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There are all sorts of strategies out there to help you build your business on Instagram or get famous on Instagram, but first and foremost we must discuss content. Unless you’re already a celebrity, then no matter how cool you are in person, or how amazing your business is, people won’t know it (or won’t care) unless your content is engaging! Here are Social Foxer’s top tips for quality content on Instagram that will encourage engagement.
1. Know the three magic E’s for adding value to people’s lives
There are essentially three big reasons that people browse Instagram: Escapism, Entertainment (a form of escapism), and Education.
2. Post bright images & videos
Instagram is visual! Bright images pop - dark images (or videos) don’t. When shooting photos or videos, make sure they’re bright. If that’s too tough in the moment, then afterwards you can quickly use a free online tool or an app to try to brighten them. You don’t need to be a photoshop expert!
With videos, even if they look dark to the human eye, they may still have captured data that you're not seeing. You may be delighted at the result when you use a tool to brighten the videos!
3. Post only 1 photo at a time
Let’s say you went to, or hosted, an amazing event that you want to share. Don’t compile all your photos into a single posting! Users will only see the first photo unless they make the effort to scroll through them. Whether they make the effort will depend on the first photo.
Instead, spread out what you share. A single event might give you material for a week or even a month!
4. Consider posting old pictures
You’re not tied to posting only media from this week or month. It’s plausible that you already have photos or videos from years ago that may still be interesting or relevant today. Consider digging through your old images - it could save you a lot of time and turn out to be great material.
5. Repost your same content
Yep, you read that correctly. Believe it or not, many of the pros do this. There are many apps/tools that will show you your best and worst performing posts. Find the best ones and consider reposting them after some time has passed (One year is a safe bet). Some pros report that these reposts are often equally, or more, engaged the second time and that people either forget what you’ve posted before or, even if they remember, are happy to see it again later.
6. With video, choose your thumbnail wisely
The “thumbnail” is the image that people see before tapping to watch a video. Instagram allows you to scroll through an entire video and choose the exact frame that you want to display as your thumbnail. Choose the frame that’s exciting or the most interesting - this is important!
7. Don’t be boring - show the REAL you
Nobody is perfect and life is full of quirks. That’s what makes us interesting. Have the courage to share those quirks and you might be surprised at the positive feedback and engagement.
For example, if you’re a dancer and you slipped in practice, consider sharing that. If you're a body builder and your pants tore while doing a squat, consider posting that. You get the idea.
8. Build a story around your photo/video
Let’s say you post all about dogs. Rather than just posting a cute dog and writing “Isn’t she cute!”, consider building a story around your post. For example: “I tried giving this same cute poodle haircut to my german shepherd and she was very upset.” This creates something more interesting for people to engage with.
9. Ask a question
A classic, tried and true tactic for encouraging engagement is asking a question. For example:
10. Stay on brand
If you’re running a shoe shine store then 80% of your posts should be related to your store and shining shoes. Posting the occasional photo of you eating breakfast or doing something unrelated to the store can be ok and may help keep it interesting, but too much will confuse or bore people. For the most part you should stick with your brand/theme.
11. Be bold!
Remember, the more you can STAND OUT, the better. Huge companies, brands, or sometimes even individual influencers or artists, often have their creativity stifled by bureaucracy. This makes sense - when there are many players or stakeholders involved, there is often pressure to be conservative and predictable rather than edgy and provocative. If you’re associated with a giant brand, you should still consider what you can do to stand out. If you’re not, then congratulations - you can make the decisions yourself and with some courage and creativity, you can use Instagram as a platform to bring things that are beautiful, interesting, and unique to the world! Have fun with it and you will be rewarded.
Need help growing your Instagram account?
One of the most important pieces to grow your Instagram account is engaging with new users who aren’t yet following you. If you’re not yet doing this, then you must start. If you are, then you know that this can be extremely time consuming. Let Social Foxer help.