With 300 million monthly active users, 48 million in US, many brands have noticed the power of Instagram to reach their audience. But mastering the platform is another thing. Truth be told, just few brands have truly understood the network, its audience and its rules.
With this article I want to start a series to guide brands on how to be successful in the social network of 2015.
Let’s start with the very basic stuff anyone should not do on Instagram.
Spoiler alert: once you read them you may say: “of course, it makes sense!” but you’ll be surprised how often these mistakes are repeated.
Regarding your profile
1. Do not use a user name that is not related to your company’s name or is not consistent across other social media networks.
Tip. Make it short, easy to remember and consistent across all the social media platforms. To get more tips on how to choose one if yours is taken you can read this post about how to be consistent on Instagram.
2. Don’t leave your profile picture empty.
Actually have a great picture in high resolution. The minimum resolution and size to use is 110 x 110 pixels.
Tip. It can either be your brand’s logo or a picture of your smiling face (if your enterprise is you). Bare in mind Instagram applies a different cropped frame for its mobile app (circle) and desktop (square). Choose a picture that works in both interfaces. And again, be consistent with your avatar across all the social media platforms.
3. Don’t leave your profile empty.
This is a classic one that I have already discussed with many brands. When a potential follower or client land in you account, the first thing to help them decide if they follow your brand or not after the pictures is what you state in your profile. You pictures might not specially attract them, but if your profile offers interest and value for them, they certainly will follow it.
Tip. You only have a few seconds to grab your potential followers attention. Make it easy for them to understand who you are and a reason to follow you. Let them know your value and what you intent to share in your account.
4. Don’t leave the web link empty.
Think that if any of your followers wants to know more about your brand here is where they will go.
Tip. This is the only clickable link on Instagram. Do not waste it! Include your website or a custom link where you want your followers to go. Track the traffic to your link with a link shortener, like bit.ly
5. Don’t set your account private.
Why should you? Some business owners have told me they do not want to be copied and to avoid so they set the account private. But whoever wants to copy them they only have to ask to follow the account. Meaning you won’t stop them. With your account private you are stopping other potential followers and clients who might feel discouraged instead. I do not follow private accounts unless I know the person.
Tip. Unless you have a strong reason to do so (sharing adult content) your account should be public for your followers and potential clients to see what you share and if they want to follow.
Regarding your pictures
6. Do not post blurry pictures.
Please. There is no reason to do so.
Tip. Take several pictures from different angles and never use the mobile camera zoom.
7. Do not post irrelevant photos or videos.
This point really goes against consistency and quality. I will talk in the future about how to create content that is relevant to your audience. But now just follow the next tip if in doubt.
Tip. Consider your followers are a wonderful treasure and ask yourself before posting: Is this post adding value?
8. Do not upload a post without a caption.
Captions give meaning to the pictures and videos shared. Without them the posts seems unfinished.
Tip. Make it easy for your followers to understand your message.
9. Do not leave a post without a hashtag strategy.
Hashtags make pictures easier to search, so potential followers can find you.
Tip. Hashtags are the way you put your media in front of the people who are not following you. Think about what can be your ideal client searching for and hashtag accordingly. To learn how to create a hashtag strategy click on this link.
Do you want to know more about dos and don’ts?
Tip. Follow @sisiandcompany on Instagram.
Thank you for reading. If you found this post useful, why not follow the blog for weekly musings on how to win on Instagram. Or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have further questions.