By GRACE TSAI
Global Business Journalism reporter
Instagram has become a powerful tool for journalists to build their social media communities. After all, its audience skews young and it is less formal and less polarized than platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
But you can’t just replicate your social media strategy from other platforms on Instagram. Here are eight tips that will help you create Instagram posts that people will want to share:
1. Tell stories
Instagram is a platform that benefits from being able to captivate audiences through images, video, and text, so it is important to be a storyteller. By telling stories through captions, videos or Instagram stories, you will find that users spend more time looking at your post. Over time that builds trust and loyalty to your account.
2. Keep it short and simple
People’s average attention span is extremely short, so being clear and to the point, creative and consistent are the best ways to catch users’ attention on Instagram. Most of the time, people are just scrolling through posts, instead of engaging with the content, so it is important to create eye-catching and concise content focusing on core aspects of your brand.
3. Have a visually consistent feed
Instagram’s platform revolves around sharing aesthetically pleasing content, so it is important to find an overall style that fits your brand. While you don’t always have to follow a specific editing style, it should be visually consistent.
4. Take advantage of visual content
Interesting visual content, like images, videos, and gifs are easy ways to catch the attention of people who are just scrolling mindlessly. A post with only text is most likely going to blend in with other posts, but if it is coupled with visual content, users will likely stop for a few seconds to skim the image and text, and if either align with their interests, you have higher chances of gaining a follower.
5. Choose the right hashtags
Picking the correct hashtags for your Instagram posts can really make a difference in your overall post engagements. If you utilize them correctly, you will be able to attract more traffic and attention to the post and to your account. In order to determine the hashtag keywords and optimal number of hashtags, it can be helpful to analyze what your competitors use and experiment until you find your sweet spot.
6. Build a strong brand through authenticity and engagement
Authenticity on Instagram is extremely important, and it can go a long way in building a stronger connection with the audience, which encourages more engagement. By showcasing the “behind the scenes” and adding a human touch to your posts, your brand will be more relatable to your audience. People love seeing positive interactions between brands and real people, so it is beneficial to engage with users as much as possible.
7. Create “saveable” and “shareable” content
Creating “saveable” and “shareable” content is a key to success on Instagram. When brainstorming content for your feed, you should think about what type of content your audience will want to revisit later or will want to share with others. It should be highly related to what your audience likes, needs, and finds value in. It can be slideshow posts or Instagram stories on valuable tips – or infographics that will resonate with the targeted audience.
8. Regularly analyze and experiment with new content types and trends
Periodic content analyses are important as they help you review the metrics and reflect on the quality of content you put out. You accordingly can identify what was successful and learn from the failures to increase the effectiveness of your content.
Business profiles on Instagram allow you to see insight statistics like impressions, engagement data, and even the demographic breakdown of your followers, including age, gender, and geographical location. These functions allow you to recognize trends, refine the strategies you’re using, and experiment with new strategies that will allow you to reach your goals.
It is helpful to follow trends, because trends are shareable. By being aware of current trends you can find ways to tie your content in with them and adapt your techniques to increase the effectiveness of your content.
Grace Tsai, a student at the Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication, is a social media specialist for the Global Business Journalism program.