3 Things to Avoid on Instagram
Instagram is one of my favourite social media channels. I’m not a professional photographer or a Photoshop guru, but I love taking pictures. I give many kudos to whoever had the genius idea of installing camera abilities in cell phones, because that means I can snap away whenever, where ever; at least for the most part.
A lot of bloggers and business owners have jumped on the Instagram train because it’s a great way to share your brand through creative images. But what if those images aren’t aesthetically pleasing? When I’m looking for professional accounts to follow I don’t just follow anyone. I click on the profile I’ve searched for or stumbled upon, and go through at least their first 50 images. If the majority of what they post is well photographed and well edited, then they’ve got themselves a new follower. I’ll even follow businesses I don’t buy from, or or blogs I don't read regularly if their images are well captured. Eph Apparel specializes in men’s suits. Although I have no intention of buying myself a men’s suit, I continue to follow them because I think their images are flawless.
Here are 3 things to avoid!
- Photos that are too dark, too blurry, or too pixelated. These are the type of photos I expect to see from friends, but not from someone who’s trying to sell me on their brand. Posting a blurry photo is quick and easy to do, but anyone can do it. What helps to make your brand stand out on Instagram is the ability to turn those photos into something visually appealing to capture the attention of potential new followers, and to retain their interest in your brand story. Sometimes you’re in a time-sensitive pinch and all you can do is take a quick photo with your phone and post it without making edits, and that’s okay. But those types of photos shouldn’t make up the majority of your account. Take the time to make your photos look their best.
- Text images - all text and no photos makes Jack have a dull Instagram account! If you’re a service-based business, it can be hard to find or create images to post. Posting an image of text might seem like the easy way out, but what is it about the text that’s captivating your audience? Does looking at your text image make them read your caption so they can better understand your post? Or does it make them just keep scrolling through their feed to find pictures that pop? I too post text images sometimes, but they will never make up the bulk of my feed. Take or find a few stock images that you can place a text overlay over so you can add some interest to your feed
- Repeat visuals. Over. And over. And over again. Hey, sometimes you have a great photo and you want to use it more than once, and lucky for you, you’re able to use it to convey different messages, and that’s cool. But do you really want your feed to have the same image posted 50 times over? Eventually your followers are going to get bored, and you know what? They’re not going to want to follow your feed anymore. I give you permission to use repeat images for different messages. Or for #WayBackWednesday. Or #ThrowbackThursday. Or #FlashbackFriday. Or #MemoryLaneMonday (I just made that last one up…do you think we should start using it?) But spread them out so you’re not seeing the same image day after day, week after week.
When I first started looking for job listings in the communications field and saw a number of businesses looking for a social media specialist, I wondered how someone’s job could “just” be social media and nothing else. What would they do with the rest of their time? As I continued to learn as much as I can about using social media as a marketing too, I saw how it should be a full time position. It requires a lot of time and dedication to run your social media channels effectively. If you can’t do it on your own, consider hiring a virtual assistant (VA) to help you with it or do it for you, or maybe a photographer to do a photo shoot for you so you have tons of shiny new images to work with. As I said, I’m no photographer, but I can certainly help you with your social media game.
What are some things you struggle with when it comes to Instagram, or social media in general? What’s holding you back from being super awesome online? While you think of your answers, check out a few of my favourite Instagram accounts!