There are no hard and fast rules as to how to make sure your Instagram posts are working for you. There is only a few rule of thumbs and I think Neil Patel, author and internet entrepreneur, nailed quite a few of them down in an article.
But I'll make it short if you do not have the time to go through each of them yourself and I'll toggle the importance according to what I think is important to an Instagram post without beating around the bush.
Invest in a Good Picture
Not every single one of your posts has to be postcard-ready - all you need is a few good quality pictures that highlight the best of your products. There was once a food delivery site that I followed on Twitter who made the best food but had the worst-lit pictures on Instagram. I thought it was a waste of potential and asked them if they could possibly tweak their pictures a little with filters before posting it. They did and their pictures have been mouth-watering ever since!
Give your Instagram account a face, someone they can refer to or post a behind-the-scene picture. There is a good reason why people hunt down BTS YouTube videos before / watching a movie or television series. Human beings are curious that way. Once they can refer to you, they're half-way hooked.
Be Funny, Be Quirky, Be In-the-Know, Be Cool or Any One of Those
If you can not be funny, be quirky. If you can not be quirky, be in-the-know. If you can not be in-the-know, be cool. Pick one. This way, people remember you whenever you peek around the corner. They see you from the corner of their eye and know it's you and they're interested all over again. That's branding.
Get an Influencer
I was born in the day and age when you call someone an influencer, your parents probably thought that they were drug pushers. But in the digital age, it means someone who has a large following on their social media accounts. If you can afford to pay one of those Youtubers or Instagrammers to highlight your product or service, great. If you can not, find someone affordable you can work with, preferably within the same industry BUT not your competitor. Did I really have to say that? =) The is a list on the internet that shows you the ones with an International platform. If you're going local, do not be afraid to negotiate with them.
Use Instagram Ads
As long as you keep to your budget and have a pretty eye-catching short video, GO FOR IT. You should not be spending thousands on the ads, anyway. Once you've split the cost up between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google, you might enjoy a decent ROI. What you want to enjoy, at the end of the day, is eyeballs.
Run Contests and Encourage Positive Engagement
Posts that offer something nifty or simple will surprise even the best of us. Some people will try their darnest to win a notebook, a pair of tickets to a theme park, a bottle of hand lotion, a holiday, air tickets or a grand piano. If it's free, not many will complain. Andides, compared to Facebook, Instagram's got fewer rules to follow ... for now.
I can not say enough about how some people are using hashtags wrongly. You do not post a picture of your baby and use a hashtag like #AngieandBobsBabyisSoCute. 1) Nobody else is using that hashtag so it's a complete waste of time (and space); 2) You want to use a hashtag that people can search for and are already using; 3) Find other similar posts for inspiration and like for exposure. You can also come up with your own cool hashtag and promote it everywhere. I mean, EVERYWHERE so that your friends, family, and followers will use it too. Now, that's the purpose of a hashtag.
Good luck and have fun!