As a social strategist and self-proclaimed OCD social media-er, I am a huge proponent of making my personal and business feeds look as clean and organized as possible AND creating a community within each platform. To be honest, I’m so happy all the noise about changes to Instagram’s algorithm has gone down and I feel like it was a LOT of hype for very small, unnoticeable changes (to me, at least).
So, to dive right in, here are some great tips and practices that I’ve seen floating around the social space and use myself for crafting the perfect photo, caption and hashtag strategy.
1. Make sure photos are edited to your aesthetic.
A clean aesthetic is key to brand messaging and gaining followers. If consumers know your style and give you the initial follow based on your curated feed, they’re apt to continue to engage and like your posts if you keep it consistent! Find one or two filters within your photo editing app, (or none at all if your using your own high quality photos), and use it on every photo. A little tip I love when shooting on my iPhone is upping the ‘Structure’ or ‘Sharpening’ (depending on the app you use) by one or two points to give it a little quality boost after editing.
2. Craft a killa caption + a call to action.
It’s really hard to gain the full scope of your message when you have a caption that is 10 sentences in a row. It makes it difficult for consumers to find your call to action, main goal, or point of the post. So, if your post is more than 2-3 sentences long, try crafting your caption in your Notes app, then copy & pasting it to the caption box. Make sure you highlight all of the spaces and returns, as they are necessary for the line breaks.
*I’ve noticed that this sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t, so you can always go in to edit your caption and hit return after the last character in the line above.
Your call to action to get people to visit your website or blog is SUPER important and you want to make sure it's prominent and accessible. Add a few special characters like arrows ">>", or fun emoji's for that extra boost to get people to the link in your bio.
3. Find your niche hashtag game.
*I used to think hashtagging was ‘unnecessary’ and your content should gain the audience and speak for itself.*
But, as Instagram grew, I realized that we all need to hop on hashtag trends and join in communities that share similar bonds and industries in order to create and follow the community that we want to be a part of. In my opinion, that’s what it’s all about – finding your community and sharing content about your life, business or hobbies that other people are interested in it too!
So, start with one hashtag that you know attracts your ideal follower, then follow along with those who post in that community as well and see what other hashtags they post. Craft your own unique set of hashtags that truly fit the vibe, or aesthetic. Here is a great link of starters for your posts catered to different industries from the Rising Tide Society.
4. Hide yo hashtags.
Lately, you’ve probably seen the 3 bullets that look something like this […] in the comment below the caption. This quick trick hides your tags so it doesn’t distract from your initial caption. To do this, follow the steps below:
- Create a note in the Notes app
- Type 5 periods or bullets with no spaces at the end, and hit return after each one
- Add your hashtags at the line below the last bullet and group them together as you choose
- Copy and paste the entire section from the first period to the end of the hashtag and paste it into your first comment of the post, right below the caption.
#hashtag #this #is #how #we #do #it
5. Engage with your community!
Check the related tags at the top of any hashtag to see other tags that users are posting with. If you're using hashtags for business purposes, this will help you interact with your potential clients or people who are drawn to your feed as well! Overall, just be social - that's what social media is allll about!
Here is a handy little cheatsheet of these tips for your use and to share!