If you run an Instagram business account, you may have noticed that the platform has pushed a lot of updates live this year! With so many new tools—and original features remaining popular – it can be hard to decide what will yield the best results for your brand.
Our Social Content Team has you covered! Here’s our list of Instagram best practices to boost engagement, publish meaningful content and create a cohesive brand image this year. Here are our top do’s and don’ts for Instagram in 2022.
Best Practices for Instagram
Do make each post engaging and valuable. Your followers should feel like they gain something from each of your posts, whether it’s an educational tidbit, an opportunity to join a conversation or a sentiment that makes them smile. Consider how you can engage your followers in every post by sharing relatable stories or incorporating polls and quizzes. Maximize follower engagement by promoting user-generated content.
Do show a personal side. Use Instagram to highlight the human side of your brand. Show the people, places and things that make it unique! Develop a persona that fits both your brand and the platform. Aim to keep the tone friendly and the content easily digestible; Instagram isn’t the place for stuffy, complicated language.
Do include a clear value statement in your bio. According to social media site Buffer, your Instagram bio should include a link, short summary of what your business does, CTA buttons and profile image. Your bio should be easy to read. To achieve this, many brands put important details on separate lines as a list format.
Do maximize the link in your bio. Although Instagram wasn’t designed to direct people to resources off the platform, it’s important to avoid letting the linking opportunity go to waste! Your bio is the only place on your page (besides Stories) where clickable links work. Include your website URL or a Linktree link that can take people to a list of your other resources.
Do incorporate subtle branding. Plastering logos on all posts does not make for engaging content. Instead, try to find clever ways to visually tie things together. Options include a small watermark in the corner of images or a consistent color scheme for photos and graphics.
Do use brand logo as your profile pic. Make sure your logo is uniform and easily recognizable across all social media platforms. Your logo will be one of the first things customers see, and it will help them feel sure they are interacting with the correct brand.
Do repurpose materials from other assets wisely. For example, convert a poignant quote from an article into a cool, high-impact graphic. When using existing content, make sure you reformat it to fit Instagram. You should create something visually pleasing that will fit Instagram’s specific crop ratios for each type of post.
Do incorporate a variety of media. Try still photos, videos, live events, animations, audio bytes, carousels, infographics and more. Share original content whenever possible, but if you use a photo or video taken by someone else, make sure you’ve obtained the proper permissions to use it on your page. Try to avoid repetition and space out similar content. For example, alternate between posting photos, videos and infographics, rather than posting three videos in a row.
Do use Carousels. Instagram Carousel posts get on average 1.4 times reach and 3.1 more engagement. They offer the option to include a variety of images, videos or a mix of both. Try a carousel with both photos and images! They get the highest engagement of all types of carousels.
Do use Stories: Stories have a great click-through rate, which makes them an ideal place to include links to your website. Post Stories more frequently this year to keep up with active brands who post 17 Stories per month. Save your best Stories using Story Highlights and bring attention to them with a custom cover that matches your brand.
Do create Reels. Since launching short-form video Reels in 2020, Instagram has continued to push them. According to an announcement from Instagram Head Adam Mosseri, the platform is now doubling down on educational and entertaining videos. If you really want Instagram to love your Reels, consider those angles and create them in the app rather than reposting them from TikTok or other platforms.
Common Instagram Marketing Mistakes
Don’t just post for quantity. You should ideally post between 3-7 days a week, but you should always test this frequency with your own audience to learn its preferences and find your own sweet spot. Once you’ve set your pace, it is important to make sure consistency does not come at the cost of quality. Quality content sends signals to Instagram (including the time users spend on it) and will be rewarded by the algorithm.
Don’t use a clever handle for your business. Now that most brands can be found on Instagram, make sure yours doesn’t get lost. If your business is a bakery, don’t opt for an unrelated handle like @doglover49 because you will attract dog lovers instead of hungry customers. Your handle should be immediately recognizable as a part of your brand and optimized to show up in Instagram Search.
Don’t buy followers or join engagement groups. Artificially collecting likes, follows or shares is against Instagram’s rules. One way people have tried to skirt this rule is by creating “engagement groups,” where users can post content that everyone else in the group will like and comment on. This approach is ultimately harmful to your reach and reduces the chances of finding your actual audience.
Don’t make captions hard to read. In the past, it was best practice to create long captions on Instagram, but since 2019, captions with 1-50 characters receive the most interactions. Longer captions still have a place when telling a story that matters to your audience, but don’t make the copy hard for them to get through. Use line breaks to create small segments of text and place hashtags at the bottom of your post or in the first comment.
Don’t rely only on stock photos. We always encourage our clients to source their own photos because part of the appeal of Instagram is authenticity and relatability. However, if you do find it necessary to supplement with stock photos, do so sparingly. Consider how you can personalize them to best serve your brand, maybe with a unique filtered overlay or creative cropping. And remember that while stock photos aren’t ideal, neither are blurry photos with poor lighting. Aim to find the balance between real-life content and quality imagery.
Don’t leave your customers stranded. Don’t miss out on opportunities to boost your business by responding to comments and shares. Engagement (likes, comments, shares) shows the Instagram algorithm that your content is important, so the more communication you have with your customers on your Instagram posts, the better. You’ll also improve your customer service!
We hope these tips will be helpful to you as you implement your Instagram strategy throughout the rest of 2022! If you have any questions for our social media experts or tips that have worked well for your business, please send them to our Social Content Team at SCMTeam@medialogic.com.