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What’s New With Instagram
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The title can be a little misleading, as this is basically what is new with Instagram for me, and possibly most of our readers. See, I don’t manage Instagram full-time, we have someone that does that. But who better to write a blog about Instagram than someone that has just as many questions about the platform as you do.

In this post, I plan on writing about a few new things that I have recently learned about as well as some strategies that you, the end-user, might find helpful. As you may have noticed I am one of the more senior marketers around here, so my younger counterparts love to hear me complain about Instagram. I personally will stick to Twitter as it is still my favorite.

What You Need To Know About Your Profile

Don’t make the same mistake that so many have made on Facebook and still this day are still doing – not having a business account! If you have already set up an account on Instagram and it is not a business account, follow the directions in your settings to switch to a professional account. One reason for doing this is to have tools only businesses can access, like deeper analytics.

Once you have your professional account here are a few tips of what to include on your profile:

  • Be sure to be using a company email address for proper notification. Also, Instagram won’t recognize your account as a business account if a company email address is not used.
  • Your bio should reflect your brand as well as useful verbiage that would have some SEO factors. For instance, use the same process as you would with your H1s of your website.
  • Categories- Be sure to set the proper category for your account. Your options are limited so you may have to get a bit creative. No worries, I have faith in you!

Those are the main tips that I have for your set up. I chose those as that is what our social media specialists have seen that most new accounts lack when we inherit them.

What You Didn’t Know About Instagram

Of course, after my attendance at an Instagram seminar last week, I couldn’t wait to tell my team this, “ Did you know that emojis are searchable?” Of course, they looked at me like some millennials do and simply said, “ Yes”. I was actually very pleased to hear this, as they should know that, right? I, for one, would have never thought to use an emoji as a search term or item. So if you are older and are responsible for social media at a company, you better get familiar with those emojis and their proper use.

Also, if you think older folks are not on Instagram, you are wrong. Just because you don’t use Instagram or social media, doesn’t mean your audience isn’t. I can’t tell you how many times in the past 10 years I have heard folks tell me that social media is not necessary for their business and then watch my team prove them wrong. Remember social media has taken on so many functions, from SEO to Customer Service. Be there or be square!

Instagram Takeovers

Of course, anytime you hear the word takeover, it automatically makes you fear the worst. This kind of takeover is good for business. With all the rage over influencers these days, there are other ways to take advantage of another type of influencer. Instagram takeovers can be your customer, a member of your team that is very active on Instagram or a paid influencer.

So what does an Instagram takeover look like? Once your person is going to take it over, start having them promote their takeover with tagging your profile and you do the same. Kind of like how movies start promoting their movie’s debut. A build-up to the excitement is necessary and will help you get more followers. Keynote – be sure to go over any rules you may have for the takeover so you don’t have any mishaps that might make HR or PR departments cringe. I’ll let your imagination run wild with that thought.

During the takeover, try to give your takeover candidate as much free reign as possible. Let them have fun with it, as long as they stay in your guidelines. I personally suggest you keep a watchful eye on what they post and do with your account. After all, this is your brand.

Be sure to measure the number of followers and amount of engagement you get from your takeover – just like you would do with any other marketing tactic.

Instagram Ads

Our team has seen some pretty nice results from running Instagram ads. Remember, this needs to be connected to your Facebook ads account. Take a highly engaged post and use it in your ads and see how well it converts to actual sales. This is a strategy our team uses to ensure our clients get the best bang for their Instagram buck.

Instagram Analytics

Instagram’s analytics are very helpful in your strategy. Make a habit to check them once a week. They don’t last forever or can be customized like other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google Analytics, etc. Find out who is following you. Do you have more women than men or vice versa? Take that into account when you consider what to post. Check out the age group, is your audience younger or older than you expected? Which posts have the most views? You should be looking at all this to determine what you should be posting. Remember, it doesn’t matter what you like, it matters what your target audience likes.

This concludes my current thoughts on Instagram and should give most of you plenty of homework to get started on.

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