Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms. In July, 2015 it was announced that there are 14 million monthly active users in the UK. Are you one of them? (Just in case you fancy following I am @CharlieMoos feel free to like any pictures that aren’t of my cat! ) If you need help setting up and account then go here – A Beginners Guide to Instagram.
The idea behind using Instagram for your small business or blog is that it enables you to develop a brand identity through storytelling and behind the scene content. Research has proven that Instagram users connect and engage far more than they actually post. Interesting. I’ve noticed a few things since I started using Instagram.
- Less is More : I find if I’m at an event/day out etc a few thought out images during and after maybe days after, get a much better reaction than bulk loading as the event is occurring. Save these for your blog.
- Life should be edited ALWAYS! : To me this is almost ironic! The whole idea of Instagram is that images are posted instantly on your mobile phone not carefully crafted on your DSLR, edited to an inch within their life then emailed to your mobile and eventually uploaded but it appears this is what people want to see!
- One child is more beautiful that the others : Yes images of a certain child * cough possibly the blonde haired female cough * get far more reaction that my other two, who are equally as beautiful in my eyes.
- Hashtags : #YouMustIncludeHashtags #HashtagsRule #AWorldWithoutHashtagsIsBoring
- Cats and Wine Rule! : This image of our cat George is one of the most popular on my feed followed by a photo of me drinking 2 glasses of wine. I’m still trying to get a shot of the cat drinking wine image how many people will like that!
Three things that makes Instagram different from other platforms :
- It’s all about the mobile : Instagram is all about being instant you can’t load images via desktop it has to be on a mobile using the app.
- It’s not link heavy : The only clickable link appears in your bio. TOP TIP : Ensure the link in your bio goes to a mobile friendly site!
- Insights? What insights? : Unlike other platforms where you are provided with tons of analytical information other than the likes and comments there is none!
Hashtags hold a lot of weight on Instagram compared to other platforms especially Facebook where they can still look a bit weird! So why use them? Hashtags are used for content distribution, they broaden the reach and put your business/blog in front of a new audience. There is the golden rule of 5 #hashtags but some use more others less, I think personal preference and working out which go with your image is key. As you start to type your hashtag you will notice a list appears and sometimes just one letter can make all the difference. For example the tag #garden is associated with 14,118,330 posts whereas #gardens in comparison only 992,117 already reducing the pool of viewers.
Top hashtags include,
Apparently 5-6pm is the optimum time to post an image but I tried this and for my readers it didn’t make much difference. I think there are best practice tactics but ultimately you need to manifest your own plan based on your own audience and for some part this will be trial and error.
Other posts which may be of interest include: