How to supercharge your Instagram

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Instagram now has over a billion users and has infiltrated all areas of life, from work to play and everything in between. Some travel agents are even offering Instagram holidays for demographics that cite sharing photos whilst away as a key factor to their choice of destination.

Whether you use Instagram in a personal or professional capacity, this blog post is going to have your ‘gram glittering in no time. Today we’re supercharging your Instagram!

Instagram is a perfect marketing tool if used correctly. You can reach an audience in a variety of ways, for example - raw posts, sponsored posts and through embedded links in a Story. There’s a strain of human being known as an 'influencer', who will promote your product (for a fee) to their audience.

It can seem over the top to pay through the nose for someone to tap a few times on their phone screen. But, see it as an updated version of a billboard. A company does not need to advertise in Piccadilly Circus in the hope of catching the eye of a relevant consumer, they can now directly target those beady eyes through influencers and their sector-specific followings.

Firstly, let’s think about your handle.

Is it catchy? Will it stick in people’s minds? Can you invert letters for numbers, but not make it cheesy? Short and sweet, rhythmic names, with as little numerical influence, are great. But as we are on one of the most popular platforms in the world, this can be tricky. A good @ will set the tone for your profile from the outset.

Does it reflect your personality? It does not have to be your name (in fact far from it) and it’s a great way to set yourself apart from the crowd with an evocative pseudonym. Intrigue someone with your handle and beckon them down the rabbit hole to your page. Now that you’ve got them, let’s make sure they tap ‘follow’.

Look at your profile in the same way that a painter looks at a blank canvas. This is your place to showcase yourself with ultimate creativity. Composition matters. Spruce up your iPhoneography skills. It’s time to put that professional camera in your pocket to use and bring out your inner photographer!

You can have individual images and videos or you could connect them all to show a beautiful mosaic when someone scrolls down your page. An instantly recognisable theme will attract more follows from more relevant accounts. These can also be achieved by tagging brands or accounts that reflect your style, too. You should also add a deluge of hashtags, which will get you onto likeminded screens, in a deletable comment under your picture.

Instagram Stories were introduced in an update in August 2016. After this, the average daily time spent by a user on the app jumped from 24 to 32 minutes. Stories are now so much a part of the furniture that it seems bizarre to imagine the app without them. Do not see them as fodder as they disappear within 24 hours - save them and pin them to the top of your profile.

Derive meaning from everything that you post and your profile will be instantly more engaging. If you don’t value what you’re posting on your story enough to save it as a Highlight on your page, then why should an audience?

Stories are perfect for growing brand awareness and traffic to other areas of your business, such as a newsletter. You can also solidify your brand voice with stylistic choices, such as gifs. Not only do they appeal to the ever-diminishing attention span of an online audience, but they also log who has viewed them, and in what order. Bad news for your ghost followers, great for quantifiable analytics that you can bring up in your next marketing meeting.

If you’re still stuck on how to supercharge your Instagram, there’s a living, breathing example of how one should look here.

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* This post was originally published in our newsletter The Communications Workshop. Sign up to get more free tips on communications and marketing here!