06 May The Precarious Balance…Of Instagram.
Anyone with an active Instagram account is aware, either consciously or subconsciously, of the two extremes when it comes to company Instagram accounts; The “I’m not sure if I have interesting content, so I’ll just post almost the exact same picture of something I know was interesting at one point over and over and over…and over” and the “If it stays still for more than 30 seconds, I’m instagramming it and adding 40 tags, 38 of which might be irrelevant, but whatever, I’m sure a #cookie has something to do with #CommercialRealEstate”.
I want to be nice and give every company Instagram account an A for effort, solely because a lot of companies are still leery about joining the fun. Honestly, though, both of these extremes are annoying, and at least in my case, result in the dreaded “unfollow”. There’s a fine balance between Insta-boring and Insta-crazy, but it is possible to maintain that balance. (Hint: these apply to your personal accounts too)
Have Confidence in your Content
Instagram what you think is cool, not what you think your followers (or a target group) might think is cool. Chances are your followers are following you because they share your interests or your company’s interests, and they’ll probably be interested in what interests you. As your account gains followers who are interacting with you, you’ll figure out what is really popular, what’s middle of the road content, and what doesn’t appeal to your audience. Compare your likes and comments between each post and adapt your content that way. (warning: do not post the same thing over and over because it got 20 likes the first time. No one will like it the second time…or the 5th)
Mix It Up
If you’re a commercial real estate firm, it might be tempting to only post pictures of exteriors and interiors of buildings. Don’t. Please don’t. It’s ok to post some pictures of your properties (or whatever your company’s main focus is), but like I said earlier, keep it fun and mix it up. See a cute animal at one of your properties? Instagram it! Having lunch at a cool restaurant that just happens to be one of your tenants? Instagram it (but see the below warning on foodstagram overload)! Regardless of your industry, you probably have a website or listing database to post all of your company’s wares, leave the fun stuff, the stuff that makes your day a good day, to Instagram.
Don’t Be Too Serious
In fact, don’t be serious. At all. Instagram is meant to be a form of entertainment, and I would say it has a more lighthearted feel than any of the other Social Media platforms. Keep content light and fun, and if possible, highlight the fun, goofy side of your job and office. (Tricycle races in a gutted building that’s under restoration? Absolutely. Shout out to @poncecitymarket)
Go Behind the Scenes
Even if your company is relatively small, followers love seeing what goes on behind the scenes; offices, desks, pets, photo shoots, construction sites, even meetings (MAYBE) should be fair game.
At Least Try
Look, we all know the whole point of Instagram is that you don’t have to be a professional photographer to post cool pictures, but you have to at least try to make it look good. Hold your phone steady, don’t post fuzzy pictures, or pictures that are impossible to determine. At the same time, play with the angle and framing of a photo. Remember, Instagram apps are on continuous scroll, so make sure each picture stands out enough to catch the eye.
Have a Presence, Not an Obsession
Part of my job is managing social media for clients, and yet there are still some companies whose Instagram accounts I follow that make me wonder “Honestly, do you really have NOTHING else to do all day?!”. On the other extreme are the accounts that you follow, forget you follow because they never post, then when you see them advertise their instagram, you search them out, only to be shocked that you’ve been following them for months. Both of these are bad, either you’re annoying (and may make some followers think the words “corporate waste”) or you’re invisible. Aim for posting anywhere between once a week and once a day to be the most effective.
Keep Foodstagramming to a minimum
I hate to break it to you, but no one really cares if you had a turkey sandwich with pickles for lunch. Foodstagram (or Instagramming what you eat) was a craze that quickly became a cliché. That said, sometimes you’re eating at a really cool or unique restaurant, or your latte art is just too cute (if so, you’re lucky, I’ve never gotten latte art…then again I’ve never checked…) and you want to instagram it. Do it, even add #foodstagram to your tags, but please please please don’t do it 3 times a day, every day.
#Do #Not #Hash #Tag #Every #Word
Writing in hashtags sends the wrong message, that you’re only on instagram for self promotion, shameless self promotion at that, which isn’t what your followers want to see. It’s also incredibly hard to read, even for someone who spends a lot of time on social media. Find a few key words to target your audience (#CRE #BUILDING #PARTY etc) and call it a day.
Don’t like your own posts
You know that one friend that is always fishing for compliments? Or the kids in high school who started rumors about themselves just to be talked about? Yeah, me too. Liking your own posts on any social media platform, Instagram included, makes you look like that person. It’s not cool, don’t do it.