Why You Can’t Ignore Instagram

Instagram has 1 BILLION active monthly users as of June 2018 (up from 800 million from the Fall 2017).  Instagram has been growing rapidly, and the upward trajectory doesn’t seem to be slowing.

Some interesting statistics on Instragram: *

  • 6 in 10 online adults have Instagram accounts.
  • There are 25 million business profiles on Instagram.
  • Over 80% of accounts on Instagram follow a business.
  • This year 70.7% of US companies will use Instagram for marketing edging out Twitter for the first time.
  • 300 million users use the ‘stories’ feature daily.

It’s obvious you can’t ignore Instagram.  With all of this opportunity, it’s important to not only use Instagram, but use it effectively.  Below are 22 tips to make your Instagram posts more effective:

  1. Post on the best time of day for your company/brand.
    You want to be at the same place and at the same time as your followers. The best way to determine when the best time to post is test and watch your analytics.
  2. Post to Instagram stories consistently to build engaged fans.
    Since stories came out, they have become popular on both the B2B and B2C platforms. Stories help people keep up with your brand on a regular basis.  Stories help build a consistency and bond.
  3. Add username and hashtag links to your bio
    Make your profile searchable by adding your username and hashtag links to your bio.
  4. Use Instagram story highlights
    Highlights are a fairly new feature. Highlights allow you to keep your most important ‘stuff’ in front of your followers.  And for new followers, you are able to showcase your most important posts.
  5. Tell a story
    As they say, stories sell. Stories also build a following, a community and a brand.  Show and tell!
  6. Test to see how often you should post.
    Similar to the best time of day and day to post, how often you should post is important. You don’t want to post too little or post too often.  Pay attention to your analytics.
  7. Check out and use more of Instagram features
    Instagram has said that they give preferential treatment to those accounts that use more of their features. Check out features and test them.  Below are a few features you may not be using:

    • Polls
    • Tagging
    • Location
    • Linking
    • New fonts for Instagram stories
    • Gifs
    • Taggable stickers in stories
    • Focus portrait-mode
    • Share songs from Spotify
    • Emoji slider pools
  8. Test carousel posts
    Test to see if carousel posts work well for your followers.
  9. Join an Instagram pod
    Have you heard of an Instagram pod? It’s an online group that works together to promote each other’s content.  It’s a great way to build relationships on Instagram, expand your audience, and support other like-minded people.
  10. Go live
    Going live on almost every platform has proven to be beneficial. Go live (and be consistent) to see how your audience reacts.  For most people, it takes consistency to make going live effective.  Don’t give up if the first few don’t do as well as you would want.
  11. Write thoughtful descriptions / captions
    Pictures matter. But don’t forget about the descriptions and captions.  You can better tell or explain the story.
  12. Do more videos
    Videos are popular across all platforms. Check out this download on >>Instagram videos<<
  13. Make cool pics
    The quality of the images matter. Try these below to make your pictures more interesting, fun or just plain amazing:

    • Use good design techniques
    • Use 3rd party apps
    • Use filters when appropriate
    • Collect and use follower generated content – get your followers to help you create more content
  14. Test emojis
    For some industries, emojis work really well. Test them out for you.  The more frivolities your industry will allow, the more likely emojis will do well.
  15. Hashtags
    Hashtags are very powerful on Instagram. Make sure to use an optimal number.  We’ve all see the person that gets a little to hashtag happy.  Top brands typically stay under 7 hashtags.  Consider using your own hashtags.  Create ones that are specific for you (this works especially well if you are doing a content or promotion).  Check out banned hashtags and don’t use them.
  16. Use Location
    Location, like hashtags, is a great way to be found. People often look for accounts that are in local areas or areas they know.  You can use the location as well as a hashtag for the location (example. #Austin).
  17. Promote your Instagram channel on other social media platforms
    Share your profile and posts on other platforms. Encourage your followers on other platforms to follow you on Instagram.
  18. Host an Instagram contest
    Contests, when appropriate and done correctly, can be very effective for growing your audience and increasing engagement. You will want to set your goal for doing the contest and allocate the right amount of resources (time and money)
  19. Add a call to action to your posts
    You should be asking people to do something in your posts. Don’t forget:  you can’t have a clickable link in your post.  You may choose to either tell people to ‘cut and paste’ the link or update your profile link to include a different link on occasion.
    You may just want them to comment or like the image.  Example:  A coffee shop may ask people to comment below how they like their coffee.  Getting people engaged is powerful.
  20. Add your information to original content
    If you are adding beautiful, original content, you may want to add your website or your watermark. When people share your images, you will have your information being shared as well.
  21. Tag larger relevant accounts / influencer accounts when appropriate
    If you post something that is relevant to an influencer, you may consider tagging them in the post.
  22. Convert Instagram followers into email subscribers
    This goes along with a call to action. But when possible, try to convert followers on all platforms to email subscribers.  You will need a strong call to action and a strong lead magnet (or bribe 😉 ) to get people to join.

 

*https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/04/20/instagram-statistics

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