Instagram: Tips + Tricks

Everyone these days has an opinion of people who make their living on Instagram. There are many stigmas attached to people who post stories, comment, like, and view on a regular basis.  In my opinion, you can judge all you want, but I'd like to show you a different perspective of how this platform has not only given me a career, but has enabled me to give back and give praise to those around me.

As far back as I can remember, I have always found myself most happy when helping others, whether it’s using my connector “super powers”, promoting others, or giving whatever I can to those around me. When others smile / rise / win / succeed, I feel proud.  The only issue is that giving selflessly all the time didn't pay the bills.

A CAREER IN THE MAKING

After making a list of my strengths and weaknesses, I came to the realization. If I could fine-tune and redirect my ability to sing the praises of the things and people I love, we could mutually profit off of that success. Everyone wins.  Everyone elevates. And what is the world’s largest pimp-your-brand platform today? INSTAGRAM.

I started spending days and nights studying trends, watching patterns, reading marketing and public relations books. I came close to earning myself a Master’s degree in the “art of Instagram”...and voila.  In a new position as Director of Marketing, PR and events at Everest Wellness Center, freelancing as a brand and marketing consultant, i am doing what i love & couldn't be happier.

GIFT FOR YOU

So finally to the point.  I wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t something in this for you. Deep down, I want everyone I love to succeed. I thought I’d pass on this short tutorial on Instagram best practices, as well as some IG scheduling calendars for stories and feed. Should you make it to the top and no one else is there, what’s it worth?  So this is my invite for you to join me on this climb together.

If you want more pointers, a customized calendar, or press kit template, shoot me an email.  Below tips are general and can vary dependent upon what you gram for.

Instagram best practices

(para la version en español, click here or scroll down)


ALWAYS BE TAGGING
Whatever you do, always tag as much as possible.  Even if you aren't getting paid to tag, you are giving the brand that you tagged the opportunity to show that you support what they do or what they make.  This gives you a leg up in the future if you are trying to court them for cross promotion.  They see that you've supported from the jump on your own.  Very much a pay-it-forward mentality.  It really pays off.

HASHTAGS
Hashtags are another thing you should use as much as possible.   This helps you appear more in searches, puts you in relevant categories, and creates consistency in your feed.
- Always use relevant tags depending upon what you are posting
Have a core of 5-7 tags you always use but change up the rest weekly.
- Use only 2-3 super popular tags (i.e. #Instagood) but make the rest be moderately popular tags that are more related to your brand.
- 30 hashtags max
- So your caption looks the cleanest as possible, never put hashtags directly in that field.  Always put it immediately after you post in a separate comment commencing with 5 shifts before tags- like so…





#           . #          . #          , #          , #            , #              #           , #          , #          , #          , #            , #


This way, all the viewer sees is your clean, direct caption.  Everything else is hidden in a dropdown that you can see when you click on it if you want.

COLORSTORY
 It is important to establish a motif for your feed.  The more unified and consistent you are with your images, the more you instill your vision as a brand. Remember, Instagram is about IMAGES.  You have a split second to grab the visual attention of a person.  You want the experience that the viewer has on your page be pleasurable, understandable, and captivating. The more they like what they see, the more inclined they are to read and view your stuff more regularly.
- Pick a color palette and stick to it.  
- Always use the same filters
- I suggest the COLORSTORY APP.

INFO IMAGES
Text on top of images can sometimes be acceptable as a post, but not something you should always do. What happens when you do this too often, is that you confuse the eye.  The viewer doesn't know wether to focus on the text or the image be find.  This can tire the eye and make the view lose interest. If you must do this,
- I suggest to make an info graphic template so that whatever the background is, is consistent.  
- I think a solid background is always best and always the same color.  If you have to use an image diffused in the background, make sure that it sticks to the colotstory guidelines.
- Only post a text graphic 1 or 2 a week.  MAX
- Make sure that the text doesn't consume more than 1/3 of the image and make sure it is VERY legible.
- If you are watermarking your images, make sure it only takes up 1/9 of your image and make sure it is consistently positioned in the same place AWAYS
- Always use the same font
- Always use the same font size
- Always use the same color

CALENDAR/ FEED
Making a schedule for your feed and for your stories helps you organize and see the overall design mapped out and makes you more intentional with your content. When your followers see a pattern and consistency in your content, they begin to understand the brand better and grow more attached to it.
Schedule as much as you can. This will simplify your life and create order and clarity in your account.
- Only post once a day.  The only exception is if your image is split into multiple photos.  They you must post all together so you can see the overall image.  
- If you want to post multiple pictures, upload them all in one post.
- Be conscious of your stats for your page.  See at what hour you get the most traffic and make note of that.
- Create a pattern for your feed and stick to it. Great example is @rupi_kaur

NO-NO’S
These are things you should just never ever do.
- Never upload with #repost app.  It lowers the quality of your image when you can easily relay the same message by screenshotting, cropping, filtering to fit your motif, and tagging appropriately
- Never doublegram
- Never pic collage
- Never upload a picture where it has the watermark of the editing app.  Or spring for the premium version or crop that shit out.
- Never over filter.  I always suggest use only 25% of its capacity.
- Never upload a instastory pic to your feed.  That is what highlights are for-  put it in the appropriate highlight toping and have it live there forever

ALWAYS
These are things you should always do
- Mark location
- Tag everything you can
- Remember Instagram is for IMAGES.  Make sure you make a main clear focus in each image and their isn't chaos or noise in the image
-Make sure your voice and storytelling is consistent.  Just as the images should follow a pattern, so should captions
- Give back.  Be an active account.  Instagram isn't just about asking for people to like and be active on your account. You have to give back that love too. Support those who support you.

INSTASTORY
Instastory is for your viewers to have more of behind the scenes take on your life/ brand.  It gives them the opportunity to interact with you on a more personal level.  Whether you are giving them tips, how twos. allowing them to ask you questions, they feel more connected to you through this which allows them to support and understand you more.  With instastory, the more detail you give, the better.

- make sure you are conscious of boundaries- don't put tags too close the the edges, that will make them un-clickable
- Always do swipe up if possible
- Tag the people who make cameos
- Tag the place
- Tag the brand
- Put location
- Have a variety of content in your feed  (don’t upload 20 videos of your workouts and nothing else.  You want to give dimension to your day) categories like
         - morning routine
         - food
         - brands you consume
         - restaurants
         - favorite things
         - people in your life
         - work behind the scenes
         - fitness
         - social life
         - reposts
         - quotes

- Make logos for your Highlights categories and once a week organize your stories into categories.
- Try and stick to the same fonts, colors, filters for the 24 hr block
- When putting a screenshot up, make  sure that you make it as clean as possible.  edit out all the unnecessary info (use pen tool, slide the size of the pen all the way up and select whatever color it is to cover up what isn't wanted).  To select a particular color in the photo, go to the pen tool, click and hold on the colors below as you slide up.  With your finger still holding down, slide your finger to hover over the color you desire.  I
 
FOLLOW
- People who fallow nearby businesses
- People who follow similar accounts
- People who use the same hashtags as you

 

APPS TO USE

- For Video editing- VIDEO LEAP
- For color editing - A COLORSTORY
- For image editing (small blemishes etc)- PIC MONKEY
- For applying your watermark to an image- WATERMARK Studio X
- For following others followers - CAPTIVATE
- Fo unfollow inactive accounts- CLEANER
- Story Templates- UNFOLD or CANVA
- Fonts on your photos- HYPE TYPE
- Follow boosting software Followadder and Combin

INSTAGRAM AS A PROFESSION

If you are truly thinking about making your instagram your full time job, you 100% need organization above all else

  • Post calendar

  • highlight logos which are constantly updated with corresponding accurate stories

  • social media kit

It makes legitimacy of the appearance of your account and potential clients are going to take you that much more serious knowing that you treat this as a business.