Posted on February 23, 2016 by
Earlier this year, I wrote of new year’s resolutions for social media, where we recommended using more images and expanding to new platforms. Using Instagram for business provides the opportunity to achieve both of these resolutions, as well as the occasion to explore a more visually- and aesthetically-oriented style of social media.
Our team at Roaring Pajamas spends considerable time studying and honing the art and science of Instagram. With the help of our resident Instagram expert, Kelly Adame, we compiled tips and tricks to help businesses learn how to use Instagram. Here are our thoughts on how to make your business roar on Instagram.
Consider Frequency and Timing
At Roaring Pajamas, we suggest posting once a day, four to six times per week and mainly on weekdays. Occasionally, though, the team mixes it up with a weekend post. For timing, find a couple of times a day that work best and alternate between those times with each post.
Kelly recommends identifying the “sweet spot” of days and times with the greatest Instagram engagement. Careful, hands-on monitoring of the account yields optimal engagement metrics.
Create a Look, Feel and Voice Consistent With the Brand
As with any marketing effort, consistent look, feel and voice help brands achieve the greatest success. This applies to the types and content of photos used, filters (if any) employed, fonts and words imposed on images, captions written and other Instagram accounts followed.
For an excellent check on brand consistency, inspect the business Instagram feed in aggregate; click on the brand profile to see thumbnails of three images across and three or four images down. Viewing multiples posts at once clearly shows the cohesiveness of the visuals and story. If it looks funky and incongruent, adjust the imagery going forward.
A little confession, we recently audited the Roaring Pajamas business Instagram feed and realized we have some work to do. While our Instagram-specific posts follow brand guidelines, the images in our blog posts that we cross-promoted on Instagram were not visually united. Firm believers in practicing what you preach, we implemented plans to change this… like stat!
Form a Hashtag Strategy
In our experience, five to 12 hashtags per Instagram business post proves ideal. We don’t use trending hashtags and prefer a combination of popular, moderate and less popular hashtags.
A few other hashtag rules:
Develop and Edit Images and Other Visuals Like a Pro
Not everyone is a creative director or graphic designer but, even without those credentials, most everyone can utilize a myriad of applications and make an Instagram feed look professional. Four of our favorite tools for creating and editing visuals include:
Employ Instagram Tools
Enhance a brand page with selections from the ever-growing crop of Instagram tools. Some of our faves include:
Establish Best Practices and Guidelines
Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes, and this adage certainly applies to social media adoption. We’ve learned many lessons over the years about best practices for business use of Instagram. In addition to everything above, check out these “Instagram DON’Ts” our team lives by:
Learn From the Best
Follow brands you admire and gain a sense of what makes them great. A few businesses on Instagram our team enjoys following include Starbucks, Refinery 29, Target, Tieks and – for major shoe envy – Louboutinworld.
In addition to our thoughts on here, Social Media Examiner’s 26 Tips for Using Instagram for Business provides excellent ideas to get started. We also regularly read the Instagram business blog for success stories, unique insights on growing a business on Instagram and the latest platform news.
Anything we missed? Let us know and happy Instagramming!