As seen in The Collective Magazine issue #14

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While society and our inherently voyeuristic nature for the most part are to blame for the social phenomenon, Instagram engagement numbers are a brand’s most valuable currency, right up there with actual sales numbers. In the modern digital age consumers can detect pushy sales messaging and transparent marketing tactics from a virtual mile away. The consumer has a lot more pull when it comes to determining the success of a brand due entirely to social sharing and only brands grounded in sincerity seem to cut through all the noise.

1. BE AUTHENTIC

The first thing did when I switched from Blackberry to iPhone was download an app called Instagram so I could put filters on my photos of me and my friends. It wasn’t until I set off on my life changing spiritual journey and began writing from the heart documenting my unique experiences via Instagram that I really started to gain a following. People crave authenticity so be real, and be you, even if your voice is that of a business or brand.

What I love most about Instagram is the tribe of strong, loving, kind and supportive women from all over the world it has connected me with. I can seek out people with similar interests to me, and build relationships that come from a place of authenticity. From a brand’s perspective, engaging authentically B2B and B2C  will heighten not only your user experience but also your audience reach.

2. DISCOVER YOUR AESTHETIC

Scroll through your feed and consider what aesthetic qualities speak to you or your brand – what do you love looking at or what visuals can you use to build your branding? It might be a chalky low-contrast hi-grain combination, a crisp clean white-on-white Scandi aesthetic, or if you’re like me you’re obsessed with the colour blue. Find what it is you love, create some visual guidelines and create consistent content based on this.

3. PINE FOR PREMIUM

Reducing it down to its simplest form, Instagram is after all just a photography app. As a marketer it’s easy to forget the basics of the app when we get caught up in editorial schedules, content strategies, photoshoots, brand alignments and corporate sponsorships, but at the end of the day its sole purpose is to share beautiful imagery. I am currently working to produce a photography and editing guide eBook where you can learn how to create striking, high quality photographs straight from your mobile device. No professional cameras or expensive equipment required! Sign up for the wait list here.

4. GRAMMAR MATTERS

Coming from a writing background I’m a bit of a spelling and grammar junkie. I find there’s nothing worse than reading a post from one of the world’s top bloggers who literally have editorial teams working to produce content that is riddled with errors and spelling mistakes. It portrays carelessness and is damaging for any brand. Take time to edit and re-edit text before anything gets published.

5. HASHTAG DRAGS

Hashtags are a great way to help you find your tribe #yogaeverydamnday, contribute to content streams from live events like #tedx, join in on social movements #freethenipple, or even add some oomph to the end of a post #amiright? But at all costs avoid tags such as #followback #like4like #kyliejennerlipchallenge #sexy #me #babe, they’re desperate, damaging, and unnecessary.

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