Instagram is an image and video focused social media platform. It's great for sharing life events, quotes, images, and fun videos with your family and friends. It has even become an excellent marketing tool for anyone who has pictures and videos to share with the world. If you want to know how to post on Instagram effectively, then it's best to learn a little more about the platform itself.
This mobile platform has grown in popularity due to its visual nature and the ability for users find out information quickly. There are changes you can make to your posts to make them stand out and better align with your brand. But first, let's look at the mechanics of how to post on Instagram.
How to Post on Instagram
If you don't know how to post on Instagram, or aren't sure how to use it for your brand, creating posts can be a little intimidating. Luckily we can take you step-by-step through the posting process and point out some tips along the way.
How to Post on Instagram: Single Image
To post a single image to Instagram, make sure that you choose a photo that isn't blurry or otherwise imperfect. There are some editing tools on Instagram, but they will only take you so far. Once you are logged in to Instagram, you will find yourself on the home screen where you see your feed.
At the bottom of the screen, you will see a plus button. Click on this, and your pictures will automatically feed into the app so that you can select the one you wish to choose.
Once you choose a picture, hit next to select a filter. These give the image different colored effects and can make them more visually appealing or interesting. In this screen, you can edit things like the brightness or contrast of the picture, along with fun effects like tilting and cropping.
Once your picture looks the way you want it, hit next. This screen will allow you to add a caption, hashtags, a location, and tag people. You also have the option to share the post to other linked social media platforms. Then hit "share!"
How to Post on Instagram: Multiple Images
Instagram gives you the option to post up to ten images at one time. The process for doing this is pretty similar to posting one image. The main difference is when you click on the plus button, click and hold the first image you wish to post.
This will show little circles on the images. Here, you can click nine more images to include in your album. Then, go about the same process as you would for a single picture.
How to Post on Instagram: Videos
To post a video on Instagram, there are a couple of options. If you have already filmed a video that you would like to share, you can upload it the same way you do with images.
However, Instagram also gives you the option to film straight from the platform. When clicking on the plus symbol at the bottom of the page, select video off to the right. The phone will bring up the camera function and allow you to start filming.
Is There a Need for Posting on Instagram?
The stage for marketing to your potential customers is always changing. Marketing on social media, in the grand scheme of things, is still relatively new. But with such easy access to the internet, customers are looking to see visual representations of brands and consumer products. They want to pictures and videos to speak to them in ways that a sales rep couldn't.
Not only this, but social media platforms including Instagram are a great way to engage directly with your customer base in real-time. They can ask questions and leave reviews, or just give you much-needed feedback on their buying process.
Instagram is a visual platform that consumers crave, and more of an experience, instead of feeling pressured into a sale. Your brand would be missing out if you didn't post to platforms such as Instagram.
How to Post on Instagram: The Do's and Dont's
Especially for the newcomer, it might be a little overwhelming to use a new social media platform. Every brand has nuances they should pay attention to when posting in a way that defines the brand. However, there are right and wrong ways to go about it, so here are the faux pas to stay away from, and the tips to help you optimize your posts on Instagram.
Don't: Use Instagram Unnecessarily
Like with all social media platforms, you want to make sure that your followers or potential customers are using Instagram before you create an account. Do your research before committing to posting to Instagram regularly.
If your followers aren't using the site, then it might be time to consider another platform. This also goes for the timing of your posts; try to time the posts for a time when your followers are online. This will increase the likelihood that your post will be seen and interacted with.
Do: Test Different Hashtags
If you have decided you're in the right place being on Instagram, know that your chosen hashtags will be the key to your success! Try out different hashtags with each of your posts. This will give you an idea of which searchable terms will get you the most exposure.
Unfortunately, these will be different for everyone, as services and products will be different, along with the people searching for them. You will have to use some trial and error to figure out what works best for you and your brand.
Don't: Forget to Engage and Respond
While posting on a regular basis is half the battle, the other half is going back and interacting with your followers. This is a platform where people leave a lot of comments, ask questions, and reach out to your with direct messages.
Show your audience you are listening by getting back to them as quickly as possible. As this is primarily a mobile social media platform, enable notifications so that you can see when followers reach out to you. Don't be tempted to use bots, either; your followers will quickly spot this, and you will not seem genuine.
Do: Take Advantage of Hyperlinks and CTA's
Instagram isn't a place where you can directly sell products or services. This can make it a little tricky at times to get sales conversions off of Instagram. This platform is more of a place for discovery that can start the buyer on their journey.
That being said, make sure to include a URL to a relevant link in your Bio, and use Call To Actions whenever possible to encourage people to take the next step. Instagram Shopping is a tool that is in the works but not totally worked out yet. So make sure to optimize your profile in the meantime!
Don't: Buy Followers
There will probably be a time when your growth plateaus or comes to a halt completely. It might be tempting to try to inflate your numbers with purchased followers. Don't do this! Just like with bots, it's painfully obvious when a brand does this, and your account begins to look more like spam.
You will not be the only one who slows in growth. Just hang in there and consider instead why you might have hit a rough patch. You might need to switch up marketing tactics or change up how you are reaching new followers.
Do: Focus on Quality Over Quantity
Regarding engagement, your followers would rather see a handful of well-crafted, crisp, and eye-catching photos compared to fifty so-so pictures posted regularly. As it is, your pictures and videos will be mixed in with a feed of everyone else they follow, so you want to stand out and be as eye-catching as possible.
Putting more time into your posts, from conception to completion, shows your followers your attention to detail and authority in your field. Remember, this is a visual platform, so the more interesting the picture/video, the better.
Think about your audience and their interests. If they are following your page, what other interests might they have? Play up any persona profiles you may have constructed about your potential customers and use them to guide posting choices.
How to Post on Instagram: Conclusion
Instagram has its advantages and its disadvantages, but there is a lot that you can do to give your followers a visual experience of your brand. Ensuring your followers are on this platform and regularly checking in is a great place to start. Why post to a site that your followers aren't on?
It doesn't have to be scary or overwhelming. Just stay true to the message of your brand, think about what your followers want to know from you, and use this to guide your decisions on what to post and how to post.