Having a consistent online presence takes time and effort. Social media influencers don’t develop themselves overnight. Behind every eye candy on Instagram there are countless of sleepless nights of colorizing dull photos of food and shiny balloons. Nowadays you have to be your own Annie Leibovitz online. I bet you didn’t think you would have to become an expert in Photoshop when you decided to pursue a passion in finance, writing, fashion, cooking, or traveling and yet here we are.
Whether you’re new to the social media scene or you’ve noticed a lull with your profiles, these tips for managing your online presence will help free up your time for Sunday brunch or binge watching Game of Thrones. In this era of Instagram, you don’t need a full-time staff to rock an awesome online presence. You just need some creativity, the right tools, and a clear strategy to get you looking stylish and fabulous online.
Download scheduling and editing apps.
Too often, people will post on IG without thought or consideration for how an image will look next to other photos. Scheduling apps allow you to upload photos and you can see exactly how scheduled photos will play within the overall look of your profile. This way you can be strategic and intentional with how you share your photos. Check out Planoly, Later and VSCO.
Go the extra mile when it comes to editing.
Remember, Instagram is the most visual of visual platforms. A little nip/tuck with your photos will go a long way with engagement. Sure Instagram comes with a handful of filters already but there are apps that will give you Pablo Picasso skills. However, If you have desires to work with brands, you need to show that you take the time to produce quality and polished content. To upgrade your skills, it’s worth checking out A Color Story, PicsArt, and Mextures.
Plan Your Strategy.
Anyone who has a stellar online presence will tell you that apps are only one small piece of the success pie. Most of the magic happens before you get to your phone. Planning out your strategy in advance helps save time, money, and sleepless nights. I’m a spreadsheets junkie because they give you a way of organizing your ideas in a methodical way. If the thought of using anything that resembles Excel has you heading for the hills then you can also use Evernote or Google Docs. FYI, these are also great for organizing your hashtags.
Use storytelling and hashtags to your advantage.
A visual is only as strong as the narrative in the captions. While Instagram is very much a visual platform, people still read. This is your competitive edge if you’re gifted with prose. Engaging copy can help boost your engagement if you’re speaking with authenticity and personality. However, the storytelling process does not stop here. You need to know who you are speaking to so that you can position your content to appear where they’re looking. This is where hashtags are critical to your storytelling process.
Browse for relevant hashtags: All Hashtags
Take time to batch.
I’m a huge advocate of batching with Instagram. Block out a few hours, once a month, to select a theme, create at least 30 visuals, and then identify the hashtags for each. Because storytelling is my zone of genius, I don’t batch my captions. It takes a long time to write 30 meaningful captions and that would hold me back from doing everything else that needs to be done. 30 visuals for one month is more than enough to keep you active on Instagram and looking like you have a team of 20 to help keep you consistent.