With all the recent changes to Instagram and its algorithm, where posts with more engagement are favoured, it was a perfect time to make this the topic of the latest Buffer Chat. It seems that everybody is having different experiences on Instagram with the new algorithm changes. I logged onto Twitter and got involved in this Buffer Chat and here are some of the questions and answers, which we’ve summarised here. Thanks everyone for a great chat, it was interesting to see everyone’s different perspectives on Instagram Marketing.

Q1: How (or when) can Instagram be a great addition to your marketing strategy?

Since Instagram is a solely visual social platform, I think it pairs best with certain businesses. Creative businesses and product-based businesses would all do well on Instagram as they can show off their brand in visual and creative ways. But overall, just because some businesses seem a natural fit for Instagram, it doesn’t mean your brand needs to steer clear. You may just have to take a different approach to make Instagram work for you! That is where you can get help from social media experts like us at By This River.

Here are a few answers from some of the other Buffer Chat partakers…

Q2: What are some creative ways to bring more awareness or followers to your Instagram account?

I find that posting regularly (once a day) on our account and using hashtags helps us to reach more people and gain followers. I also like to try and keep our content themed - for example ‘Motivational Monday’ and blog posts on Thursdays.

Here is what others think:

Q3: Is there a particular type of post that gets the best engagement for you on Instagram or a particular time?

I love posting our weekly #WhippetWednesday posts featuring our office dogs Fizz and Toffee, and it seems that our followers like them too! It’s great to be able to post content that humanises our brand and shows a bit more about who we are as people. We also find that our posts promoting our blog posts get good levels of engagement and we are starting to see clicks throughs to our website now – although this has taken some time to build.

Q4: Have you found inventive ways to retain engagement after algorithm change from chronological to algorithmic?

Since Instagram now focuses on posts with more engagement, a good idea is to try and get your followers commenting on your posts – ask a question in the caption to try and encourage people to share their opinions. You can even tag some accounts in your post to kick off the conversation. A few ideas from me could be a #captionthis competition or asking a subject-related question such as ‘Do you use Instagram Stories as part of your marketing strategy?’ to try and encourage others to get involved!

Q5: Are Instagram stories a part of your strategy? If so, how do you use them?

We’ve recently started exploring Instagram Stories and are thinking of different ways we can use them for our brand. We like breaking down our blog posts into short tips series to make into stories, as these also look great saved as highlights. General daily shots of what your company is up to or behind-the-scenes footage of an event adds authenticity to your brand. We’ve written a whole blog post on Instagram Stories, you can read it here.

Q6: What people or brands are using Instagram really well?

Personally, I love fashion brand Missguided’s Insta strategy. Their posts and stories are fun and creative and really advertise their brand and products well. Also, a big shout out to our client National Animal Welfare Trust whose story game has been strong recently!

So, what about you? Do you use Instagram for your brand’s marketing? Do you find that it works well for you? Do you use Stories? Let us know in the comments below!