Last month, Instagram introduced its Stories function, clearly as a competitor to Snapchat’s Stories features. On Saturday, CBS News announced it would be using Instagram Stories in its coverage of the Presidential debates.
While ABC will stream the debates on Facebook Live, CBS want to keep an editorial feel to their coverage. It will feature original Stories by the anchors and reporters, as well as “curated Stories from political experts and voters across the US” (engadget).
But in order to share Stories, people need to be following you in the first place. If you want to get the most out of Instagram, then you need to remember it’s social. If you just show up and want likes, then you’ll probably be disappointed. No one likes attention seekers who give nothing back.
So here are my 5 easy ways to get the most out of Instagram!
1) Use hashtags
Hashtags function like search terms within the app. Post your artwork? Try adding hashtags like #art, #artaday, #sketch, or use the materials you’ve used, like #fineliner. Consider taking part in challenges, such as Inktober. Just make sure you check out what other people are doing.
Tag the brands you use. Use hashtags for the places where you are. All of them allow other people to find your work by browsing all work tagged with that particular phrase.
2) Follow people
This goes without saying. You might be using Instagram to show off your own stuff, but you should also be interested in what other people are doing!
Consider it research, or consider it ‘being interested’. You’ll probably find that you end up with more followers if you follow more people.
3) Be reciprocal
If someone follows you, check out their feed. Is it cool? Follow them back. Did someone like one of your photos? Check theirs out and like one back. Blogging also used to work like this a few years back, but it’s more prevalent on social platforms now.
If you’re trying to promote your art or design work, starting conversations and posting comments is a great way to get people to remember your name, as well as your style.
4) Post good, consistent content
This goes without saying. If you put crap in, you’ll get crap out, so make sure you share stuff people might actually want to see.
My Instagram supports my fiction writing, so I share photos primarily of places I go, books I’m reading or interesting things I’m doing. After all, they all support my writing. Remember, your brand is how people describe you when you’re not in the room, so post images that people ‘expect’ to see, or associate with you.
5) Be human
Remember that you’re human, not a marketing machine. Social media users are more savvy than a lot of marketers give them credit for, and if all you ever do is post images connected with your brand or product, people will get bored. They want to see cool things you’ve seen, interesting places, funny messages – remind them there’s a person sharing the images, and not Data from Star Trek.
So now you’ve got all of those things in play, you’ll pick up more followers, and you can start using Instagram Stories too!