Instagram offers an easy to use platform to share compelling photos with your audience. What’s more, Instagram users are not only expecting to see content from brands on the platform, they are excited about engaging with companies as well. Of the top 1,000 most shared videos on Instagram, 40% were uploaded by brands. Whether you are already on this exciting visual marketing platform or you have yet to begin posting on Instagram, the Dos and Don’ts below will guide you to success!
Instagram Dos & Don’ts
Do Use Hashtags:
Like Twitter, and now Facebook, Instagram supports the use of hashtags to identify what your photo or video is about. You may use literal hashtags describing your photo or more emotional tags that give your followers a peak into the sentiment behind the post. For instance, a jewelry company can post a picture of an engagement ring with the hashtags #Diamonds and #TrueLove. One relates to the physical piece, while the other evokes the emotions behind the ring.
Don’t OVER use Hashtags:
There can be a tendency to overdo it with the hashtags on Instagram. Limit yourself to two or three realistic and/or thoughtful hashtags. Any more than that and it begins to look like you just want to be found for everything, whether it relates to your photos or not.
Do Match Your Twitter and Instagram Usernames:
If you are using both Instagram and Twitter, be sure to use the same handle. This helps your Instagram users find you on Twitter and vice versa.
Don’t Share Too Often:
As a rule, try and stick with one post per day. You may post more if you are hosting or attending an event, but don’t go overboard. Instead, create a hashtag for your event and invite attendees to post their own photos using the hashtag, then engage with these attendees on the platform.
Do Get Social:
In order to use Instagram to its full potential, you have to interact with other users. Like and comment on posts that relate to local events or places and, of course, respond to photos of your products or in your store, as well as those you are tagged in. Following local hashtags will allow you to identify the right users to follow and interact with.
Don’t Get Desperate:
Liking each and every photo your followers post is more than a little creepy. Asking them to follow you back is seen as being needy in the Instagram world. Post engaging photos and selectively like and comment on others’ photos and the followers will come naturally.
Do Give Sneak Peeks:
Have a new product coming out, opening a second location or introducing a seasonal menu item? Give a sneak peak with a photo on Instagram! Offering an exclusive look at your upcoming offerings gives users a reason to follow you on the platform, especially when you’ve already created a social presence elsewhere.
Don’t Get too Sales-y:
While you should be sharing photos of your products or in your store, it is important to avoid each post coming off as a sales pitch. Avoid this by getting creative with your posts. Rather than taking a picture of your products alone, stage them so it looks like they are interacting or take photos of your staff or customers (with their permission) using your products. The presentation turns a flat image into on that gets people talking!