7 Instagram Best Practices and What’s on the Horizon
With ever-popular Instagram barging in on the social media scene, it’s time to start thinking about getting your association on board if you haven’t already.
With a refreshingly simple, visual interface, this inviting platform looks easy enough to use on the surface. But, unless your association members design anything or have a visual product, it’s up to you to create compelling, eye-catching content on which this platform thrives.
Although it doesn’t quite yet have the user base of Facebook or Twitter, the average interactions of an Instagram post – ie audience engagement – dwarfs other platforms. The folks at Sprout Social recently developed a great infographic to get you started. Here’s my take on a few of the top findings:
- Keep an eye on the platform’s changing trends: Much like Facebook, who for good or ill purchased the platform, Instagram has started tweaking its algorithm. This means it’s prioritizing some posts above others rather than displaying a chronology of posts. Recent changes also include longer videos, account switching, time stamps, and most recently, the Snapchat-esque Stories feature.
- Engage your audience by balancing your promotional posts with inspiring content. Utilize contests, and ask questions in your posts to get users talking. As well, you don’t have to be running to an art department every day to make sure your visuals are stunning. Mix in some of your followers’ posts. Although Instagram doesn’t have a “share” button, there are apps out there like Repost that do it easily, or else you can simply take a screenshot and re-crop the image yourself. Be sure to credit the original poster.
- Be discoverable. If you have a decent geographical reach, have your members share posts and geo-tag those posts – they’ll be more discoverable in the areas they’re in. Be sure to tag other users you’re mentioning. And I can’t press this enough: hashtags, hashtags, hashtags. If you’re wondering which hashtags are best, start typing one in the search feature, and see what pops up. Similar wording suggestions, in order of popularity, will appear. Find what’s strongest, go with it, and add a few more at the end of your post.
7 Instagram Best Practices to Build Your Audience by Sprout Social
One huge Instagram drawback is the lack of analytics. There’s no back-end like Twitter and Facebook where you can easily look back and see what worked and capitalize on it – which is imperative if you’re going to be effective. However, there are bolt-on apps that you can use to fix this problem. I’ve just started testing Iconosquare and have quickly become enamoured with it.
Last, keep an eye out for business profiles. Currently rolling out in the U.S., New Zealand and Australia, those missing analytics and perhaps some cool new features will be available soon. However, if the new business profiles have the much-noted shrinking reach of Facebook’s business pages, it may be best to sit back and watch how it affects other users before you make the jump and switch your account over.