Content Craft for Instagram 101: How to frame great content on Instagram
Part Three of the Sollevarsi SOCIAL Series: Pillars of Social Growth on Instagram in 2017
In Social, content wins! If you aren't competent and proficient in content creation, our social growth acceleration results will be muted. The Social Handshake and Sollevarsi SOCIAL account management is a powerful combination. We can grow your account on a minimum number of posts but they still need to be good. Not great. Not the high level of quantity other experts preach. Just passable, good content that gives value to your audience and your brand. This is a short discussion on what makes up good content. Mastery in the content craft takes years across many different mediums and disciplines (analytical and creative). These are the basics behind creating good content effectively and safely to accomplish your business brand goals.
Three Principles Behind Great Content
These are the business level brand goals for what you create and post on your Instagram account.
Offer value first and foremost without asking for anything. The goal of every piece of content should be to give something to your followers and customers. This can take the shape of anything from a helpful tip to an inspirational image. As Guy Kawasaki has said, "be a baker, not an eater." Look to give, not take. People will respond.
Content creation is the best place to be authentic and make personal connections. When you setup your profile or get it ready for social growth, we preach to be identifiable and relatable. This will be part of the evaluation as people decide to follow you or not. Now you can combine that focus with what makes you and your business special. Showcase your brand in your content. Your content is what makes you authentic to your ideal followers.
Being a genuine person includes a measure of care, intimacy, and transparency. In Social Media, these principles should be infused into your content flavoring its texture. But, it shouldn't end when you click to post your new video or image.
Be ready to spend a little bit of time responding to engagements such as likes, comments, and direct messages. It doesn't take a lot of time for growing accounts and will do wonders in making your brand personal and accessible. Respect the relationship so much that you never miss replying to a direct message (a genuine direct message - you'll be able to tell). Remember the first two principles of great content.
Know the Rules
These rules are important to understand before you start creating content. These will help properly frame your content and make it both effective and stand out.
1- Original v. Curated Content
Content comes in two major types. Original and curated or UGC, User-Generated Content. Original is content created by you and original to you and your brand. It is a blog you wrote, a quote you said, an image you took, or a video you shot. It is not something that a copyright claim can be made against. Curated content is content designed for sharing and shared on the internet. UGC can be shared legally if you follow a few rules.
Instagram does not have a share button and for good reason. Instagram was originally designed for sharing the photos you took with your camera phone on the internet. It has matured into a massive, content sharing platform but remains true to its genuine and authentic roots. The "re-gram" has become a popular way to share other's posts. There are unwritten rules and best practices as well as legal requirements for doing so and it is highly recommended you follow those rules. We have linked a helpful article below.
There is no golden ratio when it comes to original or curated content. Some major brands have done wonders with only curated content. It's a matter of what works best for you and your brand. If you're a creative type and your products are visual, go with original content. If you are great with people but don't design, spend your time reaching out to others with great content that works for your brand. There are plenty of options.
2- Media Framework
Whether you go for original, curated, or a mix, you will need to maximize the presentation of your posts to achieve your business brand goals. There are two primary frames for your content, caption copy and images or videos. Here is a snapshot of the framework behind Instagram posts.
- Caption Copy Length: ideally 130-150 characters Max: 2,200
- Truncated Caption Copy Length: 125 characters. After this limit, the text of your posts won't be seen until the user presses...more.
- Hashtag Limit: Recommended: 10 characters Max: 30
- Per Hashtag Limit: Recommend: 24 characters Max: 30
Image Sizing (video too)
- Design for 1080x1080 pixels. This will give your images and videos the sharpest, most powerful presentation.
- If you do need to post wider format media, keep the ratio of either 4:5 or 1.91:1 so Instagram won't crop out key elements.
3- Copyright Rules and Fair Use
When you are growing your Instagram to expand your business, the last thing you need is a legal issue. Posting good content freely and without putting your larger goals at risk starts with an understanding of what is legal and a copyright violation in today's world of social sharing. The law is a little vague on purpose and unfortunately mirky for those doing their best to play within the rules.
Many small businesses, influencers, freelancers, or start up enterprises have difficulty creating great original content. Most businesses struggle a little bit with understanding exactly how they are going to showcase their brand with images on Instagram. So, often corporate brand Instagram accounts turn into pictures of products, about us pages or human resources team photos and help wanted ads. It's difficult for many, even creatives, to visualize their brand in images and video, let alone original images and videos. Turning to curated content to help give value to your followers and customers is a good way to go. You just need to know the rules.
Fair Use of Misuse? Social Media and Copyright Law by Rick Rapier
We all know that if you didn't create it, someone else did, and if you don't have their permission or a license to use it (even share it), you may violate copyright if you do. Yet, there is fair use of copyrighted material. Basically, there is a very fuzzy line between violating a copyright and fair use of a copyright. It's very important for someone to read up on the legal in's and out's of basic copyright law and understand some cases in which copyright has been ruled on in the United States. Following the rules in the link on curated content (above) is an excellent way to go and remain legal. AirBNB does an awesome job as do other brands! There are also many instances when your original content will need images or blog content needs companion images. Here is some more information on how to use images.
How to Legally Use Images in Social Media Marketing by Sarah Kornblet
We hope you enjoyed this behind the curtains look at what makes up good content. Continue on to our next installment of the Pillars of Social Growth on Instagram in 2017 series in the Members-Only section of our blog.
We get hands-on and start with the basics of creating good content. We will have some tips, tools, and tactics on simple, effective ways to create, curate, and craft good content. We will also feature a behind the scenes look at one of our earliest client's growth from zero to 10,000 followers in under 6 months and the content process they use to create really great, engaging content. Join FREE here (for a limited time).
The continuation of this series will also be included in your subscription to Sollevarsi SOCIAL's Social Growth on Instagram product or you can gain access to these helpful, hands-on articles by subscribing to our service! We will expand the content in this section of your subscription over time with the goal of providing you with tips, tools, and tactics to get the best out of social for your business.
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