Whilst talking to a few clients, I realised that Instagram might still be a mystery for some, especially since the algorithm changes that took place this year.
I have compiled a list of best practices for IG, to help you increase your engagement and following.
1. Always post at regular intervals.
There’s no point in posting 3 days in a row and then go radio silence for weeks at a time. Instagram won’t push you out as much and you’re losing all your momentum.
2. Don’t repeat same content over and over.
IG will know this and long term you risk being marked as spam. And the posts won’t be shown as much anyway, so it’s a waste of time on your part and it damages your reputation.
3. Focus on quality, not quantity.
Look, you don’t have to post 3 times a day! Sometimes just posting every three days is enough. Your followers won’t forget about you, don’t worry. And this way you can make sure your content is really high quality. In the end, that’s what IG is about.
4. Don’t just sell your product.
A former client of mine did this major mistake whilst marketing for IG for a very long time. He worked in real estate and he insisted on spamming his followers with all the properties he had. He would sometimes post 10 properties per day. Within 2 weeks, when he’d run out of content, he would start posting the same properties all over again.
Needless to say, he got a maximum of 2-3 likes per post, with a following of over 3,000. My suspicion was most of those followers were bought anyway and the likes came from hashtags.
I ran various tests on the profile and it became quite clear that Instagram tagged him as a Spammer. There was no point in continuing working on that profile. It would’ve been much harder than starting a new one from scratch.
After starting the new profile, within weeks he had a minimum of 30-40 likes per post, with the maximum reaching hundreds. I was able to negociate only posting 1 property every two or three days, but he wanted daily posts. So on the other days, I posted VALUE. In this scenario, it was news in the property business, political news that might affect the market in the UK, quotes from respectable business men and so on.
I will write one whole article on this story, because that’s when I got to see the major difference between what you should and should not do.
Bottom line is, try to share value on IG. Don’t sell your products. The value you offer will sell them on what you have to offer without you doing anything else!
5. Having a relevant highlights section might just get you new true followers.
You know, the ones you are actually looking for. Most of the times, if there’s a Highlights section on some new profile I’m browsing, I just go there to find out more about them. Use Highlights to include info about your business, but also take the opportunity to showcase some behind the scenes. It goes a long way.
6. Try to keep the Highlights clean.
If your sole purpose of having a story is to put it in Highlights afterwards, don’t use too many hashtags, location or tags. It just looks sloppy.
Having matching highlights covers for every album helps too!
7. Videos and stories get pushed out more than normal pictures.
That’s applicable for Facebook too!
8. Did you know your followers are notified when you’re having a Live Story?
If you have something interesting to share on the spot, I recommend taking advantage of this. Try to do it only when there’s something relevant, to keep the people engaging throughout.
9. Don’t abuse giveaways too much.
Yes, giveaways are a great way to get followers, it increases numbers and engagement. But you also want to get followers genuinely interested in your product, not just because a giveaway.
You ultimately want to target people who appreciate your brand for what it offers. Constantly having giveaways or sales, you will only get clients who will cause you trouble, because they will either leave you the moment something better comes along or they will haggle later down the road. It is a headache, trust me.
While I do recommend having a giveaway when you just need that boost now, try to do it a maximum 2-3 times per year. And have a good strategy on the postings around the time you have the giveaway. That is a good time to do some hard selling!
10. Don’t use all 30 hashtags allowed!
With the latest algorithm changes, this won’t serve you well. I recommend using 10-15 (even 20 if you so insist) and pick them out wisely. I prefer to divide them into 5 small, 5 medium and 5 big hashtags. The big ones ensure a few likes, the small and medium ones should be chosen more carefully because that is your chance to find your target audience! Your post will stay on that hashtag page longer and the right person could find you!
I hope you found this article useful. If you have anything to add, feel free to comment down below!