It’s no secret I take a lot of pride in my personal Instagram account or those I help manage. I truly enjoy curating content and sharing it with others, so I wanted to share a few tips and tricks with you as well.


Choose The Right Account For You.

There are pros and cons to both personal and business accounts. 

Business accounts allow you to view your analytics or insights such as number of saves, profile visits, reach, and impressions. It also allows you access to features such as story swipe ups, paid promotions, shoppable tags, and direct contact info. A downfall of switching to a business account, though, is the loss of organic reach. Now that you’ve signaled to Instagram that you’re a business, they want you to pay to be seen by your current and potential followers. 

On the other hand, personal accounts experience more organic growth. This means you can use whatever algorithm is in place to your advantage, and Instagram doesn’t expect you to pay for views. You’re also able to keep your account private if that’s important to you, but you won’t have access to the more advanced features of business accounts.


Choose Your Visual Theme or Aesthetic.

Aesthetic has become quite a buzzword thanks to us millennials, and as trivial as it seems, I find this to be an important part of branding yourself, your content, and your account.

For example, if you visit my Instagram grid, you’ll notice the color scheme is predominantly neutral and cool toned. I chose this visual theme a few years ago when I decided I wanted my personal brand to feel sophisticated and calming. I feel like this theme speaks to my personality, and my goal when people see my posts within their feed is for my posts to be identifiable as my own even if viewers don’t notice my name above them. When I’m selecting content to post, I make sure it feels on brand with the rest of my posts.

Even though Think’s theme is completely different than my own, I use this same strategy when I create our social media schedule each week. Our color scheme is pulled from our website and alternates every 15 posts to create a gradient effect. This more playful and dynamic aesthetic shows our creativity as an agency and our appreciation for the importance color plays in design.

Christine's Instagram feed
think804's colorful instagram feed

Choose Your Tone.

Finding your voice when writing captions and the subject matter of your posts is also an important part of establishing your brand on social media. 

In addition to our own work, we also share a lot of artwork from other designers on our Think account. We use social media share our own work so viewers can see the breadth of projects we work on, but we also believe it’s important to share work that inspires us and celebrate other artists. 

Think804's Instagram Post of a hot dog illustration

The tone of our captions is also very playful and punny. When talking about ourselves or own work we provide informative information like the type of work provided and the name of the client, but we still use more casual language. 

We also help create content for Sidekick RVA, and their content and tone is very different than ours. The content we make for this brand is more buttoned up, professional, and aspirational. You’ll find quotes and headshots of local entrepreneurs, all geared toward business development.

Sidekick RVA Instagram Feed
Instagram post featuring Shannon Siriano Greenwood of Rebellecon

Choose The Right Hashtags.

Hashtags often get a bad rap for being outdated or overkill, but they’re key in sharing your content with different audiences. 

When I’m creating a list of hashtags to add to a post, I use a balance of large and small hashtags. For example, if you search the hashtag #catsofinstagram, there are 134 million posts associated with that hashtag, but if you search #catsofrichmond, there are only 1,700 posts. And even though I got a C in Statistics in college, I can tell you there’s a higher likelihood of your one post being seen in a sea of 1,700 rather than 134,000,000. But if you’re trying to grow your business or get more profile views, it’s important you pepper in some larger hashtags so that you’re not just targeting a small group. Throw in a #catsofvirginia which has 5,000 posts associated with it or #calicosofinstagram with 126,000 posts and a more niche subject. 

It’s also important to change things up. If you continue to use the same hashtag on all your posts, you’re only targeting the same group over and over again. I’m constantly trying out new strategies with hashtags. On some accounts I use the same 30 hashtags on every post for a month then switch them out, and on other accounts I use different hashtags each time. I encourage you to find a strategy that works best for you, which can be determined by studying the analytics mentioned earlier. With that data, you’ll be able to track which hashtags (and content) generated the most views.  

I hope you found these tips helpful and learned a little something along the way. Try these out and let us know how they work for you!