Mastering Instagram Resource Guide
Learning how to master Instagram can take years if you try to do it all on your own. Fortunately, you don’t have to struggle through by yourself. Here’s a quick list of tools and apps you may want to grab to transform yourself into an Instagram ninja.
3 Tools to Up Your Hashtag Game
- Hashtagify.Me is a resource that can expand your brand reach and grow your business by knowing the best hashtags for your business. It helps you see who the influencers are and helps you to make better strategic choices.
- Socialert provides analytics for engagement per hashtag and can identify your best engagement posts. It performs a competitor check to see when they’re posting, what their top posts are and what their engagement analytics are. This tool can locate influencers and gives data on top posts.
- Keyhole uses real-time data as well as metrics to analyze your Instagram so you can build a stronger brand. You can determine which hashtags are performing and how your audience is interacting with them.
Profile Optimization Checklist
- Use your profile photo as part of your branding. Someone looking at the picture should be able to easily tell what it is that your business does. Show yourself in action. If you’re a photographer, show yourself taking photos, if you’re a painter, show yourself painting in your photo.
- Include a keyword when creating your Instagram name. For example, if you’re an interior designer, you could put something like Jane Smith: Interior Designer.
- Put keywords in your bio as well. Since potential customers use keywords, you want these to match your industry or content.
- Have a call-to-action in your profile. This can be something like Free report or free coaching session and below that, you have a link to the offer.
Optimize Your Instagram Posts
- Post at the right time. To learn when you should post, you need to know when your audience is there. Find this out by checking your Instagram Insights and then post when your audience is most active.
- Use the right hashtags. These should be connected to your brand or business. If you don’t know which are the right ones to use, scope out what others in your niche or industry are using. You can also check out the preferred or unique hashtags your competitors put on their posts.
- Include your location. When you put up a picture, always make sure you hashtag the location. This spurs audience interest. Plus, if it’s a popular location, it can bring in a bigger audience.
Equipment You May Need
- Selfie stick. When it comes to Instagram videos, shaky camera work can detract from your message. If you don’t have one already, grab a selfie stick like this handy one from Fugetek.
- Lapel Mic. If you plan to be going live or using Instagram TV, make sure your followers can hear you. You’ll need a good lapel microphone that plugs into your mobile device like this one from Pop Voice.
- Lighting. Make sure that your videos and images on Instagram are nice and bright. You can do this easily by grabbing a selfie ring that attaches to your smartphone or mobile device. This one from QIAYA is popular and budget friendly.
Image and Video Editing Apps
- Filmora. Filmora is a video editing application. It uses the old timeline layout that previous video editing software like iMovie and Windows Movie Maker uses. If you want to test it out, you can download a free trial version that inserts a watermark on the finished project.
- Adobe PhotoShop. This is considered by many to be the holy grail of photo editing. Originally it was used only by professional photographers but thanks to PhotoShop’s new pricing structure, anyone can access the software for a low, monthly fee.
- Adobe Premier. If you need video editing capabilities and you’re already familiar with PhotoShop, then you’ll want to reach for Adobe Premier. You can also access it for one low, monthly fee.
- OpenShot. If you’re looking for free video software that doesn’t leave watermarks on your final video, OpenShot might be just what you need. It can be used on a variety of systems and it’s won countless awards.
- Canva. When it comes to creating photos, Canva is a wonderful tool. You can use it to create Instagram posts or Instagram stories, depending on your needs. If you want, you can even use it to edit your Instagram content before you publish it! The only possible drawback might be if you needed to abandon using a hashtag. To prevent this from becoming a future problem, always keep a layered copy of your images, which can be easily edited, as needed.
Best Practices on Instagram
- Take multiple shots. When you’re looking for that perfect image for Instagram, it’s smart to take multiple shots from different angles. If you do this, you’re more likely to find a shot you love.
- Re-use the filters you love. Once you find a filter or look that works for your Instagram account, don’t change it up. Let your followers begin to associate the same filters with your account—it will add to your branding.
- Keep your images clean. Remove as much visual clutter as you can from your photos. That means paying attention to the background as well as the foreground before you snap it.
- Stay focused on your niche. If you’re a productivity coach, then posting pictures of cookies and rich, decadent desserts isn’t going to inspire your audience. It will confuse them since they’re looking for business and life advice they can implement.
- Post consistently. Try to set a publishing schedule and stick to it. This trains your audience to expect new content from you at the same time each day.
- Respond to comments. When a follower takes the time to leave a comment, respond to them quickly. Focus on keeping your replies encouraging, kind, and uplifting. If the commenter is disagreeing with you, say something like, “That’s a good point. Thanks for bringing it up!”
- Study the trends. What are other people in your niche doing? What are your competitors doing? What are influencers advising right now? Keep your pulse on Instagram trends by paying attention to what others are doing!
Mastering Instagram isn’t something you can do in a day. It’s a task that requires on-going education and constant learning. But with time and effort, you can become an Instagram pro!