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Friday, June 03, 2016

10 Instagram tips from Social Beat Digital CPC workshop

Last Saturday I attended a free to attend workshop organized by Chennai based social media consultancy firm, Social Beat. They are conducting a series of meet-ups/workshops under the banner Digital CPC (Stands for Digital Chai Pe Charcha). Because I was travelling, I couldn’t attend the first 3 sessions. This time I was in town so grabbed the opportunity.

This post shares a series of tips/information related to managing and growing your Instagram profiles, as noted during the workshop. If you are looking to grow your Instagram followers these tips will be helpful.

The basics
Instagram is more popular among the young audience- up to 30 years of age. Grown-ups/aged people are more active on other platforms like facebook and twitter. Apparently many youngsters have taken to Instagram since their family members are there on Facebook.

Instagram is App only, web usage is bare minimum (you can’t post pics from web)

Twitter vs Instagram- Twitter is more text than images and is very good for conversation. But posting photos on twitter is not that effective and many people find twitter a bit geeky. Instagram is pureplay mobile app focused on photos- where a photo occupies entire screen without room for any intruding contents. This way there are subtle differences in both platforms.

What kind of brands can take most advantage of instagram- fashion brands, food and beverages, travel and lifestyle brands. However, many companies (IBM’s example was shown) whose product/services aren’t meant for Instagram users are also active on Instagram either to attract talent or to get brand visibility.

Ten tips for Growing your follower base on Instagram

1: Post great pics- single most factor that can win you organic followers on Instagram- take care to crop images to remove unwanted items in the frame, use better quality images and do necessary editing to make the pic stand out. Attending a photography workshop and learning some professional photography tips and tricks will enable you to take better photos and eventually more fanfare wherever you post them. [I am finally attending one such session from Darter Photography this weekend]. All remaining tips listed below are useless if you don’t have quality content (photographs in this case) to share.

2: Advertise- Ads on instagrams are more expensive compared to facebook. Instagram ads give you an option to include call to action (such as download app, visit website etc), which is not possible in normal post

3: Follow the followers of your competitor. If you have a few competitors with large followers, following their followers is a relatively easier way to get more followers. This is largely true for brands than individual. If you are an ice cream company just into Instagram, it will be easier to identify followers of competitor ice cream brands and try to win them over to following you too (This may be unethical but not illegal)

4: Don’t just follow-Do like and comment. The probability of someone following you back increases significantly if you also like and comment on their posts

5:  There are many Instagram apps that let you schedule your updates, follow/unfollow Instagram users in bulk. These apps also help you identify people who are not following you back and then unfollow such people in bulk.

6: Hashtags are the key to success. Posting pics related to trending tags will get your more followers.  #photooftheday, #travel, #foodporn etc are some of the widely popular tags. Instagram allows lots of tags per pic, you can make full use of that.

7: Linking Instagram to other social media accounts such as facebook to twitter might save some effort.

8.  Do not just post about your product/services- focus on how end user uses them or benefits from them and post such pics. Instead of posting pics of birthday cake, photos of a kid eating the birthday cake, birthday party pictures, photo of someone’s face smeared with cake etc will win more likes and comments.

9. Cleverly placed Text on Images is a great tactic- others won’t be able to steal such pictures, helps followers remember the key text (brand name/logo/hashtag/website name etc) easily when it is placed at the centre of the image (or somewhere else prominently)

10. Keep your Bio interesting.
Since you can’t post a link or call to action in Instagram post, only place where you can provide a link is in your Bio. Be sure to keep a crisp and interesting Bio that is effective and interesting.

Also I think as everywhere else off page promotion helps- promoting your Instagram profiles on visitor cards, other social networking sites, email signature etc. Getting featured in recognized listings of top Instagram profiles will also boost your follower count.

I started using Instagram little late. Most of my pics are taken in Nikon so I need to do some circus before I can post it to Instagram (copy the pics from camera memory card to phone), so it is limiting my usage. Also I don’t have that impulsive urge to share everything then n there- I prefer to indulge in the experience a destination has to offer and do the updates little later- say after returning to hotel in the evening or so. You can follow me on Instagram at the usual handle @enidhi . Have about 250+ followers as of now and slowly growing.

Overall the session lasted about 90 minutes and was well conducted. Towards the end we had a team activity to identify Instagram promotional strategies for a fictitious brand (customized child care products company)- had some good time brainstorming among the team that incidentally included owner of a baby cloths shop (he has a shop in Besent Nagar) and people behind few popular Instagram related apps. So we could get more insights. I guess close to 100 people participated in the workshop held in RK Salai. Thanks to team Social Beat for organizing the workshop and help us get some key insights. You can keep an eye on their facebook page to know about upcoming Digital CPC sessions.

Disclaimer: I do not claim to be an Instagram expert or influencer. Above are not my tips, purely notes from the workshop to the extent I could recall from memory. Please use your discretion. Most credit should go to Social beat and rest to members of the audience who pitched in with their ideas and suggestions

8 comments :

D.Nambiar said...

Great points there.
Now let me go look for @enidhi. :)

Indrani said...

Very useful and tips, workable too.

Jyotirmoy Sarkar said...

i am thinking to open an account in Instagram, this post will help me a lot.

divsi said...

Great compilation of useful tips. Instagram marketing has grown over the last 2 years. Have been on the medium since 2013. I have seen how simple photo sharing has turned into a revenue earning model for many! Its only going to grow from here.

rupam sarma said...

Nice tips :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Rupam, Divsi, Jyotirmoy, Indrani and D. Nambiar

Tally erp 9 said...

Thanks for sharing such amazing post
really helpfull

Jayeed Baq said...

Great thinking that only place where you can provide a link is in your Bio. Be sure to keep a crisp and interesting Bio that is effective and interesting. Thanks for sharing this valuable post.
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