9 Instagram Hacks to Boost Your Performance
Anybody who’s anybody is on Instagram. But not just anybody (or any business) can actually generate engagement or drive sales from this popular platform. Our clients do, and that’s why we’re here to share a few of the strategies and Instagram hacks that we know work. If you’re craving help with your social media marketing and wish to learn more about our unique iScreamSocialMedia packages, click here or call (305) 455-0720 to chat with the team.
Alright, let’s hack to it…
2. Incorporate Carousel Posts
Carousel posts allow you to share multiple images (up to 10) in a single post that users can shuffle through by swiping left. The obvious advantage of this Instagram hack is that you can share more content in one go.
But more importantly, carousel posts tend to get more saves than single image posts. They’re also great for building anticipation and inciting your followers to interact more with your content.
Say you’re a Medspa owner who wants to showcase a patient’s results. If you post the “before” photo first and require users to swipe to see the “after”, basic human temptation means there’s a good chance users won’t be able to resist that swipe. Instagram’s algorithm registers each swipe similarly to a like, which means your post is more likely to be favored, resulting in better reach. Better reach = more people seeing and interacting with your content.
3. Use Instagram Insights to Your Advantage
If your Instagram account is a Creator or Business account, then you have free access to Instagram Insights. You need to be using it.
To locate Insights, go to your profile page and click on the menu in the top right-hand corner. The third option from the top (labelled “Insights”) will take you to the Insights landing page. Here, you can find a range of helpful data, including the number of accounts you’ve reached (and what time of day), content interactions, followers and their demographics, as well as an analysis of each of your individual posts.
Insights provides the information you need to make strategic choices surrounding the type of content you post and when you post it. For instance, if you notice that you tend to get more activity on Wednesday afternoons, consider posting more often during this time. This gives you a better chance of more engagement on your posts and Instagram’s algorithm will favor your content as a result.
4. Video is Your Friend
It’s time to get cozy with video content, because it’s not going anywhere. An analysis by Marketingcharts reveals industry leading, video-based, social media platforms TikTok and Snapchat lead the way as US teens’ favorite social platforms. If past trends tell us anything, it’s that our youngest generation leads the way and directs technology and media habits. Need more convincing for this Instagram hack? Instagram reports a whopping 500 million Instagram Story users every day.
Instagram recently introduced another video feature: Instagram Reels. Reels joins Instagram Stories and IGTV as a direct competitor to emerging social media giant, TikTok. Reels lets you record, edit, and share videos of up to 30 seconds. Public accounts can also share Reels to Explore in addition to their feed. This is a new space dedicated exclusively to Reels. Users can scroll through Reels and interact with the content (again, very similar to TikTok).
Let’s just say that there are plenty of opportunities to dip your toes (or full-on dive) into the video content waters.
5. Less is more…
Your followers and target audience can smell inauthenticity and subpar content from miles away. If you only have time to post a partially edited, incredibly average piece of content, you’re better off not posting anything at all. Seriously.
Don’t be afraid to take the time to make sure what you’re putting out there is high-quality and positively represents your brand. No, your content creation budget doesn’t need to be cinema-quality, but your audience won’t want to interact with boring, run-of-the-mill posts or stock photography either. At the very least, high energy, engaging videos and thoughtful posts are the way to go.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by managing your Instagram feed, our iScream team can help you create and post engaging, results-driven content. You can learn more about our Instagram services here.
6. …Except When it’s Not
Are we already breaking our own rule? Not quite. For a largely visual platform like Instagram, longer captions that tell a story is referred to as “microblogging”.
The story element is key. Nobody wants to read a long, rambling post that doesn’t add anything of value. But if it hooks your readers and draws them in emotionally through story, particularly if it feels authentic and local, there’s a higher chance that users will become invested in your content.
You can even utilize Instagram Carousels to get around the caption character limit (2,200). Simply type out your text and screenshot it. You can directly post the screenshots as you would images on your Instagram feed. We recommend ensuring that the first image in the carousel is an eye-catching photo or “hook” to encourage users to keep reading.
7. Ramp Up Your Hashtag Strategy
Believe it or not, there’s a method to all of that hashtagging madness. Tagging the right people, in the right place, opens up more avenues by which your content can be located.
A good Instagram hack is to keep your hashtag strategy diverse. Each post is allowed 30 hashtags, and you’ll want to focus on including hashtags from each of the following categories:
Location Specific — includes local businesses, towns/cities/states
Industry and Product/Service Specific — includes your offerings, your job/profession title, industry jargon, and so on
Branded – a hashtag unique to your business
8. Play Around with Polls
Polls are a great Instagram hack to add some extra fun and follower interaction to your feed. Plus, you can use the answers to your advantage.
To host a poll, you’ll first need to create an Instagram Story. Simply select the plus symbol located in the top left corner on your profile picture. This takes you to Instagram Stories where you have the option to “Create”—“Polls” is the 5th option under this header. From here, you can type in your question and provide options for your followers to select.
To view your responses, open your story and swipe up. You’ll be able to scroll through the replies.
9. Give to Get
The more actively engaged you are with your followers, local businesses, and target groups, the more likely it is that you’ll receive engagement in return. Make it a priority to like and respond to the comments you receive on your posts. Don’t be afraid to give some love to your favorite local business in their comments section. Like a certain product? Give that brand a shoutout.
Every interaction builds your authenticity and approachability.
Plus, you’re more likely to be found by potential leads and future clients if your digital persona is active in the niche communities they interact with.