Written by Smoak PR

How to Make Instagram Work For You and Not Against You

Social media is everchanging and it is critical to stay up to speed with new features, algorithms and more. Most recently, Instagram has proven to take over the social media market from both a personal and business standpoint. How can you ensure that your brand is working with the flow of the feed, and not against it? Due to the fast-paced nature of social media and its effectiveness of sharing information, it is imperative to have a few strategies up your sleeve to attract and engage with quality followers that help elevate your brand.

1. Captivating Imagery

You have probably heard this many times, but imagery is everything with social media, especially Instagram. It is key to post unique photographs that attract people to your account and establish an online presence to keep followers, both new and old, loyal to you. The average user spends about three seconds viewing your post, therefore, post graphics that make them stop and engage!  If you don’t have easy access to a professional photographer or high-quality photographs, try using a consistent filter on all of your photos to establish visual continuity throughout your page. Some very simple ways to maximize your visual assets are as easy as the following:

  • Turn a video into gifs or stills
  • Make a series of photos into a slideshow video or carousel
  • Use multiple images from the same photoshoot for different purposes
  • A #ThrowbackThursday never hurt anyone
  • Redesign images and feature them as Stories

2. Creative Stories & Reels

Recent studies have shown that people are more likely to watch Instagram stories than they are to take the time to scroll through their Instagram feed. Creating an Instagram story takes very little time and is a fun way to give followers a peek inside your typical workday. Not only are Instagram stories an easy way to engage, but they also increase your brand transparency and show who you really are behind the camera. Whether you make a video with the team, share sneak peeks on what you’re planning to do next, or simply take a photo during your break, consistent stories are guaranteed to pay off in the long run.

Similar to TikTok, Instagram Reels offer you the ability to create fun and engaging video clips through the Instagram platform. With a 30-second time limit, these videos have been proven to increase engagement and followers for various reasons. Different from a typical Instagram post, the main benefit of a reel is their prime location on Instagram’s Explore page. The Explore page allows Instagram users who may not be following you to see your content and then visit your account directly—this is a major way to get in front of a new audience!

3. Calculated Hashtags

Many of our clients ask, “What do hashtags even do for my account, it seems like an added task with no benefit?” Our easiest answer to this question is that hashtags make your posts and account discoverable on a broader scale. When you use hashtags that are relevant and trending, your account will then have a higher chance of appearing when users search content by hashtags. Getting in front of people within the same industry as you, that may not be existing followers, is an easy way to increase engagement and potential following. There are two different types of hashtags that we recommend implementing into your Instagram, industry specific hashtags and branded hashtags.  Using a combination of these is guaranteed to elevate your account and get you in front of the right audience

4. Consistent Engagement

Engage, engage, engage. Whether it is a simple thumbs up emoji or a “like,” engagement will transform your Instagram account. Actively liking and commenting on your followers’ posts, shows loyalty and garners engagement back to your page. Other ways to ensure you are engaging effectively is to exchange DMs, bookmark posts you love, tag other accounts in your posts, and reshare relatable content from accounts. This is an easy to task to forget, so we recommend setting a reminder every day on your phone to actively engage on social platforms. You will be surprised at how much a few minutes of engagement can pay off in the long run!