Instagram Tips and Resources
Instagram is an online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to edit their picture and video files using digital filters and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as Facebook and Instagram.
UCC is on Instagram @universitycollegecork, where it publishes photos and videos, in addition to Instagram Stories (Photos and videos you share to your story disappear from the feed and your profile after 24 hours) about campus life. Springboard PR named us as one of the top 10 Irish Instagram accounts.
Instagram celebrates creative, visual content – inspiration, behind-the-scenes shots and videos of UCC, escapism, fun! Transport your audience with great storytelling. Getting Started guide.
Instagram is not just about sharing ‘any old image’ or video clip. You need to create stylised images that attract attention, stop people from scrolling past and are consistent with your brand. Have a plan: Why are you here? What do you want to achieve? What are you going to offer? What’s going to make you worth following?
- Consistency. Think about your brand style and colour palette – don’t share images that look inconsistent or don’t sell your brand values.
- Themes. Plan your posts to tactically include products, workplaces, associated iconography, and the inspiration behind your brand etc. This will create aspiration.
- Use natural light. Don’t share anything where light is bad. Always take pictures by a window with natural light.
- Compose and batch your sessions. Think about framing, backdrops, props and remember different light at different times of the day / year.
Quick Win Tip: If you don’t have expensive equipment readily available, use a good quality smartphone.
Captions are a key part of the images and video that you share. You wouldn’t share a post on Facebook with no text, or fire out a blank Tweet, so don’t just share an image without context.
Researching the hashtags (Top 100) that your audience are already using will help you to connect to your audience. Make sure that they are relevant to your product, market or campaign. Posts with at least one Instagram hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than posts without any. They help to organise and categorise content, so always use tags that are relevant to the image.
Instagram Stories: Instagram stories are an important engagement tool for audiences. According to the Instagram blog, 1 in 5 Instagram Stories gets a direct message from its viewers and around 70% are watched with the sound on.Ask for content from followers: By asking for real stories of how users are engaging with your brand, you can create powerful and influential content to re-share with your audience.
Getting the basics right on Instagram
Username: Make sure that the username on the profile is recognisable, the same as your brand name and other social profiles if possible.
Business name: Add the full business name to the profile (even if the username is the same). This will allow you to include additional methods of contact.
Bio: You have the option to add up to 150 characters as a bio to your profile. We recommend using these fully and wisely.
State who you are and what you do.
Give your audience a reason to follow.
Add any brand personality – use the tone of voice used in other communications.
Include brand hashtags.
Add a call to action (CTA) if relevant, such as ‘Find out more about this course’.
Link: Instagram does not allow you to add clickable links to individual content, so make sure that you use the hyperlink available in the account setup to drive traffic. Tip: You can change this from time to time to drive traffic to important content – often referenced on individual images and videos i.e. by publishing ‘link in bio’ after a caption.
Quick Win Tip: Review how your competition / brands you aspire to be like have set up their profiles.
Content calendar: This is typically a document to help curate content to publish on a given network – planned by themes, dates, what the content is, who will post it. If you’re stuck for inspiration, we will send you examples.
Used correctly and consistently, Instagram is a great way to share a brand’s stories visually to help it engage and interact with potential customers.
Instagram blog: http://blog.instagram.com
Instagram business blog: http://business.instagram.com
UCC’s Office of Media & PR offers Instagram training, templates, successful case studies and guides. Get in touch with us to find out more.