Hi, Lisa here from Wheelie Creative, bringing another round of Nerdspeak 101.
I'm sitting in my backyard in Montana, typing on my laptop and listening to my Golden Retriever snore in the grass near my feet. It's 5:30 in the morning, and the clouds look incredibly badass as the sun wakes them up. Good job, Planet Earth. I grab my phone and snap a picture of the purple sky, telling myself that it's probably worth posting on Instagram.
I love Instagram.
It's by far my favorite form of social media, and one that drives a lot of traffic to my website, so I find it very useful for my business, as well a creative good time. I encourage most of my clients to use Instagram to build their brand. Instagram has over 200 million monthly active users with 75 million people on Instagram daily. The potential for exposure is insane. Here are some tips for making the most of Instagram.
6 Ways to 'Gram Harder:
1. Show not tell.
I love Instagram because it's like Facebook without the weird emotional posts/political rants, and it's way more creative and visually appealing than Twitter. Instagram is simple. It's authentic. It's literally a snapshot of your day, and there's something honest about that. It's a dynamic way to share your product or service. You can snap a photo of your new shipment of gear, latest guided trip, new item on your menu, etc. and let the photo do the talking.
2. Expose Yourself.
(Not like that. Geez, get your mind out of the gutter.)
Every company has an internal culture. It's what you do behind the scenes. Connecting your customers to your internal culture makes them feel part of your world, included in your crew. Internal culture maintains brand loyalty. Post intimate shots of your business, such as your employees goofing around, a funny note on your desk, an after work excursion to the lake, your shop dog, etc. and allow your customers to peek into your world. It will make them feel more connected to your brand, thus developing loyalty to your company.
3. Interact with Your Customers.
Once you've built up some followers, encourage them to participate and enjoy your photos. Respond to comments on your pics. Follow other local businesses. Follow your customers. Get good at double tapping your screen and "like" lots of photos. It's called social media, so get out there and socialize.
4. Be a Real Person.
One thing I keep discovering in all aspects of my life, is that people need people. We crave human interaction. We like identifying with others. We like inside jokes. We like pictures of puppies, people skiing powder, and fancy cups of coffee with little drawings in the foam. We're just people. Some days it's hard to be a person, and some days it's easy. Rock the fact that you're human. Don't be overly enthusiastic on every post!!!!! Don't be a gnarcissist (people who show off how extreme they get with captions like, "Shredding sick lines 24/7/365. #istompiteverytime #likeaboss"). DON'T WRITE IN ALL CAPS. People don't like getting yelled at while they read. Just be you. Whether your photos are of dramatic mountainscapes or a new piece of pilates equipment, go with it. Be yourself. People want that. They want to experience life through your day, so show it to them.
5. Easy on the Hashtags.
Loading your photos with twenty hashtags will get them seen by a wider audience. It's true. It's also kind of annoying. Try to keep your posts to less than five meaningful hashtags. If you're going to post a funny hashtag, make sure it's actually funny. Never post anything mean. Keep it classy.
6. Get Creative.
Instagram is fun. It's visual. It's mostly viewed by people with smart phones, so keep in mind that your audience may be younger. You can be a little silly. You can be casual. There's not a ton of pressure to take an award-winning photo every time. Take different style photos to learn what your audience cares about. Do you get more audience participation with a landscape shot of your building or a close-up photo of your products? You can kind of fire and then aim with this. Get creative with it while staying true to yourself.
I'm out of coffee now, so that's all I have for you this morning. Have a great Sunday.
If you want to follow me on Instagram, it's @wheeliecreative
If you want my company to 'gram for your business, we offer that service. (And lots of other design and nerdstuff, too.)
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