When it comes to social media success, marketers across all types of organizations are turning to Instagram. Why? Because IG is where your audience is.
Check out these stats from this infographic by WebsiteBuilder.org:
- Over 600 million IG users, with over 300 million daily active users
- 55% of the 18-29 age demographic uses Instagram
- 31% of female and 21% of male internet users are on Instagram
- Top brands post 4.9 times per week
- 50% of Grammers follow at least one business
- 5% of IGers take action after seeing a post, such as searching, shopping or sharing
- The best time to post on Instagram is 5pm on Wednesday
- Grammers love emojis, especially ❤️
“Instagram has more engagement than other social media networks. Specifically, Instagram is now seeing 15x more engagement than Facebook and 20x more than Twitter. Thus an Instagram post is a viable social network for your marketing strategy.”
Managing your (or a client’s) account requires understanding why IG fans love the channel, knowing who’s using it and figuring out how to create posts that attract looks, likes, comments and shares. Oh, and time…a lot of time. More time than most of us have. Fortunately, there are tools, strategies and resources to help maximize your time on Instagram so you have more growth, but don’t have to spend more time.
Top 5 Hacks to Grow Your Instagram
Similar to Twitter (the grandfather of the hashtag) hashtags rule on Instagram, its how users identify themselves and their interests to other users, and how marketers target specific audiences. IG allows up to 30 hashtags per post.
To find hashtags to use in your posts:
- Find your ideal clients, see what hashtags they’re using, and start using the ones that are aligned with your brand.
- Search the internet for articles that list the top hashtags by topic
- Create, promote and use your own branded hashtags on your IG posts, as well as in your Comments on other’s IG posts.
Instagram is 24/7/365 and not every (or any!) marketer can be online at all the times when their audience is online. While nothing replaces real-time engagement, there are tools to help you preplan and schedule your activity.
Scheduling and monitoring Instagram tools
Each of these tools has its own pros and cons and different price points for different sized organizations. Note: Many of these are basically a scheduling reminder: after receiving an alert, you must copy your drafted post to Instagram. Free and paid plans. The top IG scheduling (and other) tools include:
Automating engagement on Instagram has achieved success for many marketers – and gotten others banned and their accounts shut down for violating the channel’s terms of service! Without limited time and resources to devote to building your IG audience, bots can help you increase engagement and grow followers by automating likes, comments, follows and unfollows. The top Instagram engagement bots include:
Instagram Pods are similar to tribes on other social media channels. Pods are closed groups of IG users who agree to like, share and promote each other’s IG posts in order to increase engagement (and beat the Instagram algorithm that no longer displays posts in chronological order.
Build your own pods:
- Seek and recruit brand ambassadors and influencers – IG users who use and love your product, and want to sing its praises to other Instagram users.
- Ask for a shout-out from your loyal followers
- Use #s4s or #share4share to find other users who will share your post in exchange for you sharing their post
Instagram tools and bots are not for everyone. Even with careful use, you run the risk of appearing spammy – or getting your IG account shut down. There are agencies, virtual assistants and freelancers who specialize in Instagram and will manually manage your IG account for you. Price points and expertise vary widely, but if Instagram is important to your brand’s growth and you don’t have the time, resources or expertise required to build a following, outsourcing to an expert can be the most effective way to organically build your community.
Instagram shows no sign of slowing down growth, and since its purchase by Facebook has changed its tactics and is overtaking Snapchat as the top visual social media network. Expect more updates and expect more brands to compete for IG lover’s attention, likes and following.