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Instagram is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing social media channels around. It also boasts the highest engagement of any social network, with 4.21% engagement per post compared with 0.07% for Facebook posts.

Many businesses still have questions about Instagram and how they can make the most of the channel. This quick guide will give you our top 8 tips to ensure you make a success of your Instagram account.

1. Listen first

We always start all of our social media with listening first. This includes listening to competitors and learning from the best. Think about the accounts that you love and why. Which of their posts seem to perform the best, how much do they post and when do they post.

2. Customise your profile

Remember to create a memorable bio and don’t forget this can be changed regularly to promote different areas of your business. It is also important to include a good quality logo that shows well in the circle format.

Don’t forget to ensure your Instagram account is consistent in the way it looks to all of your other channels.

3. Who is your Instagram account for?

This might sound obvious but really thinking about who your Instagram account is for will help you ensure that you are posting the correct content. Even if you have been posting for a while, it isn’t too late to think about your audience and what might appeal to them. A lot of companies focus on one product but the best accounts have a mix of other content such as inspirational or lifestyle images.

4. Quality

Instagram is all image-led content so be sure that your posts stand out with high-quality photos, ideally professionally taken but if not do ensure you have interesting crops and good lighting. Posting in a row of three can be interesting for the viewer.

5. Don’t just use the app

You don’t always just have to use the app, you can edit your photos first via Photoshop and then upload them to Instagram.

Instagram also has two other apps: Hyperlapse and Layout. Hyperlapse shoots time-lapse videos from your phone, and Layout helps to combine multiple photos into one post. Why not also experiment with animated gifs?

6. Tone of voice

As with all of your marketing, tone of voice is extremely important and captions are equally as important as the images that you post. Use hashtags with caution; if used carefully they can work really well but do try to not overdo it.

7. Timing

If you are not posting on a regular basis, then you are not going to be part of the Instagram conversation. Do be careful though not to spam: three spaced-out posts a day is plenty.

It is also important to post when your audience is most active. Mornings, lunchtimes and evenings, as well as at the weekend, will ensure your posts are seen. Don’t forget to tie in your posts with key events, which might be relevant to your brand, such as National Cocktail Day or even the Olympics.

8. Analyse

Remember to test and see what works and what doesn’t on a regular basis. Ask yourself ‘would I follow this account?’ Continue to watch what your competitors and key influencers are doing and learn from them. Most importantly enjoy it and have fun!