Particularly for small businesses and folks who are self-employed, Instagram can be a very valuable resource when used correctly, and its popularity is only rising (500m daily users as of August ‘19 according to Instagram’s ‘Our Story’ page). It can be a difficult platform to manage for those who are unfamiliar with it, and so these 5 tips will help you along your way to success.
Use the platform. This might sound obvious, but the more you use the platform in the way Instagram intends you to, the more your posts will be favoured over others. So, to begin your success story, become an active and valuable user. Here are some things you can do to ‘be active’.
Comment, like and share posts
Post regularly. Stick to a schedule you can commit to because it’s better to post rarely and regularly (not too rarely!) than at random days and times.
Watch stories and IGTV, update your own
2. Post emotive content, and things people will want to engage with. This isn’t the place for mundane updates, it’s important that your posts cause followers to engage because (especially within the first hour) importance is placed on how many people do, and that affects how long your post will be ‘promoted’ by the algorithm. For some ideas on how to be more emotive, look at this page here.
3. Plan your hashtags. This one can take a while, but it’s totally worth it. Use the search tool to find popular hashtags relative to your posts and copy them down somewhere you can copy + paste them. You’ll want to use the ones with under a million users, and some low-level ones depending on your business. The formula that is often used is as follows:
10 High (100,000 – 1,000,000)
10 Medium (10,000 – 100,000)
10 Low (100 – 10,000)
This, of course, depends on your business and what you hope to achieve, and remember that the smaller the hashtag is, the longer your post will be at the top. For a small, local business, it might be much better to go 3:13:14 or similar.
4. Follow hashtags and relevant accounts. Build up your follower base by following others in your industry, relevant big names and other local businesses who are likely to follow you back. This is your exposure, so choose wisely. Some ideas for these are as follows:
Your local city might have a hashtag, many do
Acquaintances who are well connected
People who are likely to engage in your posts or be interested in them such as family and friends
5. Work for your audience. What time of day are they most likely to be online? What do they react to the most? Look around on other accounts, what has worked for them? Especially locally, it can be valuable to see what people in the local area enjoy and what gets a flat response. Post at the time when most people will interact, and make sure your content is digestible at that time. Nobody wants to read heavy, long posts first thing in the morning, but many people browse lighthearted content in bed before they get up.
Have fun! No need to be serious all the time, browse, follow and like anything you think is relatable to your audience. Brands are becoming less serious and more personable, so embrace the new trend and show your audience your real, fun-loving self.