Instagram is my favorite platform for sharing photos because people can easily find your images. However, probably over 100 million pictures are uploaded every day and your post NEEDS to stand out if you want to be noticed. With some basic knowledge, I can help you create the perfect Instagram Post in 5 steps!
# What To Post
Before you shoot the picture, visualize what you wanna create — ask yourself a couple of questions,
- Is this photo aligned with your other pictures? (niche)
- Could your audience like what they see?
After you’ve set the base, it’s time for the technical part – If you want to shoot a product or maybe just a picture of yourself in front of a nice wall, make sure that the lighting is good and you’re not gonna be left out with a grainy mess.
Always make sure that the pictures that you post and crisp, bright and clear! If you don’t have what to post, better not post than posting something below your standards.
Also, Add metadata to your pictures, and make sure they are the right keywords. More and more users claim it will help the picture rank up higher in the algorithm. On a PC, click right and Properties — rename the picture add keywords and tags. On a Mac, select the picture and open Information with Command-I and then you can rename, add tags and keywords.
# When To Post
Now that you have the picture – it’s time for you to post it, but hang on. We still have to work on some things.
If you’re wondering when to post, think about your target audience. Don’t think of your possible audience as a group of people, think about ONE person and then look for it over and over again, until it becomes a group of people that follow you. For example, my target audience is people that I can relate to, whether it’s age, sex or life in general. Let’s assume that I have a breakfast picture and I’m in the UK, my target audience is 20 somethings located in the UK. Obviously, I should post this right in the morning but not too very late in the morning as of most of the people are working and they won’t be able to see my post.
Let’s take another example – if your target audience are teens, think about their lifestyle. During the summer, they may sleep extra as it’s the summer break so posting in the early morning may be useless – or during a basic October week, again, posting in the AM will also be useless as most of your target audience is in school.
However, all these things are worked out for you if you have a business account – go to the settings and voila, you’ll see when most of your followers are online.
Now you know what and when to post – the caption is the other way you can communicate with your followers or potential followers. If you craft it right, you’ll get more engagement and, why not, new followers.
The photo already tells a story but you have the chance to support and enhance that story through words. You could use the caption to microblog, add a quote or just say how you feel. You can make paragraphs by making sure there’s no space after the last character (letter, emoji) BEFORE you hit enter.
And don’t forget – add a CTA (call to action) – ask a question or tell your followers to tag their friends in the comments or even ask them what’s their favorite emoji. Psychologically speaking, when you make a person do things for you, they tend to become more attracted to you so the next person that acts on your CTAs may be your next loyal follower.
In the end, if applicable, mention the social media handles of the brands used in the picture (it’s quite possible it will do better for the SEO of your picture)
# Use All The Features
Instagram has some features so many people miss out on – if applicable, tag brands you used in the picture or people, using the ‘official’ tag feature. If you are visiting a new city and you took a great picture, make sure you tag some reposting accounts for that location or if you took a brunch picture, make sure you tag the restaurant’s profile as well – they might repost you that resulting in more exposure for your own profile.
Tag the location – Always try to tag the exact location. Why? Let’s assume you visit London and you take a gorgeous shot in front of a telephone cabin – you’re gonna post it to Instagram saying that you’re in London, United Kingdom right? Here’s why this method does NOT help you. Everyone tags themselves there. I’d recommend you to try to get yourself in the Top 9 pictures, it’s kinda hard to be in Top 9 for a location where everyone checks in, including celebrities or much bigger accounts. What you can do/ and what I do in this case, is to narrow down the location, I’m in London? Great, but I’m also in Camden Town. Lots of people check themselves in Camden as well but I have a higher chance to get in the Top 9 pictures for a couple of hours.
# Do A Hashtag Research
As I was saying, Top 9 pictures are one of my priorities when I’m doing a hashtag research. What I ask myself is…
Can I be in the Top 9 for this hashtag? Is my account big enough? Do I have enough engagement?
And then I slowly start to craft my hashtag set for the picture I’m about to post.
One advice here, which is the same as the one I gave for the Location Tag – Make sure that the size of the hashtag (how many photos have it) matches your account size. If you have 10,000 followers, your post will be quickly buried in a hashtag that has over 1 million photos. Shoot for hashtags that have under 150,000 posts – and also, be niche specific.