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February 26, 2018

Instagram Best Practices

instagram best practices
Like we shared about YouTube last week, Instagram is another great platform for brand discovery. In the same way deciding on the purpose of a YouTube channel is vital to the channel’s success, the first thing to sort out is the purpose of the Instagram channel. Use this to dictate what appears in the feed. Instagram is a bit different as it’s more geared toward mobile and visual content, while YouTube all about videos. There are best practices that will get your Insta booming. Read on!

Instagram Best Practices To Implement NOW

Make Sure your Channel has a Purpose

Like YouTube, sorting out why you are using Instagram is key to curating content. Some questions to ask:
  • What do people like about your brand? Awesome UX? Fun people to work with? This is the content you want to push.
  • Who are you trying to reach? New job applicants? New customers? Current clients?
  • What competitors have Instagram accounts that you can observe to see how they are successful?

Set up your Instagram Account

Once you are clear on your purpose, make sure that your bio reflects the purpose and gives a good intro to the company. One thing to remember is that there is only ONE spot for a hyperlink in the bio, so make sure its filled in.

Remember: Mobile First + ALL About the visual

You won’t get a lot of hits from desktop. Most of the views will be from the Instagram app, so make sure that when you are showing pics they look good on mobile. Also, the visuals must be compelling and beautiful. I would recommend using filters to create compelling images. These need to line up with your channels purpose and just making the images beautiful. Try not to use too many stock images, using candid, real photos makes the channel a lot more authentic.
Also…if people are going to use their phones, use the rear facing camera. It takes MUCH better pictures than the font-facing camera. The exception to the rule is when you are curating your story or going live on Instagram.

It’s Social and Local – Keep It That Way

Ask people to participate. Can you hold contests on UX designs for internships? Can you have employees send in visuals of work life? How do they comment?
Beyond that, SI is definitely proud to be Seattle based. Show shots from around Seattle about how awesome it is to live there. Post from other places you have offices and conferences as well.

Post Regularly

Lets face it, everyone’s attention span now a days is microscopic, so you need to post regularly to get people to follow you and show up in various hashtags.  Use a wide variety of post types like video, time lapse, boomerangs, layouts and slideshows that can help tell stories.

Get Discovered to Build Impressions and Followers

There are a lot of ways to get discovered on Instagram. Using them will help dial in audiences as people (all 400 million subs on Instagram) find users and posts they want to engage with
  • Use Instagram’s explore feature to search for users and hashtags that are popular and in the audience you want to market to, and use these hashtags.
  • Tag people if you mention them as being awesome or they post user generated content. Employees of SI are a great way to get this going.
  • Always use a hashtag and don’t be afraid to create a branded hashtag like “motiviionalyx”
  • Use hashtags that are fun – for example
    •  #TBT (Throwback Thursday) for an older photo of SI back in the day
    • #OOTD (Outfit of the Day) – Outfit of the Day
    • #justgoshoot – High quality image
  • Use  geolocation so people in Seattle or other areas you are posting on can find you.
  • Don’t limit yourself to the Instagram App. Embed the images on the website, in the blog, on Facebook, etc., so those audiences can also see and follow your Instagram account

Always Remember Why People Like The Platform

People go to Instagram for the gorgeous images. Make sure you use high quality, expertly taken photos using the proper exposure, after cleaning them up. Don’t just snap with your camera and post (use that for Stories). Every photo must be visually engaging.


Use emojis in your bio. It’s an easy way to get people interested in learning more about your brand.

Give Them A Peak Behind The Veil

People’s interest in and loyalty to brands these days is driven by narrative and culture. Show off your employees having fun, solving problems and entrenched in their work. Have them take photos at a favorite mid-afternoon coffee shop and tag it both with location and the shop’s account name. Use Instagram Stories and live to show workshops, brainstorming sessions, a tour of the facility, etc.

Another way to do this is to highlight an employee on your blog and then allow them to run the account for the day using your brand’s Instagram Story to see “a day in the life”.

Change The Url In The Bio

If you use a graphic that is connected to your site be sure to say “click the link in our bio” and change that bio link from your home page to the specific content – this is a great way to keep people current.

Do More With Instagram Best Practices and DFM

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