One of the best ways to boost your brand identity is by establishing a presence on Instagram, which has 600 million active users today, including 89.4 million in the U.S.

Like Pinterest, Instagram is a primarily visual medium so you create brand awareness by telling your story through photographs and videos. People remember 80 percent of what they see as opposed to 20 percent of what they read. 

Through Instagram, you will reach a younger audience as 55 percent of online 18 to 29-year-olds use Instagram. 

Here are 13 great ways to boost your Instagram account:

  1. When you create your profile, add your top hashtags as well as the URL to your website so that your profile becomes searchable. As we have talked about many times, using hashtags is one of the best ways for your tribe to find you on the social media. As you work with us here at www.whatissocialmediatoday.com, we help you hone in on the hashtags that will bring you the biggest audience.
  2. Upload the right size photos. If you notice, the shape that Instagram displays is square. Upload a photo with a width of at least 1080 pixels with an aspect ratio between 1.91:1 and 4:5. Instagram image size used to be 612px by 612px but then switched to 640px by 640px and on July 2015 switched to 1080px by 1080px to keep up with Retina and other high resolution displays available on smartphones, tablets and laptops.
  3. If you have already created Youtube videos, convert them into the right format before uploading them to Instagram. Videos need to be in the 1:1 square ratio 640×640. You can use Tube2gram.com to convert your Youtube videos into the Instagram format for FREE.
  4. Shoot photos and videos from the app itself. Just open the Instagram app on your phone. Click the middle button with the + sign in the center. Then toggle to either photo or video to record what you’re seeing in this moment. This is a great way to document live events for your company and give your fans a slice of life in real time.
  5. Connect your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Swarm accounts for maximum exposure. This is a great way to create content for your social media channels by initiating your images on Instagram. Once your accounts are connected, when you hit share, you can immediately publish to these other social networks. In this way, you make it easier and easier to win the Game of Social Media because you can publish simultaneously on multiple networks with the click of one button.
  6. Maximize your caption up to 2,200 characters (as opposed to 140 characters for Twitter) but realize that what people can see cuts off after 3 lines of text.
  7. Instagram is the king of hashtags in social media. You can use up to 30 hashtags, but be sure to use at least 5 to 10. Keep a list on your phone or computer of your top hashtags so that you can remember to include them in your Instagram captions. The more hashtags you use, the more you increase the likelihood of getting found, liked and shared. Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6 percent more engagement.
  8. If you know your top 5 to 10 hashtags but want to find good ideas of popular related hashtags, go to the search button. Hit the icon of the magnifying glass second from the left. Then type in one of your hashtags. You will then see four choices – top, people, tags and places. Click on tags. You will see top related hashtags with a calibration of how many current posts use those related hashtags.
  9. Use the top 100 hashtags when you post. You can learn what they are by visiting this link. The top 5 Instagram hashtags are #love, #instagood, #photooftheday, #beautiful and #tbt, which in Instagram lingo refers to yesteryear photos.
  10. After you publish a blog, you can publicize it on Instagram by using the following process. On your computer where you published your blog, jot down a caption with hashtags for your Instagram account. Then copy and paste the URL to your specific article on your blog into https://bitly.com. Add the bitly link to your caption. Email the caption with the hashtags, bitly link and a photo to yourself. Then open your mail program on your phone. Download the photo and upload it into Instagram. Then copy and paste the caption from your email into Instagram. Hit share and you have now created an Instagram that links back to your blog!
  11. As you grow more comfortable with Instagram, you may want to have both a personal and a business Instagram account. You can have up to 5 Instagram accounts on your phone. 
  12. Embed your instagram photos into a WordPress blog. From your computer, click on the icon for your profile by selecting the icon that looks like a person. Then click on one of your Instagram photos. Then click on the triple dot icon in the bottom right. Then click on embed. Copy and paste the URL code for your Instagram photo into your blog by going to the Text version and pasting.
  13. Be sure to post on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays as these are apparently the best days to post on Instagram. 

Want to learn more about how you can Win the Game of Social Media?

Putting all this together takes time and is part of creating a successful social media strategy.

Join Catherine Carrigan and Ramajon Cogan at www.whatissocialmediatoday.com and we will show you how! Call Catherine Carrigan today at 678-612-8816 or email catherine@catherinecarrigan.com or contact Ramajon Cogan at (928) 821-4553 or email wheresramajon@gmail.com.

#phaelenopsis & #oncidium #orchids blooming in my studio this week. #beautiful #love #beauty #flowers

A photo posted by Catherine Carrigan (@catherinecarriganauthor) on Dec 24, 2016 at 3:39am PST

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