Instagram could be your ticket to a successful career

Instagram is the new darling of social media.

And it’s no wonder… it’s less corporate than LinkedIn, more visually satisfying than Twitter and much less crowded than Facebook. If you haven’t filtered a selfie or ‘double-tapped’ your way through some eye candy, I urge you to download the app and get acquainted.

And whilst you’re at it, take on board these 60 second Instagram tips that will boost your social media presence and help you connect with the right people for your business, career and life.

Master the art of editing

What stands out on Instagram is beautiful, curated images. Whatever industry you’re in, you need to be posting photos that are good looking and capture the eye. It’s all about aspiration and inspiration on Instagram.

Fortunately there’s a wealth of filters and editing tools within the app that you can use to make your photos look great. I recommend playing with the vignette option in the editing kit (see below).

I also supplement the in-app editing features with a couple of other apps, including Pic-tap-go (better filters), Perfect 360 (photoshop in a tap) and Wordswag (inspirational quotes made easy).

Create your own brand

Whether you use Instagram for personal or professional use, you’re giving the world a taste of what its like to work with you. And, it’s important to create a brand that people can come to recognise. One of the best ways I’ve found to do this, is to pick 3 words that you want people to feel when they experience your profile on Instagram.

For my Mandala Meditation project, I’ve chosen inspirational, artistic and positive.

What three words will you pick?

Be consistent

As with any social media activity, consistency is key. Post regularly (once a day is a good benchmark to begin with) to gain momentum. People will want to come back and check your content out if they know you’ll be posting daily. You could take it a step further and create a themes for your posts. For example, on a Monday post a behind the scenes video, on a Wednesday an inspirational quote, on a Friday, a testimonial.

Use the right hashtags

Hashtags are what helps people find you on Instagram. You want to use them to tag your posts, so they show up when people are searching for specific topics and themes.

Head to the search menu in Instagram and type in a word that describes your next photo and select ‘tags’ to see the most popular related hashtags. Use a variety of these relevant hashtags in each post to reach a wider audience.

Use your hashtags in the right place

You don’t want to stuff your photo descriptions with hashtags. Instead, post your photo. Then click the comment symbol and leave the first comment on your photo including your hashtags. You can then edit and delete them with ease, and revive your old photos by commenting with new hashtags.

Engage with other users

And last, but by no means least we come to the best way to boost your Instagram activity…. engaging with other users. By engaging, I mean:

  • Following people
  • Commenting on their photos
  • Liking their posts

This builds up your network and allows you to connect more deeply on the app. Spark conversations, find people who you’d love to work with or talk to, give their posts your attention. What you give you will receive, and it makes the whole social media thing much more satisfying and worthwhile – whatever the reason you’re using it.

NB – A note for service based, B2B, providersIf you’re B2B and don’t think Instagram is for you, I challenge you to seek out service based businesses who’re rocking it with inspirational quotes, mini-infographics and how-to video clips. I’ve seen so many start ups, business coaches and service providers rocking it and reaching their audience in fun and unique ways.

Jen Smith coaches entrepreneurs in social media.

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