Instagram: Five top tips

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Since it was created in 2010, Instagram has turned into a powerful tool when it comes to PR and Comms. It is used by companies to promote their products and has introduced a whole new way of selling through influencers and their millions of followers. From humble beginnings, the app is now close to one billion global users - their own Instagram account has 257M followers!

We’ve compiled a few tips to get your Instagram game on. If you are an Insta aficionado, this post will add a beautiful string to your bow. If you are an Insta avoider, it’s time to change your attitude and realise all the potential that this social media platform has to offer.

1. Follow sprees - yes, please!

The follower and following lists for every profile are viewable if you click on them. People will be looking at the list of followers on popular accounts and will follow them. Make sure that the account they follow is yours! A great way to kick off your page is to let your friends know what your @ is and to also follow popular accounts. Recently, Instagram has made this incredibly easy for you too, as ‘suggested’ accounts now pop up after a new account is followed. Tap, tap, tap.

Follow selectively on your spree and always be mindful that the list of who you follow is public too. Not only are your followers notified in real time by the ‘activity’ section of the app, the number of accounts - and who they are - is embedded at the top of your profile.

2. Ratio(h no!)

The follower to following ratio of the account @Instagram is 257M:216. Dreamy. But if you didn’t create one of the most popular platforms in the world your numbers will look quite different.

Nevertheless, it is very important that you have a good ratio. A follow spree in your early days is fine and gets the ball rolling, but once you’re underway, do not hesitate to have a spring clean of your following list. It screams “spam” if you’re following 3,000 accounts but have 22 followers.

You can follow 3,000 accounts if you like, but do it on an account known as a burner. Have a public and professional profile with a clear-cut ratio and have a private one for all of your following desires.

3. Show it off or shut it away

There’s really no point in having your profile private if you are trying to build a following. As before, it is perfectly acceptable to have two accounts (one public and one private), and you should not see this negatively.

Having multiple accounts is becoming the norm, and it does not necessarily mean that you will spend double the time on the app. See it instead as intelligently streamlining your user experience (UX).

4. Meme me

Memes are a perfect antidote to the turbulent times that we are living in. They reflect popular culture and use genre conventions to create humour. If you haven’t caught the news recently, or gone out of your way to see the current viral videos, meme accounts accumulate the masses and condense it neatly for your consumption. Staying up to date with popular culture is essential to working in PR & Comms, and if you can do it with a smile, that’s even better. But, use with care, as apparently they are bad for our health.

It is interesting to note here that memes act as a catalyst to blurring conventions and genres between social media apps. For example, a huge proportion of Instagram meme accounts are simply screenshots from Twitter. Most of the time, those running the account will make no attempt to hide this.

5. Art is the literacy of the heart

Our final tip is to follow some obscure artists on Instagram. Just as a laugh a day is essential, there are millions of art galleries in your phone waiting for you to walk down their pixel-dripped halls and get your daily dose of beautiful artwork. In Comms, it’s essential to be reactively creative. This isn’t an overnight process, it’s a way of thinking that needs to be harnessed when it arises and embedded in your subconscious. Keeping your creative juices flowing by following creative Instagram accounts is key. Instagram is a perfect platform for the artistically inclined. Indeed, it is why it was originally created. Here are four accounts to follow to get you started: MeLoveMeALot, indg0, MLMA_Art and Love.Watts.

You do not have to just follow and begrudgingly ‘like’ the Instagram posts of your friends. Explore! Exploit the ‘suggested’ accounts feature, check who has commented on posts that you like… open Pandora’s Box for your Instagram experience.

Dive into the accounts of some new artists today - your eyes will thank you.

BY JAMIE GRIFFIN, JUNIOR AT CEW COMMS.