Instagram is arguably the most popular social media platform. Back in June 2016, there were 500 million daily active users!
That means if you are trying to figure out how to create epic Instagram posts. There are a lot of people you can interactive with. Before you can begin to start creating epic Instagram posts. You must understand the basics first.
Not to worry. I have created a checklist that you can use on your brand to create epic Instagram posts.
There is plenty of opportunities for you to connect with users. If you are a business looking to generate sales leads through Instagram. If you are a personal brand, looking to build a tribe of like-minded individuals.
You have the potential to reach all the people you want to connect with. PLUS so many more folks!
Now. We have established that there are 500 million active daily users on Instagram. You are ready to reach these people. But you may be asking, “How do I create epic Instagram posts for those 500 million active daily users?”
STEP ONE: Find 5-10 accounts that post epic content.
This step is particularly important if you have just recently created your Instagram account.
If you already have an account. But are looking to refresh your profile, this step is just as important for your process.
When you search for accounts that post epic content. Keep the following in mind:
What are the accounts follower count in comparison to your goal?
If you just started your account. Maybe your first milestone is to reach 100 followers. If you are looking to reset your profile. Maybe your milestone is to reach X-thousand followers.
Wherever you are, make sure you include 50% of accounts that have a similar following to your own. In addition to some accounts that have some long-term follower goals. Say maybe 100K or more followers.
The first set of accounts. The ones that have a similar following to your account. These accounts will help you with having realistic expectations for yourself. Social media is the mecca for the comparison trap. We see SO many different accounts online. Receiving great engagement almost effortless. We may get discouraged if we do not receive those numbers.
The second set of accounts. The ones that have 100K or more followers. These accounts are for inspiration. They are to remind you that if you keep putting in the work now to grow your account. It is only a matter of time before you have your first 100K followers!
How recently did they post their last post?
Anything greater that 2-4 days shows an account that is not very active. Accounts that post epic content do so often. They will have a better number of examples for you to use when you begin to create your own epic content. We will get to this in steps 2 and 3.
What is there engagement ratio?
I would recommend checking out their most recent 9 posts to calculate this ratio. It may take some time. I recommend completing may 1-2 calculations per day. If you have time to complete all 45-90 ratios in one sitting. GO FOR IT!
What you want to do is add the total number of likes and comments by the total number of followers the account has. Unless you are using a tool like Social Blade to get the accurate number of followers of the account. This calculation will be an estimate. This is fine! As you are more focused on getting some benchmark metrics.
STEP TWO: Plan your first 9/18/27 posts.
If you are new to Instagram you may be wondering why I chose multiples of 9 for this step. The reason is it is the best way to see the visual presentation of an account.
If you look at any of the accounts you chose in step 1. You will notice that sets of 9 posts clustered together may follow a certain pattern or style layout.
When you start to plan your posts. You may want to focus on a pattern. Posting the same colour as the first post then changing it for the second one. Maybe you will want to have the same colour represented in the first row then change it to the next.
This planning step ensures that you achieve whatever visual layout your want for your Instagram layout. There is NOTHING more frustrating than winging your Instagram posts every day and praying you achieve the layout you want to achieve.
If you are looking for a tool to help you with this online. Later is my recommendation. But you need to complete step 3 before you can use this tool.
If you prefer the old school paper and pencil version. I have created a template to help you build your layout. Connect with me in the comments section, if you have any questions about this template!
STEP THREE: Use apps to create epic posts
Now. Here comes the fun part! Up to this point, we have been researching epic content. We haven’t actually created anything.
Once you have an idea of what types of content are deemed epic on Instagram. It is time for you to create your own versions of that type of content.
For quotes. My favorite application is Canva. I prefer Canva because it is a web application. I use it on my laptop. However, they do have an iPad app if you prefer to design on your mobile device.
Some other great applications for creation on the go are:
For lifestyle posts. Such as flatlays, office scenery or photographic landscapes. You can simply use the Instagram application when you are ready to load them up. Applying filters or colour overlays to spice up your photos as you see fit.
Once you have completed creating your first 9/18/27 posts. You should use either Later or Buffer to schedule your posts. Neither of these applications can automatically post to your Instagram account.
However, each of them sends notifications to your mobile device to alert you when its time to post.
I prefer using Later because they have an awesome Preview option. That allows you to see what your profile will look like once your posts are loaded.
Keeping your layout in check as your schedule content is crucial to achieving the visual design you want on Instagram.
STEP FOUR: Use hashtags to build engagement.
We are back to research. But it good research just like the work we did in steps 1 and 2.
Hashtags are the BEST way to build engagement on your Instagram posts! Anyone that tells you hashtags is irrelevant on Instagram is probably a celebrity. And they probably do not have to do anything but post to get over 100K likes and comments on their posts.
However, even some celebrity include at least one hashtag on their post. It may be a hashtag for a brand he/she is promoting. So celebs know the importance of hashtags to Instagram.
Instagram allows you to post 30 hashtags TOTAL. There is a lot of research out there that tells you where to put your hashtags. In the main caption. As the first comment. Some combination of the two.
I recommend a combination of the two. In the main caption, I am likely to include a brand hashtag. An example would be #TargetStyle, which is Target’s hashtag for all things style related.
You may have an official hashtag that you want customer or followers to use if they want you to see their content. That is the hashtag I would recommend including in your main caption.
In the first comment. This is where you will include the hashtags you have decided on from your research.
Spend at least 30 minutes research hashtags that are in your niche. Hashtags that you want your posts to show up on when an Instagram user searches or clicks that hashtag.
If you are unsure where to start for your hashtag research, the great folks at Later have created a list to get you started.
Make sure to stick with hashtags that have at least 12,000 posts already and no more than 1 million.
Anything more than 1 million is too saturated. By the time you post your content. Another couple thousand to hundreds of thousand users may post. This will push your post down and make it difficult for a user to find your content.
Instagram is a great place to build a community/tribe! If you follow these 4 simple steps. I guarantee that you will create epic Instagram posts!
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