Coming up with an Instagram Strategy for your business can be overwhelming. Here are 7 steps to help you understand Instagram and start developing a strategy to help you stand out from your competition:
1. Understand Different Types of Instagram Posts
Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes content that uses newer features, like Reels. However, a user post based on the type of content the user interacts with is also looked favorably by Instagram’s algorithm. Focus on the post types that give you the most engagement. If you have analytics showing that your audience interacts with a certain post format more than others, use that post type more frequently. If you are new to Instagram or don’t have enough analytics data to tell what posts your audience prefers, test out every format for future Instagram strategies. Mix post types and keep an eye on their performance.
- Standard image & video posts: A single image or video that shows up in your feed.
- Multi-image posts: Multi-image posts featuring multiple images that you can swipe through on mobile or click through on the web.
- Instagram Stories: Appear when a user clicks the username circles at the top of their feed. Posts might include pictures, videos, shared posts & interactable elements. These posts disappear after 24 hours unless you save them as Highlights.
- Instagram Reels: Come in the form of 15-second videos to which you can add music & effects. They appear on your followers’ feeds, but on your profile, they have a separate tab from your other posts.
2. Determine Your Post Categories
Categorize your posts further with topic categories. When you organize your posts by subject, it’ll become easier to come up with ideas for them.
- Designed Images
- Create or work with a design team for social media to create a one-of-a-kind image for your Instagram.
- Product Photos
- E-commerce brands on Instagram have plenty of opportunities to show off their products in their feeds.
- Have a photographer take clean photos of your product to show off.
- Create how-to-use posts
- Show off positive reviews
- Company Event Photos or Videos
- Create a sneak peek or behind the seen post for an event your company is attending or hosting.
- Influencer Posts
- Choose an influencer with a dedicated following over a large one, especially for a niche industry.
- Depending on your influencer campaign, you can create original content with your influencer.
- Re-post content that they have created (with their permission).
3. Figure Out the Days on Which You’ll Post
It is optimal to post on Instagram once per day. Scheduling one post for every day of the week has the best chance of delivering good results. If you do not have the time for a post a day hire a marketing firm with social media marketing services or choose a primary day to post and consistently post on that day.
4. Establish the Best Times You Can Post
Explore the optimal times to post on Instagram. Your ideal Instagram times will depend on your industry, but generally speaking here are times discovered by coschedule.com that gain the most post engagement:
- B2C businesses: 8AM, 1PM, 9PM
- B2B businesses: 12PM, 1PM, 5PM, 6PM, 8PM, 9PM
- Software businesses: 11AM, 1PM, 5PM
- Healthcare businesses: 10AM, 2PM
- Media Companies: 9AM, 12PM, 3PM
- Higher Education: 5PM, 6PM
5. Plan & Create Post Ideas on Your Calendar
Calendar topics should be planned beforehand based on your brand goals. For example, if your goal is to gain more visitors to your website, create posts with calls-to-action to visit your website to find our more. Schedule posts based on day and time. Leave room for holiday posts and important industry news alerts.
6. Measure Results Using Instagram’s Analytics
Give your posts about a month to start see results. Then, check their performance through Instagram’s Insights feature. It will be available on your profile or the upper-right menu on the mobile app. There you will be able to see post impressions, likes, comments, shares, replies, and number of followers. Adjust your goals and post types based on what is doing well or what you want to improve.
7. Use Data to Determine What You’ll Post in the Future
Your performance metrics hold the key to more effective social media posts. Best practices are a great guideline, but data straight from your audience will give you an idea of their preferences and behavior. Asking why your posts performed a certain way will help you figure out how to improve future content. Also directly asking your audience builds a relationship to your brand. People are more likely to be loyal to something they feel they work on. Ask yourself these questions about your metrics to inform your future posting schedule and inform your future business goals:
- Which posts have the best performance? Why?
- Which posts didn’t perform well? Why?
- What days and times were most effective for performance?
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