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Instagram tips and tricks
3rd December, 2020 |
As one of the most popular social media apps on Earth, Instagram is an integral part of many gadget lovers’ everyday lives. Not only can you follow friends and celebs but you can even use it to grow your business.
This can be fascinating and sometimes lucrative! But whether you’re an obsessive Instagrammer or a newbie to the platform, it’s always worth finding out how to do it best.
While insurance for an iPhone is a great way to protect your tech, what can you do to keep yourself on top of your Instagram game? After all, staying fresh and relevant is really the only way to win in the 21st century social media battleground.
So, if you’re worried about how to get started, read our list of great things to keep in mind when “doing it for the ‘gram!” We’ve also put together some handy tips on keeping secure, what’s new on Instagram and great features to explore if you’re using the channel for business.
Tried-and-tested Instagram tips
It’s easy to see why Instagram is so popular. As well as being visually stunning and easy to access at any time or place, it’s also very simple to get started and begin having an impact.
Here are our top tips on how to get the best out of Instagram, gain loyal followers and drive up engagement.
Provide the wow factor
Let’s start with the basics. Instagram is a visual medium. Therefore, shoddy, out of focus pictures just won’t do! Competition is so fierce you need to provide high-quality photos in your feed.
Whether colour or black and white, the key is to provoke a reaction. Feelings of nostalgia, humour and motivation will engage your followers and promote your unique view on the world.
Utilise caption space
While pictures are what we all know and love about Instagram, you’re mistaken if you think captions aren’t relevant. An interesting comment or a question that goes beyond a simple description will do wonders for your engagement levels.
Use relevant hashtags
If you want your content to be easily discoverable then using a hashtag is a good place to start.
Used across social media, hashtags let you increase your reach and promote engagement. However, research the more appropriate and trending hashtags beforehand and don’t use too many at once.
You don’t want your posts to start looking messy or, even worse, spammy.
Instagram isn’t just about posting, it’s also about finding content to inspire or entertain us, too. You never know when you’ll come across something that opens up a whole new world of experience.
If you like and comment on the photos and videos of other users, Instagram learns what you find interesting.
Then by using the Explore tab you can see some of the most popular content that’s likely to appeal to you. Check this tab regularly to find other users to engage with.
Keep it regular
While it’s not a good idea to live your life on Instagram, if you want to keep your followers interested you need to provide new content on a fairly regular basis.
Posting at least every other day will hopefully keep your followers tuned in, provided you’re creating great content.
If you stop posting then don’t be surprised to see your follower numbers dropping as they look for someone else more consistent.
Target followers with Instagram Direct
If you have groups of specific followers you want to target, using Instagram Direct can keep them engaged without you posting publicly.
Keep followers happy with interaction
If followers go to the effort of liking or commenting on your content then you should make the effort to interact.
Making followers feel valued will keep them loyal. And if you want to go even further then try checking out their content and maybe even liking or commenting on theirs – it could help make someone’s day!
Grow followers with a shout out
Rather than buying followers (not a good idea) one of the main techniques of Instagram users hoping to grow their following organically is the shout out.
A shout out is where you agree with another user to give them a shout out on your account – with them returning the favour on their account.
Hopefully some of their followers will choose to also follow you, particularly if you have similar appeal.
Keep up to date
One of the reasons that Instagram is so successful is its ability to constantly update and add new features on an almost monthly basis. Make sure you stay up to date with the latest tools they offer and utilise them in your posts.
Don’t ignore the power of Stories
Introduced in 2016, Instagram Stories is a hugely popular feature. You post photos and/or videos for your followers to engage with, which disappear after 24 hours. Rather than garnering likes or comments, Stories are a way to interact with followers in a more casual way.
Top tips for Instagram photos
If you’re not taking photos that grab a follower’s attention then you’ll soon find yourself feeling lonely. Here are some tips to help give your photos a bit of oomph!
Play with your phone’s camera settings
Your phone is designed to take photos in a certain way, but this isn’t always the most captivating. Getting to know your camera settings and what they do will boost your technical armoury.
From adjusting exposure and manual focusing to the proper use of the flash, you won’t look back and your followers will love you for it!
Just make sure you have iPhone insurance in case of any mishaps while you’re out and about.
Watch those filters
Whether you want to ramp up the contrast using X-Pro II or tone down the colours for a more vintage look with Gingham, there are endless filters you can use. However, just because you can use them, doesn’t mean you always should.
Enhancing the look and style of your images by experimenting with filters is great fun but it’s all too easy to be guilty of overkill.
Using the right combination of filters that aligns with your overall theme will give a consistent look to your feed and will have a positive effect on your personal brand, especially if you’re posting for a business.
Work on your composition
Great composition is a key way to differentiate your images from the vast array of rival content on Instagram.
By turning on the grid feature on your phone’s camera you’ll be able to easily see how to structure your picture. For example, centre your main subject exactly in the middle of the frame and align the other elements around it.
A perfectly aligned picture is not only pleasing to the eye but also sure to boost engagement.
Explore interesting angles and perspectives
A great way to make followers sit up and pay attention is to take an unusual approach to a subject – often from a new perspective or an interesting angle.
Try flipping your phone upside down and taking your photos from the ground to add depth – this has the added advantage of using the ground as a clever foreground element. Try it and see the difference for yourself.
Having your phone always at the ready to record those Insta moments means you could encounter many risky scenarios for which you need iPhone insurance. For example, with Gadget Cover unauthorised calls and data usage from a lost or stolen device can be covered up to £2,500.
Security tips for Instagrammers
Keeping secure is an important part of maintaining any social media account. You don’t want all your hard work to go to waste due to a data hack. Instagram itself provides valuable advice on this. You need to:
- Pick a strong password.
- Change your password regularly.
- Never give out your password.
- Turn on two-factor authentication for additional security.
- Make sure your email account is secure.
- Log out of Instagram if you use a device that you share with others.
- Think before authorising any third-party apps.
Even if your security isn’t compromised, accidents can happen. Be sure to get the very best mobile phone or iPhone insurance before you head off on your next Instagram adventure.
How to change your password
Whatever phone you use, changing your Instagram password is straightforward. Simply open up your profile and then tap the menu icon. Next, choose Settings > Security > Password.
Enter your current password and then the new password you wish to use. Keep it strong by using a combination of at least six numbers, letters and punctuation marks. Once you're happy with the new password, tap Save and you’re done.
New Instagram features worth exploring
Instagram is constantly introducing new features and upgrades that you need to know about in order to take advantage of them.
Here are just three of the best new features added in the last few months alone – there are plenty more to play with!
Reels – Reacting to the soaring power of TikTok, Instagram has introduced Reels. Reportedly the ‘next big thing in social’ it enables users to record and edit 15-second videos with a whole host of special effects. These can then be shared to your Instagram feed, Stories and Direct.
Instagram Direct and Facebook Messenger – As the owner of Instagram, Facebook has begun merging the chat systems for the two platforms. The update will bring a new colourful look to chats, more emoji reactions, a swipe-to-reply function, and even the ability to chat with friends who just use Facebook.
Instagram Shops – Reacting to the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis, Instagram announced changes to enable people to shop on the platform. Instagram Shops provides an immersive full-screen storefront perfect for both businesses and consumers.
Tips for small business owners on Instagram
On the back of Instagram’s latest moves into e-commerce, the platform has become an even more powerful tool for business brands.
Apart from Instagram Shops, here are some other Instagram features worth exploring if you want to grow your small business.
- Instagram Linkin-bio – This feature will drive traffic to your site by turning your Instagram profile into a clickable, optimised landing page.
- Instagram Live – With in-person events still difficult to deliver at the time of writing, the use of Instagram Live has soared in recent months. Businesses are using it as a way to show an authentic side to their messaging while growing personal engagement at the same time.
- Instagram Stories stickers – From quick polls and fun quizzes to Emoji sliders and product countdowns, Instagram Stories stickers offer a way for businesses to both promote engagement but also get immediate customer feedback on their products and services.
- Pinned comments – To enable businesses to set the tone and manage brand perception, Instagram is enabling businesses to pin up to three comments on any post. Both a way to celebrate positive comments endorsing your products or ones that promote your brands values. A helpful tool for counteracting the effects of trolls or spam on your brand perception.
If you’re using your phone to help drive business, be sure to check you’ve got the best iPhone insurance in place. You don’t want to be left without such an important business tool!
iPhone insurance from Gadget Cover
Whatever social media you use, Gadget Cover’s team of insurance specialists are always searching to find you an insurance policy for your iPhone that’s right for you.
Protecting your iPhone or Apple devices from the risk of being damaged, lost or stolen is crucial in this tech-driven age. We depend on our gadgets for so much more than just calls and texts!
That’s why policies arranged through Gadget Cover can include protection from accidental damage, liquid damage, theft, breakdown and unauthorised usage. Policyholders who pay an extra premium can also protect against loss.
If you’re a bit of a jetsetter, cover is also automatically extended to include use of your iPhone anywhere in the world, up to 180 days in any one year.
Accessories (up to £150) can also be replaced if they’re lost, stolen or damaged at the same time.
Get a quick quote for iPhone insurance today.
Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.