Not a day goes by where we don’t open Instagram and scroll through our feeds and stories to see what’s happening in the lives of those we follow. And it’s a damn hard thing to stop doing so and put the phone away before going to bed!
Instagram has become ingrained in our daily lives for many of us. Apart from using it to stay updated with our friends’ lives, we use it to search for inspiration and discover what’s new and trendy in the hood.
Since its launch in 2010, the social media platform has gone through several changes, moving away from its original filtered photos with borders to introducing reels. We take a look at how to maximise your use of Instagram in 2022.
Instagram post feed
Ever since the introduction of Instagram stories, the space at the top has been competing for attention with the regular posts on your feed. Instagram always changes the algorithm as well, which makes it tougher to get the eyeballs you want, especially for brands that use the platform for business.
In 2022, Instagram provided users the option of changing how they view their feed: the Home feed is the default mode that posts show up based on the algorithm.
Favourites show the accounts that users mark as favourites so they won’t miss them out, while Following shows the accounts you follow in chronological order.
To ensure that your posts get seen, here are some tips to follow:
- Post great quality photos consistently and regularly
- Share your post in your stories
- Create more reels (hello, TikTok?)
- Schedule posts at optimal timing
- Facilitate engagement by asking questions and inviting comments
How to use Instagram hashtags?
Hashtags are still important for your posts to be seen and shouldn’t be left out of your Instagram strategy. The right hashtags help the algorithm understand what your content is about and push it to the relevant audience. They can be used on both your post and Story.
Popular hashtags (eg. #love and #instagood) with lots of posts are not always the most effective as whatever you post may get lost in the deluge.
Instagram suggests using a mix of popular and niche hashtags for greater discoverability:
- Hashtags that describe your product or service
- Hashtags that show your niche in the industry (eg. #fashionblogger, #watchreview)
- Hashtags for communities (eg. #photographersofintagram)
- Hashtags based on location
- Daily hashtags
- Hashtags with relevant phrases
You’re allowed up to 30 hashtags in a post so there’s plenty of space!
When the Stories function first came out, it was very similar to another app, Snapchat, as the posts are visible for only 24 hours.
Instagram stories have now become a mainstay of the platform and you may notice that your Stories get way more views than your posts. They’re a good way to increase engagement with your followers.
What’s new with this function is that you can use songs to amp up your Stories. Here’s how to use saved audio on Instagram Stories:
- Save your desired audio or song on Instagram – it will appear in your Saved list, which you access from your profile page
- Save audio from a Reel (click the audio thumbnail is at the bottom right and click save audio at the top)
When posting a Story, search for the Music sticker and enter the song that you’ve saved. You can adjust the song to the part you want to include in the video. Once you’re satisfied, just tap post!
Introduced in 2022, Instagram reels are short videos (up to 1 minute) that users can create and edit, that have made many users liken it to TikTok. It even led to a “Make Instagram Instagram again” meme.
But Instagram is definitely pushing Reels to us with the addition of the Reels feed in the centre of the bottom bar, replacing what was formerly the button to create a new post.
Reels give you the creative tools to stitch multiple video clips together, add AR effects, filters and audio, and change the video timing.
We already mentioned above that creating more Reels will help increase the visibility of your post. But the quality of your Reels also matter.
According to the Instagram @creators account, reels that are shot in vertical, utilise text, filters, camera effects, music, and of course entertaining and engaging are more likely to be discovered in the Reels tab.
Reels that won’t be recommended are those that are blurry, non-original content that contains watermarks from other apps, has a border and has the majority of the image covered by text.
How to use instagram to share with other social networks
Instagram is not just a solo platform. Increase your reach by sharing your posts and reels on your other social networks.
If you’ve linked your Facebook and Twitter accounts to Instagram, your posts will automatically show up on those platforms as well. Your Instagram Stories will also be shared to Facebook Stories.
If you’ve noticed two usernames on one post, you’re not seeing things. It’s the new Collab feature where a single post appears on the feed of two accounts.
One user creates the post, and the user that collaborates with the first one also has the same post show up in their feed, allowing the post to reach the followers of BOTH accounts, thus maximising reach.
How to use instagram professionally for business
Instagram has also been a platform for businesses. In particular, small businesses can make use of the platform to gain visibility.
The first step is to switch to a Professional Account on your Settings tab.
What makes a business account different is that you have access to insights to see who your audience is and how they engage with you.
Businesses can also use the Shop function to provide more detailed product information and allow your audience to see the price of items. Instagram has also curated a resource guide on how to make use of the platform to grow a business.
We’ll leave you with a few parting top tips:
- Always be professional – what’s on the Internet can be screenshot
- Do not engage in arguments in the comments
- Invite engagement and respond accordingly
- Use hashtags appropriately
- Always post engaging and relevant content that stays true to your brand
Get your instagrammable shots out there without a hitch
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