With social media platforms rapidly evolving, it can be tough for anyone, especially executives, to sift through the noise and focus on the need-to-know.
One of the trickiest platforms to grasp is Instagram, which is constantly launching new camera features and functionalities but in actuality, a lot of the top-performing content on the platform follows simple principles.
Here are the key best practices executives should follow when they are doin’ it for the gram:
Five Best Practices For Executives on Instagram
Relinquish Perfectionism: While it’s tempting to zoom, filter and light-adjust photos, everything on Instagram doesn’t need to be perfect. This is especially true on Instagram Stories where content is ephemeral and only lives on users’ profiles for 24 hours, unless the user chooses to curate it as a “highlight” on her profile.
In fact, in most cases, an imperfect photo is better because it’s more convincing that the executive actually took the photo and therefore reinforces the authenticity and transparency that are fundamental to the platform. Of course, executives at large firms often have social media savvy staffers who can help capture a photo during a busy meeting or exchange. This is acceptable if the executive is in the photo or doesn’t have her phone follower generator.
Keep Copy Concise: Brevity wins on social media every time, regardless of platform. When posting, keep the copy pithy and offer more context by adding a link in bio or placing a “swipe up” on an Instagram story. Highly-engaged users will click for the deeper details and those looking for a quick insight will like, comment and share the post as-is.
Show Your View, Not Your Selfie: While an occasional selfie is okay, what users really want to see is the view from the C-Suite so share experiential content. This could be anything from a video walking into the office, a photo of fall foliage during a morning jog or a boomerang of local cuisine on a business trip.
Executives don’t need to be in these photos. If it’s posted on their feed, their presence is implicit and the copy can help reinforce the connection. Posting a scenic photo will also seem less self-absorbed and more native to the platform.
Use Hashtags Appropriately: Adding trending hashtags to a post is a highly effective way to join a larger, existing conversation and therefore, boost a post’s engagement and reach.
That said, executives should avoid over-hashtagging by limiting posts to no more than three hashtags. Additionally, it’s always wise to check the conversation around the hashtag first to ensure the content is relevant and safe for work.
Be Self-Aware: Step outside Outlook calendars and consider the audience: what are they concerned with, excited by or nostalgic for today? If there are extremely tragic events in the news, either join the conversation in a genuine and meaningful way or stay quiet.
Another extension of this is to write in a voice the audience will understand and appreciate. Instagram is casual so it’s okay to abbreviate or use short-hand within reason. That said, don’t expect users to understand internal business acronyms. In its simplest form, exercise the good judgment and social graces that led to the C-suite in the first place.