I have done a fair amount of research on how Instagram works and I just wanted to share with you all my findings. I do not work in social media and won’t guarantee all this will work for you. I myself have only tried a few things but some I don’t use anymore because it is not an organic growth and you end up with a fake profile with fake likes, comments and engagement.
There is more to Instagram than just posting pictures of your cutie doggo, there are many ways you can help increase your followers/business which makes Instagram a hell of a lot more fun and maybe profitable. I will tell you now, there are some things that you may not like, as it could come across spammy or unprofessional but there is no harm in experimenting. The article will be great for someone who has a business and wants to use Instagram to promote it.
In this article, I will talk you through:
- What is Instagram?
- What is the difference between a Business account and a Personal account?
- What is ‘Insights’? An explanation of each item within it, and what you should be looking for?
- What are promotions? How could this work to help your Instagram?
- What tools you can use to increase your engagement?
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a social media application, which focuses on photos and videos, it was released in 2010 and has just been announced that it has over 1 billion users. The application allows you to organise your posts with tags, hashtags, location information and much more. The application works on Windows, Mac, IOS and Andriod so there is loads of compatibility.
The website link is www.instagram.com
What is the difference between a Business account and a personal account?
Here are are some simple bullet points which will separate the two different types of account:
- Easy to use, just post and engage with your niche.
- The ability to make your profile ‘Private’.
- The ability to connect multiple Facebook pages to your single personal Instagram account.
- Can go private.
- Contact options.
- Story Links.
- Can’t go private.
A business account has a lot of features, therefore I will go into some detail regarding them, explain what they are, what they’re good for and how to use them.
What is ‘Insights’?
This is one of the best features of Instagram Business, you can get to see in more detail the activity of your profile, the content and also information of the audience which is viewing your content.
How do you use insights?
As shown in the activity photo above, it shows what days your profile is most active. So on my profile, I had 752 profile visits on the 18th June, however, just 310 profile visits on 22nd June. The reason for this was, I was engaging a lot on Monday, commenting, liking posts, networking with similar niches. The big drop on the 22nd June was due to my sisters birthday my engagement dropped so did my profile views.
The activity tab also shows how many profile visits you have had in the past week, I have had over 5000 visits in a week, but due to making this blog, it has dropped to just 3400 visits. It also shows how many times your website and contact buttons have been clicked.
Here are some interesting ones that a lot of people have asked me about:
Reach is the number of unique accounts that have seen your post. It is the potential for your post to be seen by a certain number of people.
8 ways to boost your Instagram reach:
- Find your optimal posting times, you can do this using your activity insight
- Experiment with Video
- Hosting contests is a great way to increase your engagement. You can also ask questions on your posts to get more people to comment.
- Tell Instagram stories, and add engagement items like yes/no or the slider.
- Go live on Instagram, this will make your profile appear right at the front of the stories feed.
- Don’t post too much, I post no more than 2 a day. If you post too much, you come across spammy and people tend to get annoyed. Make sure you post good content too, 1 fabulous photo will be better than 20 mediocre posts!!
- Be a good Instagrammer do this by, sharing, showing appreciation, quick replies etc.
Impressions are the total number of times your post has been seen. This isn’t completely accurate, an impression is counted by the number of times your post has been put into a users feed. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they were using the app at the time, or they used the app long enough to scroll past it.
The Content tab isn’t very interesting, it shows how many times you have posted this week. It does, however, show what promotions you have running at the bottom and the performance of that promotion.
Moving onto the Audience tab. This shows how many followers you have, and also the increase in followers in a week. On my photo above at the time of writing this post, I had 5922 followers and increased 587 followers in that week.
The audience tab also shows you what sex is viewing your content mainly, the ages of your audience and the top locations of your audience. This will help you target your profile to your specific audience, so let’s say your audience it mainly 18 – 24 years old, based in America and most of them are women. You’ll want to make sure your posts are targeting women, between that age range, and also most of them are in America, you’ll want to post in their time for optimal performance.
At the bottom of the Audience page, you can see the best times to post. It shows when your followers are normally Instagramming so we could say this is your ‘peak time’. You can even see when your followers are mostly online each day throughout the week. Really useful stuff to know when it’s best for you to post to gain maximum reach.
Engagement is pretty much self-explanatory. it is just how much your followers or fellow Instagrammers are engaging on your profile, tagging you, direct messages, likes, saved posts, interacting with your stories, all that kind of stuff.
What are promotions?
Promotions are just what you think they are, they help promote your account by advertising your account on others feed. With a business account, you can promote your photos to do three different things, which are:
- More profile visits
- This will help you grow your presence on Instagram.
- You can select where you would like your account to be promoted. There are three options, ‘Automatic’ which is where Instagram will select the best place for you. ‘Local’, you can select people in a specific location, or ‘Manual’ give you full ability to choose your options. By looking at your audience tab, as discussed earlier, you can find where your account performs the best. You will want to select your most popular place. The statement used earlier, ‘1 fabulous post is better than 20’. Promotions targeted at your audience will perform better than standard promotion which is targetted at 44 people.
- More website traffic
- The outcome of this promotion will send people from Instagram to your website.
- You can type your website URL in the settings for this and choose an action button. Learn More as an example.
- More promotion views
- Promotion views will help your post get discovered. Your promotion will get a lot of impressions but receive fewer clicks.
- I tend to use the Manual option as Goldendoodles are very popular in America, hence why you see Goldendoodle profiles in America with 50k or more followers.
- If you select promotion views, you’ll get another three options: 1. Instagram Profile 2. Business Address 3. Phone Number. I don’t use 2 or 3 as Snap is not my business but I use 1 quite often.
- Again you’ll need to select your audience, remember to use your Audience Insight, OR, if you want a change in audience, maybe you have more men looking at your profile but you want more women visiting. Change your promotion to target women only, as an example.
How can this help your account/business?
Promotions can help your account for the same reason why TV Adverts help businesses. It helps spread the word of your account/business and gets you more profile visits. If you’re promoting your business, it may even increase your profit, if you have a business and using Instagram to promote it, this is something you should be very familiar with using.
Having a business account will also enable you to have a contact button near the top of your profile. You will have the ability to have, directions, phone number, and your email in this section.
Links in your Stories
Another positive to having a business account is the ability to add links to your stories. Have you ever seen those stories where you can ‘Swipe up’ to read more? That’s because they have a business account which has OVER 10K followers. This limit may change at a later date as the number of followers you need to have this feature has just dropped to 10k. As a business, you could link each item to your website to maximise the potential of your products being sold.
What tools can you use to make your Instagram better?
There are so many tools out their which can help you organically grow your Instagram profile than ultimately your business. I have done a fair amount of research into many third-party applications, tried a few, hated some, really loved others. You will have to try some things out to see what you’re most comfortable with. Most of these tools you will have to pay for, unfortunately.
Before we start I just want to say, STOP buying followers, these sites are dodgy as ****! I once bought followers and more than half of them were deleted from Instagram because they were just dead accounts. Waste of money!
Also, make sure you’re responsible with your account, don’t overdo something as Instagram are doing their best to cut down on a lot of these things I’ll mention.
Let’s start off with Fuelgram. www.fuelgram.com
Fuelgram is an engagement group where you can exchange likes, comments to improve your Instagram performance. There are 3 different services available:
Autorounds is a system where people like each other’s most recent posts at certain times each day – this event is called rounds. You can choose up to 3 daily rounds on which you will get likes from 600 users on their Telegram engagement group at the chosen times. This service requires your Instagram account credentials so that their team can like the other members’ posts for you. Your Instagram credentials are encrypted and safely stored offline without their own team having access to it.
Fuelgroups are automated engagement groups for high-quality accounts to exchange likes with each other as soon as they post. This helps pages better exposing their content and possibly gaining more followers as a direct consequence. This service requires your Instagram account credentials so that their team can like the other members’ posts for you.
Powerlikes is a system where you have 600 high-quality accounts with over 80M followers combined liking your posts as soon as you post! It’s basically accessing Fuelgroups 20k,50k and 100k without providing your account credentials to give likes back to the other accounts.
I wouldn’t use Fuelgrams Powerlikes as they’re not very good, in my opinion. I haven’t really looked into Powerlikes, as I know they can be expensive. They’re around £300 a month just for 600likes on 1 post a day. Powerlikes is when big businesses / Instagrammers with over 1M followers will like your post, maybe comment which will then make your post more favourable to Instagrams algorithm. (The more the followers the better) This will help your content hit the explore page. You’ll need to have some good content to allow your post to stay on the explore page though!
FuelGram isn’t the only tool which delivers powerlikes. There are lots of different places you can buy them from. With my little blog account, it’s simply not worth the expense, however for a business. You’ll get seen that’s for sure!
I’m not a big fan of Fuelgram, it makes your account a little too fake, you get stupid comments on your post which are completely irrelevant and when you don’t use it you go from 1000 likes back to 80 or whatever you were getting.
These are super great, basically, they do all the Instagramming engagement work for you. By this I mean an application will, like, comment, follow, unfollow and practically Instagram for you. Yes, it really does take all the fun away from Instagramming, but I will tell you now it’ll organically grow your profile! You can get around 2000 followers a month using them.
The bad things about automation are that it isn’t very popular with Instagram itself if you overdo it you’re running a risk of your account being completely banned. It’s also not the cheapest of applications to use. You’ll either need a windows server running 24/7 or just keep your laptop on every day all day for it to work.
There are many applications, I won’t state them all as Instagram is trying to block them all from working. The one I would recommend would be Jarvee, I think it’s roughly £15 a month. www.jarvee.com
A lot of big businesses use this, I think some even employee social media professionals who will use this and manage their social media accounts. It works with many social media platforms, for instance, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr etc. I would follow a guide on YouTube to learn how to set it up as it can be quite difficult.
Hashtags help you get more reach from your posts, you enter them with the 5 dots so they get hidden in your post after the ‘See more’ option.
You can put 30 Hashtags in the caption and 30 Hashtags in the comment section. Make sure you do the comments Hashtags first then the caption after otherwise, it will not work. A lot of people say it is spammy to enter lots of hashtags, which to be fair yes it is, but it certainly does give your posts more reach.
What I have done is saved a shortcut on my phone with 30 hashtags on it, when I post a picture up I type my comment shortcut in the comment section, then quickly enter my caption shortcut into the caption.
There are many third-party websites which can help you choose the best hashtags for your niche. You type in a popular hashtag which is similar to your niche, for example for me it’ll be Goldendoodle as there is over 3.6 million post at the time of writing this article. The software will look through what other users are using as well as ‘Goldendoodle’ and sort out 30 hashtags for you all in order from most posts to least posts.
You shouldn’t only use popular hashtags as your post will disappear off screen pretty quick. Therefore, use a few 5m+ posts just to get your post out there then use some 500k hashtags, then 100k hashtags and finally 50k hashtags. The hashtags with a smaller amount of posts will mean your post stays near the top for longer.
This does, however, depend on the number of followers you have, for example, if you have 20M followers, it’s kinda silly to post in 50k hashtags, you could compete in the more popular hashtags as you should have a highly active account.
One other thing A LOT of people don’t know, don’t use the same hashtags over and over, your posts will be less favourable in a hashtag you have used the 50 times. Change it up a little from time to time.
Stories are a great way to gain more engagement in your profile, the posts show up at the top of Instagram and you can do so much with them. When you share a post in the stories, make sure you have included the location, multiple hashtags (Yes, multiple hashtags) and a link to your profile.
You can get featured in a location, and in hashtags. On some of my posts, my stories have been viewed over 1000 times with two hashtags and a location.
You can also increase your engagement with stories, asking questions, doing a poll and the slider option. Decorate them, make them look professional and really tidy, you’ll get loads of engagement as long as your content looks good.
- Post at the most popular times, find this using your ‘insights’
- Engagement is key, like, comment, direct message, share post/stories, follow etc. Get involved.
- Promote your posts
- What I like to do, Comment, like a few posts, follow. It gets the users attention to your profile and you’re almost guaranteed a follow back.
- Don’t use the same Hashtags, you become old news to them if you use them often and your posts will no longer be as favoured in them.
- ‘Stories’ is a great feature, use it often! Let your followers know what you been up to today. Make sure you add a location, multiple hashtags and a link to your profile.
- Go live! When you have gone live, you are put at the front of the stories bar. Followers love watching a live feed.
- Ask to be featured on others profiles
- Try make a constant theme, your profile will look messy if you don’t. Goodboybear has a lovely constant themed profile.
Some interesting websites to look into:
Measure the average cost of an Instagram post:
Instagram Influencer Earning Calculator:
From both these links you can see what your engagement rating is. This picture will help you understand engagement ratings a little better:
Whatever you do with your Instagram, you need to have good content!!! You’ll never have a large number of followers if your content is crap. My Instagram, in all honesty, isn’t the best, I have some good photos and some photos which are terrible. I’m no photographer, but my Instagram is just a hobby and doesn’t make me any money. However, an Instagram like BoxerDogDiaries with Ruby and Martha, they have over 22k followers because their content is spot on! They also own a business called MuttleyandMartha where they sell a range of dog accessories from bowties to harnesses. Their Instagram is their product advertisement, therefore it needs to be good and with their Instagram, I’m sure they’re doing very well with their businesses. (They have no part in this article, just an example)
The other thing I wanted to say to have a good Instagram, engage with everyone, be a jolly person and target your niche! Make sure you give the people who are engaging on your profile extra special love. ❤
I hope this article has broadened your view on Instagram and has made you realise the features Instagram has and third parties applications can offer.
Thank you for reading
Mark & Snap