6 Ways To Create The Best Instagram Content

Instagram might seem easy enough as a social media platform – just upload a picture and wait for the likes to come in, right?

While this might be somewhat true, there are a few tactics you should implement if you really want to grow your Instagram account and create quality content. I have helped my clients gain new, loyal followers on Instagram, which leads to increased brand awareness and sales!

Here’s how to do it:

Take Photos In Natural Light

Always try to take your photos in natural light. NO FLASH. It just looks much better than when you use flash. Even if it looks dark, you’ll be able to edit it later on to make it brighter. You’ll learn more about what my favorite photo editing apps are at the end of this post in my free guide!

Weekly Features

Quotes…tips…”_____ of the week”…these are all great weekly features to incorporate into your account. For example, if you’re a clothing boutique, you can showcase an outfit or new arrivals each week. By having weekly features you’ll always have something to post. Try doing weekly quotes, tips, behind-the-scenes photos, etc. If you do create quotes or tips make sure you add your logo or website so that if it’s shared, it will be traced back to you.

Feature Photos From Fans

Have you seen accounts “regram” or repost photos from other accounts? This is a great way to grow your account, expose your fans to other related accounts, and connect with other users.
This is something I regularly do for clients. It could be from our own fans or it could be photos that I find while scrolling through the “explore” feed or certain hashtags (which is why it is important to use hashtags – other people or brands can discover you). If you share someone’s photo make sure to tag them so that they get the alert. This could lead to new followers for you since they will be curious as to who shared their photo, head over to your account, and hopefully give you a follow! It’s a great way to expose new people to your business or brand.

Use Hashtags

I think it’s pretty common knowledge now to use hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. But some people are still afraid to use too many hashtags. I don’t really think that’s possible on Instagram. Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags and I highly suggest you use as many as possible. Hashtags are the way that people will find you. When I do for clients is post the photo with a caption and then add hashtags in a separate comment so that it doesn’t clutter my initial caption.

There are lots of tools online to search for relevant hashtags to your brand such as hashtagify.me and Iconosquare. You can also use the Instagram search bar to look for hashtags and see how many post there are for each hashtag. So if a certain hashtag has 6 million posts you know that is popular however your post might quickly be lost in the shuffle. So use a mix of popular hashtags and those that might not have a huge audience yet. Here’s an example of a hashtag search for #running on Iconosquare. As you can see, there are lots of related hashtags and you can also see how many photos are tagged in each:

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 2.07.30 PM

Connect With People Through Hashtags

Going along with hashtags, make sure to also search through relevant hashtags and connect with new people. I always advise businesses to regularly follow new people they find through the search function. Furthermore, leave a relevant and meaningful comment on accounts…definitely more than just “Great pic!” We all know social media is about being SOCIAL, so make sure you’re doing just that!

Use Photo Editing Apps To Look Like a Pro

I rarely post a photo as is. I use a few different photo editing apps to make sure I get the photo exactly like I want it to be. There are also other apps I used to create quotes or tips right from my phone where I can also add in the brand logo. One of my favorite apps is called Over. You can create quotes on a blank background or choose from their myriad of free background images. It also allows you to add text or photos and has many paid options as well.

Try these photo editing apps to have insta-famous photos! | http://pattyrivas.com

If you want to learn more about the tools they use on a regular basis download my free PDF where I go over exactly what apps I use and what their features are. Click the orange box below to get your photo apps guide!

I believe Instagram is the easiest platform to be on right now as a business. It’s a visual platform which makes it a great way to showcase your products and show your fans the “behind-the-scenes” of your business.

It’s easy to connect with people related to your brand and find potential loyal fans. Remember, because it’s a visual tool your photos need to be great. Using these apps will help you create stellar content that will capture people’s attention in their Instagram feed. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions at all!

How To Use Pinterest To Increase Sales

Pinterest is an often disregarded social media platform but it has been very powerful in driving traffic to various blogs and websites in recent years and it can be powerful for you too. With the right strategy Pinterest can help you to significantly increase sales and here’s why: most of the users on Pinterest search for and pin things that they eventually wish to purchase. People are also drawn to Pinterest because of the high quality images and they are more willing to purchase what they see versus what they read. So what can you do to increase your sales with Pinterest?

The Pin-It Button

The Pin-It button allows visitors to your site to add images from your website to their Pinterest boards. When they do this, others on Pinterest will be able to see this content from your website as well. This will increase your web traffic and if the image directly links to a product, a number of visitors may make a purchase right away. You’ll see with  my own image below, if you hover over it, a “Pin it” button appears. You can easily install this through your blogging platform. I use WordPress and use the “jQuery Pin It Button For Images” plugin.

How To Use Pinterest To Increase Sales and Web Traffic | http://pattyrivas.com

Engage With Other Users

You can turn your Pinterest followers into customers or visitors to your website by pinning consistently so that your pins appear in your followers’ feed. You can also use apps like Viral Woot to schedule pins. You should look at your followers’ boards and re-pin content that is relevant to your business. As I’ve mentioned before, social media is about SHARING as well as promoting your own content. The more you share other people’s content, the  more others will find you and engage with your brand. As you find new accounts to follow, leave meaningful comments on pins that interest you. All of this is very similar to what I have talked about in other posts about gaining followers on social media.

Join Groups & Group Boards

If you’re a blogger, there are a myriad of Facebook groups you can join that will help you increase your Pinterest following and engagement. I am also a health & fitness blogger, so I have found fitness groups where we share Pinterest links and pin each other’s content. Search for your niche and see what you can find. If this doesn’t work for you, search for group boards on Pinterest. It’s a great way to collaborate with others and get way more eyeballs on your content. Search your niche/topic in the Pinterest toolbar, then click “boards” and relevant boards will show up. You’ll know if one is a group board because it will have a little icon showing multiple people. Here are a few examples:

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 11.55.20 AM When you join a group, as I mentioned above, make sure to share other people’s stuff as well as your own. Re-pin the group’s content onto your own relevant boards. Lastly, you can also make your own group board and invite others in your niche to it.

Make Your Boards Searchable

People are using Pinterest like a search engine. For example, when someone is searching for vegan recipes, they will type “Vegan Recipes.” If you want your board to be found, you need these key words in your board name and board description. Sure, having a fun board name (like I Love Veggies!) might stand out, but when people search for certain terms, your boards won’t show up.

Use The Right Dimensions

Long, skinny pins tend to do the best on Pinterest. So when you’re creating graphics, keep this in mind. I know it’s an extra step to create an image specifically for Pinterest, but if you’re looking to increase web traffic and conversions, this step is key. Here’s a handy guide on Pinterest image dimensions. Pinterest can be a major source of traffic to your website and that traffic can convert into actual sales if you use the right strategies on this platform. That’s why I created a Pinterest checklist for you! Download the checklist so each time you post you’re sure that you’re doing it right.

Start pinning, create good branded content, and eventually the visitors and customers will come pouring in.

Not sure how to create branded content? Stay tuned! I’ll be having a training on this soon.