instagram-royalty

#Kingstagram – How to become instagram royalty

If you haven’t heard Instagram is no longer just for hipsters to share pictures of their half-sweet, soy, skinny, hazelnut frappuccinos. No, Instagram now has over 150 million active monthly users. It continues to grow at a rate of around 20 million users every three months. But how can you use the quickest growing network to your advantage? Can it be used as a marketing tool? The answer to the latter is yes, absolutely.

So how can you rock on Instagram, how can your ensure that your images won’t be tossed aside among pictures of that great muffin that you had once, and get some interaction?

Like many things in digital marketing, dedication is an important part of your efforts. You won’t get a million followers over night but if you employ some of the techniques in this article you stand to see an increase in your likes, comments and followers.

 

Mark your territory
As you very well know branding is everything. Make sure to add a watermark your images, either with your company name or logo. You can never truly predict which of your photos will go viral. When one does you want to make sure that people know who its by and  that your brand benefits as much as it can!

 

Who’s around?
Instagram has, like many social networks, a geo-location tagging functionality. Make sure that you add a location to each one of your uploads.  If you have an office or store, be sure to add it as a custom location and geotag any photos taken there. This has the added bonus of customers / visitors being able to add photos at your location. This helps to increase your exposure both to their followers and those who are near by.

 

Make a Series
Just like your favorite T.V. show draws an audience week in week out, try creating a photo series as it is a great way to keep people coming back for more.Photo series also work well because you can compile the whole series in advance.

Examples of great photo series :

1. Follow Me
2. New York Times
3. Pantone Project

 

Show me the way
Once you have people viewing your photos and hopefully your profile you want to make it as easy as you can for them to find out more and explore what you have to offer. An easy way to do this is by ensuring that you have filled out the website section on your profile. It may sound simple but you would be surprised at how many people don’t take advantage of this. Another way in which you can promote your
site is by putting your URL within any comments you make. Make sure to use a URL shortening program, my favorite is tiny URL.

 

#Creative hashtaggery
Hash-tags are the means by which posts get categorized. Once a lonely unused phone key, it’s now become a superstar thanks to social media.
You may already be aware how powerful hash-tags can be in getting eyes onto your photos. A great way to utilize them and increase your exposure is by creating a hash-tag campaign. This can take a number of forms. A great example would be Domino’s Pizza UK’s #letsdolunch.

The most powerful which I have seen is using a hash-tag campaign to run a competition. As I touched on in Get Traffic! 9 ideas that really work humans love competitions and is a great way to create hype around your brand.Ford’s fiestagram campaign would be a great example of this.

Cas McCullough wrote a great resource on running competitions with hash-tags which you can find => HERE

 

Posting Routine
It has been proven time and again that internet followers love routine. Be it in blogging, newsletters or social media. The same goes for Instagram. Try to post regularly and consistently. It helps if you create a ‘Content Calendar’ outlining what you plan to post and when. I certainly find it useful as it helps me to not get lost. There are times which,through testing, have shown to yield the best interaction and gain most traction. The best times to post on instagram are Mondays, Wednesday and Thursday 3-5 pm (PST). Incorporate these timings within a your posting schedule and you should see an increase in interaction on your photos.

 

It all comes down to numbers
Managing social media is hard. Luckily some great management tools exist to make your life a little bit easier. HootSuite is the worlds largest social media management tool with over 100 million worldwide users. Hoot suit allows you to add an Instagram feed to your dashboard but personally I would recommend Statigram. Statigram allows you easily manage the different aspects of your Instagram account and defiantly makes your life a lot easier!

Using a management tool also gives you access to statistical data. This is a great way to see what works for you and make adjustments accordingly. Statigram also gives you access to in depth data such as which filters and tags are giving you the most success, this can help you pinpoint which style of photos your target audience appreciates and interacts with the most.

 

[Portrait of Ray Wetzel, 1947 or 1948] (LOC)Jazz it up
With the growth of Instagram came a myriad of spin off apps which added a huge variation of effects, text and filters to photos before they got posted to Instagram.
I’m not saying that you should always use a crazy filter or effect to your photos, not by a long shot. In fact the most popular filter on Instagram is ‘no-filter’ But sometimes adding a bit of spice to the occasional picture can help get you stand out in the feed and keep your followers interested.

My Top 3 apps for adding effects
– Hollagram
– PicLab HD
– Cool Frames

One technique which does seem to be effective is combining multiple photos into a single Instagram. Again there are apps which allow you to do this (an example would be PhotoWonder). Neil Patel found that if you amalgamate multiple photos then the amount of likes increases by around 20%.

 

You can walk the walk but can you talk
Instagram is a social network, with emphasis on social. Like any social network to be appreciated and welcomed into the community you must be social. Far too often I see folks attempting to increase their social media presence without interacting with the population. So go ahead, like a photo or two and follow some interesting members. Remember that Instagram users appreciate a comment over a like so don’t forget join the conversation. Because if you appreciate, people will appreciate back.

 

Call on your gang.
Or rather your customers. If you have an awesome product or service, which we all know you do then ask your customers to take a picture and tag your username in it. This not only shows that people are using and enjoying your product/service but also it exposes your brand to their followers.

TIP { An interesting way to ask your customers to involve you in their social media is do it in combination with a hash-tag competition. That way you not only increase your brand exposure but increase the buzz surrounding it. }

 

Its a team effort
If your lucky enough to run or be part of a business with staff get them involved. You can start by introducing them via Instagram. This allows you to show the human side of your brand.

Furthermore you can ask your staff to get involved in creating the posts. This not only leads to a more varied and quite frankly interesting profile but helps take some of the weight off your shoulders!

 

Its All A Popularity Contest
Remember that hash-tags provide a reference to your photo.You already know that you should be using hashtags when you post so that users can find, like and comment on your photos.

A sure fire way to get your photos noticed is by including some of Instagrams more popular hash-tags when you post. These tags increase the likelihood that users find and interact with your photos. Including just one or two of the top 100 trending hash-tags (which can be found here) can vastly increase the number of users which see your content. Try to incorporate them into your photo description. For example : I #love #me a cup of #coffee in the #morning

Currently the top 10 most popular hash-tags are :
1) #love
2) #instagood
3) #me
4) #cute
5) #follow
6) #like
7) #photooftheday
8) #tbt
9) #follow
10) #girl

Along with hash-tags the Instagram community also has its preferred filters. Using one of the more popular filters both helps users find your photos and increases the likelihood that your photo can gain some serious traction.

Currently the top 5 most popular filters are :
1) Normal
2) Earlybird
3) x-pro II
4) Valencia
5) Amaro

 

Humans love imagery, its exciting and makes us feel connected with the moment. Make sure to leverage this within your social media strategy with the use of Instagram. Most importantly have fun and remember, unless your name is Miley Cirrus nobody cares what you had for lunch.

Auf Wiedersehen

Rory K

Rory Kermack is a professional programmer, interactive designer, and entrepreneur. Working with the #iot, #hybridapps, #webrtc & #reactjs. Senior dev & main contributor of codeanthology.