Wether you’re a blogger or business owner, you’ve probably caught on to the whole new Insta craze. And I’m sure you feel overwhelmed, so much you’ve even considered hiring a social media manager. There’s Twitter, FaceBook, Pintrest, YouTube and now this?! We’ve all hit that wall but trust me, there is hope. You can definitely do this social media thing- and if you don’t have the time, I highly suggest hiring someone to help you- because no blogger, brand or business exists these days without a social media or online presence. Here are five ways to spruce up your Instagram account.

Tip #1 Have a Good Bio

Create a strong bio and be consistent with it. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen accounts with no bio (info about the brand). That drives me nuts. I have no idea what the company does, what services they provide or what they stand for. That’s like looking at a dating profile with just the person’s name and a headshot. I actually write bios for people all the time because they get stumped on what to write about. And that’s okay, not everyone is a writer. But here’s an easy way to do it in the meantime. Take a piece of paper and write down these five words: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. Now, answer those questions about your business and try to piece that together as best you can. That’s your bio. If you’re writing is not that good or you want a well written bio that will impress your potential clients- hire someone for sure- but these are just tips to help you get started.

Now that you have a bio, be consistent. Don’t have 10 different bios on social media and your website. Make sure everything is the same. And if needed, shorten it for certain sites but keep it consistent.

Tip #2 Take Good Photos

If you post a dark, grainy, blurry image on your IG feed, you may as well toss it. Nobody likes to see bad pictures period. Let’s stop for a minute. If you have an IG account, I want you to whip it out and take a good look at it. Do you have a good profile image up? How are the photos looking on your page? Crisp? Sharp? Bright? Do they have a consistent style? If you answered no to these questions, then we have work to do my friend.

Now, maybe it’s not in your budget to hire a professional photographer but if you have a decent camera phone and natural lighting, you may be able to get by. So, next time you go to take a picture for your IG feed, make sure you are either outdoors or have a big window of natural light behind you. Trust me, you will see a big difference. And no more shooting dark pictures!

Next, develop a style. For example, you can post only square pictures or circular. You can also use color schemes like monochrome or bright colors or highly saturated effects for example. When you develop a consistent style, you begin to build a brand and a following. People will become fans of your style and content.

Tip #3 Keep it Professional

Many bloggers and business owners make the same mistake of creating an IG account and posting both business and personal images. I’ve never quite understood why anyone would mix the two. If you want to build a brand, you need to treat every social media account that has anything to do with your brand as work. Keep it relevant. Do not post family photos all the time- one here and there is okay to connect on a more personal level but there are ways to do it. For example, say you own a bakery and you’re a mommy too. So, you post a photo of little Jack frosting cupcakes at the bakery and title it “future baker in training.” That’s a great thing to do because it allows you to share someone you love with your followers and at the same time you are promoting your business. You will be able to connect on a personal level with other mompreneurs as well. Or maybe you post an image of your entire family on a cruise and say- “we will miss you all so much, see you when we get back. Happy summer!” This let’s your followers know you are on vacation, you shared a photo with your family and again made a personal connection. See where this is going?

No No’s: Sleazy photos of yourself, negative or nasty memes, racist, vulgar or just anything unprofessional. This all depends on what type business person you are, too. I have seen some trendy businesses pop up that regularly use foul language and violence or nudity. But for the most part, keep it professional so that people take you and your business seriously.

Tip #4 Connect

Engage your audience but don’t leave them hanging. Make sure you check your comments and reply to as many as you can. One mistake I often see people make is neglecting to do this after their following begins to grow. They go from commenting back and replying to emails to…crickets. Silence on the web. And I cannot tell you how much followers despise that. They begin to bash you and make negative comments just for you not staying in touch. Of course, you get a few loyals who will defend you but that’s rare.  Just remember, the likes and followers that made you can leave you, too. Stay connected.

Tip #5 Hashtag

When you post something, make sure it not only has a good description but also hashtag it. Many social media users search for hashtags. Not only that, but by creating your own hashtag, you are taking followers to see your posts. For example, let’s say you have a a pet shop called Furry Friends.” You would create a hashtag #furryfriends and use that for every post.

Now, don’t think it stops there. Let’s say you post a photo of puppies that are for sale in your shop, you want to attract potential buyers and animal lovers so they can like and share. So, now you would use hashtags like: #puppies #forsale #cute #animals #love #yorkies  And the list can go on. If you really want to get creative, use hashtags for animal clubs or organizations.

You will also want to keep in mind Instagram’s algorithms which often change. In the past, we saw usage of several hashtags go down to three. Play around with it, social media is supposed to be a fun form of communication. Discovering what works for you takes time and lots of trial and error.

I hope you enjoyed these tips. I’d love to see you on social! Follow me and mention this post and I promise to follow back 🙂