1. Create a weekly plan
Anyone who runs a business knows that no week is the same. No matter how much you plan something can always come up that leaves you running out of time.
Creating a plan for what you are going to post everyday each week makes managing your social media a lot easier, after all if it is important to stay consistent, missing a post could result in your followers losing interest and a decline in interactions on your posts.
Set up a weekly social media plan on an excel or word document with a section for; image/graphics, text and hashtags. If you are unsure how it should look, download Dunelm Digitals free Instagram schedule template here.
2. Use original images
For Instagram posts that stand out you want to be using images that are true to your brand. If you are selling a product it is a great idea to get some high-quality pictures of them in different settings to use on your social medias.
For business that are selling services, try and get some images that illustrate what your service is, a great way of doing this is to take photographs of you and your team actually carrying out your services. For example, if you run consultancy services ask clients if you can get some pictures of a meeting, most of your clients will be happy to help if you offer to tag them in any pictures used.
Whist the above tips are a great way to ensure you have content for Instagram it may be suitable for you to reach out to a social media agency or professional photographer to get some stand out content that will give your business an edge on your competition.
3. Filters and using the rule of thirds
If you have content you don’t want to crop a great app is InstaSize Photo & Pic Editor . which creates a white space around the photograph to make it square for Instagram.
If you do choose to crop your image Instagram makes it easy to edit your images like a pro. They do this by showing giving you a guide to ‘the rule of thirds’, making it easy for photography newbies to crop the photograph to make it stand out.
Take a look at the below example, I want to crop this image and upload it to Instagram, I want my viewers to look at the woman laughing in the centre of the original image.
Using the grid, I can position the woman on one of the lines and crop from there.
Once my image is cropped I now want to select a filter, filter choice depends on the image. As you can see in the example below Gingham isn’t right for this image as it washes out colour and makes the image dull.
But with the Perpetua filter the colours are stand out, this filer also brought out the greens in the photograph, which suits my brand logo and keeps my Instagram constant.
Instagram is all about images. So, keep your captions shorter than you would on Facebook or LinkedIn. Whist Instagram has a 2200-character limit, users of the social network are influenced by images and graphics so a lengthy caption will probably go unread.
A good rule of thumb is a few sentences describing the image, and a question or statement to prompt users to comment or like the post. If you are aiming to promote a product or service in the post, add in the caption that more information can be found via the link in your bio (links don’t work on Instagram captions).
Whist hashtags are great for improving your post reach and connecting with your target audience, there is such thing as too many. Keep in mind a maximum of ten and always keep them relevant to your customers. Whist using #selfie may get you more likes, if you’re a company looking to connect with other business, the likes you are getting are probably not from the right people.
If you are struggling to know what hashtags will get your post to reach your target customers try out these tips.
- Don’t use your company name as a hashtag, if people search your company name on Instagram they will find you via your username. Instead use hashtags that describe what your company does. If someone is looking for a window cleaner they are going to search #windowcleaning not #wonderwindowsnortheast.
- Use a tool like http://iconosquare.com to analyse how your hashtags are performing. Tools like this can even tell you how a hashtag influenced the reach of your post. You can also replicate these tools yourself by experimenting and varying the hashtags you use and them using the ones that performed the best on future posts.
- Have a look at your competitors and see what hashtags they are using, you’d be surprised at what simple ideas you didn’t think off.
- Contact Dunelm Digital for a free social media guide that includes a hashtag cheat sheet, and a list of hashtags that will be successful for your business.