Updated: Dec 3, 2020
Facebook is constantly innovating their Instagram social media network to come with new and exciting ways for people to connect with family and friends. In order to keep your brand relevant on the app, you need to follow the changes and adapt accordingly.
In April 2020, Instagram announced that they were running tests to hide the number of likes and video views in the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand. This change will see users/fans focusing more on the content and not "peer pressure". In September 2020, Instagram released reels, new selfies, seamless communications between Facebook Messenger and Instagram DMs and eight other new features. You can find out more about these in our most recent newsletter.
With each new feature release on this and other platforms, you need to work smarter and arm yourself with the right tools for benchmarking. Here are 12 tips to help you stay on top of your Instagram game.
1. Target market research
Do your research on your audience, particularly your Instagram audience. Find out what they like to see and share that with them. Now, with the addition of reels and the direct messaging features, content sharing will be even easier on Instagram.
Also, don't be afraid to try new things! Think outside the box when creating content and see how your audience responds to it.
As you try new and different things, remember to be intentional. Be sure to test them out. Use A/B testing to know what type of content works for your audience.
3. Strong visuals
This goes without saying. Instagram is all about great imagery. Learn how to take a good photo - a photo that tells a story.
4. Great Copy
Pair your imagery with well written captions. Whether it is long or short, make it worth your audience's while.
Add hashtags to your copy to help you get found by the relevant audience. 9 hashtags is the optimal number to use for a good engagement rate. Too many hashtags (especially unrelated hashtags) may make you seem overly desperate and not strategic.
Tag your audience, brands and relevant users in both posts and stories. Add user generated content to your content strategy to ramp up engagement.
If you have a brick and mortar location, or service a specific area, you may want to geotag your content to reach the relevant people in that area.
Be consistent when posting on social media. Get into a routine of sharing at the same time and same frequency. Remember that Instagram does not place content in people's feed chronologically, but they do favour recent content. Make sure to post content when your audience is online.
Promote your Instagram account on your other marketing platforms whenever you can in order to give your page more visibility.
10. Social listening
With the engagement numbers being hidden from the view of others, you will need to relook at your marketing tech stack to see if you have the right tools to see how the competition is performing. You need to be on top of these changes to give you a competitive edge and help you know what's hot.
11. Pay for reach
Sponsored content will always bring you to the top. There are millions of businesses on Instagram therefore organic reach will continue to be harder and harder to attain. Keep a budget to promote your content.
12. Get feedback
Crowdsource opinions from your followers to rack up engagement and feedback on what you should start doing, stop doing and continue doing.
13. Monitor your insights
Check your insights regularly to make sure that what you are doing is adding value. Your insights will tell you what you need to start doing, stop doing and continue doing.
14. Have clear goals
Know what you want to achieve by being on Instagram and work towards that. Plan and share content to get you to your goals.