Blog challenge 3/99: Instagram - Best practice for businesses in 2018

800 million active users. Instagram is a social media juggernaut. Originally developed as a photo sharing website in 2010, it has now diversified into short form video and now with the introduction of IGTV, is now a big competitor in the long form video space.  Below are our tips for best practice using Instagram in 2018:

1. Hashtags:

Instagram has always been big on hashtags, and they’ve always been an effective way to expand your reach on the platform. The important thing is to not overuse hashtags. We recommend a maximum of eleven. There’s a new consideration in your Insta hashtag strategy – as of December, Instagram users are now able to follow specific hashtags, along with profiles, meaning that they can keep tabs on relevant conversations by using hashtags alone. This is particularly helpful to keep check on your competitors!

2. Use Instagram Stories and Highlights:

If you’re looking to utilize Instagram, you need to be considering Stories. As more and more people become aware of the Stories format, the potential value of the option continues to increase.

Furthermore, Instagram upped the value of Stories late in 2017 by adding in their Stories Archive and Highlights functions. These new tools will enable users to keep their Stories content indefinitely, and display them in a new section on their profile, maximizing their use. Highlights are useful to show off your very best content and are fantastic to expand reach and gives your audience a great overview of the purpose of your business.

3. Ensure you set up a business account:

Instagram has introduced analytic tools (Insights as they call them) for their business accounts. If you want to remain a personal account, there are analytic tools out there that let you analyze and track your audience, such as: • Iconosquare • Instareport • Instatrack

We love to report transparently with our clients, so we recommend setting up a business account for Instagram. As with all platforms, development with the analytics takes time but as we have seen with Facebook and Google, analytics is fast becoming a highly effective tool which gives your further insights into your audience behaviors.

4. Be Authentic: 

While Instagram can be used to post promotional photos and videos about your product or service, this content doesn’t always make for the best fan experience. Aim for 70% authentic, non promotional content. Followers get excited by candid insight into you as the creator, your knowledge and the value you bring WITHOUT SELLING!!  Improve your story telling abilities, document by using the multiple photo/video feature to show a plethora of content from events, meet and greets and your process! 

5. Don't worry about how many followers you have:

This is more of a phycological tip. If you are in business and you cannot see an increase in followers over time - do not let this get you down. You are an expert in your chosen field, keep offering advice to your audience, keep giving them quality, engaging content. We often look at a post that may not perform as well as others, then get disappointed. The ability to just keep pushing forward is important here.

6: Upload Natively:

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are decreasing visibility to users who use third party platforms to upload and schedule posts across their social media. It is more time consuming, however, it is best to upload each post directly (natively) rather than using an automated scheduler.

So there you have it, 6 handy tips to get you on track for success using Instagram. If you find that you don't have the time to manage your social media channels, we offer a FREE setup of your social media accounts and we can manage your accounts and content for you for a cost effective fee. You can get in touch with us here. Thanks for reading!