Instagram is a place where many brands get the opportunity to take their small business to new heights. So many companies have expanded their reach far beyond what they ever thought was possible, and now it is easier than ever. The trick is to master the elements that make up a great Instagram post. Once you have all the key elements down, your followers will come flooding in. Below, we go through each so that you can be sure you have it down.
- The photoGoal: Stop the scroll
When you post a photo on Instagram, you want it to catch the viewer’s attention so that they stop to read your caption and engage with your post. In order to do this, you must ensure that the photos that you use are of high quality, have proper lighting, and a great composition. Think about the photos you like to see when you’re scrolling through your feed. Would you stop to look at a dark, blurry, or bland image, or one that is clear, well composed, and has bright colors? Chances are, the latter is going to be the one that makes you stop and look. You could choose photos that are creative, unexpected, or just nice to look at. These are the kinds of images that are going to stop the scroll and increase engagement rates.
- The captionGoal: Serve your audience
The next part of the Instagram post is the caption. Here, you must involve the reader and provide a service for them. If your captions add value to people’s lives, you are going to gain more followers. You can do so through education, information, inspiration, or entertainment. All of these methods give the user something to gain from following you, and that is how you will see your engagement rate go up.
In addition, just like your teacher always taught in every writing class, you want to have a catchy first line. Since your captions are going to be longer, users are only going to see the first few lines before expanding the caption. This is why it is super important to start off strong, and really engage the reader from the beginning.
- HashtagsGoal: Reach new people
Hashtags are what allow you to expand your reach to people who might not follow you yet, but are interested in the content that you provide. For this reason, you should use as many as you can! The more you use, the wider your reach. And, if you don’t want to clutter you caption with them, you can always add them to the comments section so that it still applies to your post, and your caption looks clean.
You also want to make sure you are only using relevant hashtags that relate to the photo. Because the algorithm uses computer vision to “read” your photo, you need to ensure that it understands what your photo is about so that it can show your post under that hashtag. And, if you use a hashtag that is not relevant to your photo, people looking at posts under that hashtag are simply going to disregard your post.
Furthermore, you are going to want to use location specific hashtags every time you post. These hashtags bring the highest number of impressions because they get searched for a lot. For this reason, always add a few location hashtags to each of your photos to bring in local customers in your area!
- The commentsGoal: Develop relationships
Finally, we have reached the comments section. Here, the goal is to cultivate relationships with your audience. You always want to respond to as many comments and DM’s as you can. This shows that you care, and will help to develop loyal customers who really care about your brand.
Remember that relationships are a two-way street. Definitely try to engage with your followers’ photos too! If they see that you took time out of your day to leave a comment on one of their posts, they are likely to return the favor.
Now that you know the four elements that go into the ideal Instagram post, you can become an Instagram expert yourself. Keep them in mind when creating new content, and you will be able to gain new followers, boost engagement, and ultimately increase sales.