— August 14, 2017
Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most popular social media platforms for marketers and advertisers. While Facebook still has the biggest audience, as our recent reports show, the engagement rates on the photo sharing platform are as much as 70 percent higher.
But simply jumping on the bandwagon and posting the same photos that are shared throughout other social networks simply won’t achieve the Insta-success every brand is after.
When looking at the most successful brands on Instagram, one name you’ll hear quite often is Adidas. The sportswear company has transformed social media marketing via photo and video sharing.
And they are not the only ones. H&M, Red Bull, Mercedes Benz, Lego and X-Box are all brands that rock it on Instagram. What’s more, with a simple click you’d be able to see that most companies have created amazing and creative strategies and profiles on the platform.
On the platform, you must edit out your photos, you should keep photos within the same visual brand appeal and you should implement proper hashtag and trends strategies. But you should also do a whole lot more.
To help you out on your journey towards Insta-success, here are the top questions every social marketer should ask themselves before posting a new photo on Instagram.
Question #1: Is the Photo Unique?
The first question you should ask yourself is whether the photo is unique. The best way to proceed with Instagram is to share content that is uniquely made for the platform itself, instead of it being cross-platform targeted.
Question #2: What’s the Message I want to Send with this Photo?
A picture is worth a thousand words for a reason. Make sure that your photo sends a message. The meaning can be as simple or convoluted as you prefer. Plus, in art, even a black line on a white background can send a message. Yet, the idea should first be in the mind of the creator.
Question #3: Which Hashtags Should I include, if any?
Hashtags on Instagram can be the best or worst thing for your share. Understand the value that a hashtag brings to your overall marketing campaign and include one only when necessary. Having a cluster of pound-symbols followed by commonly used phrases on the platform can make your brand look like an attention-grabbing individual and that’s certainly not something you’d want to be associated with.
Question #4: Does the Photo Reflect my Brand Personality?
If you don’t have a strictly defined brand personality, you are using Instagram wrong. Whether you are a sporty bunch, a creative artistic brand or anything in between, make sure that all of your photos are coherent with your brand personality.
Question #5: Is my photo professionally edited?
Software products and apps make it extremely easy to edit your photos, even if you are not a professional photographer. Even the average Joe does it! And an Instagram filter won’t suffice. Edit your photo the best way possible.
Question #6: Is my photo good enough?
Your photo doesn’t have to be perfect, but this is Instagram. With thousands of photos uploaded every day by both individuals and brands, to take things a step further you should ensure the quality of your posts. Even if the idea of the photo is great, if there’s any doubt about the execution, you’re probably better off not posting the photo.
Question #7: Does the Photo Fit my Profile?
Think of your Instagram profile as a magazine. Despite featuring different articles, photos and advertising, a successful magazine has the same design style. When making a new post, ensure that it will fit the overall design of your profile and that it stands out just enough.
Question #8: How Will My Audience React?
Place yourself in the shoes of an individual from your target audience. If you are scrolling through photos of your friends and see the brand photo you are about to post, will it grab your attention? Always consider your core audience first.
Question #9: Does it have viral potential?
Viral marketing is a double-edged sword. However, for the purposes of a photo or a video, you can easily calculate the potential virality of a post. To do so, simply go through all list of emotions the content inspires. Compassion, anger, wonder, curiosity and shock will all increase the chances of your post being shared on Instagram.
Question #10: What will my client think?
Although you are the social media expert, you should always consider what’s in the minds of your clients. Yes, you should be the one that helps them steer their ideas in the right direction and achieve the results. Nevertheless, completely disregarding the opinion of your client when making a post, even if you are certain of the potential success, might end up working against you.
Question #11: Could I place the photo on a wall?
Often a nice way to ensure the quality of your posts is to ask yourself, whether you will be ready to post the photo on a wall in your house. Or better yet, is it worthy of being placed in an art gallery? If the answer to both questions is no, then the photo might not be good enough for Instagram.
Question #12: Am I Proud of the work?
In social media marketing, the numbers, analysis and statistics are just as important as intuition. You should be proud of the photos you post on Instagram. If the post doesn’t feel right, that means it probably isn’t.
Question #13: Have I showed this photo to anyone to ask for opinions?
Social marketers often neglect the social aspect of their work in a personal sense. Yes, you probably won’t be able to ask for opinion or advice on each and every one of your social media posts, but for a photo on Instagram things are easier. Simply check in with a friend or a coworker on what they think about the photo before posting. It will only take you a few seconds and might end up saving you a lot of trouble.
Question #14: How does my photo compare to the ones shared by my competitors?
Being a professional, you should already be aware of the type of photos shared by your competitors. The action of simply opening a tab on your PC and seeing your photo side-by-side with the photos shared by other brands in your industry can give you further insight on the success of your post.
Question #15: What’s the engagement rate I expect for this photo?
Meeting your targets and reviewing your social media marketing strategies is often a monthly process when it comes to client interaction. Yet, making the process a daily routine will help you improve quicker. Write down what’s your expected engagement rate for that post. If you want to be more detailed, consider the engagement in the first ten minutes, the first hour and the first day after posting. Then simply check in and compare the results. Are your numbers lower? What went wrong? And if they are higher, make sure you understand what you did right.
Question #16: What do I feel when looking at the photo?
You might be miles away from your core audience. That doesn’t mean that you should disregard your personal emotions. A photo on Instagram can be seen by everyone. With that in mind, make sure that you are aware of the emotions the photo makes you feel. If they are coherent with your viral-factor check, that’s great. But if the photo doesn’t make you feel anything, then there might be something that’s wrong with your post.
Question #17: Is the photo creative and out-of-the-box?
Creative Instagram photos can do wonders for your brand. Whenever possible, make sure to post out-of-the-box ideas. By asking how creative and out-of-the-box your photo is each time you post, you’ll end up engaging your imagination. Even if the exact photo is not something special, being aware of how special it is or isn’t will help you think creatively in the long run.
We hope that these questions have inspired you to pursue a better quality of your photos on Instagram. We also hope that we’ve helped you come to grips with what can lead you to insta-success.
And make sure to always check in with the data to see what you’ve done right and what you’ve done wrong. Plus, you should use the data from your competitors to your advantage.