Instagram hashtag analysis – the ultimate guide to Instagram hashtags

Why you should use hashtags on Instagram

Hashtags are essential in expanding your reach and getting you noticed on Instagram and they can’t be arbitrary or made-up. You need a good strategy.

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Why?

Because using a niche-specific hashtag puts your content into a category and makes it easier to find. They’re basically a huge filing system for Instagram to determine which content fits in with which category. Anyone using or searching for a particular hashtag will see all of the content associated with it. So they don’t just help you get noticed by your target audience, they also help that audience to find your content.

Using the right hashtag helps to positively build your brand and find the right followers who are going to provide you with valuable engagement.

Want to learn about the best hashtags to use in 2018? Take a look at the list we’ve compiled.

It’s not enough just to use the most popular ones though. They can link to so much content that yours will be lost in the proverbial crowd. You need to tailor your hashtags specifically to your content.

In keeping with the 2018 algorithm, where your content appears on the hashtag search page depends on how many “likes” and comments it received, how popular the hashtag is and how recently you shared it.

There are a few things to consider when choosing which hashtags to include in your content. We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to the world of hashtags and how to use them to reach potential customers, improve your engagement and snag more followers.

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Do your research

If you haven’t used Excel since high school, now’s a good time to re-acquaint yourself. There’s also Google Sheets if you don’t have Microsoft Office, or just prefer to work online. Using a spreadsheet, you can keep a record all of your hashtags and track which ones get the most engagement and, therefore, which ones are likely to be best for your brand.

Of course, if this is just another thing that you haven’t got time to add to your list, Growth Factor can help! Let the experienced management team assign your hashtags, schedule your posts and even create your content, whilst you sit back and watch the magic happen.

…Or use Instagram Insights hashtag analysis

If you just don’t have the time to keep track of all your hashtags, another way to track the progress of their usage is to use the relatively recent feature on Instagram Insights. It not only tracks how much reach a post achieves, but it also looks at impressions and highlights whether that user found you via your hashtag or other means. It’s not as thorough as keeping your own records, but it’s very effective in saving you time!

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Consider your niche

Check which hashtags your competitors are using, and which ones are getting the most engagement. Check which ones are most popular and follow suit. It could be useful to look at what influencers in your niche are hashtagging too – they’re the ones who have already got this Instagram following business all wrapped up after all.

It’s important to couple this with your own research, as not every brand in a particular niche is going to operate exactly the same, or have the exact same target audience.

 

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Narrow your focus

Another thing to consider is checking which of the hashtags you’ve found have a smaller volume of content and make sure you sprinkle some of those in there too. It’s easier to be spotted in a smaller pool of content, and while you will potentially get a further reach with the more ‘popular’ hashtags, make sure you’re using some of each.

For example, using #marketing, whilst it may seem relevant to what you’re doing for your brand, will gather content from everything from hairdressers to restaurants. Make it as specific as you can, without being totally obscure.

Say I enjoy procrastinating with cute pictures of cats (hypothetically of course), #catsofinstagram will bring up a huge amount of content (90,429, 011 posts on this day, to be exact), but #norwegianforestcats will narrow down the search (670 posts), to specific content relating to those huge, beautiful furries, for me, or, you know, whoever it is doing the procrastinating.

 

Check related hashtags

When you type a hashtag into the search bar, it drops down to reveal related ones. This is a good way to collect different hashtags to try out on your posts.

Following hashtags

Another recent update was the ability to follow hashtags. Following your own brand’s hashtag can be super useful in seeing who and how many people are engaging with it. It also allows you to directly engage in return with anyone who gives your brand a mention. This helps towards building relationships and creating an honest, personable brand.

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Hashtags on your bio

You can now include clickable hashtags on your bio. This not only provides you with another useful bio-function to communicate with your audience and others in your community, but it also works to highlight your content.

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Hashtags on your Stories

Another practical use of the hashtag is to attach a few to your Instagram Stories posts – another way to get your valuable content seen. This has the added bonus that if anyone searches that hashtag, your Story may become visible in their Stories queue at the top of the page, therefore reaching more and more users.

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Don’t over-hashtag

You can use a maximum of 30 hashtags on Instagram. However, there’s no evidence that maxing out the number of hashtags on every bit of content you post increases your engagement. In fact, it can be quite off-putting and take away from your carefully curated content and your beautifully crafted caption.

There is a lot of conflicting advice over this one though, and the numbers seem to shift quite often. But the general rule of thumb seems to be somewhere between 8 and 14. At the moment, 11 is referred to as the ‘magic number’. Don’t rely on these statistics though, it really is about figuring out what works for your brand and your followers, so experiment!

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Different types of hashtags

It can be useful to your Instagram hashtag strategy to understand the different types of hashtags and what purposes they serve.

 

Campaign hashtags

Campaign hashtags can be a difficult strategy to orchestrate, but when done right they can be really effective. They can create brand awareness and bring together your community in a fun and engaging way, whilst also building your following and expanding your reach.

They’re short-term hashtags linked to a specific advertising campaign. An example is #tweetfromtheseat, a campaign by Charmin that got people to give their hypothetical tweets, from the seat. It was funny and engaging and people across social media got involved.

You have to have an original idea and a catchy tag for it to work; it needs to take off. You don’t even need to have a specific product if your idea is interesting enough. Play around with it and run it past some friends and colleagues to figure out what would work best for your brand and resonate most with your target audience.

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Branded hashtags

Branded hashtags are the ones that pertain to a certain brand or business. They can be something as simple as your brand name or a product. It could just as easily be nothing to do with your name and everything to do with your brand identity. Just pick something that defines your brand and that you’re happy being associated with.

A great way to utilise your branded hashtag is to encourage your followers to use it in their posts and get your name out to a wider community.

 

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Community hashtags

Community hashtags are those that aren’t connected to a specific brand but rather a concept or a subject that brings those in that niche community together.

To find these, check what those in your niche or your competitors are already using and have a look at them. Joining your brand to a wider community through the use of one of these hashtags can help extend your reach exponentially.

If you’re struggling with hashtags and how to make them work for your brand, get in touch with Growth Factor. Their packages include bespoke, focused strategies to grow your Instagram brand online, including appropriate and well-placed hashtags. Why not leave the messy business of choosing the right hashtag to the experts?

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The best times to post content on Instagram for optimum engagement

Did you know that there are optimum times to post on Instagram to get the maximum amount of engagement?

It may sound simple, but it’s something a lot of users don’t take into consideration.

And it makes a huge difference to your engagement.

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Engagement features heavily in the 2018 Instagram algorithm. To get your posts bumped up your followers’ news feeds and even secure a coveted spot on the Explore page, you need engagement. That means as many valuable “likes”, comments and shares as you can get in the shortest amount of time possible.

There are several factors included in posting your Instagram content at the best times and we want to share those with you in this post.

Analysing the existing data

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According to recent studies, there are a few key times and days that are best for posting your content:

  • Sproutsocial found when analysing their own customers’ engagement on Instagram that Wednesday at around 3 pm is the best time to post. And Sundays are the worst days for engagement.
  • Later, after a recent poll of social media marketers, encouraged users to post evenings between 7-9pm and lunchtimes between 11am-1pm.
  • Coschedule analysed data from a variety of different sources and found Monday and Thursday, 5 am, 8-9am and 5 pm to be the best times for posting.

Confused?

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Don’t throw in the marketing towel just yet. We can give you your own tools to build a posting strategy that fits your brand.

The bottom line is that, while it’s a good idea to post outside of office hours or at lunchtimes when people are less likely to be working, it really isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of situation. And there are quite a few factors to consider.

Knowing your Instagram audience

When are they active?

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So, you’re posting amazing fitness-related content at 7 pm every evening, because you heard it was the best time to post. But your target audience is mainly pursuing their fitness goals after a long day of work, instead of engaging with your content and buying your incredible fitness-wear.

We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to know your audience. Especially since the 2018 algorithm re-introduced chronology as a factor in what Instagram users see daily. So, your followers are more likely to see the most recent posts when they start scrolling after their work-out.

Geographical location and time zones

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Where does the majority of your audience live? It might surprise you that it isn’t even in your country. Or, if you have a physical location that you work out of, it might be almost exclusively in your immediate geographical area.

The important thing is to know where your audience is. You can then adjust your posting times according to the different time zones.

There are other programs and companies who can do this for you but the analytic tool available for Instagram Business users, Instagram Insights, is as good a place as any to start with. It is a function of the Instagram business accounts that can provide you with detailed data on your followers such as location and engagement rates.

If you don’t have the time or the inclination to learn how to gather your own data, Growth Factor can help with that. They can provide you with a detailed report of everything you need to know to start posting at the right times. They can even schedule those posts for you, so you really don’t have to worry about anything.

Consider your niche

It really depends on what type of industry you’re operating in. If your target audience is predominantly in the medical industry, your optimum posting times will be erratic (shift work’s a killer). And it could be that early morning, at 2 am is your best time to post.

However, if it’s those in the education sector, you can be pretty safe in the knowledge those evening hours (7-9pm) are probably what they use for their downtime (a.k.a. scrolling through social media), and that they’re tucked up in bed at 2 am, ready for the next working day.

It’s important to note though that a few other factors need to be considered, such as age, interests and previous engagement. A good analytic tool can help you figure these things out.

 

When NOT to post

If there are times you should post, there are bound to be times that you shouldn’t. If your target audience is mostly office workers, then you should avoid posting at 9 am and 6 pm. This likely correlates with people starting work and making their way home or settling down for the evening.

It emphasises the need to be specific in your timing though, and to get it spot-on.

Several studies found that you should also avoid Sundays if you’re looking for high engagement. If you ever needed an excuse to have a day off from managing your social media, this is it.

 

Post on Instagram Frequently

Consistency is important. If you want to be recognised and trusted, you need to be posting as regularly as possible for optimum engagement. Get your followers to recognise you. Be dependable with your presence. Depending on your audience and their previous engagement patterns, the amount you need to be posting can vary.

The best way to monitor this is to go back to basics with your research. Utilising Instagram Insights is, again, essential here. Gradually increase your posts every few days and track the engagement. Do you get more engagement by posting twice a day, rather than once? Three times? Or does your engagement level out after twice? Monitoring your account for two or three weeks will give you a good overview of this information and help you create an effective strategy.

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Some final tips

Post important stuff on weekdays

It seems that Monday to Friday is the best days to get seen and get engagement. There’s no rule against posting at weekends, but if you’ve got some important content to share, start by sticking the tried and tested days and times.

It’s also a good place to start your research. Tracking which posts get the best engagement will help you build the picture you need to find your best times and days to post.

Schedule your posts

We understand that you can’t spend your day waiting, with your finger poised over the ‘post’ button for that holy hour. You can use the recently updated Instagram Graph API to schedule posts though, and even keep watch on what you’ve been tagged in, amongst other features.

Or even better, have the experts at Growth Factor schedule your posts for you, so you can get on with all the other important things involved in running your business.

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Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t panic. Get in touch with Growth Factor and see how we can help you get your account managed efficiently and grow your brand.

How to write the best Instagram captions 2019

Introduction

You’ve taken the perfect photograph. Your dog’s ‘brows were on fleek and the natural ambience of the lighting was just perfect. The face he was pulling was both adorable and pensive… but how do you caption it?

Do you go with philosophical and inspirational? Do you partner it with something serious to take the edge off with your loveable photo? Do you write something hilarious?

And what will you call on your followers to do? Share a dog pic of their own? Or simply give a “like” to your delightful doggo?

It really is difficult to write the perfect caption. And the caption is just as important as the photograph. It can be the difference between being successful and being un-followed!

Which is why we’ve put together this extensive list of tips and tricks to get you writing great captions that promote engagement!

But why is it so important?

Put plainly, your caption could be the difference between your post being seen or not.

As we talked about in our previous post, the 2018 Instagram algorithm favours engagement. If your post gets loads of engagement, you’ll be bumped up the news feed, possibly all the way to a coveted spot on the Explore Page! So, what you write and how you engage with your followers is really important.

It can not only tell the bits of your story that your images may not convey, but it can provide vital context and show off your personality and your brand’s voice.

Whilst excellent visual content is always top of the list, writing good captions that actively entertain and encourage engagement should be a very close second.

8 things to consider when crafting the perfect caption

 

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1. Knowing your audience

We know, this again. But it really is the underlying key to every good marketing strategy, inside and outside of Instagram.

Utilize the Instagram Insights feature on your business account to discover things about your audience like: gender, age, location, interested, other engagement. It’s also important to pay attention to what sort of jobs and hobbies they have. That way, you can post content that will appeal directly to the majority of your audience.

You can decide how much context to provide, when to explain references further and the appropriate wording or use of emojis.

If the prospect of all that research seems daunting, Instagram managers like Growth Factor can do your analytics for you and find who best to aim your marketing strategies towards.

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2. Your ‘voice’

How do you want to appear to your potential customers? What values does your brand represent? Are you fun and outgoing? Or a little more serious?

Of course, Instagram isn’t meant for total seriousness, so always try to show a little humour and enjoyment. But know what adjectives best describe your brand, create a complementary personality, and try to illustrate it all with your captions.

Instagram is a social platform on which you can really show off the more intimate and authentic facets of your brand and connect with your customers on a friendlier level.

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3. Length and the first words

Length is a really important consideration. It’s one to consider when thinking about what your brand’s ‘voice’ is. Are you a storyteller? Or are you more prone to lightning-quick witticisms? What do your products lend themselves to?

For example, if your product is something technical or your niche is more obscure, you may get away with having longer captions that provide enough context. If your text adds value, go for it! But if you can, let your content speak for itself.

People scroll rapidly through their news-feed. Keeping it short and sweet is always recommended. Remember, the news-feed only shows the first three lines of your caption, that’s 125 characters or less. Which brings us to our next point… the first words.

The first words need to capture your reader and inspire them to click that ‘read more’ link, if there’s more to be read. They need to display your intent and, if there is one, your call to action (more on that further down).

 

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4. Re-write. And re-write again.

Don’t be afraid to take a bit of time over editing and re-writing your caption. We know that there is a certain time pressure when it comes to posting on Instagram, but the 2018 algorithm still favours engagement over chronology. And for engagement, you need great images and well-written captions.

Hands up who can’t abide poor grammar and spelling!

Yeah, neither can we. With your brand splashed so publicly across social media for all to see (ie. judge), it’s important to be the best you can be.

Having a fresh set of eyes glance over your words is always useful. Especially when you’ve stared at and re-written the same post eighteen times and the letters are beginning to look like random black, pixelated squiggles on your computer monitor (we’ve all been there). Get a friend to check it before you post it.

Cut unnecessary waffle – making your post as easy to read as possible is a priority.

 

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5. Calls to Action

Speak directly to your followers. Ask them a question.

It could be something as simple as a “like if you agree!” caption, or it could be a multiple choice on which of your products is their favourite one. Ask them to let you know in the comments.

You can also ask your followers for their opinion on something you’ve created, or something you plan to create. Get them involved with your brand on a personal level, by simply asking.

Of course, your content will need to be great before your first attempt. A tumbleweed blowing across an empty comment box just won’t look great for your brand.

Maybe try presenting your followers with a nice, safe competition first time round. Offer something fabulous and ask them to like, comment and share to be in with a chance to win it!

 

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6. Give a shout-out!

You might sometimes find that using trending images and re-purposed ones can help you to provide valuable content to your followers. Of course, you’ll need to acknowledge where you got the content. Which is actually a great opportunity.

Not only is this a great way to build relationships with potential influencers and others in your niche, it is also expanding your reach. It is highly likely that some of those followers of the person or brand you tag will also engage with your content.

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7. Use hashtags the right way

Hashtags can make or break your post and you should really spend a bit of time researching the best ones and how to make them work for your content. We’ve put together a list of some of the best hashtags for 2019 here.

A few things that are useful to know though:

  • The ideal amount is seven or less. (91% of top brands follow this!)
  • Use hashtags that are relevant to your niche
  • If you need to use a lot, try not to ‘clutter’ your caption. Instead try putting them in the comments below your post, or use asterisks or line breaks to separate them.

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8. Use emojis

Emojis are increasingly popular across all forms of media. They can add context and stand in for full words. You can even create sentences from them, allowing you to keep your captions short and sweet.

They can also fashion humour, showcase your personality and draw in your followers’ attention.

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If you need some further and more solid inspiration, check out our post on the different types of captions and how to utilise them!

 

Don’t forget to get it out there!

You can write the best caption possible and attach it to the most engaging content you’ve ever produced, but if no one sees it, it’s a totally wasted effort. See our blog posts for inspiration on how to get your content seen. If you just don’t have the time, have a look at our cost-effective solutions. It can be really tempting to just buy a one-off ad campaign to get your content out there fast. But the reality is, that once you stop paying out for subsequent campaigns, it’s a tried-and-proven fact that your engagement will drop off almost instantly.

The dedicated team at Growth Factor do more than an ad campaign ever could and it can cost you much less in the long run, with far better results. To see Growth Factor’s engagement packages (including ones to help you go viral!), check out our website.

The 7 main types of Instagram captions and where they work best

Introduction

Instagram captions are second only in importance to the images themselves. They are a chance to show your brand’s personality, connect with your audience and encourage them to engage.

There are some basic rules to follow when writing your captions (See our post on writing the perfect caption), but if you need some more solid inspiration there are also some specific categories you can use to shape your captions.

We’ve compiled a list of seven of the most popular styles of captions for you to fit your niche-tailored content into and what types of brands work best with each one.

 

1. The follow-the-link Instagram caption

Unfortunately, you can’t insert links to your important pages directly into your captions. What you can do instead is direct your followers to your bio, where you can place your link.

It does involve keeping that link useful and up-to-date, but a good brand should keep their whole profile and content useful and up-to-date anyway.

You could direct your followers, using your link, to your website, your promotional page or just more useful content such as videos and information on your brand. This is particularly useful for brands whose services or products rely heavily on video content, for example those in the music or film industry.

It’s also useful for any brand who wants to direct their followers to a competition page.

2. The behind-the-curtains Instagram caption

Behind-the-scenes posts are really important. You can connect with your followers on a much more personal level and foster trust and support by showing them the real-life faces behind the products.

This could be particularly useful for brands who sell a service, such as marketing. You can show your team, together in the office and working on the latest project. Behind the scenes shots shouldn’t be limited to just any brand though. Everyone can benefit from getting a little personal.

The photo itself may show a sea of random faces, your caption puts a name to those faces. This not only connects your audience to your team, but shows that you value your staff.

Not only can you show your personable side you can also show your products being produced. People love to know where their products came from. Are you providing an organic, home-made body lotion? Snap a pic of the process of manufacturing it and describe what’s happening in your caption.

3. The technical-description Instagram caption

This can be useful if the content you’re trying to show needs further explanation. Your niche could be something like energy-saving or tech products, or anything that shows innovation in any niche.

Is it something pioneering in your field? Would your followers benefit from a physical description of how your product works, or how it came to be and why? Does your content require a back-story?

These captions can be a little longer if the words are adding value to your image. Cut the unnecessary words and make sure you don’t repeat yourself and you can get away with providing a little extra info.

4. The how-to Instagram caption

This could be a how-to instructional process on how to use your new eyeshadow palette or how to make your grans secret-recipe lasagne. The food and beauty industries lend themselves perfectly to these sorts of captions.

You can even create an instructional video alongside your carefully detailed caption to give valuable visual content. Video is hot right now on Instagram.

The written instructions can still be incredibly useful though, especially if you have to whisk quickly through your video so as not to make it drawn-out and boring. It’s a fine balancing act and your caption will still need to be concise and to the point, but that’s nothing a few good drafts can’t solve. Edit and re-edit until you’ve got the perfect, concise step-by-step process.

5. The Instagram competition caption

This is particularly useful for engagement. Calling your followers to action with a prize incentive isn’t to be sniffed at. Everyone loves free stuff – especially when all it takes to be in with a chance is a few clicks of the mousepad.

Keep the written instructions short and sweet and don’t ask too much of your followers. Make sure you’re clear with your instructions on what they need to do to win.

The competition caption can be utilised in almost every niche and industry.

6. The tale-telling Instagram caption

Writing a story in your caption is a little trickier to pull off well. It must be compelling, concise and well-told. There can be no wandering or useless information. All of the main points need to be considered and told neatly.

Instagram’s character limit is generous, but it’s no place for a novel.

This is a good one for adventurers or the film industry. Does your brand take you all over the world? Do you need to tell a tantalising amount of your tale to get followers hooked and wanting to watch your short film? Tell them a story.

The important thing to remember is getting those first few lines perfect. The first 125 characters are what shows up in your followers’ news-feeds. If you want them to click to read more, they have to be sufficiently engaged in those first three lines.

As a rule of thumb in all story-telling, and even more so here, you should really think about where the most interesting place to start your story is, even if that’s right at the end. Did you end your travels on some spectacular mishap? Describe it and leave your followers wondering what on earth landed you at that point.

7. The picture-tells-a-thousand-words Instagram caption

Finally, there is no shame in relying on your photographs to tell the story. If they do the job, there is no harm in leaving them to do so. Don’t write captions that are unnecessary, meandering and tiresome.

This is another good one for adventurers, or those with products that are easily recognisable. Trust your followers to not need some things explaining to them and let your incredible images do the talking.

 

Some handy tools for your caption-writing tool-box

 

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Grammarly

Grammarly is like spell-check, but better. It will highlight grammar mistakes that most spell-check software misses. And even better? It’s totally free.

It can even expand your vocabulary and avoid repetition, offering synonyms when you can’t think of one.

Captiona

Need some more specific help? Captiona will literally suggest captions relating to specific keywords you enter.

Whilst we aren’t suggesting you copy them down exactly, you can definitely use this app to get your creative juices flowing. Remember to try and be original and always capture your brand’s voice.

Instagram marketing strategies to grow your brand

What is a marketing strategy?

Although it may sound technical, a marketing strategy is no more than a long-term, focused plan to sell your products or services to new and existing customers.

This won’t come as a surprise, if you’re not new to marketing your brand, that having several of these on various platforms is absolutely essential in growing your business.

 

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But why Instagram?

Well, with the latest changes to the algorithm, engagement is key. And Instagram is a very engageable platform – it’s not hard to orchestrate the changes you want to see once you know how. With 25 million businesses already doing it, and 80% of over 800 million users following at least one business (source), you’d have to be crazy not to jump on that bandwagon.

In this post we’ll tell you what you need to concentrate on when planning your own Instagram marketing strategy to expand your reach and increase your engagement.

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Goal: Create a wealth of loyal and valuable followers

Strategy: Connect on a personal level with your target audience through effective and targeted communication.

You should have some knowledge of who your audience are and what they want to see. If you don’t, you can research it. Amongst other ways, the easiest way to do this is via Instagram Insights that you get for free with a business account. It shows you all sorts of things like the age, gender, location and previous engagement of your followers. There are also companies out there (like Growth Factor) who can provide you with an even more thorough portfolio of your target audience, so you can tailor your marketing even more effectively.

Once you know exactly who they are and what they want, there are a number of ways you can connect with your audience. Because it really is all about building a relationship built on entertainment, enjoyment and trust. Court your potential customers.

If you need some more information on researching your audience, we put together a post that explains just how to do it.

Actions you can take:

  • Calls to action – Call on your followers to “like”, comment or share your content. But remember to provide them with valuable content, entertainment or a prize incentive.

 

  • User Generated Content (UGC) – This is a great way to get your audience involved personally with your brand. Asking users to share their personal experiences (e.g. their dog/cat/most recent trip abroad) with a linking hashtag, not only gets you noticed, but also makes them feel heard and valued.

 

It also provides authenticity in a world where advertising twists truths on a daily basis. People are more inclined to trust UGC and thus engage more readily with your brand. In fact 60% of us would allow our family and friends’ content to make an impact on their purchasing decisions, over a brand.

 

  • Be friendly. Be social – After all, it’s social media, right? So be social and connect with people. This is the most essential basis for any Instagram marketing strategy, to humanise your brand.

Beware of the language you use in communicating with your potential followers.

People don’t want to hear marketing jargon and over-exaggerated claims of greatness. Chat to your followers and engage them as you would a friend. It will show them you value them in more ways than just a pound sign.

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Goal: Getting your brand seen

Strategy: Find a great influencer

An influencer is someone with a valuable following who will share your content with their already-established audience to generate a further reach and more engagement for your brand.

Actions to take:

  • Find the right one – Choose someone in your niche and someone who you can build a good long-term relationship with. To get repeating results from an influencer, it shouldn’t be a one-off thing. Link with that person as an ambassador for your brand, especially in the beginning as you are building your own following.
  • Check their credentials – Who follows them and does their following match your target audience? What’s their previous engagement like? Do their credentials match their cost?
  • Choose what you’d like them to do – A product review, sponsored post or brand mention can boost your engagement exponentially. Remember they already have a loyal following who are more inclined to trust their recommendations.
  • Don’t over-look micro-influencers – You might be tempted to blow your marketing budget on a huge, one off promotion with one of the big influencers like a celebrity. But since the better strategy is to have consistent, valuable engagement to grow your following organically, you’d be wise to partner with a smaller influencer. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, their following, though smaller, will likely be more valuable, upping engagement levels.

Some of the larger influencers may have an obscene amount of followers, but it isn’t likely that every single one of those followers will be active. And the ones who are may not even see your post, since the 2018 algorithm has re-introduced some semblance of chronology. A post from a smaller influencer won’t get lost in the maelstrom as easily.

 

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Goal: Directing followers to content

Strategy: Utilise Instagram Stories

Although it may seem that content that disappears after 24 hours isn’t worth a lot of your time, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

The clue is in the name, but Instagram Stories is the perfect place to, well, tell your story!

Some more good news? The Story Highlights feature now allows your amazing content to be around for longer, meaning more time for your followers to engage.

Actions to take:

From behind-the-scenes access to your product, process or team, to events and promotions, there’s always a story to tell; so tell yours. The 24-hour disappearing act may seem a bit useless, but actually it compels you to keep your content up to date.

The trick is to string together the right images, GIF’s or videos in order to tell your story in a compelling way.

It’s also pretty easy to direct your followers to your story by posting a dangling carrot (metaphorically – unless your gig is selling root veg) and letting them know there’s something worth their while going on in your Story!

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Goal: Selling your products directly through Instagram

Strategy: Employ Instagram’s latest shopping updates

Designed to make online shopping from Instagram a more direct process, Instagram can now provide a tiny shopping bag icon that links customers directly to a product catalogue.

Actions to take:

  • Link it up! – All you need to do is link up your catalogue and you can post single images of your products and, essentially, tag them. Users can click to go directly to the purchase page.
  • ‘Swipe-up’ on Stories – Additionally, Instagram has a ‘swipe up’ feature whereby the user can swipe up on your Stories to access more detailed content or a purchase page. Slot this naturally into your Stories post and it will be a seamless process for your followers to purchase your products.
  • 24-hour promotions – Make use of the urgency provided by the disappearing content. Give users 24 hours to enter your competition and provide them with the links mentioned above to make it super-easy. You can also use this to provide limited-time offers like discounts or freebies.

 

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This list isn’t exhaustive. There are many more ways you can achieve your Instagram marketing goals through the right strategy. Some of the others include: Direct Messaging, paid ads and reaching the Explore page. Click the links to learn more about these other Instagram marketing strategies.

 

Identify your Instagram marketing goals

You need to identify what you want your Instagram account to achieve before you choose your strategy and piece all the components together. If you’re still not sure, the dedicated team at Growth Factor can look at your brand, your products, your current followers and engagement and provide you with a tailor-made Instagram marketing strategy to help you achieve your brand’s goals. With our amazing Consultancy Service, we can devise and implement it all for you too! If you want to ask any questions at all, please get in touch!

How to write a professional bio for your Instagram Business account

Introduction

First impressions really do make all the difference. Think of your Instagram bio as your job interview, where you’re answering your potential employer’s questions. The people reading it will decide whether to hire you or not; be that as their beauty therapist, social media marketer or purveyor of the latest fashion. Your ‘employers’ are your potential customers.

Whether the customer is always right or not, you need to impress them enough to want to buy your products or services. Which is why you need the best Instagram bio you can write.

In this post we’ll share our tips and tricks for writing an Instagram bio that will get you “hired”!

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Instagram bio for business step #1 – Your name and SEO

If you’re new to online marketing, the term ‘Search Engine Optimisation” probably makes you cringe. And rightly so, as it’s a whole new skill to learn. But fortunately, in this instance, you only need to know the basics. And that is, using the right words for your niche will get you noticed by Instagram’s search function:

Use your actual company name, not your Instagram name

If anyone searches you on Instagram, they’re likely to use your actual company name. Putting this in the “name” field in your profile will let people know you’re actually you when they search for you! Your “name” and “username” are what is used when the Instagram search engine does its thing, so this is really important.

 

Add some specifics

Do you have something you do that is specific to your brand? Something special in your niche? For example, maybe your beauty products are 100% organic, or you have a qualification that makes you stand out in your profession. Add that (briefly) into your name too! Allowing the search engine to pick up on those important words (this is where SEO comes in), means that when people search for the thing they want to purchase, if your “name” includes it, you’ll pop up in their search.

 

Be unique

Is there a way you can incorporate some humour into your name? Standing out from the crowd is the key factor. Especially in industries whereby there are a multitude of companies to choose from. If your name pops up in the search and makes the user chuckle, they’re more likely to click on you!

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Instagram bio for business step #2 – Special skills

You need to show off your skills, without being a show-off. Explaining what your brand does, and why you do it well is important. Especially if you already know what skill set or qualifications you have that could set you apart from your competitors.

If you have any hobbies or skills outside of your business that make you stand out, you should add them too. Are you a sky-diver in your spare time? Do you have a talent for creating excellent recipes?

Allowing your customers an inside view to who you are, as well as your brand makes for a much more personal and social experience. This is your chance to show off both your brand and yourself.

 

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Instagram bio for business step #3 – Your bio link

This is an important step in your bio-writing process, and it’s one that requires constant attention to keep it up-to-date. Why? Because Instagram only allows you one clickable link in your profile. So, you have to make it count.

Using this link to connect users to your blog or website is the obvious choice. But for those brands that provides services, rather than products, or for those who want to use the link as a way for users to interact with offers and campaigns, it can be a challenge.

Because Instagram’s news feed isn’t totally chronological, you could be directing someone to a link that you’ve already changed to something different. The best way to get around this, is if you are providing an offer or a webinar and directing people to your link through an Instagram post, citing “link in bio”, pop down an end date/day. This way, users will know the link won’t be available after a certain date.

 

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Instagram bio for business step #4 – Add your e-mail

The more contact details your customers have for you, the better. If a DM or a comment is missed and your customers need to contact you, they have another option.

Being available for your followers or influencers can really help to build those important, valuable relationships to drive up engagement on your account.

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Instagram bio for business step #5 – Use the right words

We’re back to SEO in this step. Although it doesn’t provide the search benefits that using key words in your Instagram bio “name” section provides, it’s still important.

Using key words from your industry or niche is not only important to identify what you do and what you provide but can help with consistency. Knowing what words your customers will identify with and their values can help you to connect with them this way. It will allow your potential customers to know your relevance to their needs as well.

Even better, doing your research and having a constantly updated list of your keywords close to hand will help with writing your Instagram bio and your future captions.

Struggling with writing great captions? Check out our post on caption writing and the best ones to use!

 

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Instagram bio for business step #6 – Humour, entertainment and creative flair

Whilst it is like attending an interview in that you have to show off your skill set and persuade people to want to “hire” you for your products or services, it’s also not a very formal platform.

Unlike a LinkedIn profile, Instagram is informal, fun and social – even for businesses. It’s a big part of its attraction for social media marketing. It’s a platform where you can show off your creative side and your personality. Your Instagram bio should reflect this, just as much as your content does. So, write well and show off your best self!

Some other, practical ways to do this include:

Line breaks and spaces – Having large chunks of text can be off-putting, so break it up a bit! (It is worth noting that this only works if your users are viewing Instagram on their mobile though.)

Using emojis – They’re fun and playful and can also serve to break up large chunks of text to make it more easily digestible.

Change your font – Whilst not as popular as it once was, it’s still a great way to stand out and get a more playful feel.

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Instagram bio for business step #6 – Some final tips

There are a few other things that it’s wise to include in your Instagram bio:

Your brand hashtag – Make this available for your followers to get into the habit of sharing it and aid in driving engagement and expanding your following.

Call-to-action – Use something like an event or web-page sign-up or even a promotion that directs followers to your website.

Location – If you have a physical place of business, let followers know where they can find you in person!

Business hours – Does your physical store open between certain times? The more information you can squeeze into your Instagram bio, the better.

 

Need some help in managing your Instagram business account? Get started today with one of Growth Factor’s comprehensive packages. We do everything from scheduling your posts to growing your account organically!

7 ways to use Instagram Stories in your Instagram marketing strategy

Instagram Stories feature

Often overlooked as a marketing tool, Instagram Stories is undervalued and under-utilised by brands looking to increase Instagram engagement and brand awareness, driving traffic and even making sales.

But with around 400 million users of Instagram Stories daily, slightly under half of its total users monthly, you’d have to be mad not to incorporate the feature into your Instagram marketing strategy!

The basic concept is (ahem) borrowed from that of Snapchat’s. You create non-permanent content (photos or videos that can incorporate graphics, text and emojis), that is displayed to your followers for a set amount of time; in this case, 24 hours.

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Whilst creating content that vanishes into the ether after a full cycle of the clock may seem like a whole lot of planning and executing for nothing, there are a multitude of benefits to using Instagram Stories to sell your product and increase engagement on your Instagram account. The ephemeral nature of the feature means that you can push the boundaries of formality and be extra creative and playful.

In this post we detail some of the ways in which the use of Instagram Stories can benefit your business!

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1. Break down barriers 

Taking your customers behind the scenes of your company makes them feel valued, trusted and like insiders. Use Instagram Stories to show off your new office space, your product being made in real-time or even just your business partner enjoying his morning coffee whilst he works on a client account. Strip away those barriers and let your followers become friends of your brand.

2. Showcase a new product

Got something amazing coming out in a few weeks? Tantalise your audience with a post on your Instagram Stories and let your followers spread the word.

3. Instructional video

There are so many directions you can take an instructional video and so many creative things you can do to show it off. From showcasing the product by itself in action clips, to seeing it’s use by a person, to getting mini-testimonials from real customers, use the Stories function to show all the different aspects of your most recent products. All whilst giving your followers real, valuable content. It’s a win, win!

4. Sales or Promotions

The very nature of the temporary content lends itself to promotions. Whether it’s your followers’ urgency of having a deadline before the competition ends, or the easy-to-track time frame for you, you can’t go wrong with a good, old fashioned competition. There are also so many creative things you could incorporate.

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The same goes for sales of your end-of-season stock.

You could even make it a weekly or monthly to ensure your followers keep a beady eye on your account, waiting for the next one. Offers and promotions not only serve as a marketing tool, but reward all of your valuable followers too.

 

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Want more valuable engagement? Ask followers to share a relevant photo with a pre-ordained hashtag in order to win. This will help your company get seen by more than just your own following!

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5. Promote your event, or stream it live 

 Invite your followers to your latest webinar or social networking event. Just try to keep it casual and light-hearted. Your followers are likely to mute you (basically get rid of your content from their news-feed) if you come across too sales-y.

For those who can’t attend your amazing event, blog it live to make them feel involved anyway. And you can even create a film clip of Carol from the marketing team dancing on the table at the after-party as an added insider bonus, because it disappears after 24 hours anyway (we’ll not mention the embarrassing screenshots to Carol, we promise).

 

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6. Q & A’s 

Whether it’s an interview with the brand’s CEO, or the brains behind your latest product or development, let your audience see the people behind the company. It’s another way to personalise your brand and make it more human.

 

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Use the recently updated ‘stickers’ function to have a Q&A with your followers and get them involved on making decisions, big and small, within your brand; or simply use it to have some fun with them!

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7. Keep up to date with current affairs 

 Taking relevant things that are already trending and relating them to your brand can help your engagement by being involved in the dialogue.

Has something big happened in your industry? Do your research and your own little report with commentary. Be subtle and make sure it links to your brand ethos or products.

It could even help you go viral and, consequently, slide on up to that Explore Page.

 

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8. Swipe up feature

If there weren’t a million other reasons to increase your valuable following, here’s another. At 10k followers, you get to make use of an exciting feature.

The swipe up feature is a link that takes the user directly to your product catalogue or website so they can add an item to their basket and purchase it straight away. No fuss. No extra clicks or Google searches. Just a straightforward purchase of the awesome product the user has maybe just seen in action/being worn. It’s genius.

Well worth building your followers for this nifty little feature.

But how often should I post?

This is a sensitive subject that once again depends on you having an intimate knowledge of your target audience.

You don’t want to post too often, or your followers will get sick of the sight of you. But you don’t want to post too little, or you’ll be forgotten.

A good rule of thumb is not to post more than three times a week. The aim is to build trust and loyalty and close those impersonal boundaries between brand and customer. This is your time to let your creativity shine!

That being said, if you want to do some research on how your audience engage if you post more often, then go right ahead! Just remember to record your findings and adjust your posting accordingly.

The online marketing process is one whereby you should constantly be evolving your strategy to meet your customers’ developing needs in a competitive online world of ecommerce!

 

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How to create Instagram social media content for business 

Introduction

In our digital age, capturing the moment on camera has almost become more important than living it. And whilst we’re big advocates for living and breathing those incredible moments, we see no reason that you can’t sneak a selfie in there too!

But it’s not all about capturing your amazing moments and sharing them with your followers when you have a business to run. There are a few other things you should consider when creating the perfect image to showcase your products or sell your brand.

Images can transport you across time and to far off places. They can evoke visceral reactions, spark memories and kindle the fires of the imagination.

But how do you make your photos appeal to your audience so that they engage valuably with your content?

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Create an engaging story

Instagram is a visual platform and clever companies know that great images are essential to selling their brand. But they need to be varied and valuable to the customer.

You may think that beautiful images of your products are enough to sell them. If only it was that simple! Unfortunately, aesthetic appeal of your products isn’t all you need to get your brand noticed on Instagram.

To get noticed, you need engagement. As we explained in our article on the latest algorithm of 2018, engagement gets your posts shown to more people and allows you to hit that coveted spot at the top of your followers’ news feeds. The more you entertain your followers, the more they connect emotionally with your brand, the more you’ll see your sales increase. This means giving them a story.

Give your followers something to follow! Something that engages them. Let your images, not only tell the story of who you and your team are, but also your journey and the journey of your brand. Invite them to be a part of your story by producing captivating images that illustrate it and, in return, you reap the rewards of their engagement.

 

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Choose the right image

You may be tempted to use arbitrary images, similar to those that are currently trending – and you would be onto something. But there are other elements to consider, such as your theme, the relevance to your niche and the things you most identify with as a brand.

Choose a theme

If you stick to a streamlined theme when it comes to colour and style, it will ensure you have a clear visual identity. This not only makes you easy to pick out from the crowd, but it will help your audience connect with who you are and what you do.

Choosing your theme depends heavily on what you’re trying to sell. This is another case in which you need to know your audience. What will they engage with the most? What do they want to see? Research is key.

What are others posting?

Take a look at what your competitors are sharing and what gets the most engagement. This is effective research into what your target audience is engaging with.

We certainly aren’t suggesting copying them exactly, you need to create your own identity, but it can be good for inspiration. Just spamming people with photos of your products isn’t enough, and they will get bored.

Who is your brand?

Get personal. Use images from your office, your warehouse or your production line or even your travels. Show people using your products. Let your followers behind the scenes and tell them about your story and your journey, in images.

Share content that is relevant to your brand in more ways than just showcasing your latest product. What does your brand stand for?

Are your products made from recycled materials? Share the latest story on the global recycling movement.

Does your pet shop get involved with animal rescue fund-raising? Share something from your local animal shelter.

Showcase your expert knowledge in your niche and give your audience something valuable to take away with them. Build their confidence in your knowledge of your area and they’re more likely to trust your products or services.

Letting your customers in on you and your brand can build effective relationships, increase your customers’ confidence in you and also show how much you value your team.

 

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Use the right tools

The best way to get a top-quality image is, of course, to have a top-quality camera set up. However, we understand that that sort of equipment may not be highest up on your list of things included in your yearly budget, especially if you’re selling a service rather than an aesthetically pleasing product.

Don’t worry though, most smartphones have excellent quality cameras these days that will work fine in most instances. Don’t underestimate the selfie stick!

Another useful tool can be an action camera, there are some cheaper versions around than the GoPro and they often link up with editing software so that you can record and edit all of your adventures!

Prepare your image – the practical stuff

  • Natural light – As tempting as it is to use all the filters available and edit your image to “perfection”, the experts at Postcron art studio suggest using natural light as much as you can.

 

  • Don’t be afraid of effects though – Conversely, some subtle effects from a good quality editing suite can really enhance your images. There is, of course, Photoshop, but if you’re in the early stages of building your bran and don’t want to pay out for name brand editing suite, there are plenty of other free ones, online and downloadable, that can also do a great job. Just be aware of over-doing it.

 

  • A clear central image – The human brain likes a focus. Too much happening in one photo can be visually unappealing. Try for a bold central image to draw the attention to the story you’re trying to tell.

 

  • Resolution – Fuzzy or pixelated images are instantly off-putting. If you want to look professional and be appealing (and you do!) images need to be clear and sharp. The latest recommendation for posted images is 1,080 x 1,080 pixels. Try not to post anything smaller – it will just appear to be a poor quality image. However, you do have some wiggle room to post bigger, Instagram will automatically downsize it for you.

 

  • Portrait over landscape – The ability to post landscape and portrait photography has been around since 2015. But had you noticed that a landscape photo takes only half of the space that you could occupy with a portrait photo?

Be bold, be seen.

The optimum pixel size for landscape and portrait photos are 1,080 x 566  pixels (landscape) and 1,080 x                       1,350 pixels (portrait) – see the difference?

 

 

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Free editing tools

There are a number of free editing tools that you can find online. Here’s a few of them:

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) 

If you’ve ever used Photoshop, you’ll find the interface extremely similar and it’s the closest free program in quality to the expensive premium software. It takes a bit of learning, but once you’ve mastered it, it has loads of excellent, in-depth features to give you professional photo effects.

If you’re really serious about editing your own professional photographs, this is a good one to invest some time in.

Find the free download here!

 

 Paint.net  

This may be a good one to find your feet with. Although nowhere near as basic as it’s namesake, the basic Microsoft Paint program, it does have a much less complicated interface than GIMP. But paint.net still has loads of great features to get your pictures, well, picture-perfect! It’s also a good option if your PC is a little under-powered.

Sometimes, less is more, especially if you’re not that tech-savvy.

Find the free download here!

 

Photo Pos Pro

This is another program that takes some of its inspiration from Photoshop. The good thing about this one, is that it has a choice of interfaces, one for the beginner and one for the more experienced photo editor. Its arranged neatly and logically, but there is one drawback. You can only save photos at a resolution of 1,024 x 2,014 pixels. Since Instagram’s ideal picture size is 1,080 x 1,080, to keep up with advanced, high-resolution displays on monitors and mobile phones, you may end up with a lesser quality image to post.

Find the free download here!

 

The main aim

The general rule of thumb is that your images should be focussed on providing your followers with valuable content. The other 10% should be promotional content. Of course, this is a rough guide – you need to find what exactly works best for your brand.

Remember, the whole point of social media is to be social. Your images should promote engagement first, sales second.

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Still finding content a minefield?

If you’re struggling to reach your audience in a meaningful and authentic way with your content, let Growth Factor help. Our experienced team of copywriters, graphic designers and marketers can work together to produce hand-curated content that is not only specific to your niche, but also your brand.

6 common Instagram myths busted

In June 2018, Instagram staffers came forward at a press-release in San Francisco to reveal the ins and outs of their latest update. In doing so, they also put to bed many of the common myths surrounding our favourite marketing platform and its algorithm.

 

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As important as it is to know how the 2018 Instagram algorithm works, it’s also important to know how it doesn’t. We’ve gathered together all of the information you need, to assuage your worries and, hopefully, uncomplicate matters so you can charge full-steam-ahead with your Instagram marketing strategies.

 

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1. “The shadow-ban means my posts aren’t even being seen”

If your posts are quality, they’re being seen – According to Instagram reps, themselves, the shadow-ban isn’t real.

There have been many rumours going around that using too many hashtags, broken hashtags and repetitive ones, could result in a partial ban, that you aren’t even notified of. Justifiably, people were concerned, as there wasn’t even a way to discern whether this was the case.

During the press conference, Instagram staffers assured users that it absolutely wasn’t the case, as it didn’t exist.

They did, however, suggest that it was still important to use the hashtag system responsibly to ensure that it continues to be a useful tool for everyone.

This means: only using hashtags that are relevant to your content, limiting their use on each individual post and not buying followers or using automation to post fake comments.

Some of the above could actually get you legitimately banned, in accordance with Instagram’s Community Guidelines.

 

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3. “There’s no chronological order to my news-feed”

As we explained in our recent blog post on the latest 2018 algorithm, chronology is back. It does sit beside a multitude of other, mostly useful, features, also explained in the recent post. In this, they have artfully balanced engagement, interest and post frequency with chronology to create a better way of showing each user what is most valuable to them.

Instagram has assured its users that the use of the chronological news-feed is here to stay.

 

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3. “If I post too frequently, my content will be down-ranked”

It won’t.

There is no scenario whereby you posting too often will mean Instagram itself ranks your posts of low import. The only way this could affect you is if you’re spamming your followers with too many posts and they get tired of it and unfollow you. Which is, unfortunately, a ‘you’ problem, not an ‘Instagram’ problem.

It may also be the case that if you post a few times in a row, it could be separated by other content. Due to the other factors involved in the Instagram algorithm, you can’t be sure users are seeing all of your posts anyway, whether you post in quick succession or not.

Your focus should be on quality, not quantity. Consider consolidating them into fewer posts or even utilising the Instagram Stories feature.

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4. “If I have a verified, or a Business account, I’ll rank higher”

Instagram insists that they treat all users the same, regardless of their account status.

However, there are a lot of features that a brand can take advantage of by switching to a business account; analytics with Instagram Insights and running Instagram ads to name a couple. It also keeps your business interests separate from your personal.

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5. “Videos rank higher”

Another rumour that has recently abounded, was that the use of videos would mean you inherently ranked higher in your followers’ news feeds. Instagram has also quashed this.

Photos and videos are treated equally, across the platform.

In accordance with the other elements of the algorithm, naturally, users who watch more videos will see more videos in their news-feed.

So, once again, it’s a case of knowing your audience and whether they’d prefer serene images of the forest at night or a video of your staff dancing on their desks at the Christmas party.

 

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6. “Instagram Stories can boost my spot”

There are many benefits to using Instagram Stories, but inherent boosting of your placement is not one of them, unfortunately.

Instagram assured users that they do not favour those that use any one feature of the app, including Live Video or Boomerang, and that engaging content was, and remains the only way to boost your following.

That being said, if you find that your followers respond and engage with your Stories most, keep it up! It really is just important to give your followers what they want and keep a close eye on what gets the most engagement.

 

We hope that this post cleared up a few of your concerns and means you can now get back to producing great content that will engage and enthrall your followers!

 

If you need help with what to post and when, Growth Factor’s dedicated and experienced team can help you reach anywhere between 500 and 1,000 users a day, with one of our Organic Growth packages.

How the Instagram algorithm works in 2018 – Everything You Need To Know

Earlier in 2018, Instagram updated its algorithm. Again.

We know, something else to worry about, right?

 

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But don’t panic too much – this latest change could actually help your organic growth.

Since Instagram announced its change from a chronological to an algorithm-based feed, back in 2016, commercial and personal users alike have been trying to figure out the best way to get their content seen.

Thankfully, the confusion was solved when Instagram staffers explained the mystery in June, this year.

This post will explain all you need to know about this latest algorithm and, thus, make it work for your business.

 

Contents

The three main factors: the three things that determine what your followers see

Other factors to consider

Conclusion – what you need to do

 

The three main factors: the three things that determine what your followers see

 

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Ditching the reverse chronological news-feed did not initially go down well with users. And whilst it took away the supposed simplicity of the platform, Instagram insists that it improved it.

They suggested that 70% of all posts were being missed by users with the old feed.

Instagram now says that users are not only seeing upwards of 90% of posts but are actually using the app more often.

The most recent update to the algorithm is re-introducing chronology but in a slightly different way. So, whilst newer posts are more likely to appear in the user’s news feed first, there are some other factors that could affect it. Let’s have a look at them and how you can make them work for your brand.

1. Interest

Instagram judges what your followers might care about the most, based on their past interactions. They look at engagement with and content of those posts, to get an idea of what that user wants to see most.

 

How to make this work for your brand: In this area, engagement is key. The more your followers interact with your content, the more you’ll be visible to them. Use calls-to-action, captivating visuals and captions that engage and encourage your followers to keep reading.

We should also point out here, that the more accounts who have a large, active and authentic following engage with your content, the more it’s visible. So, although any real-life, consistent engagement is invaluable to your brand, it’s also important to build relationships with the bigger names in your niche.

 

2. Recency

The more recent the post, the more likely your followers are to see it. This is a nod to the old way that Instagram used to work, and frankly, we’re glad they brought it back, even in its diluted form. As long as you know your audience and when they log on, it can really work in your favour.

 

How to make this work for your brand: This requires closer monitoring of Instagram Insights to figure out when the best time to post is, to reach the majority of your followers. You want yours to be the first post they see when they open up their app.

However, this can work against you if you don’t keep up with your posts. Post engaging content as frequently as you can when your audience is online to ensure you stay at the top!

Our best suggestion is to try upping the frequency of your posts gradually and pay attention to when your engagement numbers start to decline. For example, if you’re posting twice a day, try getting a third in and check back into Instagram Insights daily for an analytic report on whether your engagement increases or not.

 

3. Relationship

The Instagram algorithm judges your relationship with your followers. How often and how much your followers have engaged with your previous content will now make a difference to how much of your new content they will see.

The algorithm understands that the person with whom a user interacts with most is probably a person they want to continue to interact with and shows the content accordingly.

How to make this work for your brand: Developing relationships with your followers has never been more important. Consistent engagement is what you need, so knowing what your followers want to see and providing it is essential.

Take note of which of your posts get the most engagement and try to replicate that theme. Interesting and engaging content is always an absolute necessity. As before, you need your followers to engage with your posts expressively and be genuinely interested in what you have to show them.

 

Other factors to consider

 

 

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Aside from the three factors that are the main focus of the latest Instagram algorithm, there are a few other things to think about.

Instagram is a tricky horse to tame, but once you have, she’ll carry your business as far as it needs to go.

  • How frequently a user opens the app determines what they see – Seems a simple concept, right? But in our hazy days of five- hour Instagram marketing sessions, it’s easy to forget that the average person only spends a tiny portion of their day on the app, or sometimes don’t open it at all (the average, though, is 53 minutes per day, according to figures from Similarweb).

This means that much of your content may be missed by some of your followers, so keeping up with posting engaging and useful content is all the more important.

 

  • The amount of followers a person has determines how much of your content they’ll see – If the Instagram algorithm has posts from ten thousand followers to choose from, it’s going to severely limit the choices of what to display first, if at all. But if there are only five hundred, you’re more likely to snag a top spot with your audience. The main thing to consider here, then, is the quality and engagement rates of your posts. Be the best to grab the coveted top-post-spot.

 

  • The amount of time a user spends on the app also affects what they see first – If someone only tends to open their app for a few minutes, the Instagram algorithm will dump all of the content that the user is most likely to engage with, right at the top. This is another reason to build good relationships with your followers, so they see your posts first before the next mundane life task drags them away from your tantalising marketing techniques.

 

  • Hashtags – Hashtags work in much the same way as content. It depends very much on who has interacted and how many engaged followers the user has as to which hashtags will be most effective in getting your content seen. Again, it’s important to do your research here and choose the right hashtags for each post. Both hashtags and content are tailored to what Instagram has devised that each user would be most likely to see based on their previous engagement.

For a detailed look at using the right hashtag, check out this post.

 

Conclusion – what you need to do

 

To keep your top spot and your best followers you need to engage them. Give them beautiful pictures and useful, interactive captions, to keep them coming back for more. Know your audience to make sure you keep on doing so and be social. It is social media, after all. Interact with your followers and build relationships.

 

If you need a helping hand to boost your engagement and grab your followers’ attention, head over to Growth Factor to check out what we can offer your brand. From a free health check of your account to demographic targeting and post scheduling, we can help you to grow your following organically and get your brand noticed on Instagram.