Guest post by Gabriella Bertucci, Grassfed Media intern and founder of Gigi Eats Vegan.
Twitter and Facebook are so three years ago. These days, all eyes and cameras are focused on Instagram. So what does it take to succeed on this visually driven platform? Here are some tips that will help you and your clients rise above the fray and build a loyal following.
Choose Your Photos Wisely
Posting a photo lets the world know where you’ve been, what you’ve seen, and what you’ve done. But don’t post just anything. If your photo is blurry, taken from a bad angle, or has bad lighting, skip it. It may seem obvious but take a quick spin around Instagram and you’ll see that plenty of people and companies don’t heed this advice.
It is crucial to choose high-quality, well-lit, and eye-catching photos that will add value to your Instagram account and keep your followers coming back for more. This might mean snapping 30 consecutive photos of the same image to achieve the “perfect” photo. It may seem ridiculous to some, but that one “perfect” photo will attract viewers, which will lead to a likes and comments.
Hashtags Are Your Friend
Hashtags on Instagram are a way for like-minded people to search and find your photos. Whether you’re focused on food, travel, health or something else, it’s important to do some research to find your niche. Start by looking at different accounts that are similar to yours, or accounts that inspire you, and pay attention to the hashtags they’re using.
Using hashtags wisely can help you build your audience by enabling people to find your photos. But skip basic hashtags such as #happy #love #sunset #yum, and so on. Instead, focus on meaningful hashtags that others in your community or target audience use. On my Instagram account, for example, I use hashtags such as #vegan #organic #plantbaseddiet and #juicecleanse to clearly indicate what my photos are about. Experiment with a variety of hashtags to see which ones work the best for you. Brands should also consider coming up with unique hashtags that others can regram.
Develop a Cohesive Style
I recommending developing a consistent photo style that is uniquely yours and that will help your photos stand out. Your personal style may include color, black and white, fun borders around all photos, or editing photos in a unique way. Find what works best for you and stick with it.
Take a look at Patrick Janelle’s Instagram. His editing style is fluid and melds together well. Although Janelle is not a professional photographer and takes all his images on his iPhone, his account shows what a well-styled account can grow into.
Once you develop a personal style, make your photos pop. Boost the contrast, brighten the images, and use photo-editing apps. Check out the Instagram apps these travel pros use for enhancing their photos. I’m partial to the VSCO app myself and recommend checking it out here.
Are you on Instagram? Do you have tips to share? Please add your handle and tips to the comments below.