What is Instagram? Instagram is a mobile, desktop, and Internet-based photo-sharing application and service that allows users to share pictures and videos either publicly, or privately to pre-approved followers – Wikipedia
Given the thought that Instagram is a photo/video-sharing application, there are several ways that one can utilize the platform to grow and maintain a following that can either make or break ones business.
For one, it can be used as a platform to communicate your personal brand, product or service. However, if used wrongfully, like any other social networking platform, it can cause some major issues when trying to attract your target market. For starters, it’s all about creating a post, either in the form of a photo or video, that will allow your followers to interact; either through comments, likes, reposts, or to further your following.
Now, there is a science, per se, to creating an engaging post… And here are the 4 steps to ensuring that your posts are optimized to cultivate comments, likes, and reposts:
- High Resolution Photos/Videos
- The most important thing to consider when posting content on Instagram is the quality of your post. You must understand that if you are posting a picture or a video that is of low quality, most users/followers will skip right through without acknowledging (liking or commenting) the post. Your photo or video should be high quality, and because many of today’s smartphones enable us to take some relatively high quality photos and videos, be certain that all of your posts are clear of noise and is of superior quality.
- Your Caption, Prompting Q&A’s
- Your caption is the core of your engaging post. This is what your followers read and respond to. When creating your caption I recommend that you ask a question that will cause your followers to respond. Now, not everyone will respond, this is because they are quickly browsing through the Instagram feed and liking photos or videos that either capture their attention or interacting with people they know or respect as thought-leaders.
- To capture ones attention, you must first have a high resolution photo or video. Because most devices now require you to press a video on Instagram to hear the audio, I suggest posting a video with subtitles to heighten the response rate; consequently, causing one to stop browsing and pay attention to what you’ve posted. Check out GaryVee’s example below:
- The Power of Hashtags and Location Tagging
- Since Instagram’s prehistoric times, hashtags (#) were developed. People used these types of metadata tags to allow other users/non-followers to locate and interact with their posts. Today, these tags still hold the same power. After you’ve decided in a high resolution photo or video, selected your Q&A, the next step is selecting a series of hashtags that are relevant to your post. For example, if you are a fitness instructor, your Q&A may prompt the following: What’s your fitness goal for 2018? After the question, your hashtags may reflect the following: #fitnessgoals2018 #healthgoals2018 #fitnessfans etc. Altogether, your caption with your tags will look something like this: What’s your fitness goal for 2018? #fitnessgoals2018 #healthgoals2018 #fitnessfans.
- On the flip side, not many people take advantage of tagging a location to their post. This too, provides the same effect in getting users/non-followers to locate you through geolocation. For example, if you own a private medical practice, you may want to tag your office’s location. This tag feature is located below the caption area, where Add Location is stated. Click on Add Location to find your desired location. It is suggested that if you do not have a storefront or a private office, you can tag a place that is in close proximity to your location, but NEVER tag your private home. Unless, of course, you want people to know where you live.
- Responding to Comments and Questions
- Lastly, the whole purpose in creating an engaging post is to interact with your followers in ways that make them feel that you are human. Nothing is more hurtful to your brand, whether personal or business, than to like a comment but not respond to it. Now as you increase your following, there are moments when you cannot respond to all comments. However, keep in mind that the more you respond, the higher the probability of getting people to interact with future posts.
If you have any questions about Instagram Marketing, please do not hesitate to contact me.
You can find me on Instagram @MrAntonioSrado. Please subscribe to my weekly podcast by clicking on the designated link to your podcast listening application.