You’ve probably heard that Instagram is a great platform for generating brand awareness, building trust, and encouraging engagement, but have you ever wondered what exactly makes an effective Instagram post? Maybe you don’t know where to start when writing a caption, or you just don’t understand what hashtags are all about.
Today, we’re hoping we can clear some of those questions up with an easy to follow Instagram guide. Below, we’ll take you through the anatomy of an effective Instagram post and explain why each component is important so that you can start improving your engagement and building your community.
1. High-quality Visuals
It’s all about the visuals on Instagram! Interrupt your viewer’s scrolling with high-quality images or videos that are both appealing and inviting. It’s important to not only share visuals that are relevant to your audience, but that also align well with your overall branding. Consistency is key, but you can always mix things up with composition, angles, lighting, and a good photo editing tool.
2. The Location Tag
Using the location tag (or geotag) is another way for you to reach a wider audience. Studies have shown that posts with location tags often generate more engagement than those without. The location tag will help you become more discoverable. Your posts will be seen by those that don’t already follow you.
3. Photo Tags
Utilizing tags is a great way to boost engagement. Whenever you tag a person, brand, or product in your photo, they are instantly notified and taken to your post. This means that they will often be more inclined to repost and/or engage. Tagging also gives your brand more exposure. Every time you tag someone in a picture, that picture then shows up in their “photos of you” section on their profile. It’s also a great strategy for growing your network. Try not to tag just any account. You want to make sure your tags are relevant to your post. You could tag the individuals in the image, the brands they are wearing, or any accounts that were involved when the image was created.
4. A Compelling Caption
Once you’ve captured the attention of your audience with your striking visual, continue the story with a well-written caption. After about 15 words, your caption will be cut off and ellipses (…) will appear. You want your first 10-15 words to be strong, creating enough interest to draw your viewer’s attention in even more. You can think of this as your hook. Keep the rest of your caption clear and concise while still keeping it interesting. Try adding in an emoji, or if it’s quite a lengthy caption, break it up with spaces.
Always proofread your captions for grammatical errors or spelling mistakes before you hit publish and remember that links are not clickable in your caption. You’ll need to direct followers to a link in your bio.
Simply put, a hashtag is a label. It’s a way to categorize the content on Instagram. Taking advantage of hashtags is a great way to amplify your reach as they put your posts in front of accounts that may not be following you yet. Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags, but it’s important to mix things up as Instagram warns against posting duplicative content. Try to use relevant and specific hashtags. Many brands also have branded hashtags, which they often encourage their followers to use as well.
6. A Call To Action
You want to provide a definitive next step for your followers. Always wrap up your post with a great call to action. Think about where you would like to direct your followers next. Perhaps you want to send them to your website, encourage them to DM you, leave a comment, or tag a friend. Asking questions is a great way to start interacting with your followers. Whatever you plan to do, remember that the goal is to get the conversation going and build relationships. Social media was made to be social after all.