Instagram is currently the fastest growing social network, having gone from 600 million to 800 million active users in the past 12 months. This number is set to rise with the growing use of Instagram stories and business accounts. With increased attention comes more interest from brands, which means that while there are now more people to reach on the platform and more ways to do so, you’re also going to be competing with other brands for space, and airtime on the Instagram feed. Here are five tips to help optimise your Instagram presence and help you make the most of your opportunities on the platform.

5 Ways to Improve Your Instagram Presence

1. Effective Hashtag Use

Instagram has always been big on hashtags. Instagram users are able to follow specific hashtags, along with profiles they like, and keep tabs on relevant conversations by using hashtags alone. You can now reach new audiences with targeted hashtags and enhance your branding game by promoting your branded tags.

Create a focused list of hashtags in order to ensure you reach your target audience. To do this, you will first have to find out more about the individuals you want to reach. Go through their profiles and compile a listing of relevant tags that they are following. Instagram also highlights related tags within its search options, along with usage volume. Use this information to maximize your hashtag reach.

Look at they way your audience uses hashtags and integrate that into your strategy, tagging on the photo or on the first comment may have different outcomes depending on how your audience uses hashtags. Research suggests that 10 to 11 tags are optimal to maintain a healthy Instagram presence.

2. Integration of Direct Messages

Instagram has seen more interaction through direct messages on their platform in the last few months. More than 375 million people now use Instagram DMs each month – this is almost half of their entire user base. The increased focus on DMs has lead to Instagram adding a range of new DM–specific tools, including their photo remix tools, the ability to share Stories via DM and  more importantly for brands – the capacity to include links in DMs. The increased emphasis on DMs, and their rising usage is an opportunity for savvy marketers to enhance their Instagram presence with a more private, direct-connection tool.

Consider customer workflows which transition into people’s Insta DMs, maybe the integration of links within messages provides new capacity to extend customer conversations. With reports suggesting that Instagram may be looking to split DMs into their own dedicated app, the opportunity is definitely there to boost connections with your audience.

3. Stories

Instagram Stories has doubled its audience from 150 million daily users in January last year, to 300 million in November. With more becoming familiar with the format, the potential value of the option increases. Instagram upped the value of Stories in December by introducing their Stories Archive and Highlights functions. These new tools will enable users to keep some of their Stories content indefinitely, displaying them in a new section on their profile and maximizing their Instagram presence.

Highlights particularly benefit brands by enabling them to showcase specific Stories posts relating to events, products, customers, etc. The capacity to have Stories last longer than 24 hours will also encourage further investment. Instagram has also added the ability to cross-post Instagram Stories to Facebook which also means you’ll be posting to Messenger Day as well, increasing your viewership.

 

Check out these tips for using images with your marketing content that will help with your Instagram presence.