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Best Practices for a Better Instagram

It’s funny how a new year brings with it a fresh perspective, especially when it comes to social media. With Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm, many marketers have been exploring Instagram as another way to reach a younger audience (i.e. high school/college students). This article might have had something to do with that. 

Whether you’re an Instagram newbie or aficionado, you might be offending your followers if you aren’t using the best practices below.

1. Balance lifestyle and business imagery

Don’t forget about your target market! Avoid filling your followers’ feeds with picture after picture of giveaways, signs or other blatantly promotional imagery. Mix in lifestyle images that would interest your audience. For example, if you go the community route, take photos at events or work notable landmarks into your shots. 

2. Strategic use of hashtags

Did you know that Instagram helps users discover new photos and accounts? Instagram takes into account a user’s activity, and then it finds other users and photos it thinks that individual would follow. This is where the hashtag comes into play. Instagram suggests new photos and people to users based in part on the hashtags they have used in past uploads or photos they have engaged with.

Pro tip: If you’re trying to increase your follower count, incorporate location hashtags into your posts. Including a simple #Missouri in a photo caption can increase your potential reach.

3. Work those emojis 

You can only post to Instagram from your mobile devices, which means it’s ridiculously easy to add emoticons to your updates. They give your brand a bit more personality on Instagram. Not every update requires a smiley face or money sign, but you might find it’s hard to stop using them once you’ve started.

4. Practice a two-post maximum

Unless you’re at a community event AND you’re getting a decent amount of engagement on your Instagram snaps, refrain from posting more than twice within 24 hours. If you do post more than once, space them out by at least a few hours. This is a much different platform than Facebook and Twitter; when you post multiple times a day it can clog up your followers’ news feeds. Then they unfollow you. :(

5. Get creative

Change your perspective when taking photos for Instagram. Experiment with different angles, filters and Instagram tools. If you get stuck, there are a ton of Instagram challenges out there to help spark your imagination. Also, follow brands that are similar to your credit union's brand. 

Looking for more social media tips? The Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) will be hosting its second tweet chat on Tuesday, February 17 at 2 p.m. This is completely hosted through Twitter, so anyone can participate in this event. This month's topics will cover how to encourage quality engagement on social media platforms. Click here for tips on how to participate. 

Caption: Instagram suggests users follow accounts that have the same interests. This is often determined by the hashtags and words used in photo captions.