Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms out today for a number of reasons. For starters, the platform is dynamic in its functions and meets the creative expression needs of a wide cross-section of individuals and businesses in a myriad of ways. Consequently, we can be as creative as we desire as we diligently use the platform to build our brands and attract more business prospects.
Ironically it is the dynamic nature of Instagram and all the potential it has to offer creatives that can sometimes overwhelm even the most well-intentioned artist or creative professional. The rules and features of the platform often change with each update, right when we were just seeming to get the hang of it. I, for one, am not always able to keep up with all the regular updates, but I have learned how to work around them, grow my following, and maximise all the platform has to offer in spite of the many changes. One of the things I highly recommend is starting off on the right foot with a solid plan. Here are some of my best tips for doing just that.
The first thing to do is Get a Planner
If you are using Instagram for business or for branding purposes, there will need to be some sort of structure to how you present what you have to offer. After all, the app is a visual one. Thankfully, there are lots of Instagram planners (such as Planoly and Preview at the time of this post) that are great for allowing you to get a feel of the look and feel of your Instagram feed before you post them. Still, even with these tools, if you have no idea how to create or treat your content, you may find finding your voice on the platform more than a little overwhelming.
From there, the next step is to Think Themes
Once you have selected your preferred planner, the next step is to create content to start filling it out. This is where you begin to think themes. Themes, in this context, simply refer to patterns that are linked by colour and/or concept. If you have a colour palette or scheme for your business or brand, ensure that these are evident in a tasteful way throughout the posts in your feed. Similarly, if you have built your brand around an ideology, process, or other concepts, be sure that these are detectable as your target customer or Instagram user scans your feed.
In addition to thinking themes, it is important to also Think in Rows
When most of us look at an Instagram feed, we look at the everything as a whole. That is, we do not necessarily look at one post or photograph. At the very least, the first 9 posts with the current 3 posts per row grid layout are what we first notice together. Consequently, I have found navigating Instagram to be significantly easier when I bear this in mind and look at the . This is also an easy way to ensure that each post is a part of the whole and is in line with the colours and concepts outlined in your theme.
Finally, you must endeavour to Be More Than A Pretty Face on the gram
It is true that gorgeous photos of you and the happenings in your life will get lots of likes and maybe even a few comments. However, it is also true that many Instagram users are just there for the viewing. As such, these likes and comments may not translate to much if this is all you have to offer. It is important, therefore, if you are using Instagram for business or career purposes, that you offer value within your actual posts. Doing so is more likely to lead to higher conversions as they will target the users who want what you have to offer, as opposed to those who are merely sight-seeing.