Instagram is the most popular social media platform today with 1 Billion monthly active users with 500 million users daily.
In the last article on Instagram – Getting Rolling With Instagram, we discussed why Instagram is Important?
Being a visual platform its popularity is increasing day by day. It is the most engaged social network after Facebook. One interesting thing is Instagram is owned by Facebook.
With its 71% of audience under the age of 35, the growth of Instagram is going to expand. More and more brands trying to establish their presence on Instagram to tap this audience.
One of the major reason for its popularity is Instagram is basically a mobile app. There are many ways you can connect and interact with your followers, the main two are the Instagram Feed and Instagram Stories.
Introduction of Instagram Feed & Stories
Instagram Feed is like a Facebook Wall, where you see all the posts shared by your friends and followers. When you post something on Instagram feed, it shows on your followers feed as well.
Instagram Feed is important as they live forever in your IG feed and online. You can share images, videos in your feed. Videos can be off 3 to 60 sec. max.
The beauty of Instagram is that you can add a description, hashtags can tag other members, your location which helps your content to reach a wide group of audience.
In Other Social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, you can not use all these features in your images or videos. For eg. In Twitter, you are not able to add your location or tag your friends the same with Facebook. Instagram offers you more opportunities to reach your targeted audience.
Instagram shows on top of your feed, with whom you interact most according to its algorithm. Instagram also provides you suggested accounts with the help of hashtags you follow.
In your Instagram feed, you will see all the posts from the people you follow. But Instagram follows a different signal pattern to show feeds. Instagram takes into account three things while showing posts to your feed:
Likelihood you’ll be interested in the content
The date the post was shared
Previous interactions with the person posting
You can see at the end of each post the date on which it is shared.
Instagram stories are different than IG posts, as it can be an image or a video of 5 seconds which live only for 24 hours.
As in posts, you can add content, hashtags, and tag other IG members and location to your Instagram stories.
Instagram stories are becoming more popular, as they show the authentic side of a brand or people, and builds trust within the community. Brands are using more stories to increase the credibility of their brand.
Some of the interesting features of Instagram Stories are:
Whenever you post an image or a video in IG stories, a colorful ring appears around your profile picture, so that people know about a new story you just have shared.
- On your profile: A colorful ring will appear around your profile picture, and people can tap it to see your story. Photos and videos from your story don’t appear on your profile grid.
At the top of Feed: Your profile picture will appear in a row at the top of your followers’ feeds, and they can tap it to see your story.
In Feed next to posts you share: When you share a post, a colorful ring will appear around your profile picture in Feed. People can tap it to see your story.
In Direct inbox: A colorful ring will appear around your profile picture in Direct inbox and threads, and people can tap it to see your story.
Which Should You Prioritize Insta Feed or Insta Stories?
Insta Feed and Insta Stories are two different features of Instagram, both are amazing and have a role of its own.
Instagram posts stay permanently on your Instagram feed whereas IG stories disappear after 24 hours.
It is important to remember that people first see your IG posts after they follow you they see Insta stories in their feed.
But Insta stories are very useful to stay in touch with people, give news, show a day-in-your-life, behind the scenes, and other fun things. So your Instagram story can help create trust and credibility for your brand and you.
Most of the brands use both Instagram posts and Insta feeds. It is a good practice to create an Insta story along with Insta post, as Insta stories show up at the top of the feed of your followers, so they instantly get notified when you post a feed.
What is Hashtags?
Hashtags (#) can be called as a tool to search the related posts. You can hashtag people, location or a specific word or phrase which people use as a keyword so that your content gets more views.
For e.g. #blogging
it is more searchable and now Instagram added hashtags into posts also with added location tagging. Anyone who clicks on the hashtags, see all the posts related to that hashtag. So it is a good strategy to add popular hashtags in your Instagram posts so that it becomes more searchable and you will see more engagement on your post.
Using hashtags is a great way to increase your views and follows as well because when you use a popular hashtag in your post, people will see you even if they are not following you.
If you are sharing great content with relevant hashtags, people will follow you. Just remember it’s not about getting seen by a lot of people, but getting seen by the right people.
If you have a business account, you can see how many people reach your post through a hashtag, which is very important information.
There are two ways to add hashtags to your story:
- By using sticker
- Manually typing text
You can use 10 hashtags per story and 30 hashtags per post but not to clutter it, use only relevant hashtags.
How to Find Best Hashtags for Your Brand?
It is important to post relevant hashtags, so first, choose relevant hashtags by searching in the Instagram search bar aka Explore Feature. When you type a keyword all relevant hashtags appear in a dropdown.
But it is also important to remember that lots of followers mean less opportunity to show up as there is a ton of content and your content might get lost.
Also, you can look at the influencers in your niche, and look at the hashtags they are using, so you will get an idea of what people are searching for.
On any hashtag page, you will find related hashtags, this is a great way to find some really good hashtags with less competition and that means more targeted audience.
The Golden Rule is to use hashtags which are relevant to your audience, brand, and niche.
Instagram is one of the social media tools which you must explore to the fullest. It has some cool features to grow your brand. It is only on Instagram that you use all the features like hashtag people, geolocation in images and videos. It makes your content more visible even to those who do not follow you.
Instagram feed, posts, story, IGTV are great ways to engage with your audience in a very genuine way, particularly their feed and story feature. Whereas your Insta feed remains permanently, you can update your audience with your latest happenings.
It is a good practice to use Insta stories and Insta posts both on your feed, as Insta stories are the best tool to get immediately connect with your audience. whenever you post a story you appear on top of your followers feed.
Instagram has its own algorithm, which provides insights to its business accounts, this information is helpful to grow your audience organically. Especially relevant hashtags can grow your audience organically.
Hashtags can be used for people, places and niches, industry. But it is important not to overuse hashtags. Instagram posts have a limit of 30 hashtags and can add 10 hashtags to your Instagram stories.
Hashtags and emojis are very popular on Instagram, you can be searchable using relevant hashtags and emojis. Many popular brands use emojis on their profile description.
Instagram is not only an image sharing platform but more than 80% of businesses are found by using Instagram, and that is why you find many important features which can help you grow your business. You can advertise your business on Instagram through Instagram ads.
Instagram insights are very useful when it comes to advertising your business. Every business account gets free insights on each post shared on the platform. So before jumping into Insta ad you have a solid data at your disposal, which you can leverage to the best.
I personally like Instagram, as it is a visual platform, you see beautiful images, and well-curated content keeping in mind the aesthetics of the audience. Each Instagram post is well planned keeping in mind the interest of the audience. You will rarely see a post on Instagram, which is randomly posted with nothing to do with its audience.
Hey, what do you think of Instagram, is it your favorite social media platform and if why? Pl let me know in the comments below.
Follow me on Instagram @jivitaarane, also comment your Instagram handle below so that I can follow all of you too☺
Jivita is the founder of Advantage Affiliates and a full time online marketing consultant who helps people get started in the world of affiliate marketing. Read more about how Jivita helps people get started online.