When establishing your business on Instagram there are a few basics you need to get right in order to grow your following and get relevant followers who are more likely to convert. Here we’ll go through a few techniques to better manage your account and boost your success on Instagram.
Your Content is Your Shopfront
Of course, the first thing to consider is your content – this is the heart of your profile and needs to do a lot of work to captivate your followers. You don’t need a professional photographer to create great content though, just ensure you take pictures in natural light, and use the Instagram filters or VSCO to create uniformity across your profile. The difference between a good and a great Instagram account is visual appeal of the overall feed.
Here are a few ideas for content that typically does well with audiences. These tips can be incorporated into posts or stories:
Actional or practical ideas: Give your followers ideas they can act themselves, for instance, if you sell clothes try posting outfit inspiration using your products.
Behind the scenes photos: These give your audience a different view of your company and build trust in your brand.
Ask your followers: Ask your audience questions through your posts – it will generate engagement and you’ll learn more about your audience.
Offers: Occasionally posting promotional posts can help generate awareness, but make sure it’s infrequent. The number of non-promotional posts should outweigh the promotional ones.
Timing is everything
Posting when most of your followers are online will give you a great chance of building those likes quickly. You can use the insights tab on your business profile to learn more about your followers, and there are lots of studies stating when the best time to post is. The stats change year on year depending on Instagram’s shifting algorithm but here are some tips as a general guide.
Post for your most active time zone: Look at where your followers are located and post accordingly. If they are spread across many time zones (e.g. if you have followers in North America and the UK) finding that middle point between the zones might serve well for you.
Post more during off work hours than during the day: Use scheduling platforms to post during peak Instagram hours, i.e. when people are away from their desks. Top times are lunchtime (11am – 1pm) and evenings (7pm – 9pm.)
Post the important content on weekdays: Engagement shifts across the week, with Wednesdays and Thursdays driving the most, and Sundays the least.
Hashtags are hugely important as they help you gain visibility across the platform, however, picking hashtags that are used by millions of people will mean your posts just get lost. Pick hashtags that are popular but have low search volumes – your aim should be to rank in the top nine posts for a particular hashtag
You can use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram, and studies show that posts with 11+ hashtags have the highest engagement. Using over 11 means 442% more engagement than using none – so take advantage of this easy way to grow your account.
Beating the Algorithm
As we’ve mentioned, Instagram’s algorithm can be a huge factor in who is seeing your content. Here are a few tricks you can use to outsmart the algorithm:
Post Instagram stories regularly: Stories offer a variety of engagement opportunities and the algorithm takes into account all types of engagement, e.g. if someone replies to a story or participates in a poll. The more engagement, the higher odds they will see your posts.
Post engaging captions: Captions that provide a call to action can help start conversations with your followers. Replying to comments and continuing the conversation will keep engagement up and keep your post skirting around the algorithm.
Seize trends: You should jump on memes and trends that are applicable to your brand, be it holiday related posts or fleeting hashtags.
Instagram is a powerful tool in building your business, and we hope these ideas help you better manage your account. For more insider tips get in touch with us at [email protected]