Okay, here’s the deal. You have a brand new client and they’re wanting results on Instagram really quick. We’re talking (May 08, 2017). They’re social savvy too, so they know what does and doesn’t work.
The clock’s ticking, and you need a set of quick wins that will bring value for the client and kudos for you. On top of that, you know that Instagram is perfect for this client. Their brand was born to dominate Instagram, so the stakes are pretty high, and you can’t afford to put a foot wrong. In the end, it’s all about the likes.
We have put together what we feel is a reasonably comprehensive list of tried and tested moves you can make on Instagram. All of them bring value, but combined they make a strong case for a powerful likes strategy on Instagram.
Take really bad photos
Just kidding. There are still a million (or so) Instagram accounts out there run by brands, and their photos are awful. There is also a huge misconception among brands worldwide about the equipment you need to have to keep up with the bigger brands, the internationals. We say you don’t need professional photography equipment, let’s just get that out there. You just don’t.
What you do need is the good sense to frame a nice shot, make sure the light is right, and to take a number of shots to find the ‘right one’. That is pretty much all we have to say on this rather obvious matter.
Hashtags are easy to create and even easier to copy. They’re also extremely powerful if you want some quick wins on the Instagram likes front. The best way to look at this option is as a ‘plastic’ kind of fix, not a long term measure but a great way to get a few more people involved in your work quickly.
And on top of this, if someone uses a hashtag you created, you have engagement. Use them sparingly, and follow along with the hashtag thing wisely too. The one thing nobody likes is a hashtag crazy brand. But every now and then, it works.
You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but…
Sharing photos from your place of work is still a great way to bring personality to your brand. It makes you all look human and it will get likes. The more you do it (obviously not the same photos or same context, mix it up a little) the more your brand will be likeable (literally).
Like us and win
Okay, this may seem a little cynical, but many brands have done this to great effect. Simply put, run a contest and ask people to like the photo at the centre of the contest. Everyone who likes the photo is put into a draw and therefore gets a chance to win the prize. Whichever prize you want to give out is up to you, but obviously make it worth taking a couple of seconds over to enter.
Use captions well
Captions are often misunderstood and ignored by brands. This is one of the best ways to add extra flavour to a great image. If you have a good stab at creating a high quality caption along with your image, you’re adding context and adding story. These things make people like you.
Don’t forget your people
You have a brand and that brand has an image. It’s your job to get that image across through your use of a theme. This means being what you are all day every day. If you sell flowers, your Instagram needs to be about amazing images of beautiful flowers, or the process you follow to arrange flowers. It doesn’t have to be anything else or you will ruin your brand’s image.
All good, with filters
Filters are that most misunderstood of Instagram weapons. Get to know them and pick out filters that you can see making an appealing impact for you. What you like, and what your brand fits in well with should dictate filters. Use them though to get more likes. Because your competitors may not.
Actually, with everyone all over social media, this one is perfectly understandable. The Instagram profile is not a big thing and it shouldn’t take too long to fill out, but with a number of accounts under your belt, we can see why you may have left it incomplete. Don’t, and there is now quite a compelling reason why.
Ever had a friend request on Facebook, head on over to their page and discover that they’ve created one post in the last 12 months? This makes you think that they’re fake, doesn’t it? Well, the same thoughts crop up in people’s head if the insanely brief Instagram profile has gaps.
Our final tip involves that most fundamental aspect of social media. You have to post regularly. This means posting every day if you can. Not a ton of work that just gets ignored so it has no effect. There are people who post ten times a day and they soon become a little redundant on the channel.
No, you should post one or two times a day, every day. This way people know you’re professional (and legit, see previous point). They know you stick to a schedule and you are in this for the long haul.
The above points can quite easily be implemented and quickly ingrained into your work. Do the above consistently and your client will see that you know what you’re doing, that you have a plan for the road ahead, and you’re taking their account seriously. Make the above a ‘standard’ feature set for all your clients and you’ve brought immediate value. And keep testing it so you don’t trip up (that’s another sign of a good agency, it’s testing).
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