Instagram 101

It's time you started taking Instagram seriously. With over 100 million users across the globe, it provides an obvious opportunity to increase your brand recognition as well as boost your exposure online. Here are a few tips in no particular order on how to increase activity on your profile and start seeing more likes and follows:


1. Your name is your name. Make sure that when you set up your profile, your Instagram name is the same as your business's Twitter handle. It'll be easier for people to find your business on other social media platforms if you keep your profiles consistent. You should also sync your Instagram to your Twitter for a slightly larger exposure but we wouldnt advise you to connect it with Facebook in order not to clog up your followers' feeds.


2. Don't simply upload the photos directly from your website/linesheets/lookbooks, take time to take photos for your followers on Instagram. Show your place of work. Introduce your team and the people behind your business. Take shots of your products being made or your photo shoots in progress. Your followers will appreciate the behind-the-scenes approach.


3. Be selective. Don't take shots of everything and upload them straight to the app. Framing is everything in Instagram and soon enough you'll realize that shots with better composition and lighting will get more likes.


4. Use hashtags. Hashtags are important to organize your content and give your photos a wider audience. I suggest hashtagging your photos with #yourbusinessname as well as using appropriate tags for each photo. Taking a photo of yourself can be tagged as #selfie and if you're taking a photo of your DIY project, tagging it #diy or #doityourself can dramatically increase activity on your profile. Refrain from using unrelated tags on your photos.


5. Write a good description of your business. It will make it easier for people to understand what your page is about and if they should follow you or not. Its also crucial to provide a link to your website; businesses get a good flow of traffic from their Instagram accounts.


6. Dont be greedy with your "likes". Exploring Instagram through hashtags is probably the best way to find new people to follow and, in a way, invite people to check out your profile as well. For example, if you're in the business of making bread pudding, simply searching for #breadpudding or #gourmetdesserts can lead you to finding some great photos and people to follow. After hitting "like" you can count on that person to check out your profile and if he/she likes what they see, they will follow you! Its a great way to slowly grow your follower base and expand your reach.


7. Edit your photos. You dont only have to rely on filters provided to you in Instagram. There are plenty of 3rd party photo editing apps that can make your photos look like they're straight out of Kinfolk or UPPERCASE magazine! Here are some that we recommend - VSCO Cam, Afterglow, Snapseed, and Wood Camera.