Social Media Marketing: Instagram Best Practices

It’s time for the second instalment of our social media marketing blog series! Today we are talking all about “The Gram.” Instagram is typically the second social media platform that comes to mind when talking about digital marketing. However, did you know that Instagram is ranked the 6th most used platform according to Hootsuite’s July 2020 analysis.

Instagram is the platform where businesses can highlight their personality. Instagram is optimized for discovery, as the various hashtags that you use will allow people interested in your products/services to more easily find you. Instagram’s audience is primarily 18-35, and slightly more popular with women. Demographic statistics are sourced from Hootsuite.

Businesses that sell products or services that are lifestyle based, will benefit the most from Instagram. With images and short-form videos being the primary content, users want to be able to see themselves – or their “dream self” – using what you sell. However, if your target audience is older than 45, Instagram might not be the best platform for your business.

Businesses such as grocery stores, convenience stores, fast food restaurants, stand alone products, franchises, can benefit from Instagram if they use the platform for a more entertaining purpose as opposed to selling. This could include jokes/memes, facts about the industry, how to use product(s), etc.

Niche B2B companies, and businesses in industries such as law and medicine, should think carefully about utilizing Instagram in their social media marketing. These businesses may struggle in generating a following and content that will receive engagement.

Best Practices

Most users visit Instagram at least once a day according to SproutSocial, so posting more often is great to remain relevant and provide followers with new content. Depending on your business, you should post 4-7 posts a week. Your posts should be focused on what your business has to offer and how it’s unique to the competition. Lifestyle photos, close up shots of products, and user-generated content are the most engaging posts as users can see themselves in those posts. The ideal number of hashtags on an Instagram post is between eight and 11; making sure they are all relevant to the post. Longer captions tend to receive a higher engagement level; however, it should be limited to one paragraph as anything longer will be skipped.

Metrics to track

  • Followers
  • Monthly Post Reach
  • Total Monthly Post Engagement (post likes, comments, saves)
  • Engagement Rate (Total Monthly Post Engagement / Monthly Post Reach)