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I’ve had conversations with folks who think that Instagram is kind of silly to use for a business. That may be true, or may not. Think about it this way. Simply put, people love pictures. And if you have a business that produces highly visual products, such as the food industry, Instagram is a great platform. Instagram allows you to share the day-to-day of your business so people can see behind the door.
Below are some dos and don’ts to consider when you post images on Instagram.
Don’t use images that are busy or complex in composition. These images are distracting and can be easily overlooked. Too much is just too much. Remember. people only see what you share for a few seconds. Additionally, they are looking on a small screen that fits in the palm of their hand.
Don’t post content that is copyrighted. It’s social media, but it’s safer to give credit by tagging or not posting at all.
Don’t just randomly post anything. It’s your story, so tell it in pictures that are linear and have some continuity. People like to see what is next. This helps to lead them through your narrative.
Don’t post more than 5 images to an album. The reason is because it’s too complex (see what I did there?). The best solution is just keep things simple. Doing 3 in an album is usually best given how both Instagram and Facebook arrange photos in posts with multiple images.
Selfies are not always required for posting. I’m amazed at how this just hasn’t gone away and angry that I didn’t come up with the selfie stick. But regardless you can use these, but it’s less narcissistic if there’s a group of you.
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Do find creative ways to include your branding. There are examples where the image in the foreground is the image that is the main subject. Also, as an idea, maybe have some company swag on display or imagery of your logo in the background.
Do make sure the image has a strong focal point so it sends a clear message. This is important because of the composing your narrative. I know, the opposite of what we talked about in the don’t section. The narrative is important.
Create content with your target audience in mind. Violating this simple rule is the biggest cardinal sin in posting online. You must be aware of who you are communicating with. Your audience on various social channels may differ, and thus require a different strategy.
Do obtain permission to use both image and video content that someone else has taken if you plan you use them in an ad. The attribution model applied must be agreed upon between both parties. It’s just polite and keeps the cease and desists away.
Do put people in your photos. The one thing about images is it’s still like your family photos. You want to see the faces of people that are at the event. Posting photos of your staff and the environment they are in shows tons about who they are.
Do have fun with it. It’s not supposed to always be super serious or, for that matter, even marketing worthy all the time. It’s meant to show the culture at your business. People want to see that while you are serious about what you do, you do take the time to have fun. On average, last year Americans spent about 8 or more hours each day working at the office or at home (source). So a little fun here and there is probably called for to keep morale up and stress down.
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This article originally appeared in Element 502.