Understanding Instagram for Brands

After working in communications for the past five years, people often ask me what they should post on their business/nonprofits Instagram feed. So I’ve listed some of the basics here, most of these pointers also apply for Facebook and Pinterest. What gets the most likes? What time is best to post? What makes a great post?

Before I proceed: I would strongly recommend that your organisation has been through a branding process and has a strong visual identity, this will set you up for what sort of images/videos to post. Many of these pointers are about understanding people’s likes and the medium you are publishing on. Instagram’s self description is: a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends and family. So…

@burberry

@burberry

1. Make sure your posts are beautifully crafted and likeable. I often ask the question to myself, would I print and frame this post? If not, I don’t post.

2. Post content that expresses what your organisation is all about and gets to the heart of your brand message.

3. Make sure to use the correct hashtags (1-5 hashtags is appropriate).

@gopro

@gopro

4. Add a location to your image.

5. Appropriately tag other accounts (people and endorsed brands in your photos).

6. From personal experience, I strongly recommend NOT to have text on your images. Look through some of the most popular accounts and you’ll see it’s all about the photograph. Unless you’re a graphic designer/illustrator showcasing some spectacular work, just stick with a photograph. If you want to include information, that’s what the caption is for.

@nike

@nike

7. Make sure your post is meaningful/fun and doesn’t feel like a commercial. Instagram images take up a lot of screen real estate; respect that, people don’t want commercials on their screens. 

8. The best time to post is dependant on your location and the timezone the majority of your followers are. Statistics from various consultancy agencies vary but usually between 6:30am-8am and 5pm-9pm are best. Evenings usually do better than mornings and there has been some surprising insight into engagement around lunchtime too. Mondays and Saturday’s are arguably more likely to get less likes but in my honest opinion, the difference isn’t much. 

@starbucks

@starbucks

9. Consistency is key. Don’t post more than two photos a day and try to post at least 2-3 times a week.

10. I couldn’t stress this enough, make sure your photos a beautifully crafted. Quality, quality, quality.

If you have any questions about this or for social media consultation, feel free to contact me through my contact page.