Every social media platform has little-hidden gems you can take advantage of to build the presence of your brand.
In a new series of posts, we’ll be looking at the tips, tricks, and shortcuts to help you get the most out of your social media – starting with Instagram.
- Prioritise Instagram Filters
- Receive Notifications From Competitors
- Make Your Link Dynamic
- Geotag Your Content
- Know The Best Time To Post
- Embed Your Photos Online
- Share Across Platforms
- Bookmark Posts Just For You
- Use The Grid To Your Advantage
- Research Relevant Hashtags
There are currently 40 different Instagram filters you can use for your photos and videos, and everyone’s got their favourites.
When building your brand on Instagram, you should stick to a certain amount of filters to ensure there’s a cohesive aesthetic across your posts.
Try using Instagram’s filter management button to prioritise your best filters and delete the ones your brand doesn’t need or use. Choose your content, scroll to the end of the filter list, and click Manage.
You’ll be presented with a list of filters which you can drag and drop into the order you choose, and uncheck any which are unnecessary.
This quick trick can save you time when publishing posts, and ensure that everyone on your team knows the correct filters to use for your brand.
You should always keep an eye on your competition – it helps you know what’s working within your brand and what could be improved, as well as helping you measure current trends and build inspiration for future posts.
When you see a post from a competitor, you can set up notifications for them so you receive immediate alerts when they post new content/
Find one of their posts, and click the three dots in the top right. From there you can turn on post notifications to set up the alerts.
Check the settings on your mobile device first, as the Instagram notifications may be dependent on the device allowing them, and then you can always stay on top of what your brand competitors are up to.
You only get one clickable link on Instagram – the link you place in your bio. The temptation is to simply put in your homepage URL and leave it at that; after all, that’s the easiest way to get users to your website, right?
Consider shaking it up and changing your link whenever you have new content or promotions to show your audience.
For anything new, create associated posts with a call-to-action for users to head for your bio and follow the new link. With this trick, you can measure traffic to specific pages and see what gets the best response.
Make sure links you use aren’t too long, particularly if you need them to be trackable – use UTM parameters and a link shortener to keep them short and sweet.
To spread the word about your brand to a larger audience, consider geotagging your posts. It’s part of posting process that tends to be disregarded in favour of a caption.
Instagram users tend to look at tagged locations to find others in the same area with similar interests. Consequently, geotagged posts receive more engagement – but you should consider the locations you use carefully.
Try to tag locations where your content ‘belongs’ (not just limited to your brand HQ). Think about where the picture was taken, if that’s the case. If you’re promoting an event, use the event’s location.
You can even add a custom location – when you’re tagging a post, type in your new location and click add to create it, then select a fitting category for your brand. Then head to Home and insert an address.
Know your audience, know your followers – know when they’ll see your content.
Following the recent Instagram algorithm change, it’s gotten a bit harder for brands to reach their core demographic.
Basic info like timezones can be helpful – users are more likely to see content that’s posted while they’re awake! – and some recent research recommended the best times for posting including 2am and 5pm, as well as Monday being the best day of the week for high levels of engagement.
Info like this will help you get a good general idea of the best times to post, but if you know your audience well enough, you’ll be able to provide content at the optimal time for them to see it.
A trick for reaching a wider audience is to embed your Instagram posts online, in blogs, pages on your site, or anywhere else you like.
Head to Instagram‘s website and find the post you want to embed, then click the three dots in the lower right corner. Choose the Embed option, and you’ll be provided with a code you can use to showcase your Instagram content anywhere you want.
Embedded photos will link back so you can spread the word about your account – but make sure your settings mean your account is public, otherwise you won’t be able to share your photos this way.
A brand cannot survive on Instagram alone.
The platform connects to a range of other social media services, including Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr – and many more. You can share your content has soon as you publish it, or even embed it like mentioned in the above tip.
By sharing your content across other social networks it’s a great way to reach users who may not have Instagram installed on their devices, or may not follow your Instagram. Just make sure not to spam your audience across all your platforms all the time. Each photo can be individually shared wherever you like, once you’ve set up the connections between your Instagram and other profiles elsewhere.
Twitter sadly doesn’t share direct images, but rather a link to your Instagram page – but Facebook will automatically share the photo along with any captions or hashtags you’ve used, and collect them all together in an album for you.
Have you ever been scrolling through your Instagram feed and spotted something that you really, really wanted to save for later?
An update last year that you may not know about allows you to save photos you like for later in a private collection – whether for brand inspiration, keeping an eye on your competitors, or just in case you never see it again.
Find the post you want to save, and tap the bookmark icon underneath. This adds the image to your saved posts, and means you can revisit it anytime by tapping the matching bookmark icon on your Instagram profile.
Everybody knows the Instagram displays posts on your profile in a grid format – but not everybody takes advantage of that.
The initial view of a user profile presents a 3×3 grid of images, and many users use it to break up a single photo into nine to take over the whole visible space. It’s a great way to flaunt the individual details of your photos, and offers eight more chances than a regular post to reach out to your audience.
All you have to do is share the nine separate images in quick succession – but try not to bombard your audience and oversaturate their feeds with your content, or they’re more likely to ignore it.
Some hashtags are obvious, and you’ve most likely got a few associated directly with your brand too – but others take a little bit more effort to hunt down. It’s worth it, though.
On your homepage, tap the magnifying glass to head to the Discover tab. Type in whatever keyword you like to search for the hashtags, and choose one from the list.
You’ll be taken to a page of posts which use that hashtag, and here’s where the lesser-known bit comes in – above the Most Recent and Top Posts, there’s a little bar with related hashtags you can swipe through. Use them to find inspiration for your brand and conduct further research into what could engage your audience.