How to Instagram Like a Pro

The human eye can detect and understand visual information at a rate of three to four times a second. So, it’s no wonder the social photo-sharing app, Instagram remains one of the most popular mobile applications in the world. With over 200 million monthly active users, 60 million posts daily, 1.6 billion likes a day — if you’re brand isn’t on Instagram, you could be missing out on some major screen time. It’s popularity may seem complicated, but it’s simple science: faces engage us. Compare a selfieless feed to a feed full of selfies. More than likely, actually (according to the researches at Georgia Tech and Yahoo Labs) the one full of selfies is 38% more likely to have more followers. Here are a few other reasons Instagram remains the hottest form of social media on the planet:

  1. It’s social: People are social creatures by nature. Before the phenomenon of photo-sharing devices, there were old photo albums to flip through, a tangile book-like material that held a sense of nostalgic value. Inside the pictures faded at the corners, indicating time passed, reminding the onlooker that life, like these photos, doesn’t last forever. The onlooker would then close the album, and if only for a few moments, have a new found respect for the impermanence of all living things. But it was also super boring! These days, iPhone users have the ability to add creativity into their day and share a small piece of digital art.
  2. It’s totally free: Another reason Instagram is so popular is that it is a completely free sharing app. There are advertisements that pop up in a user’s feed, but they are easily curated to their interest.
  3. It’s instantaneous: Sleek and modern, Instagram’s interface is like no other photo-sharing device. With the introduction of “Stories” — a video sharing feature that allows only temporary visibility — instant gratification is even more easily accessible.
  4. It’s creative: Instagram allows regular people to create beautiful photos, collages, or illustrations all in one app. With it’s many editing features and filters, it turns even the most unlikely humbug into a regular Edgar Degas.

So, considering the information let’s talk about your goals for creating better, more likable content.

Create a Virtual Storefront

Like Helen Lansdowne said, “Sex sells.” Sleek, modern photography is far more eye-catching than a pixelated snap on an iPhone. Showcase your products in the best light by investing in a state-of-the-art camera, studio space, and professional photographer. Only post curated original images or regram posts that fit your over-all aesthetic. Adidas knows what I’m talking about:

Give Your Audience a Backstage Pass

Offer your audience a sneak peak into your brand’s creative process, new products/service, or events. Go beyond the product shots and show them how the shots were executed. It will allow your followers to engage with you on a more intimate level and build long-term fellowship. Purple Magazine is champion at doing this, giving their followers a glimpse into a magical world:

Show Customers How to Use or Style Your Products

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and inform them on how to use or style your product/service. Give them helpful suggestions or hints on how to maximize a product’s potential. If you’re a clothing brand, put together outfits or show them the many ways you can tie a scarf. If you’re a makeup or skincare line, offer helpful tips on how to apply concealer or plan a healthy diet. Juice Beauty has this strategy down pat!:

Encourage Followers to Use Your Product/Service

Get in touch with your audience by sharing posts that include your product or service. Show your followers that real people use and are excited about your product/service. This is when hastags become crucial. Make sure you use hashtags to categorize your posts so that users with similar interests can easily find you. If you need some inspiration, American Apparel nails this every time:

In today’s competitive world of start-ups (About 93% of brands have an IG presence) Instagram is the obvious way to market content. But slapping photos on there isn’t enough. You have to think ahead and engage with people like you’ve never had to before. It’s hard work (a full-time job), but the rewards for having a fantastic following is high!

Like this? See more of my insights on my blog