According to Forbes, Instagram is the top social platform for engagement. There are several reasons why. The first and most noteworthy is its mobile functionality. It’s simple to use no matter where you are, and people love using it to capture on-the-go moments.
Another reason is the visual appeal. Everyone loves visuals. As humans, we learn and gather new information by sight, so Instagram appeals to us in that way. Additionally, a large percentage of users are young and fuel the energy and content that’s seen on the platform.
Now knowing some of the major benefits of Instagram, you might be thinking, “What could I do to utilize Instagram more efficiently and actually reach my audience?” Here are several strategies to utilize for greater reach and transforming your brand:
- Optimal Posting Times
- Using Video
- Instagram Stories
- Using Paid Ads
- Original Content
1) Optimal Posting Times
Posting times can vary depending on your timezone and the type of content you’re publishing. You should look at your page analytics to discover true traffic spikes. By examining your current data, you’ll be positioning your content at peak times.
However, recent analytics from Sprout Social discovered interesting data for optimal times. According to their analytics, on average, the best time to post is between 2 PM and 3 PM CDT. Be advised that engagement on your posts can differ depending on what day of the week you post. The absolute best day and times to post on Instagram are 5 AM, 11 AM, and 4 PM on Thursday.
2) Using Video
Futurists are predicting that 80% of global internet consumption will be video content by 2021. Consequently, now more than ever, companies are capitalizing on the power of video. But why is video is the preferred method of communication (and ultimately so important)?
It’s about educating. Video watch time on Instagram has increased by 40 percent over a six-month period, so naturally, companies want to broadcast the benefits of their brand. By having video content and using it correctly, you could also be producing better engagement, clicks, and generating more sales for your products or services.
3) Encourage Engagement
With so many options, how do you actually get people to engage with your business? Probably one of the easiest ways is to just simply start asking questions. When you share content, start the caption by asking a question. You’ll gain an understanding of how your audience feels.
Another method is to do a giveaway contest. Start by outlining criteria for the contest, such as “tag a friend and comment below” in order to establish fair play.
By offering something to your audience, they are more likely to like your post and tag their friends in it. If they really love it, they’ll potentially share it on their story.
4) Instagram Stories
Using stories to promote and share your brand is becoming more and more popular. It’s a great way to get noticed (especially during a contest) and share your message. How exactly do you get noticed? Put simply, Instagram features your page on top of your followers’ feed, making the user more likely to see it. The same concept applies if you go live on Instagram.
The biggest key is that you’re crafting a great story. People are more likely to pay attention and keep watching if they feel like you’re producing quality content. Stories, much like the feed, is based on algorithms, so the more regular views you have, the higher you rank on their feed.
5) Using Paid Ads
Using paid ads is another great approach. If you’re hesitant at first, just know that boosting a meaningful post can mean big things for your business in the long run. A paid “reach” could lead to higher organic traffic and ranking over time.
If you’re unsure which post to boost, Instagram can help. If you’re looking for a particular post, you can use the ‘see more’ button under ‘top posts’ (on the mobile app). You can then filter by the type of post, select ‘engagement’, and sort by the desired number of days.
6) Original Content
Lastly, and probably most importantly, create content that’s specific for Instagram. Each social platform is different, so posting the same thing as you would on Facebook or Twitter just isn’t ideal. If you can’t completely change the content, then at least write a specific caption for your Instagram post.
Creating original content doesn’t have to be hard. Try using one of many free design websites with pre-made templates and sizes. If you don’t have a graphics or photo person, finding free images online is easy too. The more unique and true to your brand you are, the more it resonates with your audience.
So there you have it. If you’ve been looking for more effective ways to make an impact and reach your audience, this is it. Instagram is a powerful platform to get noticed by your ideal customers. By implementing the tactics and being genuine, engaging, and active, you’re well on your way to transforming your business.