Instagram is now used by 35% of adults online, and 38% of those use it casually throughout the day. Add to that the fact that 59% of millennials (inarguably, the cohort with the most buying power) are active Instagram users, and you have one of the most prolific social media platforms of today.
With such a massive presence in our lives, and as the preferred network of the majority, businesses are recognising the platform as a marketing tool that can be used to engage, entertain and form relationships with their customers and prospects. Instagram comes with a range of features and tools that can help business maximise their usage of the platform.
Here are 10 Instagram secrets all business users need to know:
- Post videos between 8pm and 9pm
The best time to post videos on Instagram is between 8pm and 9pm. Why? Well, it could be down to a number of reasons – but most likely, people like to wait until the evening to properly scroll and consume video content. For maximum engagement, wait until the evening to post that quirky vid.
- Keep feed videos and story videos separate
Research shows that the optimum length for feed videos is between 3 seconds and one minute, while story videos is a maximum of 15 seconds, to garner optimum engagement. Users tend to spend more time within the stories feature and therefore are more welcoming of longer edits. Anything after 3 seconds in your feed might not be seen.
- Use Instagram filters without actually posting to Instagram
Everyone loves an Instagram filter. Maybe you’d like to use one for a LinkedIn or Facebook picture, or perhaps just for general marketing, or personal requirements. But did you know you can actually use the filters without posting to your Instagram feed at all? Before selecting the photo from your gallery, turn your phone onto airplane mode. Follow the usual protocols for uploading a photo to Instagram (even hit share) but, instead of uploading the photo to Instagram it will be saved to your gallery.
- Turn off comments on a particular post
This one could be useful for many reasons. Perhaps there’s no need for comments, or you want encourage prospects and customers to direct message you instead. Or, perhaps you simply don’t have the time to manage and monitor comments for that particular week. Whatever the reason, the feature is easy to switch on. When uploading the photo, you’ll come to a page where you can enter your caption. On this page, at the very bottom you’ll see ‘Advanced Settings’. Click here to switch off comments.
- Add and manage multiple accounts under the same email address
If you manage more than one account, or simply want the ease of having your personal and professional accounts in one place, Instagram can facilitate just that. There’s also a function to allow you to quickly switch between multiple accounts without logging out of the app every time.
Simply go to settings, scroll to the bottom and click on ‘Add account’. The real beauty is you can add them all under the same email address and password, but different email addresses and passwords are also facilitated.
- Block comments based on a particular keyword
Avoid trolls by blocking comments based on particular keywords. You can do this by heading to privacy and security underneath settings, then comment controls and turning on ‘Hide offensive comments’. You’ll then see a manual filter which will allow you to add specific words, phrases and emojis for the app to filter out automatically.
- Like to gain more followers
According the Neil Patel, for every 100 posts he randomly liked, he received on average 21.7 likes and 6.1 new followers. We would question the ‘randomness’ though, and recommend you try and keep this ‘liking strategy’ within the realms of your targeted and topical accounts and followers.
- Add clickable links to your bio
Instagram now lets you add links, hashtags and @tags to your bio, which can be especially useful if you are running a hashtag campaign or wish to direct followers to your blog or product pages.
- Remove posts from your page without deleting them
You might like to keep your page to a minimum number of images, or perhaps, older photos show out of date products or offers that are no longer relevant. If you prefer not to delete them entirely, simply archive by clicking on the three dots toward the top righthand corner of the image, and selecting archive.
- Optimise for the ‘Explore’ page
If you’re still trying to increase your number of followers, you could be at your wit’s end getting your posts out further than just your family and friends. But by posting interesting and aesthetically great content which lands on the Explore page, your chances of landing more likes and followers will surge.
But how to reach the ‘Explore’ page? The ‘Explore’ page can be found by clicking on the magnifying glass icon in the bottom toolbar. It organises content based on topics, so try and use topic-associated words when hashtagging and captioning that pertain to your business. This could be anything from ‘Science’, ‘SEO’, ‘Fashion’, or ‘Baking’. The algorithm works by showing popular content liked by similar followers, so with these tweaks and a gradual increase in exposure, the platform will naturally encourage the right audience to engage with your content.
Instagram is becoming one of the most prolific marketing tools we have. With social media an integral part of our everyday lives, more and more people are using ephemeral and visual content to engage with and research brands and businesses. Our relationship with visual content is evolving, and people are more familiar and comfortable with the image-based content than ever before. They know that Instagram provides the tools to search, organise and find exactly what they want which explains why so many are now using the platform to seek out products and research brands.
Take advantage of this, as business, brand or a service. Align your strategy with people who fit the mould for potential customer and watch your online popularity (and sales) begin to grow.