Use The New Video Feature to Get More Instagram Followers

Use The New Video Feature to get more Instagram Followers

Instagram recently unveiled its new video feature – an app that can be used within or outside Instagram that allows you to post videos up to 60 minutes long. This was first announced in the Wall Street Journal, and is said to be keeping up with the demand for mobile video among both consumers and advertisers. Launched as IGTV, users can post high-definition videos and its said that Instagram Influencers are in talks to create original content for the new streaming app.

At the press launch in June, Instagram executives demonstrated the different ways to use IGTV. These included vertical video clips of amateur cooks and wildlife explorers, among others. Initially, there won’t be any paid ads on the service, but this could change once IGTV becomes more established. Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, stated that paid ads would be a ‘reasonable place to end up’ and at first content creators wouldn’t be paid for their content but that there would be a way for content creators to make a living.

IGTV is looking to take a piece of the online video market

Slated to be a big competitor to Snapchat Discover, which is currently home to daily content from National Geographic and Cosmopolitan, IGTV could be set to tap into the multibillion-dollar TV advertising market. Although marketers are still predominantly using TV to advertise, the spending into digital markets is slowly increasing. With the launch of IGTV, and Instagram’s one billion monthly users, it makes sense marketing budgets will potentially start to make space for digital advertising.

At the moment, the majority of Instagram’s users are in the 18-29 year-old demographic, which is why advertisers aren’t using it as their main marketing tool. They use it to target that demographic obviously, but TV ads are still the main marketing strategy for a lot of brands. However, with the introduction of Instagram’s new long-form video feature, it could bring in a new demographic. IGTV is set up so you can scroll through ‘channels’ and pick out whatever is interesting to you. Once you start watching, Instagram will use this data to recommend content that it thinks you will like, much like how your Instagram newsfeed works. This could potentially entice a much wider audience demographic to Instagram, meaning it’ll have more of an impact on your paid marketing strategy.

How IGTV benefits you

As a business, brand or Instagram Influencer you can use Instagram TV by posting longer videos without having to link back to your website or YouTube for the complete version. For example, if you have a new product launching, you can post up to an hour long video demoing the new product or perhaps an in-depth how-to video. If you are a comedian, you can post your full hour-long stand-up routine. This is designed to be the ‘go to’ place to build your audience. You can create a ‘channel’, much like you can on YouTube. Once users click to your channel (which is basically your IGTV profile) and watch a video, it’ll automatically jump to your next broadcast once the current one ends.

IGTV is designed with the idea of watching content on your phone, and therefore the videos are required to be in the vertical format. Content also starts playing as soon as you open it up, a concept designed to replicate turning on a TV. To find other content, swipe up and you’ll be able to switch between ‘For You’, ‘Following’, ‘Popular’ and ‘Continue Watching’. Users can also send videos in a direct message to their friends, and they’ll be alerted when someone they follow posts a new video on IGTV, which is great news for boosting visibility.

The vertical format encourages users to record videos on their phones rather than professionally via camera, this seeks to make it more accessible to everybody and build more of a community rather than exclusivity for professionals with access to video cameras. To get an idea of expected quality, it would have to be more professional than an Instagram Stories post but less curated than your regular Instagram photo posts. If users get bored they can swipe to move onto the next video, so even though they can be up to an hour, make sure every minute is still adding value. If you have a business profile you will have access to Instagram Insights, so through a few trial and error videos, you can find out which videos are getting the most engagement.

Mobile video consumption is set to increase

By 2021, Instagram expects that mobile video will account for 78% of mobile data traffic, and that the younger demographic is more interested in amateur content than professional. This started with the craze of reality TV, then trickled to YouTube stars and now Snapchat and Instagram. IGTV is designed to be more like YouTube and less like Netflix, with videos from your favorite Instagram Influencers and not the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy. As far as business goes, this is good news as you won’t have to team up with production companies or TV studios to create in-demand content.

Unlike Instagram Stories, every video you post to IGTV is archived and thus users can go back and watch old videos again and again. When IGTV launched in June, Gucci uploaded every runway presentation since 2015 and gained over 400,000 views. Netflix uploaded an old video of a Riverdale star eating a cheeseburger for an hour, and it has over 700,000 views. This shows that there is definitely a platform for Instagram Influencers and marketers to get on board and maximize visibility without really having to do too much.

People don’t need to be following you in order to find you, your videos will be visible to anyone who searches them, as well as ‘videos for you’ which brings up videos based on previous engagement, and lastly, the popular tab brings up the most popular videos from around the world. The best way to use IGTV to your advantage is to think about what you are known for, how you can add value to this through an extended video and if there are any gaps in your current Instagram content that could be filled with an extra long video.

The main ways IGTV is going to affect Instagram is that Influencers and brands can engage even more with their audience, giving more in-depth interactions and content. It’s another way to boost visibility, add links into your Instagram content and ultimately get more Instagram followers and Instagram likes. It’s a concept sure to skyrocket, so get started on your long-form video content now!

How To Use Stories to Grow Your Instagram Followers

How To Use Stories to Grow Your Instagram Followers

While regular Instagram posts are designed for your very best content, Stories are designed to be used more frequently but with more ‘average’ posts. The idea is that it’s a fun way to share off the cuff moments you might not want on your regular feeds and show a different side to your account’s personality. This means you can publish them more often and, therefore, provide the opportunity to engage even more with your followers, and it also gives your posts a real-time value.

Creating Instagram Stories couldn’t be easier. All it takes is a simple tap on your profile picture on the Stories row, located at the top of your Home screen. This activates the camera where you can shoot a video or select something from the last 24 hours from your camera roll and click ‘+ your story’. There are a few options for formatting your posts to Stories, including Normal, Boomerang, Slow Motion, Rewind and Hands-Free. Make the choice of a GIF, a video played in reverse or a standard photo/video and, voila, you’ve created a story!

Stories can help keep your followers engaged

Why, as a business, would I waste time posting lots of substandard content? How can I use this to my advantage? Firstly, the Stories disappear after 24 hours, which forces your followers to log in frequently and check out your profile to see any new Stories before they disappear. This drives users to your business profile more often. It also humanizes your business, because the photos and videos tend to be more raw and relevant to a particular moment in time.

Although posts are technically designed to be of a lesser standard than regular posts, as a business, you’ll still need to think through your strategy. Using Stories during the right moments can be crucial. For example, if you’re having a sale or your business has an exciting event happening, posting some Stories can help your followers feel more connected to your brand and encourage more people to engage. You can also appeal to your followers’ sense of fun here, by posting more casual and witty photos and captions, rather than the more structured, rigid and ‘perfect’ posts on your official feed. This helps your audience feel more relaxed, and again more connected, to your brand.

How to boost the visibility and engagement of your Stories

As a result of Instagram making changes to its algorithm and moving away from its original chronological approach, it is possible your posts aren’t always showing up on your followers’ feeds. The algorithm predicts which posts are of the most interest to users, based on previous engagement, and those will be highest on their feed. However, Instagram Stories do not use the algorithm in this way. As a result, if you post in your Stories, it will show up at the top of their Stories feed at the time of posting. This is important in maintaining visibility with your followers.

To boost engagement and visibility further, you can tag people in the description of your Stories and decorate them with emojis, doodles and text to make them more in line with your brand. 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound so it’s reasonable to assume the same for videos and stories on Instagram, making the extra text on your content even more important. You can also add in your location, and when Instagram creates its location Stories if yours has created enough engagement it could potentially be featured, giving you that added element of visibility. The same can be said for adding in hashtags.

Adding polls to your Stories can boost user engagement while at the same time, give you vital insight into your target audience. There are two options when creating polls; A/B options or a slider option. The slider is more fun, but the A/B choice gives you more data. You can add in a question, such as, “Will you join me for a Live broadcast tonight?” with “Yes” or “No” answers; or to drive more engagement and excitement, you could use it to ask your audience what prize to give for your latest contest with descriptive answers; or to gain insight you could give future blog options or new product options. Just remember to check the results before the story expires in 24 hours.

Use Instagram Stories to drive users to your other content

Perhaps the single most important aspect of how to successfully use Instagram Stories is to take advantage of adding in a link. Aside from your bio, this is the only place on Instagram you can add in links. This is huge. Couple this will the fact you can add in flashy doodles to point out said link, it’s a potential goldmine. This is only available to business profiles, meaning not just anyone can capitalize on this. To add in a link, just click the chain link icon at the top of your story. Once a link is added, a See More option appears at the bottom but it’s a good idea to add in some text of your own to direct people to the link, for example, ‘Swipe up for the full post!’.

Although adding in links is a wonderful opportunity, be careful not to bombard users or post images just for the sake of adding a link. The posts should still add value to your marketing strategy, with the link as an added bonus. For example, if you are using Stories to show off a DIY project, you could include a link to your website with a full tutorial of instructions for the project.

Always make sure you edit!

The amount of flexibility given with posting to Stories is increased exponentially in comparison to a regular post. You don’t just have filters, you have stickers, graphics, texts, face filters or coloured backgrounds. From a psychological standpoint, anything that increases the exposure, warmth and contrast is going to be a winner. According to a group of Georgia Tech researchers who teamed up with Yahoo! labs, un-edited images are a no go, as they give the impression to your audience they weren’t worth the time to adjust. The same team found that the right colour adjustments have a significant impact on your audience engagement. Warmer colours, such as red and yellow, elicited feelings of cheerfulness, fun and excitement, leading to an increase in the number of comments by up to 45%! In support of the psychological colour theory, basic filters like Mayfair, Rise, Valencia, Hefe and Nashville will maximize your engagement, whereas Lo-Fi and X-Pro II are much darker and are unlikely to garner as many likes or comments. When adding in backgrounds or text, keep it light, sunny and colourful as opposed to dark or blue.

Make sure you aren’t using too many filters, emojis, text, doodles, links etc as these can put off your followers or cause them to unfollow or block them. Sprout Social found that irritating brand behaviours such as too many visuals or noises can cause 51% of your viewers to unfollow you.

As you can see, there are so many ways to use Instagram Stories. Whether you’re looking for market insight, higher engagement or a more personal connection with your followers, posting Instagram Stories is a great way to grow your business and influence.

How To Use Live Video to Grow Your Instagram

Use Live Video to Grow Your Instagram

Using live videos is a great way of connecting with your Instagram audience in real time, and seem to be a largely untapped market by businesses. It’s an innovative way of further engaging your followers, and attracting new ones at the same time. Understandably, a lot of businesses are opting to use Instagram Stories instead because you can use pre-recorded footage rather than un-edited live videos where anything could happen. However, among other benefits, going live can help you build trust with your followers as you’re not hiding behind multiple takes or heavy editing.

Engage With Your Instagram Followers

As well as building trust with your followers, Instagram Live can help boost your discoverability. If your Live Video is driving lots of viewers and engagement, you might end up on the Explore page, which will expose your business to a bigger potential audience base. Another way to increase your visibility is to hype up your upcoming live broadcast in previous posts, so your followers become excited about tuning in.

The psychology of Instagram Followers

There is also an interesting psychological element to Instagram Live. The app will let you know when an account you are following goes Live, thus creating this fear of missing out and knowing that if you don’t tune in immediately, you could potentially miss the content entirely and forever. Facebook has reported that its users spend three times the amount of time watching Live Videos than non-live posts and comment 10 times as frequently on Live posts than regular posts. This confirms that Live Videos are creating this sense of urgency and living in the moment, and as a result are a fantastic way to engage your audience.

Humans are naturally inquisitive. Live content feels like it is more real and intimate than a staged or edited post, and fuels our curiosity about how other people act in different situations. We feel like we are seeing something we don’t normally get the chance to see. We also know that anything can happen during a live feed, and we instinctively want to tune in to see for ourselves. There is a reason people tune into to live sports broadcasts rather than taping them; we want to see the events unfold and we want to engage with other people while they are happening, hence the heightened engagement and commenting levels on live social media posts.

The internet and social media culture has created a bit of an instant gratification generation in society today, Psychologist Susan Weinschenk notes that humans are hardwired to navigate our way through the world by seeking out information. This can come in the form of seeking out food or water, or in modern times it more often comes in the form of seeking information about the latest iPhone or red carpet outfits. This need is satiated constantly because of smartphones being able to tell us anything at any time. With an Instagram Live Video post, allowing your audience to instantly engage with questions, thoughts or feelings and as a broadcaster you can instantly respond, satisfying both parties need for instant gratification, sharing an experience and gaining extra information.

How to Use Instagram Live Video

Practically speaking, starting a live video on Instagram is pretty simple. Tap the camera icon located at the top left of the screen, or swipe right from your feed. From here tap the ‘Live’ button at the bottom of the screen and then ‘Start Live Video’. You’ll see the number of viewers will appear at the top of the screen and comments crop up at the bottom. Once you’ve finished your video, tap ‘End’ at the top right and tap again to confirm. Further options from here are to save the video to your camera roll to publish to your Instagram feed later (it disappears once you’ve finished), or you can select to share it to your story. Options available to going Live include hiding your post from certain people (head to Story Settings), hiding inappropriate words from the comments, or turning off commenting entirely. Obviously turning off the comments will disengage your audience somewhat.

Of course, sharing a live feed isn’t as simple as it sounds, you can’t just click ‘Live’ and go, you’ve got to give it some serious thought beforehand if you want to get more engagement from your viewers. On the flip side, it means you have all of the power to decide what you’re posting. It’s not like a live interview on the evening news, where the questions and tone are set by someone else. You are the one making the choices and telling the story. You can be really diverse in how you produce your content, for example, you can launch a new product, or have a how-to demonstration or even a question and answer session.

Plan Your Instagram Live Video to Get More Views

When preparing for a Live Video, it might be wise to plan out exactly what you’re going to say, bullet-pointed or even possibly a script in case you get sudden stage fright. Practising is important too, especially if it’s your first Live Video. You can even record yourself and play it back to get a feel for what your followers will be experiencing when they tune in. Obviously, you’ll want to get as many people as possible tuning into your broadcast, so promotion beforehand is invaluable. You can add a post to your feed mentioning your upcoming broadcast, and then use Stories to tease what the Live Video will be about. Creating a sense of urgency is important as well, going back to the ‘fear of missing out’ which is embedded in our human nature. Perhaps advertise limited time only offers or special promotions, with the details only being released during the live broadcast. If you want to be really business savvy about Instagram Live Videos, ask your audience to submit questions prior to the broadcast and use this as an opportunity to collect email addresses, to add them onto your mailing lists to drive future sales and build brand awareness.

Final thoughts, Grow Your Instagram Business

As you can see, there are so many opportunities to expand your audience and grow your business with Live Video on Instagram. Using the tips here you’ll be able to get maximum engagement and more comments on your live videos. Only a handful of businesses are maximizing this opportunity at the moment, so why not be a trailblazer and start those live broadcasts!

What is The Instagram Insights Feature and How to Use it

Instagram Insights Feature and How to Use it

Instagram Insights is a tool that provides data on the content you’re posting, as well as demographics for your followers. The information you’ll be able to find comprises Impressions, Reach, Profile Views, Website Clicks and Follower Demographics. This information is vital in maintaining and growing your presence on Instagram, as well as using it as an effective marketing tool.

What is Instagram Insights?

  • Impressions: How many times your post has been seen in total
  • Reach: Unique impressions (if someone has seen your post 10 times, it counts as one unique impression)
  • Profile Views: How many visits to your whole Instagram gallery
    Website Click Throughs: How many people have clicked through from your Instagram posts to your website
  • Follower Demographics: What portion of your followers are men vs women, their location (top cities and countries), their age range and the days and times of when people are logging on and seeing your posts

Measure your posts performance

Insights also allows you to see how individual posts are performing, enabling you to compare which types of posts are more popular to your followers. To gain access to all this information, you’ll first need a business account and then Instagram will start compiling data for you once you’ve made the switch. There are three different ways to access the information. From your account page, the bar graph icon at the upper right-hand corner will take you there. Analytics for an individual post can be found on the post, by tapping View Insights at the bottom left corner. For a story, same thing, open the story at tap the bottom left corner.

You can also look at several posts together or your whole Instagram profile. You could, for example, look at all of your video posts together and see how they are performing in comparison to all of your photos, or all of your boomerangs. This will help discern what type of posts your followers prefer. You can also look at how many comments and likes certain posts are receiving, to see which posts are engaging your followers the most. Insights also provides information on the resulting actions of your posts, such as if a follower visited your profile as a result of a post, or clicked through to your website, or purchased something. You’ll also be able to discover where people are seeing your posts – on their feeds or are they discovering you from your mentions, location or hashtags?

Post when your followers are active

Now you know how to access the information, the most important aspect is how to use this to your advantage. The information on the day and times your followers are most active is vital information. When you post on Instagram makes all the difference in the world when it comes to gaining and keeping followers. You’ll need to be posting during the time of day your followers, and potential followers, are checking Instagram. This is the same for days of the week as well. If everyone is logging in on Saturday, but not Tuesday, don’t post on Tuesday and post extra on Saturday, especially during active times of the day. If you’re posting when nobody is on Instagram, yes it will still be visible, but your posts could potentially get lost and reach far fewer people.

Use Hasthtags to extend your reach

You’ll also extend your reach of viewers by using Instagram hashtags. This is critical to people seeing your posts. Instagram can only do searches based on your tags, they can’t search based on the content of your images, and therefore they can only share your posts with people based on your tags. If your post doesn’t have tags, it’s not been shared, and if it doesn’t have appropriate tags, it’s not been seen by the correct audience. Use Insights to find out or confirm who your target audience is and use appropriate tags. The tags should also accurately describe the content of your photo, so if people are looking for photos of a sunset, if your sunset photo is not tagged with ‘#sunset’, they aren’t going to find it. Although general hashtags can be appealing to try and reach a bigger audience, using specific hashtags will reach people who are going to care about your photo, not people who will see it but dismiss it.

Use demographics to understand your audience

Using the follower demographics is an important one because you might think you’re targeting 18-24 year-olds but in reality, your main audience is 25-34. Knowing this can help you tailor your posts, and hashtags, to this age group and help you grow as you’ll hopefully be attracting even more of this demographic by targeting them specifically. Or if your product is specifically for 18-24 year-olds from New York, but you’re attracting an audience of mainly 13-17 year-olds from Beijing, you know that you’re not reaching the correct people and you need to change your social media marketing strategy.

Instagram Insights is a wonderful (and free!) tool, and you don’t even have to leave the app to utilize it and reap the rewards. Once you start checking in on Insights, you’ll find yourself with a font of knowledge regarding who your audience actually is, where they are from, when they are looking at your content, and what type of content they are enjoying. This information can prove invaluable in helping you create the perfect content to maximize engagement and visibility.

Welcome to IGTV

“IGTV, a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators”
Kevin Systrom, Co-Founder & CEO of Instagram.

Instagram’s new platform and YouTube competitor is here. As well as being a standalone app, IGTV, you can also watch content from your favourite creators in the Instagram app.

 

What is IGTV?

IGTV is Instagram’s new competitor to YouTube and a new way to watch content online.
eMarketer predicted that 78% of video content will be viewed on mobile devices in 2018. They also expected YouTube to attract two-thirds of all digital video viewers in 2018, though the launch of IGTV may change this prediction.

Unlike YouTube, IGTV is made of all vertical videos – this makes a lot of sense as it’s specifically targeting users of a mobile platform who already create and view vertical content with Stories.

Anyone can create their own IGTV channel in the standalone app with a maximum of one IGTV channel per Instagram account. Most users will only be able to post videos up to ten minutes in length. Larger accounts can post up to one hour of content but Instagram announced that in the future there will be no limit.

Just like with other content on Instagram, channels and videos based on your likes and who you follow will appear in your explore page. Trending videos will show up on the popular channel and, like Instagram Stories, you can share IGTV content direct to your friends through messages.

Right now there are no ads as Instagram are focused on building engagement and creating a user base. However, there will be in the future so that creators can make a living off this new platform and creators will be able to post links on videos as a way to drive traffic to their other online content.

IGTV is also set up to allow you to view your Insights on each video so you can track engagement.

 

IGTV is a YouTube competitor

Instagram is very clearly looking to be an online, mobile content provider and not a new platform to rival Netflix or similar streaming services.

According to TechCrunch, “Instagram is focusing its efforts around web celebrities that made their name on mobile rather than more traditional, old-school publishers and TV studios that might come off too polished and processed.”

The announcement of IGTV also had prominent YouTube celebrities such as Lele Pons showcasing the new platform in what seems like a move to persuade popular YouTube identities to move onto IGTV.
This is great for channels and users already on Instagram.

There will be no pressure to produce super high quality, studio level productions. Focus on content and use simple editing software like iMovie to produce videos for your channel.

 

IGTV only shows vertical videos

Technically you could upload a horizontally shot video but that probably wouldn’t be the best idea. Instagram has been training people to shoot vertical content with Instagram Stories and this is just one step further.

As well as vertical video making a much better viewing experience on mobile, it also makes it easier for anybody to create content from their phone. Building on the points made in the previous section, this allows people to produce content that is natural and doesn’t have the too processed, polished studio look.
However, this will be frustrating to many businesses who may have to shoot video content in two different aspect ratios if they are planning to upload videos to multiple social media platforms.

 

IGTV is an interactive viewing experience

Whilst watching IGTV content, viewers can like and comment on them similar to live videos. Creators can add links to their videos so you can interact with them on other platforms as well.
You can also swipe up to search for more videos by category and swipe across to skip to the next video. We’re expecting many more features to be added that allow more interaction with content.

Like with other content in your Explore tab, IGTV videos are curated to your preferences and likes. The three IGTV categories help you distinguish between videos that Instagram thinks you will be interested in.
“For You” shows the videos that the Instagram algorithm believes you will enjoy. This is based on people you follow, posts you’ve liked or commented on and other data Instagram has on your activity.

“Following” shows the videos from all the accounts you follow on Instagram – if you follow someone on IGTV you’ll also follow them on Instagram too. “Popular” shows the current trending videos on IGTV.

 

This is just the start…

This is Instagram’s first move into long-form streaming content so we’re sure there are going to be new features coming out regularly. We already know ads/monetization and unlimited video length will be rolling out soon and we’re excited to see what is announced next.

Instagram Features 2018 – a Complete Guide

2018 has been a year of improvements and changes to Instagram. New features seem to be appearing constantly and with the launch of IGTV you might need some help remembering all the advancements Instagram has implemented.

Some are simple updates to privacy but others are designed to help you get more followers and grow your Instagram business if used correctly.

 

IGTV

The biggest announcement of 2018 – IGTV, a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favourite Instagram creators. Whilst there is a separate app (like Boomerang) you can still view IGTV within the Instagram app.

Now videos of up to one hour long can be posted and they’re all in vertical/portrait format – the same way you hold your phone. This is a big move for Instagram and hopefully, there’ll be more exciting features added in the second half of the year.

 

Automatically schedule Instagram posts

One of the most useful new features Instagram added this year was the ability to schedule your posts at a time convenient to you.

This makes it far easier to post at times when you will get maximum engagement from your followers without having to interrupt your day (or night if that’s when your audience is most active).

Experiment with your scheduling and use insights to figure out when your posts are getting the most engagement.

 

An improved Instagram algorithm

The Instagram Algorithm is designed to choose what posts are most likely to be of interest to you and slip them into your feed or Search & Explore tab. The main elements it uses to predict this is interest, timeliness and relationship.

Interest – posts similar to ones you’ve already liked will appear more frequently.
Timeliness – how long ago the content was posted. More recent posts will be prioritised.
Relationship – if you comment or like someone’s photos a lot or are tagged in their posts, they are classed as “friends and family” and will appear in your feed more often.

The three other factors are frequency (how often you open the app), who you’re following, and usage (how much you use the app affects how far back the algorithm will look for you).

 

Add links to your Instagram profile

If you include a “#” or “@” in your biography, Instagram will automatically turn it into a link that can direct your followers to a specific hashtag or another profile.

This doesn’t mean your profile turns up in search results now but it is a great way to showcase your branded hashtags and any affiliates or collaborations you have going on.

 

Mute accounts you follow

If you’re getting bored of some of the content you’re seeing from friends and family this is a great way to ignore posts you don’t care about without unfollowing them.

Other uses can be for the whole follow-for-follow deal though this isn’t the best way to gain new followers. Be aware that this means you may be muted yourself!

 

Instagram Stories

There have been a huge number of updates to Instagram Stories as the competitor to Snapchat has shown its popularity. There are over 250 million users active on Stories compared to 166 million on Snapchat. Here are some of the changes they’ve made:

  • Repost Instagram Stories – This new button in your direct messages allows you to edit and repost Stories that other accounts have tagged you in.
  • Share posts to stories – This is a great way to promote new posts if you want to drive attention to a new campaign or a particularly relevant bit of content you are uploading.
  • Add multiple photos or videos to Stories – now when you are uploading new content to your Stories you can upload everything all at once instead of having to do it separately for each post.
  • Tag accounts using mention stickers – Alongside location and hashtag stickers already rolled out, you can now mention accounts in the same way to tag users or businesses.
  • Location suggestions – When you add location stickers to your stories, Instagram now suggests a location depending on where your photo or video was taken. This is taken from the geo-location data automatically stored when you take a photo or video.
  • Emoji slider polls – Similar to polls, you can now use an emoji slider on your Stories to make your polls a little more unique to gauge your followers’ reactions.
  • Add GIFs to Stories – Instagram and GIPHY teamed up to allow you to add GIFs from their library to personalise your Stories. Using this new feature in a consistent way without reducing quality can really help engage your audience.
  • Type mode – if you need to make an announcement now you can just add some text without a video or photo to your Instagram Stories. It’s a great way to promote events, discounts, links and important information to your audience.
  • Focus app for your camera – This feature allows you to edit your Stories by focusing the camera on your face and blurring the background. This generates the professional looking depth-of-field effects photographers use and help followers focus on what’s important.
  • AR camera filters and effects – Third parties are now allowed to design and add new filters and stickers to Instagram. If you see a new or interesting effect on someone else’s story you can now “try it on” and the new tool will be added to your tray.
  • Share songs from Spotify – In the past, users had to screenshot their song or playlist which wasn’t a great way to share content. Now, the cover art for the album or playlist you’re sharing appears in your Stories with a link for viewer’s to listen in Spotify.
  • Share GoPro footage – this is particularly useful for people who aren’t going to be using their phones to create content. It’s much easier to simply share straight to

 

A new and improved Instagram Explore page

As well as showing popular posts based on the algorithm, you can now use a new “channels” feature. Channels are based on your personal interests and you have the option to choose which categories to interact with.

This means users will have a lot more control over what content they are viewing and should make it easier for potential users to find and engage with your account.

 

Instagram API Changes

Instagram made significant changes to their APIs to improve data and privacy controls. As a result, there were several changes you may have noticed:

Many third-party apps losing functionality – shopping apps that track your activity, apps used to help analyse an account’s followers, and apps that searched for content and re-posted it have all either stopped working or have severely reduced capabilities.
This will affect a number of third-party tools that monitor user-generated content for influencer and business campaigns.
Another Instagram bot cull – when Instagram updates its APIs, you will most likely see a number of bots stop working. Including ones that replied or liked public content or allowed you to follow or unfollow users.
Private likes – Your likes are now confidential, meaning businesses can’t tell what posts you’ve liked. This primarily affected programs and apps that tracked your interests based on your Instagram likes.

 

Anti-Bullying Filters

Instagram also announced at F8 that users will be able to filter accounts that promote hate speech or harass other users.

There is a specific toggle that “hides comments containing attacks on a person’s appearance or character, as well as threats to a person’s well-being or health.” Instagram will also be alerted when there are repeat complaints about a user on the platform.

 

App Usage Statistics

You can now see how long you have spent on Instagram. This is likely part of a movement towards encouraging healthy usage of the app for users to better manage their time spent on social media.

However, this is also useful as it cuts down on needless scrolling from people who aren’t likely to engage with your account. The data taken from this is already being used in the algorithm and into Insights but there isn’t an easy way to use this to grow your account at the moment.

 

Instagram Shoppable Posts

Instagram now allows users to buy items direct from posts. With Shoppable posts, businesses can tag their products and allow users to click through to buy in-app.

While this feature was limited to a small group of retailers, it’s now available to all Instagram business accounts and worth using as a seamless interface with your followers.

 

Turn your existing posts into ads

Instagram has rolled out a new feature which allows users to turn existing Instagram posts into ads within Power Editor and Ads Manager.

According to WeRSM in May, “The feature, currently rolling out to “all global advertisers” within “next few weeks” will be available for the Brand Awareness, Post Engagement, Reach, and Video Views objectives, and will be available in “auction buying” in both Ads Manager and Power Editor.”

The Insights provided in-app will help you keep tabs on your organic and paid metrics.

The most important facts for your Instagram business

Important facts for your Instagram business

Instagram is growing quickly with reports that they have 800 million users active in May 2018, an increase of 100 million over the last month – 500 million of these users are active daily. When Facebook bought Instagram in April 2012 it only had 30 million users – that’s growth of nearly 2,700%! To help you grow your Instagram account here is some important facts for your Instagram business.

 

7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded

Every post should have a hashtag – as well as helping Instagram users search for and categorize content, they also drive marketing and account growth. Branded hashtags are essential for user-generated content in campaigns or promotions so it’s no surprise that 70% of Instagram hashtags are branded.

Keep the hashtag simple, catchy, and relevant so that people will be enthusiastic about sharing it. You can encourage your followers to use branded hashtags by tagging their photos for competitions, for your events so that followers can share and track it, and promoting new products or purchases.

Photos of brand products posted by users generate higher conversion rates for purchases than those posted by the brand itself. This rate of increased conversion rises to 9.6% once the user interacts with the post.

 

80% of users follow a business on Instagram

With an Instagram Business profile, you are able to add things like a phone number, address and links to your profile. Instagram states that 80% of users follow at least one business with 60% of users hearing about a product or service through the app. To add to this, at least 30% of users have purchased a product they first discovered on Instagram.

With growth in the platform and more and more people using the app to find new products, it’s worth experimenting with advertising to see what it can do for your business. The powerful insights tool that comes with a business profile allows you to monitor the effectiveness of your ads and posts.

 

Instagram Ad revenue is expected to reach nearly $7 billionInfluencers prefer Instagram for brand collaborations

Influencers are a key tool in marketing your brand. Utilising their vast network of followers to promote your brand is a great way to reach and engage a new following.

Zine found that Instagram is the preferred platform for influencers – 78% of influencers stated Instagram was their preferred way of collaborating with brands. Blogs came in second at 16%. Other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest were way down showing the clear influence of Instagram when it comes to influencers.

 

Instagram photos engage followers significantly more than videos

Although viewing of videos has increased by 40%, photos still generate more engagement – Instagram photos get 36% more likes than videos. There isn’t definitive research on why this is, but some people suggest they don’t necessarily create a call to action or it’s too easy to scroll past stories.

Regardless of the reasons, photos are going to generate more engagement for your account. Stories and videos still have their place so don’t ignore their potential, just ensure you are utilising the power of your photos.

 

The majority of the highest performing posts feature products

L2’s Instagram Intelligence Report suggests that 65% of the top performing posts feature products. This outperforms lifestyle content at 43% and posts from influencers at 29%.

Whilst it’s tempting to feature your product in every post, Social Media Today suggests that only 20% of your posts should be content that deals with your brand. These should be informative call-to-action posts that motivate your followers to learn more about your brand and engage with your posts.

How often should you post to Instagram?

How often should you post to Instagram

Getting the balance of Instagram posts can be a delicate process. Too many and followers can be oversaturated and switched off, risking them unfollowing you. Too few and followers aren’t staying engaged. How Often Should You Post to Instagram?

Previously, the half-life for Instagram posts was 72 minutes – meaning it takes 72 minutes for your post to gather half its total engagement.

The Instagram algorithm recently changed, and now older posts are showing up in people’s feeds or your posts are getting likes days after you uploaded them. Posts now have a longer lifespan. Does this mean that increasing the amount you post will take away from your previous uploads? Or should you post more to increase your reach?

 

Does posting more equal higher engagement and growth?

Tailwind did a study on how often you should be posting to Instagram. The simple answer is – at least once per day. Their research showed that in over three months, people who moved from posting less than once a day to seven or more posts a day increased their likes by nearly 13 times.

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It wasn’t just the likes that increased – Instagram follower growth also increased by 56% when posting seven or more times a week.

People often mistake more posts for lower engagement though this is clearly not the case. Tailwind also found that increasing post frequency by 100% also caused a 19% increase in overall engagement. This is also backed up by a Union Metrics study, stating:

“We’ve monitored accounts that post once an hour, all day long, and they see above-average engagement rates on almost all their content, no matter when it occurs in the one-post-an-hour sequence. Later posts do not decline in engagement.”

According to a Union Metrics study, the average brand posts 1.5 times per day. This backs up the studies done by Tailwind and is an achievable rate to aim for. So how many posts a day is right for your account?

 

Experiment with your posts

Some accounts can post several times a day and keep their followers engaged. Other accounts can post just once without more posts cannibalizing the likes and comments on further uploads.

In order to figure out your strategy, you may just have to experiment with your post frequency to get that perfect balance. You can just add a new post to a couple of days in the week and monitor its engagement. Is it taking away likes and comments from your existing posts or do both posts grow?

You can also use Instagram insights to check what times you get the most engagement and cater to that. Monitoring what times of the day you get the most likes and comments is crucial to know when and how often to post. If there are two, or even three, times of day your posts are getting high levels of engagement, use those as the times to experiment with posting more.

 

How often are people posting about you?

Sometimes, instead of just posting your own content, it’s worth featuring user-generated content between each of your own Instagram posts. As well as keeping things varied on your page, this is also a great way to engage your audience and make your followers feel involved.

Monitor your geo-tags, mentions in posts and captions, and search for you branded hashtags. Pick some of the popular or interesting posts to feature on your page.

 

Keep your posts consistent

When you’ve figured out how often you should be posting to gain maximum engagement and follower growth, keep your posting frequency consistent.

Increasing the number of posts and then dropping that number suddenly can have more detrimental effects than not increasing your posts at all. Forbes writes: “Accounts that abruptly decrease their post frequency lose followers quickly.”

 

Events, promotions and competitions!

Whilst consistency is important, there are some exceptions. When your business or brand has a special event you will likely increase your posting frequency.

Instagram accounts often bump up their posts around new product launches or competitions to generate excitement and additional engagement. During big events such as festivals or international fashion weeks, influencers and bloggers may post up to 10 times day and still maintain consistent levels of Instagram engagement – as long as posts remain relevant to the brand and maintain consistent quality.

 

Final thoughts

If you do decide to post more frequently, ensure you take the time to maintain the quality of your posts. If you have something you want to show your followers but no high-quality content, try posting as an Instagram story. This allows you to uphold the curated aesthetics of your account and create more natural content.

In the end, the best Instagram post frequency is the one you can maintain consistently. Try to post at least once a day and only post more if you can keep up with those levels to avoid losing followers or suffering from decreased engagement.

Get more Instagram followers to increase popularity

Get more Instagram followers to increase popularity

To get more Instagram followers and increase your popularity is the key to having a successful account. This article contains some of the most effective tips for getting more followers and growing your account popularity.

 

Create a profile that matches your brand

This is the first opportunity you have to make a brand impression and entice people to hit that “follow” button. Instagram profiles are another form of a landing page for consumers – the visuals and style of your profile should match the vision of your brand and page. Completing this and making it appealing is now more important than ever is the first step on your journey to get more followers on Instagram.

 

Use the right hashtags

Be specific and use Instagram hashtags that appeal to your target market. Avoid using only the most used hashtags as these posts may get lost in the crowd and targeted by bots which won’t help you to get more Instagram followers that are genuine. A mixture of niche hashtags and popular hashtags work well when targeting a specific audience.

Try using hashtags in your comments instead of your captions – this way you can add your maximum thirty without overloading your captions. However, don’t feel the need to add them all if they’re not relevant!

Create a brand hashtag for long-term engagement. Instagram allows users to follow hashtags and creates hashtag pages. Campaigns and competitions to promote your hashtags help develop your brand and following.

 

Post to Instagram at least once a day

According to a study by Tailwind, if you move from posting once per week to 1-6 times per week, you can double your follower growth rate. By posting daily, this rate increases to 4x the growth in your Instagram followers.

Only 5% of accounts post once or more per week, so there are a huge number of people not taking advantage of this simple method of increasing followers and growing their account.

As well as gaining new followers, increasing the number of posts to at least once per day also increases engagement rates and the number of likes – Tailwind estimate that moving from posting less than once per week to at least once a day will increase likes nearly 1,300%!

 

Utilise the Instagram Search & Explore tab

LikeSocial has compiled the best ways to grow your followers through clever searches and how to get featured on the search tab. Here are a few of the more successful methods:

  1. Use appropriate Instagram hashtags and location tags. Hashtags need to be relevant or you’re not going to be reaching the users you are targeting. Search your hashtags to find similar tags to find which are more popular and which appeal to niche audiences
  2. Utilise Instagram Insights on your business profile. You can use this tool to track the days and hours when your target audience is most active. Posting at the best time possible increases the likelihood it will appear at the top of the search page
  3. Collaborate! When someone likes one of your posts, it vastly increases the likelihood that this post will be seen by their followers. The more followers they have the more people will see your post! Ideally, the other accounts liking yours will be related so that you are engaging new users from your target audience
  4. Tag other users. This works better for large accounts with hundreds of thousands or millions of followers. The community managers for these big accounts often like posts they are tagged in to engage their followers – this like means your post will then be seen by all their followers!
  5. Create a conversation. A high amount of engagement on your posts boosts your chances of appearing on the Instagram Explore page. The algorithm favours user engagement so create call-to-actions, ask questions, promote branded hashtags, and reply to your followers’ comments.

 

Follow and cooperate with Influencers

Engaging influencers is a great way to increase your following. Like their posts, comment with well thought out remarks, share their posts with your followers, and offer information that is of use to them. This makes your account much more likely to appear to their followers and you can benefit from their popularity.

This doesn’t just extend to influencers though, remember to engage your audience in a similar way to strengthen the relationship with existing followers.

 

Post at the right time

Use your Instagram Insights to see what time your posts are getting the most engagement. There is no specific “right time” for every follower on Instagram, rather times when your audience is most active. Experiment and watch your stats to determine when is the best time for you to post.

You can also schedule posts in order to reach users in other time zones that may be most active when you are otherwise unable to post.

 

Use Instagram Stories and Live Video for more exposure

Locations and hashtags also have stories and videos attached to them. Exploiting their growth and posting in different mediums increases your chances of being featured on the explore tabs and get more Instagram followers.

As with any post, make sure you are using the right hashtags and location tags. Simply use a sticker or write in the tag on your story or event to open it up to being featured. You can add multiple tags by hiding some underneath stickers so you aren’t cluttering your story or video.

Posting live videos at events relevant to your brand is a great way to attract the right followers. If you’re streaming something interesting, this can attract the attention of Instagram users and turn a casual viewer into a new Instagram follower.

 

Advertise on Instagram

As well as reaching out to users through all the above methods, using targeted advertisements on Instagram can reach relevant users you weren’t able to find otherwise. Put in consistent effort and ensure you are analysing your ad statistics like you would your normal posts.

We hope that you found some useful tips to help you get more Instagram followers.

Why real followers are better than fake followers

Why real followers are better than fake followers

To understand why real followers are more important to growing your account than fake followers, it’s essential to first understand the benefits of buying followers.

The main, and really, only, benefit to having fake followers is that an established account with 10k followers rather than under 100 is much more likely to be followed by prospective users.

You can also gain access to tools such as the “Swipe Up” feature on Instagram Stories with at least 10k followers. This allows you to now add links to your stories, a feature previously only available to verified users.

The only issue with this is that if your 10k followers are fake, no-one is going to be swiping up on your links.
Of course, growing real Instagram followers up to the same 10k level will take significantly longer than one transaction.

However, there are plenty more benefits to why active Instagram followers are better for your account, even at far lower levels.

 

Real Instagram followers engage and promote organic growth

Active users engage with your account through likes and comments, shares, using your branded hashtags and interacting with your business outside of Instagram – that includes clicking through links on your posts and swiping up on stories.

Having fake followers is obvious when looking at your post engagement – 10k followers and only 100 likes is a clear sign to users that you have only bought your popularity. This can have a large impact on your credibility to other users, just viewing your account as a scam or an account relying on underhanded methods to sell its brand. According to research, the trustworthiness of influencers and accounts is the main dimension that explains purchase intention of users.

It’s not just that other people can see you’ve bought your followers, higher engagement on your posts is a key performance indicator to Instagram’s algorithm that your post is ‘good’ or ‘popular’. This increases the chances of your content being featured on Instagram’s search and explore page.

Instagram doesn’t just look at followers engaging with your profile, it also looks at how you interact with your followers – something you can’t do with fake accounts. Make sure to respond to comments and create a conversation.

Engaging with your account means that your posts become visible to those users who are interacting with you. These accounts are more likely to have followers who are interested in the same things and, therefore, interested in your brand.

 

Fake followers negatively impact your account

Although there are a couple of benefits to buying followers, the potential adverse effects they bring with them can far outweigh the positives.

Instagram does a lot of purges. How is your account going to look to your followers if your account numbers suddenly drop when you lose those 10,000 followers? If you try to avoid this you can get stuck in a cycle of buying those followers back every time Instagram removes them – a needless waste of money.

Low engagement on your posts can really affect your reputation. Other accounts looking for legitimate influencers or users will just skim past yours if you have 10k followers and only 150 likes on your posts.

Having fake followers will not grow your account. One of the key methods to increase your followers is being able to reach users with similar interests in your account. Fake users follow random Instagram accounts and rarely, if ever, get their own followers. This means that your posts aren’t going to be displayed to people who have any interest in what you have to offer. Only genuine users can do this.

Buying followers is also against Instagram’s terms of use. If it’s obvious to other users that you have bought your fake followers then Instagram may suspend your account for the breach. This is possibly the worst thing that can happen. How can you promote and grow your brand and reach new followers if no-one can view your account?

 

The benefits of genuine followers far outweigh the advantages of fake followers

In conclusion, fake followers provide a small boost to your account but the reputational and operational risks could spell disaster for your credibility. Using methods to get real, active Instagram followers is the key to organic growth and increasing your Instagram likes and followers.

We hope you found this useful and took some useful tips away with you to help you grow your Instagram account.