How to build a professional and streamlined Instagram account

Enhance your brand and Instagram presence with these simple steps

Do you feel like you’re the last one on the Instagram bandwagon?

Confused about hashtags, how to post multiple pictures, and why can’t you insert a website link into your bio?

Don’t worry, if you are new to Instagram these easy tips will have you ’gramming’ like a pro, and effectively using one of the most popular social media channels to rapidly build your brand and increase your online exposure.

Photos

It sounds simple… but don’t underestimate the power of quality photographs. Have doubts? Don’t post it. Your visual identity and brand are crucial, and on Instagram, your photos are everything.

If you use filters, use them consistently. Different filters make your page look messy and cluttered.

Pay attention to colour and create a flowing and cohesive, colour coordinated page that aligns to your brand. Clear and crisp colours work well so keep it fresh with white backgrounds, pops of colour, and blue is scientifically proven to be the most appealing colour to draw people to your page.

Everyone loves a good flat lay, just be careful not to overcrowd, and place items carefully and strategically (there are great tips available online for free).

Hashtags

Don’t use generic and spammy hashtags like #f4f, #instalike, and don’t be fooled by thinking you have to use the most popular hashtags with 1million+ searches. Your posts will only be at the top of that search for a fraction of a second before they are replaced.

Go for hashtags with a smaller reach so your posts are seen by people searching for specific words- they are more likely to engage with your posts and follow you. You may even find that only your posts appear under certain hashtags. This is when the quality and consistency of your photos come in…you’re aiming for everyone who searches that hashtag to want to follow you.

Use hashtags that perfectly capture your brand in every post, but you have 30 to use so feel free to be a little creative with some others you use to get that extra reach!

Remember to post your hashtags at the same time you post your photo. The Instagram algorithm works on a timer, and commenting separately later in the day will not connect those hashtags to your image which means it will not be searchable under those hashtags!

Comments

Make your captions personable and relatable – people want to be familiar with the brand but also get to know you; don’t be afraid to post photos of your works-in-progress, regular morning coffee haunt, or a beautiful day in your local city- just make sure the photos are good quality, attractive and eye-catching.

Links

Contrary to popular belief, you CAN include links to your blog or website on your Instagram page. Download Linktree app and follow the steps, and don’t forget to reference the link in your comments if you want to direct followers to a relevant blog post or article!

Engagement

Attract authentic followers by engaging with your audience. Make genuine comments on posts you like, and reply to comments from followers, ask questions or have competitions (everyone loves a freebie!). Follow other accounts that interest you, and repost interesting and inspiring photos with Repost app. Others will return the favour and your exposure will grow organically.

Remember that no one likes Insta-spam- overloading on posts will bore people and you will lose followers. There’s no magic number for the amount of times you should post in the day as it will vary for everyone, but play around and find what works for you- I suggest a maximum of three per day, at regular intervals. This keeps your feed fresh and gives you time to plan your next post. Remember it’s quality, not quantity!

And finally, do your research on banned hashtags- they’re not all that you might think. Be aware that if you use one by accident, they may make your entire post invisible.

Follow these 5 simple tips and you’ll steadily gain followers and increase your range, as well as create a beautiful, flowing page that is the envy of your Insta-buddies. It’s the small things that make a difference, so remember Instagram is all about visual imagery and inspiration, authentic engagement and effective use of the tools.

Happy Instagramming!

 

 

About Your Guest Blogger: Monica Diaz is a freelance writer based in Auckland, NZ. Having travelled the world for a number of years, she now resides in her favourite city. Human Resource professional by day and freelance writer by, well, weekend, when she’s not exploring her passion for writing, she can be found at her local yoga studio or planning her next overseas trip.

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