Building Strong Communities With Instagram
Like all forms of social media, an Instagram community grows through your efforts to be engaged and engaging. Instagram's visual format and endless creative options make it the perfect platform to showcase your business as an innovative and artistic industry leader. The constant feedback inspired by the compelling images you share provides valuable information about what your fans, followers, and customers care about. But how do you build up that critical community in the first place?
Instagram is Built on Support and Sharing
Follow other Instagram users and leave thoughtful comments about their photos. Even if you are short on time you can quickly click the “like” button on many photos. Don’t be afraid to branch out and interact with Instagram-ers with themes and topics different from you. The Instagram community is all about support and sharing great images – if you are wine importer, you can absolutely comment and interact with a fashion blogger. Your efforts to reach out and connect with be rewarded and you will gain loyal followers.
Use Hashtags for Instagram Success
You can also use “hashtags” (symbol: #) in front of keywords to make a certain terms more searchable. When you write a caption or comment underneath your photo, include a few natural hashtags. (ie: “I had such an amazing time #snowshoeing today!” or “Love this nail art I created for my client today – she had such a fun #spa day.”). Now when other users search for photos related to snowshoeing or spas they will find your Instagram page more easily.
Dedicated Instagram users like a smartphone app called “Tags for Likes”. This program tells you the most popular hashtags in different categories, which you can use judicially to attract many new users.
Instagram and Other Networks
Instagram can be integrated with other social media networks like Twitter and Facebook. I recommend sharing no more than 25% of your Instagram postings on other networks. You want to entice people to come and follow your Instagram page and they won’t do that if you automatically post every single picture on Twitter – there is no need to follow you now! As well, each social media network has its own character and style and you don’t want to dilute one social media network by flooding it with images or posts from another network.
Bad Photographer? Instagram Wants YOU!
There are some seriously talented Instagram photographers out there -but what if you're not one of them? That's okay! In fact, that's exactly the way it's meant to be! Instagram is designed to be easy and fun. It has a large collection of simple-to-use filters and features that turn even the blandest shot into a work of art. Besides, photography skills only improve with practice and showcasing your brand's visual, artistic, or innovative side on a daily basis is the best way to do that!
Not sure where to start with Instagram? Sculpt Social is happy to help!
Vanessa Chiasson is the founder and senior digital strategist of Sculpt Social.