There has been a recent explosion in the popularity of Instagram as a social media platform. As more and more users join the site, the developers are constantly adding new features to the platform. Here are some tips to help you make use of all the latest Instagram features and trends for the year 2016 –
1. Take Advantage of the New Algorithm
Instagram recently announced an algorithm update for the site. The biggest change that the new algorithm has brought about is that the site now suggests pictures for your viewing that it thinks you will enjoy based on your current viewing patterns. So that annoying coworker who insists on including you in all the pictures from her recent exotic trip? You can stop getting updates from her account simply by stopping all engagements with her on the site. The site will take note of your disinterest and stop showing you any further pictures from her account.
2. Loop Giveaways no longer work
F or brands trying to mark out a presence on Instagram, spamming the site with loop giveaway offers which all link back to the parent account won’t cut it anymore. Whether you are a solitary blogger or a part of a mighty conglomerate, you will have to give the viewer actual quality content instead of blind giveaways. This means the more personally engaging your Instagram account is instead of being an automated drone, the better your chances of gathering followers.
3. Engagement is Key to Building a Following
As has been discussed in the previous section, automated and looped responses won’t cut it on Instagram anymore. You also can get more followers from iDigic. You’ll need t o personally engage with everyone who follows you, and build a community based on mutual respect and consideration. This makes Instagram a far more powerful marketing and branding tool, but only if you learn to use it properly.
4. Communicate with Fans
Talk to the other users, and not just your followers. Most people have a habit of scrolling quickly through pictures to get to the ones that have some personal connection to them, either because the picture belongs to one of their followers or themselves. Avoid making such a practice a personal habit.
5. Reach out to other Users
Take the time to appreciate all the other talented Instagrammers on the site. Leave a comment, or some other kind of encouragement for the user. Try to start a dialogue, and keep on adding as many users to the conversation as you can. This will help you build a network of the best Instagrammers and will be of enormous help in the future.
6. Make use of Hashtags
Hashtag everything you can think of. Went to your favorite restaurant? #FavoriteRestaurant. Ate your favorite food? #FoodPorn. Got food poisoning? #Regret. Sitting at home throwing up in the bathroom? Get a friend to #VomitComet, since your hands are probably going to be busy. The point is to use the hashtags to reach the people those keywords are designed for.
7. Post Regularly
Keep posting regular content. Remember that audience engagement on any form of social media is a long term battle to stay relevant. The best weapon at your disposal is regular, timely content that makes your audience actually want to keep up with your account.
The acceptable number of posts that would constitute regular content on Instagram varies. Some people manage to post five to six times a day, which either means the posts are poorly thought out and of less value in terms of quality, or it means such users do nothing with their days but post on Instragram. Nevertheless, try to post at least once a day with something relevant and interesting. You need to learn to strike the right balance between quality and quantity.
8. Move Between Accounts
Instagram has now made it easier than ever to switch between accounts while posting content on the site. This can be of significant advantage if you are using Instagram to build a brand for yourself or your company. The one thing every branding effort requires is to have a razor sharp focus on the kind of image it wishes to build among users. You need to keep this simple principle in mind while deciding whether or not to add new content to your account. If you decide that the content is not conducive to promoting the brand image you are aiming for, but you still want to add the content to your collection, you can simply switch over to your personal account and share the content there.
9. Work with other Brands
The new go-to word in the world of Instagram is collaboration. The site is filled with talented individuals and companies that are very successful in building a brand in their particular niche. You can enter into a mutually beneficial partnership with these brands in a manner which promotes their work as well as yours. Fashion brands are collaborating with lifestyle gurus. Comedy channels are partnering with product companies to put a fresh spin on ad content. You can be a part of this new trend of treating competitors as friends so that every party benefits.
10. Pick a Good Time
Keep in mind the audience’s time zone, and the time when they are most likely to check Instagram. Picking the right time can help you reach out to the maximum number of people.
11. Start a Dialog with Photo Captions
Your captions are a way to get a conversation started about the pictures you post. Ask questions in the captions which invite viewers to enter into a conversation about what the picture means to them.
12. Hold Contests
Nothing gets the audience’s attention like an exciting competition, preferably one with prizes at the end. Get your followers to actively participate in your brand’s upkeep by contributing pictures based on specific themes and ideas.
13. Don’t be Afraid to be Yourself
As audiences grow more savvy, they are getting better and better at spotting a phony. Allow your account to show your true self to your followers by posting candid photos about your everyday life.
14. Make Use of Photo Editing
A number of apps are available that can help you present a more interesting selection of photos on your account. Make use of these apps to enhance your photos. There are a number of tutorials available that can teach you to use the apps in a short time.
15. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
You are a part of a community on Instagram, and you can take advantage of this fact to reach out to fans and other users for help, whether it is to get assistance with some aspect of the site, or to get fresh ideas for your account.
16. Reach Out to Popular Instagrammers
There are a number of celebrities on Instagram whose followers number in the millions. One shoutout from such a celeb can bring you to the attention of millions of viewers, if you can manage to contact the celebrity and make the request.
17. Practice Reciprocity
Show your appreciation towards your followers, and let them know that you are grateful to their support through shout outs and by tagging them in your photos.
18. Search for Other Instagrammers
You need to keep on building your brand, and for that you need to always be on the lookout for other users whom you can follow, who will add value to your own profile in terms of followers or increased visibility.
19. Save Original Photos
Many of the images that appear on Instagram are compressed from their original dimensions, leading to a poorer quality than the original. But you can still choose to save the original photos on the site by using the feature provided in the option menu.
20. Geo- Tagging
Viewers often want to know where a particular picture was taken. Instead of constantly having to tell them, you can add a geo-tracking option to all your photos that automatically display where a particular picture was taken.