From social media where users share their news and food pictures, Instagram has turned into a blogging platform. The audience is used to quality content and the competition is intense: you compete with users from around the world because language or geographic location do not matter for pictures, while the social network is also actively used by professional models, photographers, artists and makeup artists.
However, everyone has a chance to find their audience. Both schoolgirls from small towns and major brands with interesting content may become popular on Instagram. Let’s find out how to design the concept, make pictures, write posts and keep the account to find subscribers rather than drown to the bottom of the algorithmic feed.
How to Keep Instagram
Instagram is not just your page on social media. Of course, no one will stop you from sharing your news with your friends, we are talking about keeping a personal or corporate social media blog that will be interesting to not just your close friends but strangers too.
Look at celebrity pages: they rarely match pictures together or care about the content at all, but fans are interested in any news from their idols’ lives. If you don’t have a couple million fans, you won’t be forgiven for low-quality or dull pictures.
Start with an idea. Even if it’s difficult to decide and shooting everything around seems to be the best solution, focus on a particular field. Cooking blogs, profiles on healthy food, dancing, clothing, makeup — yes, Instagram already has everything, but you’ll do it in your own way. People don’t make their subscription list thinking “I’m already subscribed to a cooking blog so I don’t need another one”.
Of course, if your idea is interesting and relatively novel, it will be easier to promote, but if you don’t find such an idea, don’t give up.
What is a business supposed to do? You need a concept, too. Remember the spirit of your brand, find the tone of voice. Generate value for your subscribers: talk on subjects related to your product. Note that the SMM from 2010, when beauty salons could post 10 Hairstyle Ideas and receive thousands of likes, is in the past. People won’t subscribe to what they can google for. Make original content: create a brand character or choose your style of narration and the list of subjects you can cover.
Instagram Profile’s Appearance
It should be clear at a glance what is your account about. Briefly state the subject of you blog in Bio and introduce yourself. Typically, users indicate their name, age and location.
A corporate account should show the contacts, details of offline locations and terms of order or appointment.
Use emoji to highlight different info blocks in Bio. There’s no need to pick bright or annoying ones: bullets, arrows, boxes will look neatly and visually divide the text (blog’s name and subject) for convenience.
Keeping Instagram Nice
There’s this unspoken rule: pictures in a profile should match each other. Open bloggers’ pages once again: you will surely notice that pictures next to each other have the same hue or share the same catchy details.
A Facebook study showed that users devote 0.2 sec per post in the mobile feed. Therefore, your posts should look cool and catch at a glance.
Pictures should be high-quality, interesting and well-processed. Instagram has its own trends, so don’t even think of showing your audience photographs processed in Retrica.
To find a visual style for your profile, subscribe to representatives of the audience. Look at what content they post, which profiles they follow.
It’s not necessary to use professional equipment, but you’ll certainly have to learn how to shoot and process photographs. View photos that you like and save them, don’t be afraid to repeat, because getting caught is unlikely but you’ll get your hand in.
Flatlays are a separate big topic. Think it’s a joke? Try doing something like that yourself. You’ll find out that you have not so many things that match each other, and the one’s you have cannot be naturally placed in one frame.
To make quality flatlays, bloggers buy accessories (candles, glitter, postcards, fruits, garlands, picture frames, flowers) and spend quite some time on them.
Blogging on Instagram
In 2017, social media saw a new trend: users are interested in not only pictures but texts too. Subject-specific bloggers have appeared, telling about healthy food, makeup, motivation, raising kids or simply about their own life. As judged by such accounts’ subscriber count and posts’ engagement, users are ready to consume not only visual content but also texts, even long-reads.
That’s why creating and keeping a blog on Instagram may be a good idea. But how is one supposed to keep it, to start with? As with the account’s concept, a blog needs it, too. List the subjects you write on in your profile’s header.
Follow the users whose content you like. Note how frequently and at what time they post; how they ask questions to the audience in their posts and which subjects are discussed more actively by the audience.
An Instagram post contains up to 2200 characters. If your text doesn’t fit this size, move part of it to the first comment, this is a common blogging practice. The problem will arise if there’s too much discussion: users will then have to scroll too long to get to the first comment in the thread. Therefore, try to make texts shorter or split the story into several posts published with the same hashtag.
Live Streaming on Instagram
Any user can live-stream on Instagram. When over, it will be available for 24 hours, just as Stories.
To start streaming, go to the feed, tap your avatar (just as when creating Stories). Select Live in the horizontal menu below. Now, tap Start to stream live on Instagram.
How to attract audience to a live stream?
Give your subscribers a prior notice: make the announcement in a post or Stories. Choose the time when your audience is online by analyzing your account in Popsters tool. The diagrams Activity by Day and Activity by Time will show you the best day and time to live-stream.
Wait until more audience gathers, do not get to the main subject immediately; but you also need to avoid loosing the viewers: think in advance what you will do while waiting. Tell stories on the stream’s subject or be interactive: answer subscribers’ questions or, vice versa, ask them something.
How to start keeping Instagram?
Here’s the stepwise guide to account keeping:
- Choose the subject if you are going to blog;
- Find the style for photographs and processing that you will follow;
- Subscribe to competitor accounts and profiles you want to look like;
- Fill your profile: choose a catchy avatar, write about yourself and your blog’s subject in Bio;
- Make several posts in the new concept. 6 to 8 posts would be enough for the new visitors to be able to get an idea of the account.
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