I would argue that Instagram is currently the most popular social media platform overall. Some platforms may have a larger number of a certain age group, but everyone likes photos. Influencers have greater success through Instagram and it’s something about the visual element. While many people use it to share photos and short videos with friends, many influencers have built success from their Instagram posts. Instagram provides more advantages than any other social media platform if they are utilized properly. One can easily increase their likes and social reach overnight. The increase won’t be huge at first, but it will continue to grow.
Instagram limits the number of hashtags per post to 30 tags. This may not feel like a limit as it can be difficult to come up with even 10 hashtags, but it is important. Instagram users can follow hashtags as well as other profiles. When searching hashtags, one can see how many posts there are with that hashtag. If it has over a million posts, that’s one you want to use as well. If it has over five million posts, that hashtag will definitely boost a post’s reach. Make sure the hashtags are appropriate for a post or fit the comments you include with the post.
DM, Follow, Double Tap, Comment, Tag
Every IG post should include a Call to Action (CTA). This means tell the audience to do something. In the end, it’s their choice to do it or not, but it’s a way to increase engagement with every post. Ask them to direct message (DM) the post to someone or a number of people. Ask them to follow the feed if they don’t already. Double Tap is a quick way to like a post while scrolling. Tagging friends and commenting are other ways to request engagement. Each post should ask or tell something different for its CTA.
Follow for Follow Doesn’t Happen
More often than not, when people follow someone and their trying to build their list of followers, they will unfollow a short time after someone follows them back. I try to avoid this because I think it’s unprofessional and tacky but many still do it. Don’t get angry when it happens. It is what it is. I encourage everyone not to do this. Not everyone has to get followed back. The ones who truly want to see the posts will follow and continue following and they are the only ones that matter. Just keep posting.
No Website Links in Posts
Many haven’t noticed that one cannot copy the text from a post. Hashtags can be clicked but not links. Posting a link in a post is pointless and will not convince anyone to type it out in their web browser. Save space and don’t post any links. The only place a link is allowed is in a profile bio section. A Call to Action people use in their posts is “Click the link in our bio!” Unless an Instagram Ad is purchased, links cannot be added to a post. Only one link is allowed in the bio so use the space wisely.
Call to Action in Bio
Just like in a post, the bio section should also have a Call to Action (CTA). Usually something like “Click the link below” but it should be creative. Post a link to a fundraise page with “Donate Now” or if tickets are sold, post the link with “Buy Tickets Now.” Mention reading a blog or entering a giveaway or whatever needs to be promoted at the time. The bio is a valuable space for marketing and for a specific CTA. Don’t let the bio space grow dull and boring. Hashtags can be included in the bio, so the profile pops up in searches for that hashtag.
Some folks will post once a month and have 600 story posts per day. To each their own, but stories last for 24 hours and are seen at the top of one’s feed. Stories can have a greater reach with one’s followers than the posts because of algorithms and feed refreshing. Some users will post in their story that they have a new post on their feed. Tagging others and posting polls and questions are popular in stories and this adds to the Call to Action. Have users vote on photos or something fun to increase engagement. These stories can also be added to a Facebook Story if a Facebook account is connected.
Instagram likely holds the future for digital marketing and audience engagement. Few platforms can do so much with little space, especially when this is a mobile only platform. If a business or public figure is not using Instagram, they are missing out on a tremendous opportunity. The only thing it costs is time. And putting in the work will reap rewards in the long run. No one will get famous overnight. With enough time, one can easily build their brand awareness with little to no costs. It’s as simple as taking a photo.