Almost half of American adults use Instagram, spending an average of 30 minutes on the app everyday. That’s a lot of reach. Instagram has evolved over the years, adding on features like Instagram Reels and Stories. Marketers have had to continuously adapt their social media strategies to keep up with new technology. In 2023, many Instagram hacks are still effective at heart, but slight variations in the way you use your Instagram can make a difference in your business’s success. Let’s take a look at the 5 best Instagram tips for 2023.
Use Instagram Reels
Instagram debuted their Reels feature in 2019 in an attempt to compete with the highly popular TikTok. Reels allows you to share videos up to 90 seconds long with the options to use trending audios, filters, stickers, and more. The dedicated Instagram Reels section in the app includes an effective algorithm that makes it easier for users to find your videos than your static posts. Including Reels in your Instagram content can make your profile so much more discoverable. In fact, Reels take up 30% of the time users spend on Instagram.
So how do you take advantage of this fast growing feature? Short-form video is all about capturing your audience’s attention in the first couple of seconds, otherwise, they’ll keep scrolling. Don’t be afraid to make your content eye-catching and entertaining (but still true to your brand). Jumping on trends and popular audios make it easier for the algorithm to recommend you to a larger audience.
You can also find inspiration in competitors’ Reels and TikToks. Take a look at what other industry leaders are doing and what’s working. We’re not saying to copy anyone’s content, but looking at what works for similar brands and staying on top of trends can allow you to tap into that same growth for your own content.
Make sure your video content is in the right format, too. Consider the Instagram Reels “safe zones,” which are areas on the screen that aren’t covered up by UI elements. Quality video and thoughtful design will make your Reels stand out from others.
Perfect Your Profile
Your business Instagram profile should tell your story in just a few seconds of viewing. From your profile picture to your bio to your feed, each element must work together to create the perfect first impression that will get viewers clicking that follow button.
Businesses are challenged with a 150-character limit on Instagram profile bios, leaving little room for error. But strong marketers know how to tell an effective story in just a few sentences. Keep it short and sweet by adding your business’s mission statement, but don’t make it boring. Don’t be afraid to throw in a few emojis or some humor, just remember, keep it short.
Adding a link to your website or Linktree will allow new and old visitors to find out more about you. Including a location helps locals discover your business. Business accounts can even add customized call-to-action buttons to their bios.
Finally, try creating a cohesive brand look through your profile picture, Stories Highlights, pinned posts, and overall feed aesthetic. You want your profile to show off what your business is all about, and you want it to look pretty, too. Utilize consistent colors, fonts, and tone of voice to make followers fall in love with your brand personality.
Take a look at how one of our clients combines all of these elements to put together a cohesive Instagram profile:
Just like your profile should have a consistent brand style, you should also post that content consistently. Posting consistently will allow you to retain current followers as well attract new ones. But each post has to have a specific strategic purpose. Filler content is bound to annoy your audience and can actually cause you to lose followers.
According to Hootsuite, the average business profile posts 1.71 times a day, but every business follows a different schedule. Experiment with what works best for your brand. It’s generally accepted that at least 3 posts a week is a good number to aim for, and can be pushed up to one a day as your business grows.
Be sure to diversify the types of posts on your business profile. Rotating between regular posts, Reels, and carousel posts can keep your followers engaged and reach different audiences. Don’t forget to post Stories, too. Sharing extra content in this format opens the door for more DMs, and prevents followers from being spammed in their main feed.
Write the Perfect Captions
Instagram captions are an opportunity to tell the story behind your content. In most cases, a caption should be short and snappy, providing a little context behind a photo or calling your followers to action. Sometimes, though, you can utilize Instagram captions’ 2,200 character count and write a heartwarming story to give context to your most meaningful posts. It all comes down to recognizing what’s appropriate for each individual post.
Great captions will encourage viewers to stop and read, which feeds into the Instagram algorithm and can lead to higher engagement. Higher engagement will ultimately increase your chances of landing on users’ Explore Page, helping new followers find your business. You can increase your engagement with existing followers by providing a call-to-action in your caption, for example, you can ask followers to answer a question or ask them to tag a friend in the comments.
Of course, including relevant hashtags in your captions will increase your discoverability too, even if hashtags are falling out of use. Keywords in your caption outside of hashtags can also improve your Instagram SEO.
Here’s how one of our clients optimizes their Instagram captions:
Interact With Your Followers
The best way to get more engagement from your followers is to engage with them first. Instagram has a lot of options for interaction. It is a social media platform, after all. Don’t be afraid to talk to your followers, because people love it when a brand chooses to respond to them.
Commenting on other brands’ posts or replying to your own comments are the best ways of starting a conversation. Try answering popular questions in your comments, or simply reply to silly comments with a little humor or even just a “hey there.” This helps you develop a sort of brand persona that followers look forward to interacting with. The more you reply to followers’ comments, the more comments will come rolling in. Instagram Reels even has a video reply option, which is great for giving a thorough response to a popular question. Even just liking several comments each post is enough to get your followers excited.
As always, keeping up with your direct messages will ensure happy followers. You can set up automated responses to the most common questions, but nothing beats real human interaction, so tailor your responses when you can. Try setting aside specific times throughout the day that are devoted to just responding to your DMs across all social medias.
Finally, don’t be afraid to use Instagram stories to increase engagement with your followers. Interactive stickers like polls can make your followers feel like they’re part of the conversation. Instagram Lives are also a way to provide a real-time human connection. Posting content that centers around a popular conversation can really encourage interaction with your brand, but be aware that controversial takes can also backfire.
Here at Little Red Writing, we know that running your Instagram (and all other socials!) can be an exhausting and complex task. That’s why we’re here to help if you need us.