With over 300 million active users, Instagram is a social media service that deserves the attention of any online business owner. It’s especially of interest for online marketers, as Instagram just announced that they would open their service to all advertisers, as well as start experimenting with a “Shop Now” button build right into the native Instagram app.
The simplest way to understand any social media service is to simply dig in and start using it. By spending time in the online community, you’ll naturally pick up on trends and themes. But new services can also be intimidating, so below are some beginner tips to help you on your way to building a large, engaged user base for your brand.
Post a Lot (At Least Once/Day, But Hopefully More)
Instagram is one of the only social media services that does not use an algorithm to cull the posts that are shared. That means every image you post is guaranteed to show up in the feeds of all your followers. Since there is no fall-off in engagement for posting more, as long as you can keep the quality of posts high, there is no reason not to post often.
Research has shown that the average Instagram account posts once per day, but that users with the most followers post 2-3 times per day.
Hashtags Are Powerful
Instagram allows users to include 30 hashtags per post, and a study by TrackMaven showed that including 11 hashtags per post resulted in the highest user engagement. This may seem like overkill, but Instagram users are apparently more resilient than Twitter users, who can easily be put-off by users who post with too many hashtags.
Follow + Like
One of the most effective ways of getting people to follow your brand is to follow people in your target demo and like their photos. You can search hashtags related to you brand to find likeminded users who are likely to be interested in your posts. Once you find them, follow their account and like a few of their pictures that resonate with your brand. (This method from The Hacker’s Guide to User Acquisition saw a follow-back rate of 25%!)
Links Are Tricky
One peculiar feature of Instagram is that links included in photo descriptions and comments are not clickable. It’s not worth adding them there, as even if a user tries to click on it, nothing will happen. The mobile app doesn’t even let users highlight and copy the link to paste into a browser URL bar!
Since you are allowed to list a single URL in your profile, it has become common practice for users to frequently update the bio URL to match their latest picture and post “link in bio”. If you are running an ecommerce store, the recently announced “Shop Now” button will hopefully reduce some of the annoyance of this intended functionality soon.
Building a Social Media Strategy
These are just a few tips to help you get started. We would be happy to help you build an effective social media strategy that gives your business a competitive advantage. Contact us today for a free consultation.
This post is based on an article by asdf — 10 Tactics to Grow Followers and Engagement on Instagram