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by Anna Hughes
10 min to read
Almost everyone is on Instagram. As at October 2021, there are about 1 billion Instagram users, and in the coming years, the numbers will increase.
People are either posting, scrolling through feeds, exploring Instagram, or doing varieties of things. With the number of people who regularly use Instagram, businesses cannot afford not to be on Instagram.
There are so many opportunities on Instagram that you can take advantage of to grow your business. However, this requires that you know what you are doing so you can get the best results.
You need to be visible on Instagram, connect with your audience, be timely, grow your reach, and do many other things. There are Instagram best practices that you can adopt to make this easy for you.
Let’s check out 10 Instagram best practices that can help your business achieve its goals and do so much more.
The first and most important thing when it comes to your business is knowing your audience. When it comes to your growth as a brand, this is crucial.
Instagram or not, your audience is an influential part of your business, and everything you do concerns and revolves around them. And for a platform like Instagram, if you are preaching to the wrong audience or don’t know what your audience needs, all your efforts would be nothing.
So, first, you should know who your audience is on Instagram and where you can find them. Then, since there are so many people on Instagram, you need to narrow them down to your ideal target.
You start with identifying their age, location, interests, gender, and other important factors. Then, ensure that they match the buyer persona for your brand.
First, you can start with your current followers who are already interacting with your posts. The data you should check for is their age, maybe the decade they fall in, so you are not too specific.
Check their location and time zones to know them more. Using social media analytics will help you better than trying to do this manually.
After you are done narrowing down, you need to examine and note what they would enjoy reading or viewing on Instagram. For example, someone interested in fashion would want to know things like outfits to try, tips on how to style different outfits, and all of that.
When you know their interest, that will serve as a guide for content you need to share with them.
After identifying, studying, and knowing your audience, you need to set goals for all your Instagram activities. Doing this will help you with direction and consistency.
This may sound cliche, but you need to set SMART goals – Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. First, your goals need to be specific for you to have some sort of direction.
Your goal should not be as vague as growing your business. For example, a specific goal would be getting a certain number of followers by a given time, having sealed x amount of deals, and more.
Second, you should be able to track your goals to know how far you have gone and how much longer you have to achieve your goals. Then, your goals need to be attainable; don’t be unrealistic.
Getting 1 million followers on Instagram in less than a month can be unattainable. But, then, your goals need to be relevant to your business goals, and you need to assign time frames to your goals.
You can start with smaller goals, like getting your first 100k followers in a few months, getting a lot of engagement, posting consistently on Instagram. Your goals don’t necessarily have to be big or overwhelming.
The most important thing should be that you achieve them at the right time, and they help push your business forward.
It is not until you have large followership that your business is doing well on Instagram. But, unfortunately, so many individuals and businesses have large followers but little engagement on their posts.
So, instead of paying attention and measuring your success with that, you can check how well your posts are doing and how your customers interact with them. Check which content your audience engages with more, and that can guide you on what to post.
You can also use the insights feature on each post to track how well they do. You can get the post’s impression, shares, comments, reach, and other important information there.
You can then compare the posts and see what type of content interests your customers more.
Your Instagram account stays alive with content. It constantly reminds your audience and followers that you are active and you have a lot to share with them.
You should have a content plan that will help you be consistent with your Instagram posts. Without a content plan, you may just be winging it, posting whatever comes to mind or at any time.
You already have content schedules for each day and time you need to post when you have a plan. You also need to adhere to best practices when it comes to content and posting on your Instagram.
You don’t necessarily have to post every day or every hour of the day. This could cause an overdose of content from your audience’s angle. It may choke them and cause them to unfollow or mute you.
You only need to be strategic and be consistent enough for your audience to remember you and like you. In addition, you should get your content and caption ready for the days you want to post, holidays included.
For example, some brands or individuals usually have a 30-days content calendar for each month, and before the month runs out, the next month’s content is ready. However, you should also know that while scheduling is good, sometimes, you may have to post content that is not on your calendar.
For you to stay consistent with posting your content, you can use social media publishing tools. For example, Vista Social allows you to schedule your posts ahead and automatically posts them for you at the right time.
The good thing is with publishing tools, you can view insights on how well your posts are performing, and you can build up your content strategy from that.
You should always have time dedicated to creating your content and scheduling them for publishing.
Your posts need to be recognizable. You should create a pattern or style such that when your audience sees your content, they know it’s you.
Here, you will notice that every post on HubSpot’s page has their brand color scheme, and it makes their designs and page look good.
For this account, they arranged their posts in an orderly manner such that all the pictures connect to form bolder images. Many Instagram users adopt this style.
Your unique style covers your design, page arrangements, and posting high-quality visuals. Most brands have their brand colors which are usually the themes they use in designing their content.
You don’t need to outdo yourself or your capabilities with using expensive equipment to produce high-quality content. With your smartphone, you can create and design your content.
As long as your content is high quality, your audience will engage with your content more and take you seriously.
But create a style guide you want your audience to know you for.
Timing is key in business, life, and even on Instagram. Your audience will not be online forever, or at all times, so you have to connect with them when they are available.
Some individuals and brands don’t get much engagement on their posts because they miss their audience’s peak time. Therefore, it is not enough that you have a content plan or unique style; you need to be timely.
When you post when your audience is available, you will get a lot of engagement on your quality and useful content. So how do you know when your audience is online?
You don’t have to monitor or stalk each of your follower’s accounts; you can track that with the insights on your profile. But, of course, this is available to business accounts, so if you don’t have one, now is a good time to switch to a business account.
The insights show you when your followers are mostly online, and you can target those periods to publish your posts.
In addition, it shows when your post’s engagement is at its peak. Therefore, leverage on Instagram insights for time to post your content.
Your profile says a lot to your audience, and it can form an impression of you or your brand in their mind. First, you need to ensure that your bio speaks a lot about you and everything you do.
Here’s an example:
You only have 150 characters to describe yourself or your brand, so make the most of it. Ensure it is organized and has a flow.
Be fun when writing your bio, especially when you want your audience to think and know that you are fun. In addition, you can add a link to your website so your audience can visit and learn more about your brand and services.
Another thing to do on your profile is to highlight major information or events for your audience to browse through. This will help your audience stay informed and up-to-date with what goes on with your business.
You can share whatever you want, from sales, specials, job posting, travels, and more, as long as you tailor it to your individual or business page.
Instagram has not been the same since its invention. The company improves the platform often and shares these Instagram updates with users when they roll them out. For example, in the past, there was nothing like reels, IGTV, and others.
But now, almost everyone is using these features. Therefore, you need to stay on top of Instagram updates to move with the trend. In addition, Instagram is somewhat more visual than the texts, so you have to meet the visual needs of your audience.
With these updates and trends, you can find and create newer ways to engage with your audience from time to time. For example, there are many interactive features available on Instagram stories that you can use to create engaging posts without taking a picture or video.
The story is only available for 24 hours, so you can use it to engage with your audience meaningfully by creating Q&A, vote, or quiz buttons. Make it something interesting.
Also, make the most of the reels to create great and fun content. You can add texts, use fun filters and effects, and more.
For instance, your reels could be behind the scenes of creating your product, scenes with your employees, or general creative trends relating to your business. It could also be about how to use your product, tips related to your industry, answering some questions about your brand, and others.
There is no general rule guiding what reels or stories to create, but ensure it makes your brand stand out and look good to your audience.
Visual content sticks for a long period in people’s minds. They are likely to get more engagement and more likely to get shared.
When they are story-like, it keeps them intrigued and glued to what you want to tell them.
You should tell many stories about your brand and make it memorable, impactful, and meaningful. Pictures and videos are your most powerful tools here to make your brand human and relatable to each person who sees your posts.
Therefore, show, tell, and take your audience with you through what makes you a brand, real and reliable.
On Instagram, you have to be visible to expand your reach. If no one’s seeing you, then there is no need to do anything on Instagram.
You can either let your audience see you or find you. First, you can expand your reach with hashtags. If you use Instagram a lot, you will notice some people add hashtags to their captions.
It is so that people can find and see them through the hashtags. However, you need to use hashtags meaningfully and use the ones that relate to your brand more.
Instagram shares a good way for people to discover you through hashtags and the types of hashtags to use for your business.
Another way to widen your reach is to run Instagram ads or promote or boost your posts. You can reach thousands of audiences depending on your budget and the setup.
Of course, there are best practices you need to follow to run ads on Instagram to get visible results. And you can either hire a professional to help you or you do that yourself if you are capable.
You can also use influencers to increase your reach on Instagram. Influencers have large followings and engagements on their posts, and you can reach their audience from there.
But ensure that you do your research before using any. Their audience needs to be your audience as well; those who need your brand or product. You can also optimize your profile for visibility on Instagram.
You can use this in your title description or name. Therefore, when people type in the keywords, your profile shows among the top ones.
In addition, you can reach people who are close to your location by adding location to your posts. You can also create contests and giveaways; that way, people will tag, share and expand the reach of the posts.
Instagram has a lot of features that can help put your business in the limelight. These are best practices you can adopt to grow your reach and brand on the platform.
Don’t be like many brands that don’t know what they are doing on the platform. With direction like these practices and adhering to them, you will enjoy being on Instagram because you will get the results you desire.
Vista Social makes your activities easier with Instagram management tools. These tools help you manage multiple accounts, manage content calendar, publish your posts and so much more.
These tools help you manage multiple accounts, manage content calendar, publish your posts and so much more.
With the analytics features, you can also track your progress on Instagram. Try out Vista Social free trial and watch your business perform better on Instagram.
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