Is this you?
Because we have all been there!
Rather than let the new Instagram algorithm get your panties in a bunch, let’s focus on what we CAN do to better our Instagram engagement in the new year.
Every member of our team at Get Found Stock has been running experiments with our accounts and compiling the data.
We’ve learned a LOT in the past month, and we’re finally ready to share it with you!
Let’s get into the nitty gritty of what is working on Instagram and what isn’t anymore.
The Do’s of Instagram Marketing
Stick to a visual theme
It’s all about your Instagram aesthetic! You only have a few seconds to impress new followers with your feed so you have to make those seconds count.
Instagram users love Instagram feeds that have a specific visual theme. Themes help you understand the kinds of content the user consistently shares and often has a signature look to each image.
If you look at Helene in Between’s Instagram, she has many travel photos that are edited with a high saturation, high contrast look. Style Me Pretty’s Instagram, however, has a bright and organic look to their curated Instagram feed with lots of natural, earthy shades of blue and green.
If you’re having trouble figuring out what your Instagram theme should be, we have a whole blog post about finding your Instagram aesthetic. Keep testing and playing with your feed until you find the perfect look!
Mix stock photos with original photos
If you’re a non-photographer, it can be brutal trying to plan an Instagram feed with all original photos. Your iPhone can come in handy but after awhile, you’ll go through your entire camera roll and wonder how to keep up with your Instagram schedule.
Don’t fret! A great way to make sure this doesn’t happen before it’s too late is to start incorporating stock photos into your feed.
Since you’ve already decided on what your Instagram theme will be above, you can hand-select a group of styled stock images that will effortlessly fit in with the rest of your Instagram feed. We have a whole stock photo library full of them!
As you continue to grow your Instagram presence, you may find yourself needing stock photos on a consistent basis. That’s why we created our exclusive stock photo membership community! It allows you to choose stock photos that are oh-so-you while looking stunning in your Instagram feed.
Instead of using stock photos that have been downloaded thousands of times, use our exclusive photos inside the membership for a unique look that’s all your own.
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Break up your text
This goes for the copy that’s in your Instagram bio and captions. No one wants to read a big wall of text. Instead, you break up your text with paragraphs or even with some fun emojis.
Include emojis in your profile
Want to amp up your Instagram profile with a little personality? Emojis are a great way to do just that! Choose a few of your favorites from your keyboard or select an emoji that fits what you do for a living. Get creative!
Utilize Instagram stories
Let’s take your transparent storytelling to a whole other level by putting them into action on Instagram stories! Instagram stories have become the cool new kid on the block, and Instagram is prioritizing story content now more than ever.
It’s a good time to refocus your Instagram marketing strategy on how you can use Instagram stories to better attract your ideal clients and customers.
As Instagram stories take over, you’ll want to be more intentional about what you share in order to make a lasting impact, even though stories refresh every 24 hours.
Ready to grow your impact and income with Instagram stories?
The Don’ts of Instagram Marketing
Don’t hide your hashtags in your comments
This used to be a fun trick to save on space in your Instagram caption, but with the new Instagram algorithm, it’ll hurt your engagement. So what should you do instead?
This may come as unfortunate news, but it’s best to choose 6-8 hashtags that are the most relevant and add them in the bottom of your caption. We’ve seen photos consistently perform better with the new algorithm when the hashtags are in the Instagram caption. It’s a small but significant change!
Don’t reuse the same photos over and over
People go to Instagram because they want to see fresh branded content. They don’t want to see what you’ve posted on other platforms or even see photos you posted a few months ago.
Instead of reusing the same photo, maybe take photos of the same scenery from different angles, or take a series of portraits up close and further away. You don’t have to worry about changing your location or outfit. Just try to capture unique images that you can sprinkle into your feed.
Don’t forget to put a location on your photo
Raise your hand if you forget to do this. We’re raising ours too! Although it can often be the last thing we’re worrying about when we try to edit our caption copy and tag others in the photo before we publish it, pinning a photo location is important.
When you start to partner with brands or want to get in front of brands, tagging their location in your photo will helpful. Not only will other Instagram users who are looking for photos of the restaurant or boutique be able to see your photo, but you’ll be able to get on the radar of your favorite stores.
Don’t only like other Instagram photos
It can be so easy to double tap mindlessly as we scroll through our Instagram feed, but hold up. How is that actually helping you? It’s great to give people a boost with likes, but it’s not helping you make lasting relationships.
Likes don’t help you get on someone’s radar. You’ll just get lost in a sea of other accounts liking their photos. Instead, choose around three Instagram accounts you want to regular interact with each week and on every post, comment thoughtfully.
You can start to add more people each week until you feel like you’re beginning to build a community. Seriously, it can be that simple! It all comes down to the personal interactions you have. No one is too busy to start building their tribe!
Don’t comment with vague phrases like “cool pic”
This will make you look like a bot, which Instagram is trying to cut down on. If you only say short, commonly used phrases like “nice photo” or a string of random emojis, you’ll be marked as spam by Instagram.
This will decrease your engagement rate quickly, so it’s better to comment thoughtfully. Try to shoot for 5-7 words if you can. Also, make sure you read the caption before commenting to make sure you don’t say something out of context.
Don’t be afraid to get transparent
Nothing says “follow me” like a transparent story. People on Instagram are constantly seeing beautifully styled images of seemingly perfect lives.
We’ve seen that transparent stories that show the not-so-pretty parts of entrepreneurship perform the best. They also feel so much more natural to write!
Here’s an example from one of my own Instagram posts so you have an idea of what I mean:
I wanna talk about self doubt. The last few months I have been in the closet about it big time. ? Behind the scenes I have been working hard putting my heart and soul into a project that has nothing to do with wedding photography or anything I have ever done before.
On top of that I went from having part time VA to now having 5 people as a part of my team. So instead from being “a boss” I went to being THE BOSS. Which makes those voices always going off in my head telling me horrible things I am not going to repeat.
Last year at this time I was too sick to pick my kid my at school or get out of bed and now I have just gotten back from #portland and am now going to Columbus, OH on Thursday, then next week #chicago!
But the most exciting thing is the upcoming launch of my new business Get Found Stock Content creation. I have always wished when I was sick or busy that there was an easy way to create content and not waste so much time wondering WTF to post.
Now we not only will have stock photos for you but we will have 30 days each month of writing prompts for you to get your creative juices flowing and tell your brands story.
Click on the link in the profile to get some free stock photos to get you started and to become one of our beta testers and get a free month of membership and stock photos!!