I love instagram. It is hands down my favorite social media. I love that you can create a folder of snapshots and memories. Filled with places you go, people you love, and things you do. Enough space for a caption but not enough space for too many crazy rants or buzzfeed articles. It is a pile of pictures that you can carry in your pocket – like those plastic inserts you can put into your wallet – but better!
I wanted to continue my Blog Tips series by talking about Instagram! Instagram is a great way to grow you blog/ business by connecting on a personal level with your readers, followers, and customers. You can highlight things you are working on, provide readers with sneak peeks, and show that you are a real person. When you see your favorite blogger’s adorable dog or you see that one of your favorite shops love the same coffee shop as you create a new connection with them. It creates loyalty to that brand, you may love that target scarf but the one from the etsy seller who loves Harry Potter just as much as you do might win out because of that personal connection. You can form connections like that with your followers too! Here are five easy steps on putting your best foot forward on instagram:
I think one of the most important things on instagram is to post often. I personally think one a day is a good amount – sometimes more, sometimes less depending on the content of that day. I tend to post more on the weekends because I am doing fun things and slow down during the workweek because I spend 8 hours of my day in a cubicle with bad lighting (no one wants a pic of that!) Post often enough that you show up in news feeds regularly and avoid photo dumping your last weeks all in one day. The beauty of instagram is that it is the daily. Capture those daily shots and let your audience into your world.
We all love starbucks coffee but we can only handle so many instagrams of your morning starbucks. Be bold and try new things. Stop while walking down the sidewalk to take a shot of your daily coffee shop sign (instead of the coffee cup we see everyday), take a picture of your besties at lunch laughing or mid sip (instead of the crammed in awkward smile selfie), or try a closeup of your baby’s cute little toes instead of the same picture of her laying in her crib. We want to see your life as seen through your eyes. Not just the safe pictures, but the fun ones – the ones we do not expect.
This is one of the most important ones. If you want to connect with your audience (readers, supporters, customers) you need to engage them. Take a picture of your favorite breakfast place and ask your followers what breakfast place has their deepest affections, show a picture of you in your team gear before the game and challenge your readers to pick a team before the game, or simply ask “can you relate?” after you post a picture of a cheerio & milk stained table. Not only are you taking a snapshot of your day but you are inviting your readers to experiment that moment with you.Also, a huge part of this is comments! Respond to the comments people leave on your instagram. While it is impossible to respond to them all, it is important to try to engage as best you can. Click on names to see the people who are hearting all your pictures – favorite the ones you love – maybe even follow them. Start a hashtag or engage with hashtag communities. Some of my current favorites if you need a place to start are: #holdersnotfolders #theeverydayproject and #fridayintroductions. Reaching out to the instagram community shows that your heart is to engage and is much more likely to make readers fall in love with you and your product!
Find the Right Angle
Focus on the picture and not the filters. Do not go too crazy on filters, frames, stickers. They can be cute in moderation, but they can be overwhelming every photo. VSCO is my favorite app for my instagram pictures (on Android & iPhone) – Here is a tutorial on the app!!
|Oak + Oats on Instagram|