Instagram has over 800 million active users per month but with a constantly changing algorithm and the introduction of the non-linear timeline, what is the best way to get the most out of your Instagram? In the following, we give you 13 actionable steps which will help your business get more engagement, more followers, and more business!
One of the first things to understand about getting the most out of your Instagram is that interaction is key, the more people click on your profile, your stories and like and comment on your posts the better. With the change in algorithm and the timeline no longer being in the order of upload, Instagram tries to put things that you will like most on your timeline first, this is all covered in a previous blog post so check it out if you want to learn more about the algorithm!
Tag Your Location.
Instagram has a tonne of ways to make your posts feel more personal to you; tagging friends, filters, effects but one of the ways to boost your interaction most is by tagging your location. The reason for this being images that have their locations tagged gain 79% more interactions than those without.
Of course people aren’t as interested in your location if you’re somewhere dull, however, this just means be a little bit more creative. Rather than tagging the city that the photo was taken in be more specific, try and encourage these engagements by making people look at your post and really acknowledge that the image you have uploaded is a good representation of the location that you have tagged.
Something else very useful about the location tag is it creates another pathway to your posts, by using all of Instagrams feature it makes you significantly more likely to end up on someones explore page who doesn’t yet follow you and having seen the content you post you might pick up some more followers! By adding a location you broaden your potential audience which is perfect for developing social media presence!
Pick a Theme.
Of the top brands on Instagram, 60% of them use the same filter for every post that they upload, this isn’t a coincidence. By choosing a filter and sticking to it you are creating a theme for your posts, not only does this make your Instagram look better when people click on your profile for the first time but, if it is something a little bit different you are making yourself stand out from the crowd.
If the filter you choose is different from everyone else you can hope that people will begin recognising your posts straight away and hopefully, the more regular you appear in your clients mind the more likely they are to interact with your post.
While you are trying to prompt interaction the main reason that having a theme will be effective for your company is that it gives off a good first impression, your profile page looks much cleaner and much more professional when it is obvious that you have taken your time with it and put in a bit of appreciation into making it visually appealing for new and old customers.
51% of Instagram users access the platform every day! This means if you think that scheduling one post a week is enough to keep your audience engaged then you would be mistaken, if you are posting less than once a week it is likely your followers will be surprised when you show up on their timeline, potentially resulting in being unfollowed.
Top brands tend to post 4.9 times per week, this is the kind of regular posting that you should hope for to ensure engagement rate and customer entertainment is at its peak, therefore, reflecting well on your business.
Don’t Forget About The Weekends.
While the weekend might be your day off work, it shouldn’t be your day on social media as engagement rates are at their highest on a weekend! While this might seem like an issue apps such as Hootsuite are great tools for preparing your posts. If you do even a small amount of research graphs relating to best times to post to social media are easily found. Use these times effectively to ensure that you are reaching to your audience when they’re online.
HootSuite allows for you to then schedule your Social Media posts to ensure you maximise the potential audience that you have, as well as making sure you are still getting posts out on a weekend, all of this should result in high levels of interaction and make your Instagram blossom.
But is it more effective than Facebook?
Of course effectivity can be measured in a lot of different ways, however, Instagram getting 15 times the interaction rate of Facebook and 20 times the interaction rate of Twitter bodes well for Instagram.
Each Social Media should be handled differently, our post on how to get Twitter followers demonstrates how to effectively use your Twitter, but if what you are wanting from a post is interaction than Instagram might just be the most important one for you. Using the poll features and getting likes and comments on your posts might be the key to maximising your potential Social Media audience which could be vital for your business.
Essentially with each interaction that you get, it is more likely that you will end up being involved in someone else’s Instagram, whether this is from the explore page, activity log or recommended follows all of these possibilities result in it being more likely for you to pick up followers.
Are You Using Hashtags?
Similarly to if you read our how to maximise your Twitter following post, it is effective to use hashtags on Instagram just don’t go wild with them. By using Hashtags, similarly to tagging your location in an image it is broadening your potential audience as people who don’t follow you could search for that hashtag (or location) and end up on your post!
Where hashtags can let you down is that too many look very unprofessional and can also result in people not being able to reply to your post as too many hashtags on a post get marked as spam meaningless interaction.
We would like to recommend you finding a hashtag that works well for your business and sticking with it, by using it over and over people begin to associate it with your business and you are therefore encouraging people to get involved by using it themselves or searching for it themselves. One hashtag with boost your interaction by 12.6% so this seems like the perfect amount to go for.
There are over 95 million posts on Instagram daily so sharing the same posts that every other company is sharing will not bode well for your originality. If you are posting something that has been covered before try and make your take on it a little bit different. Hashtags and location tags as previously mentioned is one way of making your posts more personalised but sometimes it is important to take a little bit of time with planning your posts and ensuring that you are uploading an image that will draw people into your Social Media and with this, of course, your company.
Of course you can use images taken from your mobile as this is the format that Instagram was created for but ensuring that you have high resolution, good quality images could be one of the ways in ensuring that you are gaining as much social media presence as possible for your business, so take your time and ensure you’re being individual.
Photos Gain More Likes Than Video.
This stat is slightly misleading with regards to how it is telling you to run your Instagram, while photos do gain 35% more likes than video, videos on Instagram highlight how many views you have as opposed to likes.
However, this is a reason to try and lean more towards images, interaction rate on video is much lower than that of photos uploaded to Instagram and due to Instagrams algorithm, as previously mentioned, this results in your posts gaining a smaller reach. Using the odd video in your profile is good for changing the format of the posts that you have and is also a very good advertisement tool, but on the most part try and focus on still images as these are the way to ensure you are appearing on more peoples Instagrams, more of the time.
Social Media Influencers.
Social Media influencers are a very effective mode of advertisement for a lot of businesses and their success will continue to rise as Social Media gains more presence in the world and with new users coming to all Social Media platforms daily this doesn’t look like it will stop anytime soon.
If you are ever planning on using Social Media Influencers then Instagram is probably the platform for you with 92% of Influencers saying Instagram is the number one platform for their advertisement strategies. Use their techniques and their position to gain more awareness for your business and your Social Media, this will work in unison to gain a broader reach for your company.
Tell A Story.
Following from the success of Snapchat Stories is seemed as though every Social Media was adding their own spin on the ‘story’, however, the most successful of these ‘spin-offs’ is Instagram and it is so successful it has now surpassed Snapchat, (due to the enormous numbers of Instagram users) so use it!
The story features on Instagram allows for you to be constantly posting things that will draw people into your business and Social Media accounts and advertising your company whilst also not filling peoples Instagram feeds up with ‘adverts’ which could result in them unfollowing you if they are seeing these kinds of posts too frequently.
Don’t ever be worried about updating your story too often because with over 300 million stories uploaded a day it is something that Instagram users are becoming more and more familiar too by the day.
Know your Demographic.
You need to ensure you know the audience that you are targeting and what kind of audiences are on Instagram, if you are targeting older men then I’m sorry but Instagram might not be quiet as beneficial for you as it is for someone whose audience is teenage girls.
Here are some demographic statistics for you.
Women to Man Ratio.
Of those that use the internet, 38% of women use Instagram while only 26% of male internet users are active. This is still millions of male active users so don’t write off anything just yet, it just means that you need to be aware of the fact that your target audience may be a little more niche than others and it just means you need to take a little bit more time presenting good content because once you do begin to reach the audience you are hoping for your popularity will continue to rise.
One of the most vital ways of reinforcing the idea that regular updates are very necessary is that people under the age of 25 spend 32 minutes a day on the platform. Young people have a much shorter attention span than the older generation and this is a lot down to the amount of time that they spend on Social Media, things get older much quicker than they used to and therefore you must not get left behind.
Using the tips that have already been mentioned in this post will help to keep this attention but mostly; just keep posting and updating your story with good content and the audiences will keep on coming.
What is Important to them?
As already identified young people dominate the Instagrams demographic and therefore if you are using it regularly it is likely that these are your target audience and with 32% of teenagers identifying it as the most important Social Media you would hope that your business would want to exploit the enormous amount of users that are on the site.
59% of Instagrammers in the USA are under 30 years old, this should highlight the importance in directing your content towards the audience you are hoping to please, not only in the sense that you need to make sure your content is different to stand out from all of the many other pages that young people follow on Instagram but also to ensure that if your audience isn’t young people that you are gaining the reach available to make sure your target audience is receiving your content.
Book your free 15-minute strategy call to see how you can make Instagram work for your business.