A topic that has been on my mind lately is how you can set yourself apart with the photos you post on Instagram and Facebook—particularly as a blogger or business owner. On the one hand, you really need to remain authentic, but on the other, there truly is a process behind getting your photos out there and ‘liked’ by others. And I think there are great ways to do that without becoming ‘spammy’ or losing your originality. Anyway. My friend Andy Andersen actually wrote a great article on this very subject that I thought I’d share, so…without further ado…(keep scrolling…)
Producing quality visual content is more important than ever on social media platforms. Whether you’re posting for business, marketing, or personal reasons, it can sometimes seem impossible to know how to post successful images. While there’s no surefire way to make your images on Instagram and Facebook likeworthy, there are measures you can take and strategies you can implement to put yourself ahead of the game.
Tap into a market or interest.
One of the great things about Facebook and Instagram are the freedom they give the user to find and engage with what appeals to them. In order to create likeworthy images, take this concept a step further and make conscious efforts to tap into markets and trends that you can thrive in. This takes time, research, and other strategies we’ll discuss further down—but all well worth the effort.
Use hashtags strategically.
Hashtags can be very effective way to network your images. Unfortunately, far too many images on Instagram and Facebook that would otherwise be likeworthy get bogged down by hashtags that don’t serve any purpose. We’ve all seen a picture posted by a friend with 30 hashtags beneath it like #likemypictureplease, #followmefollowme, and other pointless sentiments. Instead of pounding out a bunch of hashtags just for the sake of having them, be strategic about it. What type of audience are you looking for? Who is your image appealing to and what is it saying? Ask yourself these kinds of questions and always hashtag accordingly. Social media studies show that users don’t stop at liking and sharing. They want to interact with the content that interests them and find more like it. Use hashtags right and you’ll be curating meaningful interaction with your audience.
Use filters with a purpose.
Instagram filters are another feature that should be used strategically. Though the classic “no-filter” remains the most popular, it’s definitely not the most effective. Your filter should depend on what type of picture you’re posting. It should also depend on your audience. Take the time to research what type of filters your social media circles are interested in and how they are used. And if the filters in Instagram aren’t doing it for ya, try another similar app like VSCOcam.
There are plenty of apps to help users reach new possibilities when posting on Instagram. Look at apps like Instagenius and Instasize for a wide variety of exciting design features. Or add words to pictures with apps like Wordswag and create quote images to mix things up.
Cross-post your Instagram images.
Since Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, the image-centric online experience has become wildly influential. (You can learn more about the effects of these changes here.) Since Instagram is now owned by Facebook, it would make sense that the two are interrelated. In fact, Instagram always gives you the option to post your uploading image on other social media platforms. This is not an option to be ignored. Posting your Instagram images to Facebook and Twitter will widen your reach and attract other social media users to your Instagram page.
The more consistently you post, the more likely you are to get a following. Anyone whose serious about social media knows that persistence is the only way to make an impact. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to post every day. It just means that a consistent, steady stream of content is better than posting nothing for weeks and then over-posting for a few days, or vice versa. There are a few different ways you can go about consistently posting. Use Facebook to schedule your posts evenly, or post on Instagram in correlation with events, holidays, etc.
If you’re really serious about social media, posting simply isn’t enough. You also have to engage with other users. Connect, like, and share other posts with others who share your marketing demographic. When people comment your posts, respond to them. Providing this type of active, meaningful engagement will give you the identity of a pro on social media.
It’s always important to remember that the digital image is an artform. Whether you are marketing or simply building an audience of yourself, visual content should never be approached as mere math. Our society has an insatiable hunger for creative content. Your material needs to be exciting and original enough to stop them from whizzing past you on their Instagram and Facebook feeds. You’ll be sure to stop users dead in their tracks if you temper your careful strategy with an artist’s touch.