Instagram Best Practice Guide

With the average audience speding 53 minutes per day on Instagram, the platform has become one of the best creative and marketing platform for businesses and personas to engage with their followers and develop their relationships. Here are 6 fundamental tips how each and every business owners can use the platform to further enhance their engagment and build strong relationships with their audiences and clientele.

  1. Instagram’s audience focus more on creativity, trend-setting and applicability
  2. It’s not about the amount posts but it’s about the consistency of posts
  3. There is no universal best time of engagement from audience
  4. Instagram Stories – an untouched hidden gem
  5. Engage users with hashtags
  6. Videos becomes the core medium of engagement

1. Instagram’s audience focus more on creativity, trend-setting and applicability

According to Vivid Social, there are 9,000,000 active monthly users on Instagram each month in August. The largest user group on Instagram in Australia as of August 2018 was the 25 to 39-year-olds, which accounted for 35 percent of Australian Instagram users. This is followed by the 18 to 25-year-olds, which form 26 percent of Australian Instagram users.

Instagram strategy takeaway:

If then your target falls with the range of 18 – 39 years old, Instagram may just be the new exciting medium to engage your audience with your business or your own persona brand.

  • Show your unique difference from others, what makes you and/or your brand stand out, what is your edge of creativity.
  • Use the industry standard to set your own standard, as engaging content on Instagram require creativity, effort will be required to put to make essential, smart and trendy content for user engagement.
  • Carpe Diem, seize the moment and make the visual inspirational and articulative. Teens and young adults in the study describe Instagram as current (42 percent), creative (37 percent) and useful (32 percent). Hence, they would expect such content from brands on Instagram.

2. It’s not about the amount posts but it’s about the consistency of posts

The most common question that was asked by all content creators, business owners and personas’ buiders asked is: “How often should I post to engage with my audience?”

Yet when asked this question, most individuals focus on the frequency of posting rather than its consistency. The key here is not to make 7 posts/day or 15 posts/day, but it is all about 1 post/day – 7 days a week. The consistency of content flows is what you seek for in order to sustain an audience engagement, rather than ‘spike posting’, which is when all your contents are concentrated on one specific day with no regular pattern development.

This will lose audience interest as they cannot follow your update consistently and steadily.

Instagram strategy takeaway:

Posting with consistency trumps frequently at anytime if you do not have the time and resources the ramp up the frequency and keep the consistency stable.

Stick to a schedule posting program, that will help you save time and your audience to understand when to expect your content.

3. There is no universal best time of engagement from audience

Since the audience of Instagram is relatively spread out in age range, therefore there is no specific engagement period to determine exactly when a post should be made. However, some studies do suggest the most crowded time that is on Instagram is on average 7pm and on every Friday of the week:

However, different business may have different audience time of engagement – therefore an absolute indication that this is the time to post may not be suitable to your particular business.

Instagram strategy takeaway:

If there isn’t a universal best time to post on Instagram, when should you post on Instagram? How do you make sense of these research?

Instagram is not like LinkedIn, it does not have specific groups of individual on the platform, it is with a much broader base of audience, with a diversity of purpose beyond professional work and other work related inspirational stories. It develops on the backbone of creativity and deeper engagement on social level with your followers, think of it as the second layer to your Facebook page to engage with your audience group.

4. Instagram Stories – an Untouched Hidden Gem

Since the introduction of Instagram Stories in August 2016, the engagement paradigm of people on Instagram has gradually shifted with more and more inclusion of the Insta Stories function taking up over 22% of user engagement time on the platform.

The shift in attention led to a fall in engagement on Instagram posts. This should not be viewed as a negative aspect, but rather an evolution of digital marketing strategy. With the medium still in its early stage and engagement is still in its initial growth phase, catching on to the next wave of online digital video marketing may just be the next thing that you need to enhance your digital engagement with your customers.

Instagram strategy takeaway:

A new platform is a new way of engagement to counter against the potential drop off in engagement between users.

For example, posting merchandise promotions was the most-common use of Instagram Stories in the fashion industry. I think it’s safe to assume that brands would post more of what’s working for them so the most-common use of Instagram Stories is likely also the best use of Instagram Stories for that industry.

5. Using both hashtags and location tag drives the most engagement

Instagram hashtags is very similar to Twitter, in the sense that it creates trend so that engagement can grow exponentially, if the value of the information provided is valuable, some may grow to a phase of movement and is endorsed by the mass.

The hashtag is the best way for your audience to search for your content.

Instagram strategy takeaway:

Over usage of hashtag can cause a shadow ban on your account, so only use what is relevant

6. Videos becomes the core medium of engagement

While image may still be the best content type with over 75% of content produce by video are steadily become a prominent platform of communication on both Facebook and Instagram.

Instagram strategy takeaway:

Whether video will take over the influence of images will be largely dependent on the audience of your business. Therefore the focus is not about whether to do video marketing or not, but it is about what is best suited for your audience group:

  • Use relatable or pop culture jokes that is relevant to your audience
  • Show your viewers something they wouldn’t see every day
  • Capture action-packed feats, stunts, or sports
  • Offer inside peeks to celebrities or athletes
  • Play around with appetizing collages or animations
  • Focus on heartwarming stories