You already know that, in order to truly reach your students via social channels, you have to be on Instagram—but are you doing it right, or are you falling short? Making sure that your Instagram feed is living up to the standards of your university or college is no easy task.
Here are five tips to make sure that you aren’t wasting precious real estate on one of the most popular social media platforms for college-age students.
Before you simply start posting images all willy-nilly, you should put a theme in place. This should be the guiding principle by which you'll select what types of posts belong on your profile. Think big picture—something such as student life, campus glamour shots, college pride or even your university's colors. This will help you keep your account on point, and followers will know what to expect.
Pro tip: Choosing one filter and sticking with it is another way to keep your theme and feed consistent.
One you have your theme picked out and you know what types of photos you plan on posting, it's time to think about the overall appearance of your account. Unless you host an Instagram account that's all about cats and nothing else, you wouldn't post all your cat photos in rapid succession. The better approach is to space things out. For example, you will probably incorporate your school's mascot into your feed—try not to post back-to-back images with your mascot. Some breathing room in your feed will add balance to your account and eliminate sameness.
Continuing with the consistency and theme ideas, we should talk about cropping. This, again, is another easy way to make the overall look of your account more pleasing to the eye. Pick some specs (i.e., square vs. rectangle, white vs. black borders, etc.), and try to stay consistent with this theme throughout your posts. It will eliminate any feelings of disjointedness when viewing your feed on its own.
As you can imagine, taking a photo with a true camera with the capability to select the appropriate settings is going to look better than something you snap with your smartphone. So, If given the option and the availability, go this route, and utilize photo-editing software before sending it to your phone to post.
But for those situations wherein you won’t have a camera available or you need to get something posted right away, use your smartphone. Just be sure to use the camera app and not the Instagram app. The camera app is able to take much higher-quality photos and allows for some additional on-the-fly editing options.
When it comes to any social channel, timing is important—Instagram is no different. Here are a few pointers:
- Mondays and Thursdays are typically two of the best days to post on Instagram
- Videos posted later in the evening tend to receive better view rates
- When looking for engagement, post during non-school hours
Figuring out what works best for your university or college is all about trial and error—experiment with posting times and dates.