Instagram is the new portfolio. Depending on your business, potential customers will often take one look at your Instagram and decide to pursue your products/services, or to keep scrolling. Needless to say, having an esthetically pleasing and professional Instagram is very important.
Hopefully, as a small business owner or social media manager, these three Instagram tips will help improve your presence on Instagram.
If you’re advertising or posting about a sale, product or a service, the design is key. For those who don’t have graphic design skills or necessarily the creativity for it, don’t sweat it. There are many free apps out there to help you create the perfect layout you’re looking for.
One of my favorites is Canva. It is super user friendly and self-explanatory. You can search for different layout templates based on what you want to communicate to your clients. It also gives you access to hundreds of high-quality photos and elements. Having a premium paid account gives you access to much more, but you still have endless creations at your fingertips with a free account.
Having a business account is also great if you have several employees creating posts. You can create a team within your account and invite your employees or co-workers via email. Creating a team has the following benefits:
- You can easily access shared designs from your team members
- Maintain consistency in your branding when it comes to shared color combinations and fonts
- Offer feedback on designs directly rather than emailing or texting back and forth
There are more design options available rather than just Instagram posts such as:
- Instagram stories
- TicToc backgrounds
- Facebook Posts/Covers
- And much more
There’s a reason a picture says 1,000 words. When it comes to your business Instagram, a few of those words you want to communicate are “professional” and “esthetically pleasing”. Phones have amazing quality which makes it easier to accomplish this task, but you still have to have an eye for photography or have the knowledge on how to capture the photo.
For those who need a little extra help or just don’t have time or access to acquire the high-quality photos they want, again, there are several free solutions out there.
Unsplashed is one of the top websites to download free high-quality pictures. In their licensing terms, you can use any of their photos, as long as you don’t alter them in the attempt to sell the photo or use the photos to create a similar website.
If you can think of an image, they have it. The search bar is right at the top of the page, making it simple and easy for you to find the image you want. When you find the photo you want, simply hover over the image and click the download icon in the lower right-hand corner. Your photo is downloaded instantly, all without having to create a user account.
The upside to having an account gives you access to more photos and the ability to “heart” your favorite photos. This feature is great if you have a lot of options you’re considering. Later, you can view them all on the website, without having to download them all and filling up the storage on your computer or device in the process.
Putting text on your photo can be great and serve a purpose, but there is an important aspect social media users often forget about. Remember, if you place text on a photo, you have to write that same text below. This is especially important for those conducting business in a multi-lingual context. Text that is written below can be easily translated by the software within the application. However, the software cannot translate text that is written on the photo. If you are communicating something important to your clients and potential clients, make sure you also write it below.
When it comes to your content below the photo, write the most important information first. Just like a news article, people will decide if they’re going to keep reading based on the headline. Writing the most important information will either keep followers reading or get your point across quickly before they keep scrolling.
When it comes to sentence structure, keep your sentences short and concise. Since your posts will be most likely viewed on a smartphone, there is not a ton of space available for long, lengthy sentences. Long sentences can be difficult to follow on a small device.
Bonus: Be engaged and tell your story
Thanks to social media, we can all tell our stories like never before. This includes your business or company. Instagram gives you the opportunity to connect with your clients on a personal level. Try not to post only advertisements, but engage with your audience and participate in what’s going on in the world. This can lead to more followers and brand awareness which both have the potential to bring you future clients or customers.
Engage with your audience. This means responding to DMs (direct messages) or responding and liking the comments on your posts. When a customer mentions your product in their story, share it to your story. This takes time but is a simple and easy way to maintain followers and increase brand awareness. It also improves your reputation.
Like I said, this will take some time, so if you’re not as familiar with Instagram, learn! Or, hire someone part-time to manage your social media. If you don’t have the funds for a new hire and you can’t spare the time to stay on top of your social media engagement, get an intern. Internships are often unpaid, so it is a great opportunity for you to have the extra free help while giving a college student the needed work experience. Having an intern is also a short-term commitment. They are often only committed for a summer or a semester.
These tools should help get you started and on your way to a great profile. Not sure if you’re on the right track? Contact us about our social media audit, we will evaluate your social media, provide you with results and helpful suggestions for improvement. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.