Little by little we are learning the best way to present our brand to the world, and Instagram is definitely helping us do so. However, it took some time to really own our Instagram feed and learn the best ways to use the platform. Here are our 7 best Instagram practices:
Best Instagram Practices
Having a solid Instagram account is not only a great way to build your small business, but is also an outlet to be creative, work on your personal brand, and socialize with others who have similar interests. We use Instagram in each of these ways, but mainly we us it for business purposes. Instagram has proved to be insanely helpful in growing our business, although it has taken a good amount of effort and learning in order to get to that point. We have finally figured out a “formula” that works and we’re happy to share our best Instagram practices with you!
#1 – A Post a Day…
We all know the saying and we all know it’s true. If you don’t want to go to insta-re-hab, post at least once EVERY DAY! Also, pay attention to what time of day you post and what reaction you get from various times of day. We notice that posting later in the evening, before bed is a great time to reach our audience. Posts from 9:30PM – 11PM typically do better than posts from 6:30PM – 8PM. Although these are results we have found with our business, your followers may react differently, so, pay attention!
#2 – Scheduling
While we’re on the topic of time let’s talk about scheduling too. For us we typically post each evening around the same time, although remembering to do so did not always to come easy. You can set an alarm on your phone every day at the same time as a little reminder to post, OR, you can even take some time once a week and use an Instagram scheduling service such as Later. Although we don’t use a scheduling service or app for instagram we often schedule facebook posts which is very helpful.
#3 – Branding 101 – General
Having well branded, cohesive content is one of the most valuable things to be aware of whether it’s your personal brand or a business that you are promoting. Each post should be a clear reflection of your brand, visually and content-wise. If you don’t have a clear picture of your brand, perhaps you need a little June Mango branding exercise in your life? Or spend a little time researching and developing your brand.
#4 – Branding 201 – Content
Once you have a clear idea of your brand figure out the “story of your feed” and then own it. Pick the 3 or 4 most important topics about your brand, and then, post content that tells that story. For us, we wanted to a) show the beauty and quality of our product, b) tell the creation story of our product from the design experience to our handmade, NY manufacturing, c) spread a positive message and embrace uniqueness, and d) share our entrepreneurial journey as a bad-ass, sister team. We typically post a picture of our product on a model or blogger for every-other picture, so we show a LOT of images of our product being worn. In the remaining images we will post a few flat lays, an inspiring quote, and an image of our manufacturing; and, every once in a while we sprinkle our feed with the occasional picture of the two of us, #sisterpower #imaboss etc. etc. We will usually only give ourselves face time if we’ve hit an important milestone or have some exciting good news.
#5 – Branding 301 – Editing
For us we’ve really improved our branding by creating a clear color pallet. We literally sat down and had a pantone, brain storm session for about an hour and came up with this:
Before honing in on our color pallet, our Instagram feed was all over the place color-wise. After setting some ground rules like no overbearing greens, no yellow overtones, add white, lower the contrast, add more white, NO BRIGHT RED, add white again, etc, etc., it actually got much easier to choose and edit images for our page. We’ve also applied these rules to all the images we use on our website. Now we like to boast that we can turn any picture into an Instagram picture with the right editing, although it’s not always true. I like to use the Aviary app to edit iPhone images, and I use both Lightroom and Photoshop to edit images that we take professionally.
#6 – #hashtag #hashtag #hashtag
DO NOT, NOT DO THIS! I have to use a double negative to be sure you realize how important this is. Hashtagging is crucial. Using hashtags that are pertinent to your business/brand and/or product/content is the best way for your potential followers to search and find you. Make sure you have a few popular hashtags that are general enough to use on the regular, use a few hashtags that are post specific, and experiment with a hashtag or two that might attract your ideal client or target market. We regularly use the hashtags #impishlee, #customlingerie, and #lingerielover. We will add hashtags such as #velvetrobe, #balconettebra, or #plussize depending on the post, and we will also add hashtags such as #ligerieaddict, #DIY, and #sundaylounging to find future followers and friends.
#7 – Be Active
Of all our best Instagram practices I can say for sure it is super important to be active in your specific Instagram circle. We like to spend a little time each day visiting the hashtags we commonly use, liking and commenting on other people’s posts. We have found not only new followers, but plenty of great brands, and might I even say friends? Yep, we meet so many awesome people through Instagram, opening the doors to incredible collaborations. There are also services that help you stay active such as Instagress. I would definitely recomend looking into!
Bonus Tip – Collaborations
Collaborations are also so valuable for growing your Instagram, but, that’s a whole other post already…
Good luck owning your Instagram and implementing these practices! and let us know if this post was helpful by liking, sharing and commenting…