With this emphasis on visual sharing, the platform works similarly to other social networks like Facebook or Twitter.
Users create a profile and have a news feed made up of content from accounts they follow and their interaction to scroll through. Users interact with other users by commenting, liking, tagging and private messaging.
“What is this trendy thing called Instagram that all the cool kids seem to be into? It’s been around for a few years, quietly picking up traction mostly thanks to everybody’s new obsession with mobile photography…” (Moreau, 2018)
The popularity of Instagram
Instagram is most popular amongst users aged Hootsuite or Sprout Social.
Post consistently to stay in the Feed of followers regularly, but do not over-post. One to two posts per day maximum, so you do not overwhelm and annoy followers.
If all they see is your brand on their news feed, they might unfollow you.
“The most efficient practice in generating followers for a company’s Instagram account is following other users — in this case, potential customers. This action-reaction pattern can be called “follow for follow”, describing the practice of following to be followed back.” (Virtanen, Björk, & Sjöström, 2017)
Engage with People and Content
If you want engagement on Instagram, you must engage yourself,, how the algorithm works on many social media networks.
Respond to comments on your content. It also pays to seek out popular accounts in your industry, follow them, and like and comment on their posts.
Virtanen, Björk, and Sjöström (2017) found a positive relationship between following other accounts and receiving likes on your content. It works as a bit of giving and take.
After you follow an account and interact with their content, you naturally draw attention to your account. That user then receives a notification when you engage, prompting them to check out your account and start following you.
If somebody tags you in their Story or post, make sure to give them a thumbs up or respond. Better yet, reshare their Story to your own.
Stories are a vital part of an Instagram marketing strategy. Business post Splice that allows you to cut together multiple clips and add transitions, titles, and music.
Show some personality in your videos and showcase your brand’s benefits to your target audience.
Share content with your audience in real-time by broadcasting live video, allowing you to connect with fans personally.
Live video ideas include:
- Collaborate with an industry expert or influencer using the “Add a Guest” option to go live together.
- Offer a live behind-the-scenes look at an event.
- Share a tutorial.
- Host a Q&A.
- Talk to a client or customer.
Writing your post caption/copy
Try to post entertaining and engaging captions. Be witty, or funny, or intelligent; it all depends on your brand and your audience. What will resonate with them?
Posts can have up to 2,200 characters long, which is quite considerable compared to 1200 on LinkedIn or 280 on Twitter.
Therefore, posts can range from one sentence to detailed storytelling.
Using bullet points or emojis in the same way as bullet points can make the text easier to consume. Helpful, as people tend to scan captions rather than read them thoroughly.
Try to get all the essential information into those first two lines as users must click to read the rest. You need to hook them.
Hashtags are keywords/phrases spelled without spaces, prefaced with a Hash (#) sign. Using hashtags will increase your visibility and discoverability, and hashtags aggregate posts from various users with public profiles into a single feed.
Hashtags should be relevant to your audience and specific to your niche.
You can use up to 30 hashtags in an Instagram post. But probably do not want to do that. Hashtags should be natural in your caption. Aim to use two to nine hashtags per post.
Avoid making your captions hard to read and looking spammy.
Create a personalised branded hashtag to interact with your audience with user-generated content and make content featuring your brand easier to find by clicking on that hashtag.
It helps you quickly find user images of your brand that you might want to share. User content always seems authentic to help add credibility.
Using ads helps businesses get their content in front of a larger audience of people who fit their target market but do not follow the page. Use content for ads that will be engaging and appealing to your target audience. Do not be pushy with sales tactics in your ads.
Daniel Hopper is a marketing consultant based in New Zealand. Connect with him on Linkedin.
Business owner of BYB Marketing, who specialises in brand management and marketing strategy to help businesses achieve their sales goals. For more about what they do, follow on LinkedIn and check out… View full profile ›
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