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There are several things you need to know on each social media channel, much more if you want to stay relevant for your audience and your business. Each platform can help build the online presence of your brand, you need to know the ins and outs of the platform to truly know what you need to do or not to succeed in your social media strategies.
As Facebook is the most used platform for overall functions, Instagram has the most audience for visually-enriched content. In 2019, businesses have spent more than $20 billion to advertise their brand on Instagram. That’s quite a competition for other social media platforms.
If you are currently using and following Facebook best practices, then you should apply and put effort to use Instagram for your business as well. By following these Instagram best practices, you will continue to increase the valuable audience engagement the platform can offer.
Best Practices for Instagram
If you want to establish an online presence on Instagram, it is not only about the follower count, or the brand photos and video content you upload matters. You probably know how essential it is to know the Instagram trends, and it changes year over year. Thus, you have to plan your strategy in advance with the best practices for Instagram.
Instagram is a visual-first network. Create and upload engaging visuals on your social media account. Take advantage of how you can show off your brand with a unique visual identity.
How can you engage well with your audience on Instagram? By understanding more of your brand and audience. If you are an expert on your products and services, and you know your audience well, you can promote, advertise, and engage well on Instagram.
Do not walk into social media marketing blindly. Ask yourself questions that will define your brand and your audience. Start with these questions:
- Among the content, products, and services your brand offers, which does your audience like most?
- Who are you trying to reach?
- How are your competitors doing on Instagram?
- What are the marketing strategies you have made in the past?
Answer these questions honestly. Once you have the answers, you are ready to take on these Instagram best practices. If you do not have any idea, follow the steps on how to set up a business account on Instagram.
1. Create a Business Profile
Creating a business profile on any social media is the crucial first step. You have to build your brand image, gain followers, and create a sales funnel that personal profiles are not capable of. Thus, you need to use a professional account. Switch your personal profile to a professional account.
Once you have established a business profile on Instagram, it allows you to:
- Set call-to-action buttons making it convenient for your visitors and followers to contact and do business with you.
- Earn a verification badge to certify the authenticity of your brand.
- Launch ad campaigns, track their performance.
- Access real-time data on the performance of your organic content.
In time, you will realize the impact you make and what strategies work best to drive more traffic, engagement, and sales.
2. Have an Instagram Bio for Attention
You have to make your Instagram profile appealing to your visitors. Curb the appeal by filling the biography with 150 characters or less. Make your Instagram bio capture the essence of your brand. In just 150 characters, you should tell people who you are, what services you offer, and why you are unique from the rest.
Some brands use basic bios to generate and establish interest among their target audience. You can use your bio to promote deals, contests, or product launches. Afterall, you need to earn the trust of your target audience and an Instagram verified badge greatly helps.
3. Post Engaging and High-Quality Visual Content
Instagram is a visual-first social media platform. You need to upload high-quality and engaging visuals and content that will appeal to your target audience. If you scroll through popular brand accounts, their posts have thousands of likes and views. You will understand why these brands drive engagement.
Think of your Instagram posts as billboard campaigns, you do not want to put up a mediocre billboard ad, right? There are more than 400 million Instagram users, why not present your brand in a high-quality and engaging way?
The survey shows that 93% of the buyers depend on their purchasing decisions on visual appearance. Moreover, among the buyers, 85% of them claim the applied colors on infographics have a great impact on purchasing a specific product.
Make your Instagram photos visually pleasing. Work with a design team to make the color of the image enriched before you post them on Instagram. Make your content stand out in your follower’s feed. Invite them to your profile with your visual aesthetics.
4. Determine What Your Audience Wants
Among all the major social media channels, Instagram has the highest engagement rates among its customers. That’s why it is best to connect with your audience as Instagram gives out valuable engagement.
But audience engagement is not all about high-quality images. You have to implement audience listening and monitoring strategies on Instagram. If you see through your audience, you are looking at the right view. You will understand your audience’s actions on social media. By then, you know what to post.
You can know more about your audience by encouraging them to participate in one of these content strategies:
- Host contests: Create unique Instagram contests to drive more audience engagement. You can gain new followers and make people come back to your profile through contests. Ask your followers to repost your image post or use branded hashtags.
- Post-user-generated content: People want to be acknowledged and the best way to do it is to post their content on your social media profile. This technique is known as “regramming” and it sparks more people to participate.
- Ask questions: You can simply ask questions to know the opinions of your audience about your products or services. Always remember to reply to their answers, build a connection with your audience.
5. Post at the Best Time and Day
Social media networks appreciate quality content over quantity. You have to beat the Instagram algorithm by posting at the best time and day. Posting quality content at the best time and day will keep your audience coming back.
If you have determined which schedule content is best, use a social media calendar to maximize your content.
Do not waste your time procrastinating and waiting for your users to follow your business profile. You might not succeed in that right. Try to find different ways to promote your Instagram to give you more chances to be discovered by your target market.
Make use of the Explore Page on Instagram, it is one of the most popular features that help users find brands and posts of influencers that are relevant to their interests but they do not follow. You have to drive engagement with your own followers and use hashtags that are relevant to your post to become visible on the Explore Page.
Make Instagram hashtags your key to successfully reach out to your target audience. Using relevant hashtags will help you get discovered and participate in relevant topics. It helps you engage with the community around your niche and brand.
Moreover, if your campaign only receives low participation, you can tag your partnered influencers or event in your posts. You can make use of user-generated content by giving a person a shoutout, mention them on the post to double your engagement. This strategy will help you go through the chain of events for friends of friends.
7. Create Strategies through Tracking Engagements and Conversions
Instagram Insights page provides details of your content performance. You can access the page easily through your business profile. Meanwhile, the insights for stories are only available up to 14 days after the story was posted.
- Activity: You will determine the number of profile visits, website clicks, and data of where and how users find your content.
- Content: The most popular organic post is shown, the data is measured by the total impressions the post had. There are available metrics for individual posts also.
- Audience: Data about your followers are seen in these metrics. The gender, age, and location of your audience are shown in the data. Moreover, the time they are active and how fast the brand grows are shown in these metrics.
Pay attention to the trend and look for outlier posts. It helps you improve your content and design to maximize the results. Learn more about how to use Instagram Insights.
8. Use Paid Ads
Tracking engagements and conversions will let you know which organic post has the heaviest engagement. These posts are the best to promote. It is easy to use paid ads in promoting high-performing organic posts:
- Below the organic post, you will see the “Promote” button. Click it.
- You can choose the business objective and call to action to use. CTAs can be Learn More, Shop Now, Book Now, Contact Us.
- Choose your target audience. You can either create your own audience persona or let Instagram do it.
- Set a budget and campaign duration for each paid ad.
- Once the promotion is approved, an insight will appear in the notifications tab.
There’s a new feature on Instagram that allows you to partner with individual creators of organic branded content. You can promote their posts on Instagram feed or story ads.