When we first started Apothecary 87, we soon realised how important photography was to the brand and Instagram quickly became the perfect social media platform to showcase high quality photography. In just over three years we have gone from a small Instagram following, to over 200,000 followers. If utilised correctly, Instagram can be one of the most powerful social media platforms and can easily connect you to thousands of people across the world. We wanted to share the latest Instagram updates with you and give you a few pointers on how to make the most out of your Instagram account.
Instagram has actually come a very long way in three years. Back then people would just upload any old photo, turn that photo into a square, choosing between a small number of basic filters and then even adding a frame (who remembers the frames??). At this point you would be sitting there hoping to get to the magical number of 10 likes which would make you feel pretty popular. Not quite the same now.
Things have changed for this social media platform but people are still not taking full advantage of Instagram’s features or uploading the right content.
Instagram is a fantastic gallery to promote yourself, your life or the brand you work with. You can turn your images into something incredible and the tools available can really add a greater depth of quality to your photos that you just don’t get on your other social media platforms. If you don’t post quality images then you will find your following will increase very slowly, receive very little engagement, or worse your following will decrease because of poor quality images.
The latest edition to Instagram is the ‘Carousel’ option, which gives you access to a feature where you can add up-to 10 photos to one post, effectively creating a small photo album per post. This feature has been a long time coming and one that is really going to help individuals and brands promote effectively. The Carousel feature is truly awesome for showing off events, a night out, or a certain product or moment in time that can be showcased in many ways but posted together in a collection.
Each photo within the carousel option can be edited just in the same way you would an individual gallery post, so you can make sure each of your 10 images look absolutely spot on.
Apart from the Carousel option, people can also post videos or Boomerangs and hyper-lapses.
Towards the last quarter of 2016, Instagram released Instagram Stories, which is a live posting tool to instantly capture and share moments in realtime with your audience. Very much like Facebook Live and SnapChat. You can add either a photo or video you have taken over the last 24hrs or create a story on the spot. You can continue to grow your story, similar to Snap Chat and people can view your story as you add to it throughout the day.
Instagram stories are a fantastic way to humanise your page and is probably Instagram’s only area where the actual quality of what they are about, slightly diminishes, but we believe this is still a great tool to use as it truly opens up the chances to interact with other followers.
Here is Apothecary 87’s Henchman and Director of Engagement, Liam Grady, with his top tips for keeping your Instagram page looking dapper and to keep your followers on the rise.
1. Sort your page out
If your imagery lacks quality, your page will lack followers and interaction. Ask yourself this… would you invite your date back to your house if it was really untidy? The answer is, if you give a damn, you certainly wouldn’t. It is essential that all images on Instagram should be really high quality. Think of it as your own personal gallery where you would only show off the very best of your photos (In terms of image quality).
2. Think about the types of images you’re posting
Don’t expect people to start following you automatically because you posted a good angle of your chicken Caesar Salad. Think about your content, think like a professional photographer would. If you’re just using Instagram to post your dinner or hanging about with your mates, your Instagram page really won’t grow. Your friends might like it, but again ask yourself, what is the reason for someone wanting to follow you?
3. Consistency or flow with your filters
The right images can make a huge difference but so can the filters which you use. If you have a similar colour scheme that flows through your Instagram page, it adds another degree of professionalism and quality to your gallery. This will also add weight to your Instagram page, therefore attracting new followers.
4. Use hashtags that are relevant to your photo
There is nothing more annoying than accompanying each photo with 50 hashtags and most are really not relevant (Operation Spammer). Choose popular hashtags that are relevant to your photo, not just popular. Research has shown that between 2-7 RELEVANT hashtags are more than enough.
5. Follow and follow up
One of the quickest ways to get people to follow you is actually by following them however, without future interaction you will soon see this follower disappear. If you have followed someone, you should be interested in their content, and if you’re interested, make a comment and ‘like’ photos that appeal to you. This will open up the gates of interest to their followers and will also prove that there is an interesting human behind your Instagram account. And a decent human at that.
Are you on Instagram? Follow @Apothecary87