Instagram has become increasingly popular in recent years, and as local businesses start to understand the benefits of the picture based social media app, it has become more important to get your posts perfect.
Being in Devon and Cornwall, we’re surrounded by beautiful scenery and things that are just waiting to be captured, so there’s plenty of inspiration! Here are our top tips for creating the perfect Instagram post.
1. Use a high quality image
No one finds a blurry, pixelated image appealing. By using a high quality photo your post will look professional, attractive, and suit the style of the whole social media app. The recommended Instagram size is 640 X 640 pixels, double that to 1280 X1280 pixels and your image will be looking crisp and ready to get lots of likes. To put this into context, the average photo taken on an iPhone 6 is 1536px x 2048px so you should be fine there (as long as it’s well-lit as iPhones do struggle with lower lighting levels), but be careful if taking and sharing smaller images from the internet.
2. Pick an attractive image
Humans process images 60,000 times faster than words, so getting a good looking picture is vital to the success of your Instagram post. Good colours and nicely laid out products will up the appeal of your image. You wouldn’t go on a date without making an effort with your appearance, so do the same with your photos!
Flat lay is very popular at the moment and is exactly as it sounds; you lay products flat on a surface and take the photo from directly above. Simple, cheap and effective.
3. Light it right
Dramatic shadows do more bad than good when it comes to showing off products on Instagram. You may think the shot is a dramatic, dark, broody and potentially worthy of a page in Vogue, but at the end of the day people want to see what you’re selling. If you don’t have access to a fancy lighting studio, midday outdoor sunlight is perfect for snapping a good picture.
4. Capture attention
Ok so you’ve got someone looking at your beautiful photo, what next? Don’t let them slip away by having a dull caption, you need get them interested and reading. Use persuasive language and words that make them feel part of something (you, us).
Adding a question to a caption can help encourage users to interact with your post, but it has to be the right type of question. Open questions will get longer answers and better engagement, the perfect chance for you to build up rapport with a new customer! Closed questions can appeal to social media as people have little time; ‘describe how this makes you feel in three words’ and such questions have proven to be particularly effective.
6. Call to Action
Social media is fast paced and users aren’t going to waste time looking for links, nor will they use their initiative to go and buy something from your website unless you tell them to. Pop a link to the product in your bio and encourage users to click on it, a simple “click the link in bio for more information!” will suffice.
Love them or loath them, hashtags play a huge part in social media; particularly when it comes to the success of a post. Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags get the most interaction, however, if you list them off in your caption you’ll look spammy and not cool. Instead, write 4 or 5 hashtags in a comment on the post. After about 30 minutes, delete that comment and write 4 or 5 new hashtags. Do that a few times to get the reach of multiple hashtags.
8. Chat back
If a user trusts you and feel they have a rapport with you, they will be more likely to buy from you. Replying to comments, whether it’s a question or a compliment, will put you in the good books of the users.