Practical Tips Every Instagram User Needs?
If you’ve been ignoring Instagram, now is the time to take advantage of the platform’s current surge. There are currently over a billion active users and counting. New business features and functions are being released on a regular basis. However, the ever-changing Instagram algorithm is proving difficult for brands looking to increase engagement.
While the change in reach isn’t as dramatic as Facebook’s recent updates, this is an excellent opportunity to double-check that you’re adhering to Instagram’s best practices.
That’s why we compiled this list of Instagram tips to ensure that your presence doesn’t get stuck in 2010. Whether you’re brand new to Instagram or just want to double-check that you’re doing everything correctly, all of these tips are worth your time.
1. Improve your bio
Businesses frequently obsess over their photos and captions to the point where they overlook one of the most important aspects of their Instagram profile. Your Instagram bio is an extremely valuable real estate. Brands can do a lot with just a few words, from funneling visitors to your promotions to serving as a call to action.
Here’s a quick checklist of what you should include in your bio, regardless of your business:
- branded hashtags to entice tagging and sharing
- A slogan or short description that speaks to your brand voice
- An Instagram-specific relevant bio link referring to your site or a promotion (hint: you may use a URL tracker like Bitly to further examine your Instagram traffic.)
Check out how Hello Fresh ticks all of these boxes with their simple, clean bio.
2. Don’t overlook Stories
This is one of our most important Instagram tips for brands for your content strategy. Instagram Stories are a clear priority right now. They are by far the most popular types of content, serving as a spiritual successor to Snapchat. Users are obsessed with today’s time-sensitive, “self-destruct” content.
Meanwhile, new features like Stories ads and audience polls indicate that the platform wants brands to participate. Look no further than running regular Stories if you want to increase engagement. The beauty of Stories is that no one expects them to be polished. Snapshots, selfies, and bite-sized posts that showcase your brand in the real world can be created quickly.
3. Make more video content
Although Stories are the most popular form of content, videos aren’t far behind. The need to create videos is universal across all social networks, including Instagram. What’s the good news? It’s now easier than ever to do so, thanks to the plethora of Instagram apps that act as your personal studio.
Video editing is simple with native apps like Boomerang and Hyperlapse. Even major brands, such as Krispy Kreme, rely on bite-sized Boomerang videos as part of their feed. Instagram is all about visually appealing content. Videos are an excellent way to immediately increase the entertainment value of your feed.
4. Determine your publishing frequency
If you’re looking for Instagram tips to increase your reach, consider how you time your posts. In other words, how frequently you post and when your content goes live. Do you keep a schedule? Are you just posting at random? Don’t be concerned if your answer is a resounding “no.” However, keep in mind that there are times when it is best to post on social media.
Although trends change, and this does not guarantee a flood of new followers, anything you can do to increase engagement is a plus. Here’s a quick rundown of Sprout’s own findings on post-timing. Consider that most brands post to Instagram at least once per day. This gives brands plenty of time to plan out their content and fine-tune their posts. Aside from Sprout’s own Instagram scheduling, features like Viralpost can help you figure out the best times for your brand to post based on audience behavior.
5. Add a call-to-action to your captions
Like your bio, there’s always more to an Instagram caption than meets the eye. Rather than posting passively, captions allow you to show off your creative side while also encouraging engagement. Here are some examples of how you can use captions to motivate fans and followers to take action:
- Asking questions
- Encouraging sharing through hashtags and regrams
- Publishing “tag-a-friend” posts that encourage user conversations
Captions with a sense of humor encourage action while also displaying the brand’s personality. In short, making an extra effort with your captions can help boost your engagement rate.
6. Rethink how you use hashtags
Regarding captions, many brands are looking for Instagram tips on how to use hashtags. Hashtags serve two major functions: making your posts searchable and encouraging hashtag sharing among your audience. A combination of branded hashtags (#RedCup) and broader community tags (#coffee) is frequently seen, serving as the best of both worlds. If you’re still unsure about how to use hashtags, one of the most important Instagram tips we can give is to avoid stuffing them. According to our data, a “less is more” mentality works better than cramming dozens of tags into captions.
But remember that the best way to use hashtags is, well, not to use them at all. Not all of the time, at any rate. Once again, Instagram rewards creativity. Don’t be afraid to share a photo that speaks for itself. Bold statements from Universal Studios are an excellent example of what we mean.
7. Regram your followers and fans
Are you overwhelmed by the amount of content you’re expected to post on Instagram? That is why delegating some of your work to your followers is ideal. You can use a branded hashtag to regularly encourage fans to post user-generated content, which you can then regram yourself. This allows you to show your audience some love while providing a steady stream of content. Here’s an example of Vans curated content from their #MyVans hashtag. Regrams deserve a place in your content strategy, whether you’re short on ideas or simply want to show your appreciation to your followers.
8. Expand your reach beyond Instagram
Do your current customers and social followers know you’re on Instagram? It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many brands waste their off-platform promotion. You can, for example, make passing references to your Instagram on other networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Regarding your website, social media buttons and embedding your feeds on your homepage are good places to start.If you have an email list, include social media buttons and frequently mention your Instagram presence. See how MeUndies created an entire email campaign based on their Instagram and branded hashtag. Another great strategy is to find your Facebook friends on Instagram to increase your reach.
9. Actively participate in other accounts
One of the most common mistakes brands make on Instagram is that they do all the talking. Responding to your followers’ questions and tags is good customer service and a positive indicator of your engagement rate. Because how you interact with real people is more important than an arbitrary follower count.
Check out how Black Milk Clothing thoughtfully responds to each and every fan and how they are reciprocated with some serious love. The requirement to respond to followers emphasizes the significance of social listening and monitoring your mentions. This makes responding to questions and concerns more efficient.
10. Make your presence more personable
Aside from comments, a great plus is whatever you can do through your Instagram account’s content to demonstrate your brand’s human side to your followers. There is a rationale behind why an increasing number of companies are shifting their social media marketing strategies away from focusing just on broadcasting advertisements and promotions and instead emphasizing narratives and posts that center on individuals. It is not necessary for everything to be overtly centered on the product. In point of fact, taking a personal snapshot on the spur of the moment is an intelligent decision if there is room for uncertainty.
11. Maintain a content calendar
Obviously, there are numerous options for what you can post. Photographs of the product and the customer. Memes and text overlays. Selfies and candid shots in nature. And that is just scratching the surface. A content calendar can help you organize your posting and look at your Instagram presence more holistically. Sprout’s Instagram integrations can help you keep an eye on your Instagram presence and overall social media strategy.
12. Keep an eye on your Instagram analytics
As a continuation of the previous advice, companies should determine which content categories perform best and identify areas in which they can expand their audience. You can also tag posts as part of internal campaigns or other themes, allowing you to track the performance of related content sets. Access to more robust analytics that go beyond the capabilities of Instagram’s native platform enables you to experiment with greater confidence than if you were flying blind.
Many people in the same boat as you are trying to figure out how to make the most of their presence on Instagram. Increased levels of competition, along with recent updates to Instagram’s algorithm, indicate the need for brands to make significant adjustments. No matter what sector your business operates in, maximizing your presence on Instagram using this combination of best practices is essential.