10 Instagram Best Practices For 2015

Instagram is still very much a social media giant, and lots of brands and businesses of all kinds have been turning to the picture-sharing platform to engage their respective target audiences.

So now that you’re thinking of putting in more time and effort into your brand’s Instagram account, you might be wondering: “Surely, there must be a list of Instagram best practices out there.”

Photo by Maria Shanina
Photo by Maria Shanina

The answer is: “Yes there is a list. And don’t call me Shirley.”

For today’s information-packed list, we feature a list of 10 Instagram best practices as compiled by the good people of Firebelly Marketing.

1) Tell your story
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. By sharing what your brand is doing on Instagram, you’re telling your brand’s story more effectively than with just words alone.

2) Go behind-the-scenes
People love thinking they have the inside scoop. Share behind-the-scenes photos to provide your customers insight of what’s to come—perhaps a new product or contest? You decide.

3) Post consistently
Post daily, three times a week or once a week–frequency doesn’t matter, but consistency does. Imagine the disappointment for a customer excited to discover your brand has an Instagram account–only to find that is hasn’t been updated in weeks (or months).

4) Connect your other social media accounts
Instagram allows you to easily syndicate your photos to your other social accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Flickr, and Foursquare Swarm).

Photo by Jay Wennington
Photo by Jay Wennington

5) Create and monitor brand-related hashtags
Create unique hashtags for your brand or its products. Encourage your customers to use these when posting photos about you. This make it easier for you to track brand mentions and can help alleviate confusion on the appropriate hashtag to use when talking about your product.

6) Know what your community likes
Keep track of what kinds of content your followers engage with most. Is it photos? Videos? Product shots? Candids? Inspirational? Post more of what your audience likes.

7) Highlight fan content
You brand should show your fans some love. If they post a photo and say something nice about your brand, “regram” their content and thank them. I’ve had this happen a couple of times and I got fan girl excited. Try it and see how it works for you.

Photo by Sean DuBois
Photo by Sean DuBois

8) Engage with your fans
Instagram isn’t just about posting and liking photos. Fans can leave comments and ask questions too—be sure to acknowledge and respond to those.

9) Run photo contests
Running a contest for a chance to win a product or gift card is a great way to engage your fans. Who doesn’t want to win free stuff?

10) Stop #hashtagabuse
Make sure the hashtags you use are relevant to the content you’re posting. The wrong hashtag can lead to unintended negative consequences. Don’t stuff your description with hundreds of irrelevant hashtags in an effort to game the system for more likes.

(Written by Stephanie Daily for Firebelly Marketing.)

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