Mon | Oct 15, 2018

Up Your Insta Game with CLS

Published:Monday | September 25, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Men Style aficionado Christopher 'CLS' Smith

Follow Christopher 'CLS' Smith on Instagram @iamCLS

If you're not on social media, then it's safe to say that you're not social, as far as technology is concerned.

The rise of exciting platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, among others, have been sweeping nations, connecting and reuniting the masses through photos, videos, captions and these days hashtags. Can't keep up? Well, I don't blame you. There are intricacies and techniques to posting for friends and followers that a few have down to a science.

Meet CLS. CLS, Christopher Smith, might appear to be the typical man, aside from his keen fashion sense, but on the social scene, particularly Instagram, Smith is a modern-day rock star! He started out on Instagram with a little over 100 followers, then one day, he decided to do something about it. Two years later, his audience grew to over 20,000 followers.

According to Smith, Instagram has one of the highest levels of engagement around today. So logically speaking, when you post a picture on Instagram, you should get tons of likes and comments, right? Well, Smith says it isn't always that simple. How many of us are brave enough to step up to the phone screen and up our Insta game? Smith provided a few tips on how to do just that.


Presentable Profile Photo

Be sure to add a profile 'pic'. And not just any photo, he advises that you choose one of your best-looking photos. First impressions matter. "Put some information about yourself in your bio, keep it professional but fun. Go ahead and add your website link, too, if you have one," he added.


Quality over quantity

Smith declares that you should try to post photos that are both interesting and compelling. "I know everyone wants to show what they ate for breakfast, but keep those to a minimum unless you're in the food niche." Taking photos with a high-end smartphone or a DSLR is recommended, but he shares that using what you have like editing tools will do wonders for your images. "Tools like Snapseed and even Instagram's own editing features will do the trick, making an otherwise normal photo have a greater impact. Ensure your picture coordinates with your feed and colour scheme as a whole. That is, it looks good next to existing posts on your feed, giving your feed a cohesive look."


Creative Captions

Smith reveals that creating captions that are engaging and thought-provoking, with an element of humour, will carry you a far way with followers. "Be sure to include a call to action, asking your audience a question, for example. Splash in a few emojis to draw attention to parts of your caption - who doesn't love emojis."


Strategise Hashtags

In order to attract people who are really interested in your posts, Smith recommends that you employ the relevant hashtags. Resist the urge to use popular oversaturated hashtags, #love and #instagood immediately came to his mind as what not to do. Your post, he says, will likely not be seen. "Use hashtags with a density under 500,000 posts, unless you have a larger following or a very engaged audience, then you should definitely try working with bigger hashtags. Search for hashtags in the Instagram search, it will yield related hashtags you may wish to use along with the hashtag density. You are allowed 30 hashtags, make them count," he incited.


Tagging Relevant People and Location

He fully endorses tagging the people in your photo, as he asserts that this may expose your account to their audience, as well as invite them to engage with your post. Also, tag the location the photo was taken because this makes it possible for your post to be found by users viewing posts originating from the same location.


Posting Times

Timing is everything, so get a sense for when most of your audience or followers are online and post at that time. "This is different for everyone, experiment with different post times/days and note the difference in engagement. In the end, you don't want to be posting when no one is looking."


Audience Engagement

Leaving meaningful and sentimental comments is a practice Smith lives by. "I have no problem leaving compliments and engage the individuals that I follow directly. If someone else is in the photo, I highlight them in a positive light as well. I ensure that I stay active in that regard."

Implement all these tips today and you can be guaranteed an improvement in your Instagram presence.

You can follow Christopher 'CLS' Smith on Instagram @iamCLS