Five ways to improve your Instagram game
It’s no secret that Instagram is one of the most important platforms for businesses with a reported 1 billion monthly active users worldwide, up from 800 million in September 2017. Instagram has seen success with users spanning a range of ages with 59% of internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 with an account and 33% of users between 30 and 49.
The platform dwarfs the growth rates of Snapchat and Facebook and with a reported 25 million business accounts, it’s become increasingly important for brands to have a presence on Instagram, engage with customers and create valuable connections.
Over 80% of users on Instagram follow a business while 200 million instagrammers actively visit the profile of a business every day. With the introduction of shopping on Instagram, it has also enabled some brands to become Instagram businesses. With so many users and businesses, how do you get seen in a sea of images, grow followers and increase engagement? Below are five ways to improve your Instagram profile.
1. The Image
Instagram is image based, so your image must provide value to your audience. Whilst there are millions of professional photographs being shared on the platform, there’s nothing wrong with a mobile phone image, just make sure that it’s decent quality and always ask yourself if it’s your best picture. Bright, colourful photos are naturally more ‘thumb-stopping’ and do include the occasional photo gallery to encourage followers to view the images.
Incorporating hashtags is a way for users to find your image. Once added to the image, it joins a pool of other photos which are also tagged with the same hashtag. They’re great to include but they can also make your post look cluttered if you post too many. Make sure they’re relevant and use them sparingly in the copy or add them as a separate comment which Instagram will automatically hide from view. It’s worth nothing that as soon as you post your image, it starts working with the Instagram algorithm, so the sooner you post a hashtag, the better.
3. Interact and use the explore tab
It seems obvious but do interact with the people you follow. Instagram is community driven and it’s important to interact rather than remain passive on the platform. Don’t be over zealous though as commenting on everyone’s images can look like spam.
Take a look at the Explore tab regularly, the images featured are content that has been tailored according to photos and videos that you have liked or that followers of your page have liked. Routinely check this page to engage with new followers.
4. Post often
Keep followers interested by posting regularly. It doesn’t mean you have to post five times a day. Once a day is fine and avoid uploading multiple images one after another (do use the gallery option instead). It is worth noting that B2B accounts are mostly active on Monday to Fridays and B2C are active at weekends. There are more popular times to post on Instagram and generally, 6-9pm is the best time for Instagram to catch those sofa-surfers!
5. Instagram Stories
Do use Instagram stories! Instagram videos get two times the engagement of photos compared to any other social media platform. Using Instagram stories, drives new followers to your page and strengthens existing communities. Followers may not always see your images, but content on Instagram stories is prioritised over images and they are discoverable – great to attract new followers. Using stories provides followers with a behind the scenes look at your brand, instantly making you more personable.
Mix it up with video and still photos and tag the images as much as possible. Add location tabs, daily stickers, tag other users and include hashtags. If you feel that hashtags are too cluttered, you can minimise them and hide them behind the location tag. There’s also no best time to post as the stories are available for 24 hours but if you spread out your Instagram stories throughout the day, then your stories have an increased chance of being seen and appearing at the front of the Stories tab.