand lotion, a vacation, plane tickets, or a grand piano. If it’s free, not many will complain. And besides, compared to Facebook, Instagram has fewer rules to follow…for now.
I can’t say enough about how some people are using hashtags incorrectly. You don’t post a picture of your baby and use a hashtag like #AngieandBobsBabyisSoCute. 1) No one else is using that hashtag, so it’s a complete waste of time (and space); 2) You want to use a hashtag that people can search for and are already using; 3) Find other similar posts to get inspired and like for exposure. You can also create your own cool hashtag and promote it everywhere. I mean, EVERYWHERE for your friends, family and followers to use too. Now, THAT is the purpose of a hashtag.
Good luck and have fun!