Instagram has become a social media favorite, especially for those who feel Facebook is a bit dated. It is the fourth busiest platform in the world, falling behind Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp.
The social media platform attracts around 1.22 billion users a month, and it tends to appeal to the 18 to 34-year-old crowd, although there are younger and older viewers. The key demographic of 18 to 34-year-olds makes up about 60 percent of the platform’s users.
Businesses must ask how they can put Instagram to work for their brand. Because chances are, if you are not asking that question, you are missing out.
Tools Available on Instagram
Instagram may be a social media network, but it is built for businesses. The platform offers many tools brands can use to connect with potential leads and create relationships. When you think of Instagram, chances are you think of posts, but that is just one part of what the platform offers. Businesses can use stories, Reels, and even live broadcasts to engage their audience.
It’s All About the Algorithm
Instagram’s algorithms cross-reference specific factors to pick ads and posts that will appeal to the user. It will look at the posts they like, the stories they read, and the ads they click. It will see what Reels they view. It will also take into account the user’s posts. The algorithm performs a calculation each time a user opens the app and then looks for content that will appeal to them. It happens for every user, showing you the power of this type of programming.
How the Instagram Algorithm Factors Into Marketing
The Instagram algorithm for 2022 looks at three primary factors when ranking:
- Relationships – They look for a connection between a user and the content author. This is why having followers on Instagram is essential. If they follow you, the algorithm instantly sees the connection, so your content will rank high.
- Interest – The algorithm will also attempt to introduce your brand to users they think might have an interest in it. An artist may not follow a specific art site, yet, they see their ads regularly because of assumed interest.
- Relevancy – The algorithm uses a mathematical formula to determine the relevance of every piece of content. It looks at user trends and the most popular posts.
There are secondary factors that fit into the algorithm puzzle, too. For example, how often you use the platform. If you are a nonfrequent user, you will rank lower. It also considers how many people the user follows. The accounts they follow get priority in the newsfeed, so there is less open space if they follow many.
Screen time matters, too. If you stop in, drop a post and then bounce back out, it might work against you.
Put This Information To Use For Your Brand
How can brands take what they know about the Instagram algorithm and put it to use to move up their rankings? Start with assessing your Instagram behavior.
Post Often But Not Too Often
Research indicates that brands should post to their feeds at least four times a week and once to their Stories. Stories on Instagram work the same way they do on Facebook. You make a post to your story, and it disappears in 24 hours. Stories often grab users’ attention because they don’t want to miss something.
Feed posts are always around. They are the first things users see when they open the app.
Try to avoid posting so much that users get tired of hearing from you. You want to keep them intrigued without becoming annoying.
Think Beyond the Posts to Reels
Two things are clear about people surfing the internet. One, they have a short attention span, and two, they like videos. Instagram Reels takes advantage of both these things to give businesses one of their most powerful tools.
Reels allow you to film and edit short videos that appeal to your target audience. They even offer a Remix the Reel option, enabling you to record a video next to another one, even one done by another user. Brands can collaborate with other companies to benefit both, for instance. You could also do a live broadcast using Instagram, record it, and narrate it for viewers that miss the event using the Remix feature.
Reels can help brands engage with viewers and grow their followers organically.
Make automation part of your social media strategy. Some apps can help keep you on track with your posts. They work as posting calendars. You create your posts ahead of time, plug them in for release on a specific day at a particular time, and the app does the rest.
Keep It Trendy
Pay attention to what hashtags are trending. Then, make use of those that work for your post. Making use of trending hashtags is a surefire way to move up in the search rankings.
Engage With Others
Engaging with others on the platforms is how you build up your network and get more followers. Start by answering comments to your posts. It might be something as simple as “Thanks for your input.” If the comment is negative, try to put out the fire but don’t be defensive. The more you engage with your audience, the more attention they will give your content.
Get Professional Help
Finally, if you want to master Instagram and be an influencer, bring in a professional. Marketing companies like Vinci Digital do everything you don’t have the time or expertise to handle. They follow the trends for you and create posts that help your brand stand out.
Social media is not a place for sales talk, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to get sales. The key is engaging with others so they get a better understanding of what you have to offer. The social media experts at Vinci Digital have the expertise to put Instagram to work for your brand. Find out more by consulting a marketing specialist at Vinci Digital.