How to Create Your Own “What’s On My Desk” Series on Instagram

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When I launched Kelly Kepner PR in February of 2014, I thought it would be an interesting idea to share with my followers “What’s On My Desk” each week.  More and more brands have incorporated behind the scenes images into their social media feeds, so I thought why not give my followers a little glimpse into my day.  Additionally, it would be a great way to promote my clients, their press, and some of my favorite things too.  Plus, because of this strategy and my consistent weekly posts, I was able to grow my overall followers as well as increase my photo likes - a real win-win for any small business owner! 

I jumped right into it, sharing pictures of celebrity, editor and blogger gifting, look book mailers, editorial press, new samples from my clients and various goodies for the holidays too.  I paid close attention to current affairs and tried to connect my images when at all possible.  For example, tribal tank tops and swimwear during Coachella, Breast Cancer Awareness products in October and of course, anytime I had print press, I always used the magazines hashtag for that issue when posting my pictures.  I even had People Stylewatch regram my post and have had several inquiries from brands like Nespresso, Lenox, and Keurig for permission to repost my pictures. 

Each week I prepare to shoot what’s on my desk so that I can tell a brief story about my day.  Here are five tips for you to ensure that your images are picture perfect and that you garner as many likes and followers as possible too!

Include strategic hashtags for your post. 
I include the #whatsonmydesk every Tuesday that I post so that people can track previous images as well as additional similar pictures from other people’s profiles too.  Additionally, I include hashtags for some of the other items in my posts.  I try to include a variety of items in the post that give a truly accurate look into what I’m working on that day or week.  Then, I also try to pepper in products from my clients as well as pretty knick knacks or fresh elements to really bring the post to life.  Things like candles, coffee or other beverages, fresh flowers, delicious berries, colorful donuts or avocado toast are all great for this because they provide the much needed pop of color and realistic element.  Hashtag all of those items so that people who aren’t following you may still come across your beautiful images.  Remember, you have 30 hashtags so use them wisely!

Tag all of the brands in the photo. 
You can read more about leveraging tags here but keep in mind that tagging other brands featured could lead to more photo likes as well as possible regrams from those brands too!  Additionally, if people are searching those brands and what to see what images they have been featured in, they’ll come across your post!  It’s all about exposure here!

Incorporate brand specific hashtags.
Many brands have custom hashtags going year round so that they can easily track their fan photos.  For example, #nespressomoment, f21xMe (Forever 21), #maxxlife (TJ Maxx), #SaksStyle and #OneforOne (Toms) are just are couple that are very popular right now.  Visit the page of the brand that you will be tagging and see if they list anything in the description box.  If they have a unique hashtag, always include it!  They might even regram your post too!

Pay attention to special trending topics on Instagram.
Think about how you can correlate your post to that topic. The #IceBucketChallenge, Instagram’s Weekend Hashtag Project, and Net-a-Porter’s #IamPorter were some of the most successful Instagram campaigns in 2014.  Be aware of these trends and take a closer look at them and see if it’s appropriate for your brand.  It may or may not be.  Just because it’s trendy, doesn’t mean you should do it. ( Kylie Jenner Challenge…need I say more?)  But if it is a good fit, jump on that bandwagon (just be sure to include the necessary hashtags too!)

Finally, frame the image and get the best use out of your space. 
I usually shoot in “square” mode on my iPhone camera so that it’s already perfectly sized for Instagram.  Additionally, I like shooting on my black desk so that it’s a neutral backdrop.  You can also shoot on a table or other surface but I recommend something white or black so your images really pop.  And don’t be afraid to play with different angles.  Some of the most popular shots are #fromabove where you get a great look at everything from a higher vantage point.  Other times I shoot head on so people can see my desk from my point of view.  On average, I take about 15 different shots before I settle on my final version to upload.  Not too bad, especially compared to Kim Kardashian!

I hope you enjoyed my tips for sharing #whatsonmydesk.  You can follow me on Instagram at @KellyKepnerPR and check out my pictures every Tuesday.  And don’t forget to include the hashtag #TinShingling in your images too so we can all see what’s on your desk too!