I am a graphic designer, business owner, and social media expert. I hope that my experience will be a benefit to you.
Instagram for Bloggers
There are many ways you can make your Instagram page more interesting and interactive. You can maximize your page to attract more followers and interact and connect with readers, businesses, and brands. Here are a few ways you can start improving your Instagram page today.
Using Instagram Albums
Instagram albums is a type of carousel that allows you to add up to ten images. When you click the PLUS sign to add an image, the multiple image option pops up.
Grouping several images from your most recent blog post into an album is another way to diversify your content and improve engagement.
It’s easy to share a link to your blog post on most social media platforms. But on Instagram, you need to use a little creativity. You have to pique your follower's interest enough to get them to go to your bio and then click on your link. Creating an album with several images and a descriptive caption that showcases your content can drive followers to your blog. Albums allow you to put more content in a single post. Driving more interest in the blog post topic and even encouraging more responses.
How to Use Instagram Effectively
Create multiple images based on your blog post.
- Try to create an image and a “callout” for each key point in your blog post. Callouts that ask compelling questions are extremely effective. For example, one of my Twitter articles' callouts is: “This type of Tweet gets 83% more clicks.” Quotes, statistics, and key points also work great.
- Make sure your images look cohesive. They can even be the same image with different quotes on each one. You can apply an Instagram filter to the whole batch at once or use a Light Room preset. I recommend that you do this. It will ensure that your images blend together seamlessly. You can also set a cover for your album. I recommend the main image from your blog post. That way, it will be easier for people to find the post that they are looking for.
- Group your images together in a way that tells a story and attracts people to your post. Remember that the images will appear in the order that you select them. You need to plan out the order of your images ahead of time. Your cover caption should let people know that this is an album and they can swipe left to see more of it. Your last image should include a “call to action.” Something like “If you would like to read more on this subject, click the link in my bio.” Remember that people will only be able to see the first two lines of a caption without having to click more. That’s why I like to print my callouts right on my images.
- How you use your album depends a lot on the type of blog you have. One of the best ways for blogs to use the albums feature is to create tutorials. Really, just about anyone can find a way to use tutorials on their profile. DIY blogs, interior decorators, photographers, cooks, and travelers can all benefit from making tutorials. Start thinking of a way that you can do this. It will produce great results.
- You can share the album with your Instagram Stories tab and create a highlight on your profile titled tutorials for maximum interaction. I will walk you through adding to your stories page and creating a highlight album later in this article.
- Your album should be just one piece in your campaign to get people to read your article. You need to have other images and perhaps a short video that is released over several days to keep people interested in what you’re doing. Plan out your images, captions, and hashtags in order to maximize the effectiveness of your overall strategy.
Using Instagram Stories
Create content to populate your Stories: The most common way bloggers use Instagram Stories is to film themselves talking to their followers. This is a great way to introduce yourself to your followers by letting them get to know you and connect with you. If you don’t like appearing on camera, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways for you to get creative with this feature.
You can add content that you’ve posted on your profile to your stories by clicking the paper airplane icon above your pic or video. Once you’ve clicked to add an item to your story, there are several different options to create interesting interactive content.
Tap the folded smiley icon at the top of the screen, which will bring up an assortment of stickers. Select a sticker, pinch it to make it smaller or bigger, then move it anywhere on the screen. When it’s ready, press the sticker until you see a PIN button appear in the bottom-right corner. Tap it.
Add hashtags to help prospective followers find your content. I would include a maximum of three hashtags and place them in a very orderly fashion at the top of your story. Remember, you can also pinch the screen and shrink them. Technically you are allowed to add many more than three. But too many hashtags on images make them look messy and cluttered. Save your hashtag list for your captions.
Add a Location
This works great for travel bloggers, lifestyle bloggers (who talk about their location as part of their blog), and local business bloggers. If you have a venue that has a large event coming up, tag them in your location. Include a hashtag sticker as well. When people type in the hashtag for their event, they will also find you.
Add a Poll
Select POLL, then type in your question. You can also change the text in the YES/NO field below.
Polls are interactive stickers that allow viewers to answer questions. It’s a great tool for engaging with your audience. It helps you to understand exactly what appeals to them. This not only adds to the quality of your Instagram page but helps you to cater your blog posts to your audience. This is the ultimate win for everyone.
Those who participate in your poll will see the results immediately after answering the question. You can swipe up on the post to see who voted and how they voted.
Do a Q&A
Do a Q&A by encouraging your followers to DM (direct message) you with their questions. This is great not only for creating interaction but also helps with getting a better understanding of your followers' questions and concerns. You could also do a callout to those who asked the questions. It's great to acknowledge followers who interact with your content.
People love lists. Blog posts with top ten lists do very well. There are endless subjects to create lists for—your favorite..., your worst..., your scariest... etc.
Give Shout Outs
Give shout outs to followers or to other brands. This is a great way to team up with other brands. Arrange a shout-out swap. They can make your post part of their story (by clicking the paper airplane icon above your post) and give you a shout out by tagging you @your_Instagram_handle (example) in your post and saying something positive about your brand. You can do the same for them.
There will be a small notation at the bottom of a shared post that tells where the post came from, but It’s nice to put a sticker with the person's handle and a compliment when doing shout outs. You want to choose a brand that is not only in a similar or complementary niche. But also, a brand/blogger that has around the same number of followers. Someone who posts consistently and has a significant amount of interaction on their posts.
Instagram Highlights Albums allow you to have your Instagram story highlights on your profile.
- To create a highlight album from your profile, open your story settings from your Instagram profile settings, tap on the + sign in the STORY HIGHLIGHTS section.
- When you add a new highlight, the archive list of your Instagram stories appears.
- Select the post that you want to add to that highlight album.
- You can also create a new highlight from an active story on your Instagram profile.
- Open your story post and tap the highlight icon with the heart.
- Your Highlights will appear on your profile page right below your bio. Organize them into albums. Five albums will be displayed, but followers can swipe to see the highlights that are off-screen.
- Name your albums accordingly. Your album names should be short single word titles. Please do not leave the title of your highlights as “highlights.”
- Edit your highlight album cover image. Your cover image is automatically the first Image that you uploaded to the highlight. You can edit and upload cover images for your highlights. They can be photo covers, gradient covers, or Icons. Google “free Instagram highlight covers” or create your own in Canva. Your highlight covers will stand out on your profile. For this reason, you want to make sure that they follow the same color scheme and graphic style as the rest of your page.
- To add more content to your highlight album, select the highlight and tap on the three-dot "more" button at the bottom right of your screen. Then select EDIT HIGHLIGHT and then tap the ARCHIVE tab to access your story posts.
Here are some category suggestions for your highlights:
- Tips or tutorials.
- Behind-the-scenes or personal stories.
- Set up a highlight for a specific event or occasion.
- Create a highlight for each of your products or services.
- Topics of interest, such as lists, quotes, scriptures, etc.
Create Multiple Links
Everyone knows that you can only have one link in your bio, right? Well, sort of. There is a program called Link Tree that lets you create a page with several buttons that you can link to anywhere—that way, instead of having a single link in your bio that directs your followers to one page. You can have one link in your bio that can take them to a page where you can lead them to several pages or sites. The page comes in several styles, and the buttons are customizable. Hopefully, there will be changes that let you create links on your posts soon.
These are a few of the ways that you can optimize your Instagram page. Create a page that is interesting and interactive and drive followers to your blog. I hope you have enjoyed this article. My goal is to bring you information that is interesting and useful. Do you still have questions? Comment below, and I will do my best to answer them.
© 2018 Suzette Alexander