Chris's Guide to Instagram


By Chris James

Hello, and welcome to..

The Rockadove Guide to a Better Instagram!


It’s 2020, Generation Z and online content is king.


Social media is no longer the new way to engage with your audience, it is the way to engage with audiences. Short of walking past someone’s front door, giving them a knock and showing them the food you just ate - social media engagement is the best way to show & tell in real time.


So how do you talk to your audience?


Do you post well framed and lit final piece examples? Or perhaps moody behind-the-scene shots? Do you chat with people when they ask you questions online, or promote upcoming activities?


Or do you post that blurry, underexposed selfie of Sheila from accounting, welcoming her to the team... 7 months ago, at 9:30pm? 


What if an international client wants a quick look at your work / while also wondering if you do international work - that selfie of you working in Barcelona last month seems like a good idea now, right?


Now, we’re not going to big this blog up - social media and ‘viral’ content is completely random, and you have very little control over who and/or what gets engaged with - but it’s a small thing that MIGHT have a big impact.


So, why not do it?


- Get them likes

For this fabulous blog, we’re going to look at posting as a creative media company (surprisingly).

But the rules here still apply - use these topics as guidelines to move your imagination on what you can post and become your own amateur photographer and filmmaker.



Chapter One - Content

What’s in your picture; a group shot of the team? A meeting taking place? Sheila's birthday hat? Congratulations, you are like every other company with an online presence.



Take this example:

- #Matt at work #Blessed #Londonshoot

#Garbage.

Your content is an employee sitting down, at their job, doing work. But the irony here is - you’re not showing any work - not what you do, not who it’s for, where it’s at or what makes it (and by default your company) unique. So what’s the point?


Let’s establish some background on this photo. It was for a really cool company, in a semi-famous location - our work was nice, but we deemed it better to display screen grabs (hey, we’re filmmakers). So what can we take a picture of? What options do we have? 


Semi-famous and major location - utilise that. Get some traction just based on where you are.


Go on lunch, find a really nice angle of where you are, take a photo.




#RoyalHolloway #Filming #Location #Interviews #Filming #Loveabigclock

#Pretty.


We’ll cover hashtags later, but for now, which picture looks better?


Probably not Matt. (It’s never Matt).


Now, you may want to show off what you do moreso than where you are, so we'll work on that next.

We do a lot of interviews, so if we did a behind-the-scenes shot, which setup would look better?

Example One

 

It's over exposed, poorly angled, with the back of Matt’s head in the foreground (sorry Matt). 

What the heck are we even filming? “Hey! We make films and look at this bad photo we just took! Hire us!”

Bad times all around. So how can we do better?


Example Two


We can see more of our amazing kit which is for hire, it’s lit nicely, it’s our own style.


You can see who we are interviewing and it’s all framed nicely (aww).

Consicous that we have fancy stuff to show off here - and that may not be applicable to every office or client-based work, but framing does WONDERS. Just think about Wes Anderson or top down styles. This next picture is of a plant and coloured paper, can’t get more basic than that...



 

Show off anything you think looks cool.
 And do it in a cool way.


I know that sounds like a Millennial trying to promote generic qualities of aesthetics in social media pictures, which might even be a pointless thing.


But can you honestly say you take instagram pictures that truly promote your company and reflect it in a positive light? And if you do, why are you here reading this? 


For now... this is the world we live in, and this is the job we do.


So make it look nice, and be nice.
 


 

Chapter Two - Engage



Moving on. You have a great picture, what do you do with it?


Post it. Job done?


No.


Let’s talk about hashtags and tagging.


For the uninitiated, hashtags are a way of filing and searching for particular content.


If you go onto instagram and search ‘#dachshundsofinstagram’ would you like to guess what kind of pictures you will find? It’s a way of fitting your picture into a more relatable box, so people can search for it.


Some hashtags are popular, some are not. Which is both a pro and a con.


 

That is a big disparity. 


But it’s also a numbers game.


On one hand, yes, if you tag your image with #contentcreator, it will fall into a pool of 2.3 million posts - which does raise the possibility that it will get seen and liked by quite a few people.


On the other hand, if you tag your image with #contentcreator, it will fall into a pool of 2.3 million posts - which does raise the possibility that it will get completely and totally lost in the swamps of time.


Consider your options.


I have no magic answer here, #contentagency gets less interaction, but that might work in its favour. Alternatively, if you find a ‘#’ that isn’t used very often, or even at all(!), then you can unofficially own it - #RCKDV2020 - and that gives you and your clients a quick way to access your work, and for random people who are curious about the hashtag, they might find your work and like it - which is what we’re in it for!

Hashtags, if anything, are just a way of organising and filing your content so that some people might see and like it. Keeping aware of trends is a big thing. Just look at your Twitter newsfeed.


Let’s move onto tagging.


This, I think, is more advantageous than a hashtag.


For the uninitiated, tagging is like cc’ing someone into an instagram post.


This picture has ‘so-and-so’ in it. (Hi Sheila!)


So, chat with your team, chat with your client, chat with that person you have hired to be in the photo - do they mind being instagrammed and tagged? - Particularly when doing work for clients.


Chances are a big client will have an internal comms and marketing team, and that team is always on the lookout for more marketing opportunities. So why not make some together?


On location? Working on a big project? got a meeting somewhere cool?


Take a really cool photo, post it, engage with your client online by tagging them. Easy.


You could even have a light conversation (as long as they are ok with it and there’s no NDA). 


Spurring a natural conversation online with a potential client, customer or even a colleague shows that you are an active company who cares about what they are doing and how they are seen.


Nothing is more dismal than a business that has a blog or social media account that hasn’t posted in months and has no interaction - Are you even doing work? Do you care about what you do?


Drum up your own interest in what you're doing.


You won’t always get someone talking to you, but you definitely won’t if you don’t post something.
 So post and talk when the opportunity appears. Dialogue benefits both parties as it shows engagement and activity and presence, which can only be a good thing.


1 like is 1 love

If your going to do it, do it, that’s all I’m saying.
 


Blogs, posts, social media - treat them like a little project. 


People actually do these jobs as an actual job, so they should be treated as such. 


If you need help doing so, then there are tons of tools and apps available to guide you through when and where and how - (Hootsuite, Zoho, zibu). You just need to be aware of what and when to post. (Timings are a whole thing, but 7am / 7pm is usually a good time, just think of when you look at social media).

Show off what you can do!
 


‘Like’ that cute cat picture, and if you are looking for someone to take cute cat pictures, then there you go, you might just have found someone to work with.


Thanks for reading. Now get out there, like some pictures and talk with some like-minded people!

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