Parts 1 and 2 detailed how to Set up an Instagram account and how to manage the account around your business. The article focuses on managing your account for growth.
Managing Multiple Accounts
Instagram now allows you to easily manage up to five separate Instagram accounts within its app. This is great for professional social media marketers and is also incredibly useful for those who run both personal and business accounts from one handset as you will receive all your notifications on one handset and can easily switch between accounts to post and respond to comments.
To add an additional account follow the steps below.
Review your Analytics Information
Regularly review your user and follower data to respond to changes in engagement trends accordingly.
Review your Strategy Regularly
Your strategy may need to be adjusted based on the information that you receive from your account analytics. You may wish to adjust your posting times if user trends change, if new popular hashtags emerge and also to observe public holidays or current events. Remember to keep in mind what your objectives or goals for your account are.
On average captions that contain at least one hashtag generate 12.6% more engagement than those without.
Company branded hashtags are a great way for your followers to engage with your company and or specific products. Where possible keep branded hashtags consistent across platforms.
Added hashtags within your captions is a great way to contextualise your posts i.e. adding locations to posts.
You can include up to 30 hashtags per post and if you choose to add more generic rather then branded or post specific hashtags then can do so discretely by adding them as a comment on your post.
Discrete hashtag posting.
step 1 - keep a selection of frequent hashtags in a document or notes section of your phone.
step 2 - Add a dot symbol, dash or asterisk on each separate line just above your hashtags
step 3 - post picture with caption.
step 4 - Copy and paste the characters and hashtags as a comment on your post
Where possible try to add your hashtag comment as soon as you post your image. Previously you could post hashtags hours, days or months after your post and they would show up in a hashtag feed in the order in which the hashtag was posted. Now the hashtag feed displays chronologically in order of when the picture was posted and not when the hashtag was added. Therefore retrospectively posting hashtags means that your post may display at the midst of a potentially crowded hashtag feed.
Many brands and marketers alike struggle with the concept of posting video content on Instagram. Initially Instagram videos were a mere 15 seconds. Earlier this year Instagram extended the length of videos to 1 minute. This of course allows you to edit
The growing importance of Video content
Instagram now allows you to see how many times people have watched a video on IG. You will begin to see view counts on videos
Landscape vs Portrait vs Square Posts
So in the early days of Instagram users were limited to posting square images which often lead to some details being cropped from pictures and for architectural and landscape photographers this was a small but important constraint which some found detrimental. Listening to user feedback lead to users being able to post images in a variety
Landscape pictures are great to use when posting longer captions. With the standard rectangular phone display screen you will automatically see more the caption when either scrolling or selecting the picture.
Portrait images allow you to capitalise on the screen real estate available on mobile handset and can give great visual impact huge visual effect when users are scrolling through their Instagram feeds.
The best captions are those that ultimately inspire your followers to take action but those that inspire, contextualise your brand and give your customers insight into your brands values and personality.
The character limit for captions is 2200 but do not feel compelled to use the full character limit. Often times less is more. Remember that with your strategy
You are unable to post links to your website in your posts but you can link back you your profile with an @mention and posting a link in the biography section.
Developing a house style is important as well as deciding whether you want to use slang in your captions. This will all depend upon your brand and how you wish for your brand to be perceived.
Not every post must contain a call to action and I would advise against having a call to action in every post just to achieve balance. Instagram captions are truncated after the first 3-4 lines of text, particularly if you use square or portrait images, so the first part of the caption should be engaging, encouraging your readers to click to read on. Emoji’s can also help to break up longer captions and draw the eye to your call to action.
Asking questions can also help to engage your customers i.e. their thoughts on new products in your range or about themselves.
Mentioning other Instagram users often aids engagement. On average Instagram @mentions in captions earn 56% more engagements than those without. When mentioning people in captions you should do so based upon relevance to the post.
Another way to grow your account is to collaborate with other Instagram users.
You can contact Influencers in your niche to build partnerships such as free offer for sharing your posts on their feed or Paid Shoutouts.
There are a number of accounts that focus specifically on particular niche topics or industries such as fitness, fashion and even coffee. Feature Accounts can amass large followings and free or paid partnerships could provide a powerful platform for your business. Example include CheckoutAfrica and NothingtodoinLagos.
You can leverage the follower numbers that you have on other apps to attract followers to your Instagram account by advertising on your Facebook or Twitter accounts for example that your company is on Instagram and what the benefits of following you would be i.e. competitions, inspiration, product video footage reviews etc.
Social Media Consultant
The Social Atelier