Posting on Instagram

Ever wondered how you can improve reach on popular photo sharing app Instagram? How you can get your content to be seen by not just more, but more relevant users? Our latest Frog Blog will show you just how…

Instagram is all about being seen; producing engaging content that your fans can connect with.

Organic reach has declined across Social Media channels over the years so it is now more important than ever to make this happen yourselves.

We have seven simple steps to help the reach of your brand across Instagram and all without spending a penny!

What do we mean by reach?

Instagram reach

Quite simply, reach is the number of people who see your posts.

You will also hear the phrase ‘potential reach’. This is the potential audience for your Instagram posts. Remember; not everybody will see your post just because it appears in their feed.

There are three basic elements to have in mind when looking to increase reach: content, caption, time.

It’s all about creating a voice behind the brand, engaging and building a relationship with your followers.

Our seven steps to success:

Hashtags

hashtag social media

In recent years it may seem that the world has gone hashtag crazy, and you’d be right, but it’s all for a good reason! Hashtags are one of the best ways to help you stand out on Instagram.

Hashtags can be lots of fun and almost anything you want, some examples we know work are;

  • #s related to the content you are posting about.
  • industry related #s.
  • trending #s such as #FridayFeeling #picoftheday
  • brand specific #s that you can encourage your followers to use when interacting with and talking about your brand.

Optimal posting times

optimal social media posting times

Decide how many posts and how often you want to be posting to Instagram. Best practise tells us that you want to post to Instagram when you have the best chance to hit large audiences. Popular times tend to be lunch hours and early evening when people are using their smartphones.

You need to find what works best for your audience. Consider what they are likely to be doing and when; are they new mums that might be on their phones in the early hours, or business men on a morning commute?

Don’t worry – this may take some experimenting!

RELATED: We have done some research on optimal posting times on Facebook, which you might find useful…

Engagement

social media questions

Engagement is key to moving forward with your Social Media. Photos and video posts with lots of likes and comments will have a much better chance of appearing at the top of your followers feed.

Key ways to increase reach and engage with your audience are through competitions, questions and feedback.

Questions can be a simple, “what are you planning for the weekend?” or something more topical to the product or service in hand. You may want to ask opinion on a certain colour or style, or whether your audience has ever visited your store, restaurant etc.

All the while, you’re gaining precious feedback but also improving your reach and engagement.

Give video a go

social media video

Instagram gives brands a great opportunity to craft a story, create mini documentaries and share a lifestyle, all in a 60 second video.

We have found that as videos tend to create more comments than photos, they may rank higher in your followers stream. Take advantage and try experimenting with video to see if it can increase your engagement and reach.

Instagram Stories… go LIVE!

Instagram Stories

People have been using Stories in a similar way to Snapchat and it has helped increase reach substantially!

Stories are 15 second video clips or images that appear along the top of your Instagram feed and disappear after 24 hours. They can be shared with everyone on Instagram or just the people you follow, giving Stories a potential reach much larger than Snapchat.

Sharing your day or documenting a lifestyle Story gives your brand personality and allows your audience to build a relationship with the type of brand you are.

Once you’ve perfected your photo or video Stories, then try going Live. This lets your fans get an insight to what you are doing there and then. Great if you have just received new season products, are at an event or want to give them a message with a personal touch.

Even better, this feature lets you have a conversation at the same time as followers comment on your live video. Just remember these videos disappear as soon as the broadcast ends.

User-generated content (UGC)

user generated content

Perhaps one of the greatest ways to encourage engagement and interaction from your Instagram followers is UGC.

This tends to be more trusted than other media; it’s as if all your followers are leaving you a review in image form.

An easy trick is to use content that your audience already have or own. For example if you are a brand of trainers you can focus on all those people out there that already own a pair.

You could create a hashtag around that particular product or campaign and ask people to share their favourite pair on Instagram.

Create specifically for Instagram

Instagram

It is not rule of thumb that because a post works on one platform that it will also perform on another. Instagram posts for example need to be very visual. People respond much more readily to video and image content than they do to text.

Therefore, creating posts specifically for Instagram is a good idea.

You may decide to cross over some content due to time, this is fine, perhaps just look at altering the caption specifically for Instagram keeping your brand tone of voice.

How can I tell if my reach is improving?

Measuring success is hugely important to see how your reach is increasing. This can be monitored easily in Instagram Insights on your business account.

See where you are before you start so you can measure where you want to get to and continue to measure to keep on top of your audience.

Your followers will constantly change what they look at and engage with and you need to stay on top of this and any trends to gain maximum coverage within your industry.

Good luck, we’re sure your reach will be up in no time!

If you’re still unsure as to how to best utilise Instagram for your business, perhaps we could be of assistance! Get in touch to see how our social media management (365 days a year, 9am-9pm) can help you.


Author: Laura Tomlin

Laura has recently joined the BlueFrog team as an Account Manager. She has a background in Account and Website Management in the retail industry and will be working with local and national clients to increase brand exposure and aid their social and ecommerce strategy.