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Millennials are tech-savvy, visually fixated, trust their online word-of-mouth networks – and they use Instagram.

Trying to connect with them? Then so should you.

How do you earn Insta-game? Use stunning photography and witty captions. Use hashtags, but not too many. Be hilarious, exceptionally inspirational, unusually intriguing. Be relatable and in-the-know. Oh, and use Boomerang – but only in moderation. Post video, stunning photos and don’t filter too much. Post at the right time of day, post the right amount…

Wait, come back! Take it from this Millennial: it’s easier than that. Start by executing a few things really well:

  1. Be human – 90 per cent of Instagram users are under 35. It’s an audience obsessed with the candid; a group who values authenticity. Your mom was right: be real; be yourself. We Millennials are turned off by copycats and ditto for posts that look like ads. When it sounds like a friend is talking to us, we’re all ears eyes. Yes, we want to hear about your product or service, but be original, use quality photos and write how you speak. 
  2. Find your voice – Make your captions clear, concise, consistent. What kind of vibe does your brand give off? Conservative? Fun and playful? Edgy-chic? Decide on your style and use it always. From exclamation points to emojis, consistency in small details helps build familiarity and trust (Oh, and please: if you’re not a teen, don’t try to talk like one. Be. Your. Self.). 
  3. Show me, don’t tell me – Think of a brand. What pops into your head? (Hopefully, the bright red icon of Creative Fire!) Whatever it is, it stood out from the rest with its consistent design and compelling images. The strongest brands don’t create–or post–anything that doesn’t fit their vision. In fact, 60 per cent of the top brands on Instagram use a consistent filter–hardly surprising, right? Step back and take a critical look at your feed. Does it look like one brand or a smorgasbord of a few? Serve up content that’s true to your business’s identity and tell a clear and visual story about your brand. Your stride really does attract your tribe. 
  4. Create value – Don’t be ‘sell-y’. Keep direct call-to-actions to every few posts. Make sure your content is interesting, humorous and valuable–even if it isn’t always directly related to your business. Instagram is a relationship builder–the perfect mix is give and take. Nobody wants to see logo after logo, and if you keep trying to shove your message in people’s faces, they’ll hit the unfollow button and trust me, they won’t be back. 
  5. So, I’ll bet your wondering: why doesn’t Creative Fire have an Instagram account? Heck, we like Millennials too! It’s just that since we’re in a primarily business-to-business atmosphere, we get more out of other platforms. We engage with our audience through channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn–tools better suited to B2B operations and more in line with our brand. Yes, we’re cool – just not Instagram cool.

What’s your brand? Instagram is not for everyone (although we do prescribe it for some clients). It can be killer for businesses with visual appeal that can showcase their offerings through alluring imagery. It’s not always so great for more formal corporate brands. Choose your channel wisely and only start if it’s going to be an effective tool to reach your audience. Then do it really well.

So, now you’ve got this Insta-thing in your back pocket, right? Dive in! Treat your feed as a carefully-tailored space and you’ll soon be enjoying a spike in growth and overall interaction and earning some mad Insta-game.