Now that you developed an Instagram marketing strategy for your business, it’s time to take your plan a step further. Getting to know your audience, creating engaging content, posting through all delivery methods, and using free Instagram marketing tools are all building blocks of a successful strategy, but now how can you enhance your execution?
Optimize your Instagram profile & posts
There are a number of ways you can optimize your Instagram account to further your Instagram marketing strategy, but in this guide, we are focusing on 4 simple steps you should take:
1. Fully utilize your business account
If you're not already on a business account, STOP READING RIGHT NOW, and switch. Business profiles are free (yes, free!), and aside from making your company or brand look serious and professional, they give you access to call-to-action buttons that allow customers to easily find and contact you.
- Go to your business profile on Instagram
- Choose edit profile
- Select ‘Contact Options’ under Public Business Information
- Fill out applicable contact information (i.e., email, phone number, street address)
Business profiles also give you access to analytics that will tell you where your followers are from, what time they are online, and what types of content are performing best on your platform. Additionally, you’ll gain access to ads within Instagram (so if you do want to carry out some paid promotion, now you’re good to go).
2. Write keyword-optimized captions
Writing descriptive captions with relevant keywords will improve your chances of showing up on the Instagram Explore page for relevant users (you can only search for content using hashtags and location tags on the Explore page).
The Instagram Explore page algorithm also identifies how certain accounts are relevant to one another based on the keywords used in bios, names, and usernames. So, yes, using the keywords you want to rank for in these areas is important too.
3. Find the best times to post
All Instagram profiles have different audiences from varying places and time zones, so analyzing your post times to track when you’re seeing higher performance is key.
However, as we all know, other variables might affect performance as well (such as the type of content), making it hard to pinpoint the impact a particular post time is having. Luckily, we have some data to help us out. Later conducted a study of 12 million posts in different time zones around the world, finding these results for the best Instagram posting times:
Additionally, the study found the following to be the worst post times on Instagram each day:
- Monday: 2PM
- Tuesday: 1PM
- Wednesday: 10AM
- Thursday: 11PM
- Friday: 9AM
- Saturday: 8PM
- Sunday: 4PM
4. Incorporate hashtags effectively
Doing some research to identify which hashtags you should use based on your brand is crucial. Posts with at least one hashtag receive 12.6% more engagement, but don’t just slap any old hashtag on a post. Think about who you’re trying to deliver your content to and then target your hashtags based on that audience. Here are 4 tips to help you get started:
- Find the hashtags your competitors are using
- Use hashtags that influential people in your industry are using
- Consider related hashtags
- Use Instagram’s search functionality to explore
Using the right number of hashtags can also help optimize your posts. There has been some back and forth over how many hashtags to use. In the past, Instagram has said that using 3-5 hashtags is optimal. However, a recent study from Later shows that posts with 20 hashtags see the highest average reach rate, while those with 30 hashtags are not too far behind.
Despite the data, some argue that using too many hashtags can make Instagram posts look gimmicky and cluttered, therefore, it is best to find a healthy medium. Experimenting with different numbers of hashtags on your posts so you can compare reach and engagement levels can’t hurt, however, incorporating all hashtags that fit your brand and message is also a sound method.
Optimizing your Instagram profile can do wonders when marketing your business on social media
These 4 techniques do take some time and effort, but they can help you achieve real results on your Instagram profile.