Have you decided to use Instagram as your social media platform of choice this year? But your wondering where to start to gain traction? The algorithm has changed, there are new features you are probably not exploiting but should be and people like you for a second then don’t.
What’s with that?
Right now Instagram is one of the fastest growing platforms with over 700 million users. So let’s make 2018 Insta-Magic and rock out with the following tips.
But before we dive in, I want to let you know, that, I have been testing a few of these on my marketing clients. And the results have been Instagram accounts that are growing. My marketing clients are a mix of products, online shop and services. So it’s been interesting to see that they are all benefiting from these tips.
Here it goes.
Instagram Tips for 2018
My Stories + Highlights
If you aren’t already using my stories. It’s time to hop in. These short little 20 second vids are where you are going to get seen by your keen followers. The my story section on Instagram sits at the top of the page and as you scroll down again it pops up again with the most viewed posts. Um, we all want to be in that first lot of videos. People are viewing more video and not spending as much time in their feed. FACT!
Here is what I recommend. Getting on Instagram stories and sharing your brand story. Do it daily. My pro-tip which I am rolling out this week for myself is the Instagram stories highlights. Make them and create them. Be strategic. For example, I just created five for a client – two about their main products, a little about them, how people can find their product and one that is a showcase of their products. It is getting loads of views. And what I love even more is you can style the covers of these. Click here for a Tutorial.
The past few months I have been experimenting and researching the use of hashtags. At the beginning of this year the algorithm changed and Instagram outlined what it loved and didn’t love so much. And hashtag overkill was one of them. We all have done it and tried to fit as many hashtags as possible into a post. Guess what – it’s not doing you any favours. Aim for 5-7 good quality hashtags. A great hashtag is one that is not overused or one that is underused. You can easily find them as you start to type them in check the numerical number next to the hashtag.
One last thing about hashtags. Do not use the same hashtags on every post. I repeat. Do not use the same hashtags on each post – it will come off spammy and Instagram doesn’t like spammy accounts.
Profile & Board
Your Bio should be really slick. 150 characters that tell people who you are, what you do and how you can help them. Plus if you can fit in a CTA (call to action) then do it. But your board needs to be amazing. When looking at Instagram accounts you see the first 9 and then 15 images of an account. You want those images to reflect your brand but also look good as a collective.
PRO TIP: Create a brand mood board for your Instagram account with colours and the tone of what you are trying to put out there.
This one should really be at the top of the list. If you take the time to engage with your audience. You will find that you will grow your followers. There are a couple of ways to go about this. One is to ask questions in your captions when you post. Get your audience to engage with you and reply back to them to keep the conversation rolling. The other is to comment with authenticity, not just an emoji or a ‘that’s cool’ on other peoples posts they can be people you follow or people that you think might like your brand.
As most of you know I am a schedule freak. About six weeks ago Instagram rolled out with its partners Auto Posting. No more phone reminders that I need to post my image on Instagram – its automatic. Which saves loads of time. There are loads of platforms you can use to schedule your content. I use Planoly (For me it is great, I can do Insta stories and I also have my team use it) Other planning tools – Hootsuite, Later and UNUM.
Scheduling your posts for Instagram is a great way to keep your rhythm and stay active. Just like most algorithms if you’re seen as an active user your posts will be more visible. So scheduling makes sure you keep consistency with your posting. Plus the folks who are following you will love that.