Tech

10 tricks that will make your Instagram brilliant

There are around 3.5 billion likes on Instagram every day, scattered across 80 million images uploaded by the world's selfie-loving masses. 

So where's your portion? How come your personal account/business profile/hilarious dog parody isn't getting the love it deserves?

Here are 10 tips to get you Instagramming with the best of them. 

  • 10 tricks that will make your Instagram brilliant

    Schedule your posts

    We get it. You have a life, a busy one. One that restricts the amount of Instagram filtering, posting and commenting any man can achieve in a day. We applaud you.

    But should you want to keep your Insta-lovers drip fed with images, there's an easy route: scheduling apps such as Latergram allow you to line up a whole week of images, filters and posts, giving you more time to - you know, actually have a life worth sharing?

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    Understand your audience

    But how do you know when to schedule your tweets? When's your key follower set moving around the world of Instagram?

    Using tools like Iconosquare you're able to find out where you're followers are from, when the log in, what the best hashtags for specific groups are - and a stack of other useful metrics. 

    Easy.

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    Stay consistent

    Is your Instagram profile the delicate collision point between your life style and your profession?  Best stick to a focused, consistent array of posts - three or four topics posted three or four times a day. 

    Take Joe Wicks - creator of TheBodyCoach.co.uk. He never strays off his line of testimonials, video recipes, life shots and users posts. Nothing about his Netflix habits, nothing about his passion for leather shoes. 

    If you want to create a brand, keep it simple.

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    #Hashtag

    If you want engagement, you're going to have to engage in the tired old game that is hashtagging.

    Social analytic sites vary in their recommendations on the "perfect number" of hashtags, but they all agree on one thing - it's better to include some than none. Locowise found that maximum engagement rates peaked at three hashtags, and steadily dropped away after. Others find that anything over 11 will pick up a great amount of search traffic.

    Sites such as Top Hashtag will help you find the most popular search terms, so it's best to do a bit of research before you select your ideal three/take up the shotgun effect.

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    Experiment with hashtag placement

    Should you baulk at the idea of cluttering your posts with click-hunting hashtags, there's another route that keeps your comments clean: post a string of 11+ hashtags in a comment rather than in the main description of the image.

    This way you'll still tag your image with the right engagement triggers, but you won't be clouding your followers with spam. Should they fail to bring in the crowds, you can always delete the comment and try a new set of hashtags.

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    Tweak your settings

    Ever bothered having a fiddle with your internal app settings? 

    Not only can you save your original photos (handy for #regramming or keeping an uncropped version of your photo for later use), enhance the upload quality and start linking up to more social media accounts - which brings us to...

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    Expand your accounts

    Only sharing your images on Facebook and Twitter? Throwing in the occasional Tumblr post? You're missing out.

    Instagram now supports links to platforms including Flickr (the photo library), Swarm (the location game), and huge international platforms including VKontakte (Europe's answer to Facebook). By using these additional platforms for outlets to your Instagram feed, you stand a better chance of pulling in more followers. 

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    Include a link

    No, Instagram doesn't support html links in comments. Send your complaints to its owners (Facebook) if you want something done about it.

    But if you've got a product, event or website to promote, it's still worth including the website address in your comment. Interested parties will follow up, so long as you've given them the inclination. 

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    Use your link wisely

    There's only one place you're allowed to post a redirecting link on Twitter - and that's in your bio.

    Be sure to include a blog, website or point of merit in your bio link, and then reference this in your posts ("See bio link!" etc.). It's a long winded way to get traffic, but it's the best Instagram offers. 

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    Reply direct

    You know you can reply directly to those followers who comment on your images.

    You didn't? Oh.

    There's the long winded way (Add an @"username" to your comment, much like Twitter - they'll get a notification), or the more direct way of taping the comment. On an iPhone, with a swipe left, you'll get a "Reply" arrow, while on an Android phone (pictured) you'll spot the reply arrow at the top of the screen.

    Interaction breeds engagement. Or so we're told.