By Lynn Corbitt, Account Executive
Whether you’re an Instagram expert or just getting started, it’s no secret that the app can be a great place for businesses to connect with their audience and thrive. When you use Instagram for marketing, though, it’s a little different than using it for fun on your personal account. Here are three hacks you can use to optimize your Instagram account for business. (Before we go any farther, make sure your account is a business account – the analytics we’ll talk about later are only available to businesses!)
- Engage After You Post
It can be easy and tempting to put your posts into a scheduling automation tool and forget about your Instagram account, but you might be losing out on some valuable engagement that way. You can still use an automation platform to post on Instagram, but make sure you jump into the app and spend some time on there when your post goes live. Engage with your followers or potential followers. Send a few direct messages. Post your story. Most importantly, if anyone comments on your post respond to them as soon as you can. You’ll show your followers that you’re there, listening and ready to engage with them if they engage with you.
- Use Engagement Marketing
Speaking of engagement, let’s talk about a way to organically grow your following. You never want to purchase followers – chances are they’ll be ghost followers or bots, and if you somehow manage to get away with buying followers without having Instagram notice, it will just inflate your follower count and hurt your engagement rate. Instead, take some time each day and identify who your ideal followers are. Then, go like a few of their posts or even leave a real, genuine comment if you feel so inclined. This will let these people know that your brand exists and that they should come check it out sometime. Do not, DO NOT, do any follow-unfollow marketing. This is bad form and will just drag down your reputation.
- Review Your Analytics Regularly
Instagram Analytics are great for a number of reasons, but primarily because they’ll show you information about your specific followers. You can see what kind of posts they like best, when they’re most active, demographic information and more. Review your analytics to see what your audience is trying to tell you. If you look at nothing else, look at when they’re most active. Then use that information to inform when you’ll publish your posts. The Instagram algorithm will look for how much engagement your post gets shortly after it’s published, first showing it to only a small section of your followers. Then, if it’s gotten a lot of engagement, it will show it to more of your followers. It will continue to expand if your post gets enough engagement, eventually landing on the Explore page for people the app thinks would be interested in seeing your post. All of this hinges, though, on how well it performs right after it’s published. So, it’s in your best interest to focus on when your audience is on Instagram. Don’t bother looking for general best times to post, unless you’re just getting started. Instead, look through your analytics and see what’s best for your followers.
Level-Up Your Instagram Game
Instagram can be a great place to engage with your followers. You can have conversations in your comment section, in your direct messages or via your stories. But, if you’re not giving your Instagram account enough love, you could be losing out on engagement. These three tips can help bring your business Instagram account to the next level.