If you are nervously tip toeing into an Instagram social strategy but not quite sure if you are doing it successfully, this blog is for you. Here are answers to some of your top questions about Instagram best practices!
How Often Should You Post?
On Instagram, best practices suggest that you should post at least once a day. However, you do want to be careful not to annoy your followers. The line? Posting three times a day is too much. However, keep in mind that if you don’t have the ability to post quality content, you don’t have to post every single day. It’s great to aim to post frequently, but you should also think practically about the capabilities of your marketing department. Plus, consider a strategy – what do you want to accomplish? This brings us to the next item in our list of Instagram best practices. What kind of content should you share?
What Kind of Content Should You Share?
You definitely want to share high quality images that tell a story. People are using Instagram to scroll and enjoy images that jump out and grab their attention. Not only do you need good quality pictures, but the story your images tell has to speak to your audience. Do you know who you are marketing to and what they might be scrolling Instagram to find? Knowing who your audience is and what they like is critical to having success on this platform.
How Do You Use Hashtags Successfully?
Alright now let’s talk about hashtags. Hashtags are tricky because – if you’re old school like me – they don’t come naturally. When I first started seeing hashtags (yes, I know this makes me sound like a grandma) I wasn’t really sure what purpose they served or why I should use them at all. Now my friends make fun of me for using so many hashtags. However, when it comes to the Instagram pages for TrackFive’s brands, I struggle with deciding how many to use, what words to use, and if I should repeat hashtags on every post. Here are four tips for using hashtags successfully.
- They should relate. Don’t use irrelevant hashtags that don’t have anything to do with your business or a specific post. Remember that people can follow hashtags. Your picture should somehow be directly related to your hashtag or you’ll get a lower engagement rate.
- You don’t have to guess. You can do some actual research to see which hashtags are best for your post. Use hashtag research tools to pick the best ones for your post. This is especially useful when you’re just starting out with an Instagram account.
- Creep on your competition. Copy your competitors instead of using basic, popular hashtags. The best way to target your audience is to look at what your audience is sharing and what your direct competitors are sharing. This will help paint you a picture of what people in your industry are interested in.
- Stop spamming. Don’t use the same hashtags under each post – this is considered spam, according to Instagram. I’ve seen people do this. A local bookstore comes to mind right away. They post pictures of different books each day – the book covers always catch my eye, but their captions and hashtags are the same EVERY SINGLE TIME. This tells me nothing about that particular book. I’d probably order books (as they are advertising) if just a few more details were provided to me.
How Can You SEO Optimize as part of Instagram Best Practices?
I think we often make the mistake of not bringing our SEO knowledge with us from the website to the social platforms. However, we need to start paying attention to getting our keywords in social media. They are searchable, after all. In order to keyword optimize your Instagram account, make sure you are using the keyword and writing descript alt texts with each of your images. Also, think about your keyword when it comes to the hashtags you pick. Try to include it in your bio, captions, and your username. All of this will help bring more traffic to your brand.
Do you have any additional Instagram tips? Drop your Instagram best practices in the comments below!