Whether you are a millennial or an experienced social media strategist, many people should be well-versed in the realm of Instagram. If you’re a business hoping to hit the ground running or perhaps an aspiring influencer, there are certain features on the application you should be fully taking advantage of already. If not, fret not, as we can gloss over the details below.
A quick disclaimer: this is not rocket science, you may or may not already be doing these actions (and maybe you’re not utilizing to its full potential), and most of these features should be free – Instagram is great that way. You are of course not limited to these 10 possible options; if you feel there is another method you see more fit, then feel free to keep doing you.
1. Track your statistics and activity
If you make your account a business account, which therefore should be public, then the insights icon can automatically appear on the top right hand corner to let you know the statistics and activity on your page. It states how many total followers you have, how many you’ve gained or lost in the last seven days, your impressions in the last seven days, and demographics of your followers (gender, age range, top locations, and what days and times your followers are most active). If you want to further your investment into certain statistics, you can download an application called Iconosquare. It’s free and tracks your stats, trends in your engagement and what kind of content your followers are liking.
2. Timing your posts
Sounds silly and kind of middle school, but believe it or not, when you post your content is very significant these days – especially with that new algorithm that places the more popular or liked posts on the top of your feed instead of being in chronological order, like the good ol’ days. According to Lifewire, the best times to post are usually in the morning, midday, and early evenings. Thursdays and Sundays are also highly active, as opposed to Friday and Saturday nights, makes sense as most people on Instagram would be enjoying their youth in a night out. Or if you’d like to follow your own statistics through Instagram’s insights or Iconosquare, feel free to post when your followers are most active.
Yes, this old trick in the book can take you a long way. If you want to capitalize on hashtagging, make sure you tag the right posts and it’s actually better if you make your own distinguishable hashtag. If you have your own identifying hashtag, people can tag it too and click on your content as well as relatable content. If you add one to three hashtags per post, it’s usually a good amount, as long as you don’t go overboard; or usually what people do add more hashtags is add another comment below their caption and hashtag it all out – this can be as many hashtags as you’d like, but Instagram does prevent you from adding an excessive amount.
4. Tag your location
If you aren’t doing this already, then jump the bandwagon, especially if you’re trying to gain more exposure in the Instagram community. Tagging your location allows your post to be displayed in a public page, unless you have a private account, that way people who are exploring the location can see your photos. However, this depends on how popular your location is
5. Utilize shoutouts
If you happen to find a business account or small company that mirrors your mission statement and Instagram following, shoot them a message or email and ask them if they’d like partner up and give you shoutouts on their page, and vice versa. This increases your exposure and may help you gain more followers. Self-promotion is a great way to interact with other businesses and build a larger community, especially if you’re targeting a certain demographic.
6. Don’t be afraid to go down in the DMs
Believe it or not, a lot of influencers, celebrities and other companies always collaborate by sending a simple direct message! All jokes aside, it’s a good start to initiating a conversation with other people, especially ones that have a larger following. It’s much more direct than having to comment on a photo; there’s a higher chance they’ll respond too
7. Control your data usage
Now this does not help boost your following or self-promote your page, but it does help you save data. Instagram actually offers you to use less data on the application. If you click on the ‘Options’, you can scroll down to ‘Cellular Data Use’, then turn on the option to ‘Use Less Data’. Yes, it does make loading images and videos slower, but it will in turn save you data and thus money!
8. Keep up with popular trends
This should be a given. No one is over-saturating or overloading on the filter use these days, so you shouldn’t either. This is just to ensure that you’re still cool enough to keep up with the kids, and if you’re out of the loop, your likes, following, and general engagement could suffer.
9. Engage with your community
Take an hour or two at the start of each day to go through your feed to like and comment on pages you already follow. Look up a common hashtag relevant to your company and/or product and scroll through what people are posting. A simple like or comment on other random but similar posts could take you a long way as it could lead to more exposure.
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