Optimize Your Instagram Because Everyone is Now Watching

Something struck me as I was checking out my Web stats. People are more interested in learning about you through your Instagram feed than via Facebook or Twitter. This is a recent change and you, as someone with a business or presence on the Web, should take care to build an expressive Instagram profile.

The Case for Producing Instagram Content

Why are people so interested in Instagram and why is it now at a tipping point? I think there are several reasons:

  • People are frustrated with the noise and abuse on Facebook and Twitter
  • Instagram is simple to use and many of the photos are high quality
  • Hashtag functionality works well and it’s easy to find public photos on any topic
  • Instagram can give you an “insider’s view” of peoples’ lives
  • It’s easy to follow celebrities and they tend to post a lot on Instagram
  • Instagram filters and Instagram TV (IGTV)

Instagram gives you the opportunity to express yourself — visually and only visually. And I think that’s what makes it so fun and also so challenging. It’s not easy to come up with great photos. It’s much easier to type 140 characters on Twitter and not worry about framing, composition, lighting, and color saturation. But great photos are what people WANT. If you care about your audience, make it happen.

Content Reuse

Like content for other social media networks, Instagram content can be remixed for use on other social platforms. This saves you time. The trick is finding the right social network for the content. Since Twitter is a very public network and because Instagram is public via hashtags, they make sense for cross-posting content. Facebook can also be a candidate for cross-posting.

You’ll want vertical video for Instagram, so cross-posting will be a bit harder for video, but you can set up a “session” or plan a day of “episodes” and create content for all platforms at the same time while you have the setting and lighting right for your message.

Think you need to be genuine in your use of Instagram with instant pictures taken by you? “I’d assumed two things about the beautiful people of Instagram. First, I figured they used the service the way Instagram suggests—that is, snapping pics and immediately sharing them with friends. Second, I assumed they took the photos themselves. Neither was true.” Max Chafkin wrote in his experience turning from a regular guy to Instagram influencer with the help of an influencer agency.

Here’s my Instagram photo that my friend took of me on a Bird scooter.

Instagram Ken on Scooter

Yes, I was on a scooter having fun, but I wanted you to see it too, so it was partially staged.

Show Me the MONEY!

Show me the money. Show ME the MOney. SHOW. ME. THE MONNNNEEEEY! Instagram is about getting your Jerry Maguire on and getting a little crazy, but ultimately, it’s probably about the money. Why? Instagram is also considered a public relations tool. It’s a representation of YOU to the PUBLIC. Chances are, you make money in part by how you act, look, or present yourself. If you sell something for a living, people might want to know more about you before they are comfortable with you. In fact, it’s been said that people do business with those they “know, like and trust.” What better way to achieve familiarity than through Instagram posts? Images can be so powerful and convey so much in a short amount of time, as well as communicate to people of all income, status, or education level… as well as those who speak any language in any country.

So what makes for interesting photos that might make me want to do business with you or just generally like you? For me, it would be new and different photos of food, travel destinations, aspirational photos, and photos that show you are just living life and having a great time. For other people, it might be that they want to see artistic photos or photos that show you volunteering or participating in a political rally or protest. Everyone is different, but chances are, someone will feel very strongly about one of your posts. Once someone feels comfortable with you and likes you anything is possible in sales, business, life… heck, even free beer or hugs.


BuzzFeed Instagram Famous

Here’s an interesting video from BuzzFeed that shows the Instagram fame journey.

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