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…
A1: Instagram is especially beneficial to businesses and brands that lend themselves to great imagery - particularly when physical products are involved (jewelry, food, etc.). It’s only a good tool if you’re willing to invest time into consistent content & engagement. #bufferchat— Erin Sanchez (@candidlyerin) February 21, 2018
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:
Q2: build intriguing content and they will come. Keep your # game tight. Encourage user-generated content and celebrate your community and partners first. But above all else, have fun and be REAL. I love how light-hearted and positive @instagram is #bufferchat pic.twitter.com/CUoQZM3oW9— Pippa 🚀 (@PippaRogers82) February 21, 2018
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!
I’m in a Facebook group all about Instagram and some people from the IG research team joined the other day for Q&A. They said it’s better to skip a day than post low-quality content (meaning not valuable, off-brand, and/or poor photo quality). Post to Stories instead! #bufferchat— Erin Sanchez (@candidlyerin) February 21, 2018
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.
A5: Stories are quick ways to get your message to your audience while keeping your followers engaged & leaving your content open for new discovery. It all depends on the client but, behind-the-scenes, highlights & new products are all great ways to promote engagement. #bufferchat— The Go! Agency (@thegoagency) February 21, 2018
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!
A6: I love @Photoshop Insta stories, @travelchannel Where in the World series; @bustle Beauty Call; @AptTherapy 5 Things to name a few! Great storytelling! I also love feed posts from @StudioDIY & @abeautifulmess - they are always consistent colorful & happy! #bufferchat— juliestuckey (@JulieStuckey) February 21, 2018