Instagram. It can be a minefield of how often to post and what hashtags you should use.
In this blog post, we create a bit of an Instagram 101 around the more frequent questions we get asked.
For businesses, Instagram, unlike Facebook (in most cases nowadays), still offers great opportunities for organic growth and brand awareness.
1.How often should I post?
Posting 1-2 times per day is key if you want to actively grow your account. The sweet spot for most accounts is about once per day.
However, consistency is the most important as it’s what the algorithm rewards. So if you feel you can only manage every other day, that’s fine, just make sure you try to stick to what you have planned.
2. Do I need to do Stories too?
YES! The importance of Stories really can’t be stressed enough. It will get your brand noticed more readily and is a great way of showing different sides of your business. Maybe you want to show your customers a bit more behind the scenes stuff? Stories is a great place to do that. Plus it’s another opportunity to use hashtags and geotag your brand.
3. But shouldn’t I have loads more followers than accounts I follow?
We’ve heard this a number of times and yes, it’s great if you have thousands of followers and only follow a couple of hundred. But initially to get your brand out, you need to be out there liking other people’s posts and following them if they seem like they are going to be pushing great content that is of interest to you.
So follow those accounts you want to and don’t clog up your feed with those accounts that don’t provide any value.
4. What about engaging with others?
There’s one word which is super important in the success of your Insta life and that is ‘engagement’! Instagram is a sociable community and works best when you are engaging with your followers, other accounts and discovering new people. Spending at least 20 minutes a day liking and commenting on other people’s content is so important.
5. Can I repost other people’s content?
Yes, most people are happy to have others post their content (and get their name out) as long you give them a heads up first or use their account handle in the repost tag. As most Instagram posts are original content, it’s only fair.
6. Help! Hashtags?
Hashtags are one of the most integral parts of Instagram. They are what you can use in the caption of your posts to get your content in front of the right audiences - and new audiences.
Instagram currently allows you to use up to 30 per post and although there is always a lot of debate about what the right number is to use, you have up to 30, so use what you feel you need to.
It’s important to use a variation of hashtags which cover ones relative to your brand (and you may develop your own brand specific ones, especially for campaigns), ones that are industry relative and ones that are product or image specific.
It’s also important to consider how broadly used your hashtags are. #love for example will have been used millions or maybe even billions of times on posts so your post will be emerged within all these posts and be less discoverable. #lovewinseverytime on the other hand, will have been used far, far less.
It’s super important to make sure you use hashtags that are widely and not so widely used.
7. What about scheduling tools?
Scheduling tools - i.e. software that you can use to plan and automate your posts can be a godsend with Instagram.
And Instagram specific scheduling tools are great because they usually have the capability of showing you a grid preview of the posts you are planning to publish. We love Later!
Instagram, because of it’s nature of displaying lots of visuals, naturally requires more effort aesthetically than other platforms so scheduling tools like we mention above can really help.
And on that note, a final word on content. Your Instagram content should be of a good quality. Poor quality images are just not going to cut it if you want to nail success.
8. How can I grow my followers?
Probably the number 1 question! And the answer is quite straight forward:
Post great content regularly, create daily Stories, engage lots with your followers and with other accounts, discover new accounts, make use of hashtags and consider post promotion to push your content in front of people you might not otherwise reach.
Most importantly, we’d definitely advise against buying followers. They won’t be your fans and in some cases will just be fake accounts.
If you’d like help with your Instagram or have any further questions, get in touch. We’d love to help!