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10 Tips to Use Instagram Like a Pro

In its beginnings, about 8 years ago, Instagram was just an app you could use to apply filters to your photos and share them. Over time, the app evolved to become one of the most versatile and popular social media platforms with more than 700 million users. You can still use it to post and share photos and videos, but there’s a lot more to it if you want to leverage it for marketing.

How did people with tens or hundreds of thousands of followers build such a massive following? How did they master it? We’re about to dive into the topic, so pay attention, because Instagram continues to change, introducing new features, which requires you to change how you use it to get real-world results. Here are 10 tips on how to Instagram like a pro.

1. Use Instagram Stories

This is a feature copied from Snapchat and includes posting material that is more unedited and raw. There is a strategy to know how to use it properly. Even though followers can see it for just 24 hours, don’t post too many stories and know that the first one shared always gets the most views. Also, don’t fret much about the quality of photo/video you’re posting on Insta Stories, because it’s meant to be more raw. The most natural Instagram stories often drive the most engagement.

2. Use Live Video Broadcast

People today like exclusive material, and what is more exclusive than being on Instagram at the right time to witness a live video. Use it to promote an upcoming event, give an inside look at your business, show new products, or hold a Q&A session. Broadcasting is simple – just tap to create a new story, swipe right to the live option, and hit record. Many of your followers will get a notification that you’ve launched a live video. Once you finish, the broadcast can’t be seen again, but you will be asked if you want to save it to your device.

3. Switch to an Instagram Business Profile

First, switch to an Instagram Business Profile. Then you can start planning your Insta marketing strategy. Having a business profile comes with certain benefits, such as people being able to click on the Contact button to reach you in an instant. It also allows you to publish ads, access Instagram Insights (analytics tools), track KPIs, and understand your audience.

4. Team Up with Micro Influencers

Micro influencers already have built a community of tens of thousands of followers. Partner up with them to reach out to a vast pool of potential customers. People are influenced by their peers and are buying products/services that’s promoted on their Instagram feed. By partnering with the right influencers, you’ll raise your brand awareness and make them notice you. On Instagram, influencers have a loyal follower base that trusts their suggestions and be sure to choose those who are in touch with the audience relevant to you and your business.

5. Geotagging and Hashtags

Geotagging and hashtags help people discover your content. All top global brands are using hashtags (branded and product hashtags) along with original content to drive their engagement. And it works, with posts with hashtags and location drive the highest average engagement. As for the optimal number of hashtags per post, you shouldn’t go with more than 10 hashtags per caption.

6. Choose the Right Time When to Post

If your followers see too many of your posts on their news feed, they will unfollow you as fast as they can. On the other hand, you want to be present in their news feed. The solution is to post consistently and only during peak hours and days. Use Instagram Insights to find out when your followers are most active, schedule your posts, and post no more than 2 times a day.

7. Come Up with a Branded Hashtag

A branded, interactive hashtag is a great way to boost your Instagram engagement. By creating a hashtag that only your company uses is basically free advertising – it categorizes your content, allowing consumers to see all the content under that hashtag. It also allows you to search through photos or videos, find user-generated content, and re-post it on your page. Whenever someone uses your hashtag, they’re exposing your business to all their followers. Coca-Cola was successful with #ShareACoke, ALS did the #IceBucketChallenge, and the Worldwide Breast Cancer organization launched #KnowYourLemons. What’s your branded hashtag?

8. Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads on Instagram is a wonderful tool for promotion. You can showcase one sponsored ad or more (thanks to the carousel feature). Promote engaging content to anyone who fits your target audience demographics, and you can easily extend your reach on the platform. For more engagement, run different posts to different audiences. You can sponsor photos, videos, stories, stories canvas, and carousel/dynamic ads.

9. Gather User-Generated Content

User-generated content drives conversion rate and growth. Take a look at the 2015 data, where 250 brands (9 industries) were studied for the impact of their user-generated content on Instagram. The effect was positive – when a consumer sees user-generated content, there is a 4.5% higher chance to convert into a customer, and a 9.6% higher chance is they interact with the content.

On the one hand, you don’t have to do any work but collect authentic user-generated photos and videos. On the other hand, consumers like the exposure and the feeling they get from having their content published on your Instagram profile.

10. Track the Metrics

If you want to improve your Insta performance, you need to know where to improve, right? That’s why you need measurable results, and the most important metrics you should track are:

  • Engagement rate. How do you measure engagement? By looking at your likes and comments, as well as total followers and followers per post, you’ll get a better understanding of your user engagement.
  • Follower growth rate. The growth rate of your followers is not to be ignored. Don’t let it out of your sight and you’ll see how your posting frequency or content is making a difference to your brand image and engagement.
  • URL clickthrough rate. Users can’t click on links in captions but only to the one in Instagram Bio. It’s essential to know how many people are clicking and converting through it.

Communicate, ask and answer questions, post relevant content, be original, record some live video, and step up your hashtag game. Instagram is widely used by small, medium, and big businesses and brands, where they all try to market themselves. Stay away from the things that are common on Instagram (and there’s many of them, trust us), but make your own path and stand out. Share your experiences, interact and share your follower’s content, give the attention if you want to receive it. You can add value to your followers’ lives when your Instagram is information-oriented, knowledgeable, and fun.

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