So, you’ve got yourself a fancy Instagram account. But are you still struggling to get the engagement you want from it?
You might think you’re doing everything right, but like all social media platforms, there are lots of little things you may not be doing that could end up making a big difference. If you’re looking to optimise your Instagram account to boost engagement, here are a few top tips that are sure to help.
Make sure you’re using an Instagram Business account
If you’re a business on Instagram and you’re not using a business account, then why on earth not? An Instagram business account not only allows you to boost your posts to reach more people, but it allows you to tap into the platform’s analytics tool, to see just how well each of your posts is doing.
There’s no point putting content out there if you can’t tell who’s engaging with it, and how. Sure, you can see likes and comments without analytics, but these metrics only tell half the story. Having an Instagram Business account will allow you to see how many people saw your post, how many interacted with it, aside from likes and comments, as well as the types of people interacting with your posts.
To turn your Instagram account into a business account, you need to go into your profile settings and select “switch to business profile”. Note that you will need to have a Facebook Business page to do this, but the app will help you create one if you don’t already own one.
Make sure images are the right size
You probably don’t need us to tell you that Instagram is a very visual form of social media – its focus on imagery is far greater than that of Facebook or Twitter.
What you might not know is that Instagram uses different image dimensions than other forms of social media. Your amazing photo may look great in its original form – but it might not fit correctly when posted to Instagram.
Luckily enough, the platform now features three different image formats: square, landscape, and portrait. Depending on your picture’s size, it will likely fit better in one of these three layouts, so it’s worth experimenting to see which fits best.
Remember that not every post needs to be an original photo. You can get creative with infographics, pop art, GIFs etc, but again you’ll need to make sure these are the correct sizes. For reference, the ideal image sizes for Instagram are:
Square posts: 1080px x 1080px
Landscape posts: 1080px wide
Portrait posts: 1080px x 1350px
Have a Theme
In this day and age you can’t escape the modern clutches of business and branding, it is everywhere, and on Instagram, it’s no different.
Many businesses will have a visual theme that runs through their grid. Whether that be a specific filter, or overlay or even subject matter. This use of theme allows your audience to recognise your content easier and as a consequence improve the brand awareness for your brand.
No need to get all photoshop on this, Instagram has a great array of filters to choose from. And what filter gets the most engagement on Instagram, well currently, it’s Clarendon!
Use relevant and trending hashtags
Instagram loves hashtags, so if you aren’t using them – you should be. TrackMaven found that while Facebook and Twitter should only use one or two to ensure maximum engagement, Instagram posts with more hashtags actually perform much better, with 9 hashtags seeing the best results overall.
There’s an art to using hashtags though, and it helps to stay on top of what’s trending to make sure you’re using the hashtags that people are searching for. However, don’t trade popularity for relevancy. Use trending hashtags where possible, but don’t include them if they have nothing to do with your brand and business.
How do you find what’s trending? Hashtagify allows you to see the most popular hashtags used in a month, as well as see how popular individual hashtags are. There are also hashtags that are a pretty safe bet no matter the time of year. These are typically based around the days of the week, like #MondayMotivation or #TBT, giving you suitable hashtags no matter the day. You can find out more about them in this article from Vision Creative Group.
Be mobile orientated
Mobile is Instagram’s true home. With a desktop, you can only view posts on Instagram, and those with tablets don’t even have a dedicated app yet!
If almost everyone is accessing Instagram from their phone, then it makes sense that any links you include in your profile are mobile friendly. Your first port of call is making sure your own business’s website is mobile friendly – as your Instagram profile should at least include a link to your site.
What if you want to direct people to more than one link though? Not a problem – with platforms such as LNK.BIO, you can set up multiple links in your bio description. Handy for campaigns and one-off promotions!
From there, make it a habit to check that all links you include go to a website that’s mobile friendly. If you offer up links that aren’t optimised for mobile, users will be unlikely to click on them in the future, so it’s well worth it in the long run.
Have an easy to find handle
Your Instagram handle is essentially your username – it’s what people search for to find your business on the platform. And if it doesn’t match your brand, it could make it difficult for potential customers to find you.
Fortunately, it’s easy enough to change. Say you run a website called ‘Rock N Roll Clothing’, and that’s how it’s spelt on your logo and your website. If your Instagram handle is ‘rockandrollclothing’ people may not find you, because you’re using ‘and’ instead of the letter ‘N’. Make sure your handle reflects the spelling and grammar of your business accurately to ensure you’re as easy to find as possible.
Use Instagram Stories
Launched back in August 2016, Instagram stories allows users to post pictures and videos that are separate from their posts. What’s the point you ask? With the ability to use stickers, music, GIFs, ask questions, and a whole lot more, it opened a whole new way for businesses to creatively interact with their audience.
If you’re looking for additional ways to drive traffic and boost engagement on your profile, Instagram stories is a great way to do this. Get creative with the tools available and give your audience a reason to check out what you have to offer!
Want help making your Instagram account the best it can be? Check out our Social Animal course to make sure your social media is up to scratch, or pay a visit to one of our creative content workshops to see how you can be generating awesome content for all of your platforms.