Using social media effectively is the fastest and easiest way to get your message out, build your tribe and get noticed. Instagram is a visually dynamic platform that has 500 million users, 300 million daily active users, and 4.2 billion likes given daily. Are you using Instagram to its fullest potential? I think you’ll want to now that you have some facts. In this post I’ll give you four ways to utilize Instagram to get a bigger slice of those multi-billion likes!
Let’s get started.
ARE YOU USING INSTAGRAM TO ITS FULLEST POTENTIAL?
What is it? In August 2016, Instagram launched stories. Stories are 15 second slices of recorded video that, ideally, you would sprinkle throughout your day.
Why should you use it? They only last 24 hours, giving your audience reason to keep up, because FOMO. Your audience can also leave comments, so it’s another way to engage in an authentic way.
How could you use it? If you’re a fashion blogger, you could take your audience with you to the dressing room (after you’ve changed!) and have them pick out an outfit for a special event. A food blogger could give their special tips on how to make a well loved recipe look professional (julienne those carrots!). If you’re a crafty blogger, you can showcase your pieces in progress with commentary, and your finished products. The sky is the limit, really.
2) INSTAGRAM LIVE
What is it? Later in 2016, Instagram launched live video, with a twist. You can record live for as long as you like, receive hearts from people tuning in, as well as comments, just like Facebook. You did know that Facebook acquired Instagram, right?
Why should you use it? More of that FOMO action. Your audience can only tune in as long as it’s live. Instagram will notify some of your followers that you are live and tell them to check out what you have to say! Once your live video is over, though, they’ve missed it! I just went live this week, and it was a lot of fun. I challenge you to try it.
How could you use it? To make a major announcement. You could also share a personal story or an event you are attending to share your perspective. You could also announce giveaways, and pick winners who are live with you. For example, you could share in stories, that you’ll go live at a certain time to pick a winner of a prize, and the 14th person that comes on live will be chosen! How fun would that be?
3) MULTIPLE PHOTOS
What is it? Swipe left! When you see greyed out dots beneath an image on Instagram, there are more photos to see if you swipe left! You can upload 10 images, filter each one differently, and even tag each image with a different user! You can tell that an image has multiple photos because there will be a transparent box icon in the upper right hand corner of the image.
Why should you use it? You can get more bang for your buck this way and show more on a particular “subject” than you could with just a single image.
How could you use it? I just used this yesterday! I shared a Mother’s Day gift guide and chose four different images and put the description for all of them in the caption. This way, I am not overwhelming my feed with multiple pictures of the same topic. I even had a cover photo, so it felt a little like a quick magazine guide. Who doesn’t love that?!
Bonus tip! I posted these same images on Facebook, and included the specific product descriptions on the images themselves, another way to make it look like a mini-magazine!
You could also use it as a food blogger and put your recipe in the caption, and include step by step images to go along with it. Crafters use this feature really well by posting a ‘cover image’ of their finished product, and then images of the reviews on that product, or showcase different fabric, color, palette options, etc. This shows their audience that they can customize what they want, and they don’t have to go to another site to see what is offered! Another great idea would be to do a favorite things post, and tag each image with the person you’re featuring. Talk about building community!
4) INSTAGRAM PODS
What is it? Instagram pods came about after Instagram updated their feed in March 2016 from chronological to algorithm driven “best posts first.” This was when everyone was asking their followers to ‘turn on notifications’, remember? Groups of like minded people and aesthetics started using Instagram’s direct messaging (DM) feature to connect and update one another when they posted. Once notified, the pod would comment and interact with your post. In theory, this would show Instagram’s algorithm that your post is engaging, and put you farther up in your followers feed. Make sense?
Why should you use it? I am a part of two because sometimes you just need support, not in the ‘engage with my image’ way, but more in the ‘check out this image, is it grammable?’ Or if I have a question about my niche at all, my pods have become a great place to get feedback, collaborate, and share wins (not to mention some frustrations)!
How should you use it? I recommend heading over to the The Rising Women Network Facebook Group, and find some people with your aesthetic, or niche. You won’t know unless you engage, and reach out to people! Check them out on Instagram and see if their feed is something you genuinely like. Create a group and you’re off! You could also collaborate on giveaways, blog posts, products, you name it.
For more tips on how to take great photos for your Instagram feed, check out this post!
There are so many ways to use Instagram than just posting an image, and we only covered four! In what other ways are YOU using Instagram to level up it’s effectiveness? Share in the comments!