Instagram gets on my damn nerves sometimes…ok, all the time. It seems like just when you have your IG routine down packed…BOOM…the algorithm changes, AGAIN! So the question is, how can you stay afloat if not get ahead if and when the good ol’ algorithm of Instagram changes? Well here are a few tips I think we can all use in order to say ahead of the curve on Instagram:
Caption: Your Instagram caption is your bio and as a creative, should not only highlight who you are and what your brand is about, but also state specific call to actions for those who offer something such as a product, service, community, or idea. My lovely bio is below + bios I love from some of my favorite bloggers, influencers, and entrepreneurs.
The only issue I have is, with Instagram bio captions, your characters are limited at 150 (which can suck). Because of this, you need to make sure that your bio is written with purpose. In addition to the caption, you can also put in your website and call to action buttons such as email, book, call, etc.
#Hashtags in Bio: Along with your caption, you can include #hashtags in your Instagram bio!!! I’ve done this with my personal and brand’s account on Twitter so I was just waiting for the moment when Instagram would get on board. With this feature, I would suggest using 1-5 hashtags that not only describe who you are as a brand but that gain a lot of traction as well. This way when people search and follow certain hashtags (we’ll talk about that later) that you use in your bio, your account is more likely to pop up in more people’s feed which can result in new likes, followers, and conversion on your website.
I absolutely love Instastories because it gives your readers more content that doesn’t necessarily work for your feed. Similar to Snapchat, there are so many different things you can post for your Instastories like:
♡ Daily vlog
♡ Behind the scenes
♡ Location, polls, questions
♡ Tagging your fav music
The list goes on and on. There are even templates, a lot that are animated, that you can purchase to use for your stories!!! Below are just a few of my favorites:
The cool thing about Instagram is you can now save your stories under different categories called Highlights so that they don’t disappear after 24 hours! If you’re a nicheless blogger, then this is going to be your best friend. I categorize mine based on the main topics I post about for my brand such as Fashion, Influence, Brand + Biz, so this can be based on whatever is the take away from your Instagram page. What’s even more cool is you can customize the front picture of your highlights! I have a step by step tutorial here on how to create custom highlight covers and give you some for free!
Now I have said this before and have no issue backtracking on what I’ve said. I was never a fan of a themed Instagram. Coming from a nicheless platform like Just Bloggers: No Explanation, I thought, and still do to an extent, that themed Instagram’s took away from the authenticity of an Instagram’s account.
However, I now believe after doing my own experimenting, that you can create your own version of a themed Instagram while still staying true to your brand. Theming your Instagram doesn’t have to be as intricate as it seems. There are a few things that I do in order to “theme” my Instagram account. I first gather stock photos that play into my brands colors, which are blacks, whites, rose golds, coppers, dusty pinks & mauves, etc (SheBoldStock is awesome with the stock photos!). Then, I gather a group of recent photos I’ve taken (if you’re in STL, Mena Darre is THE SHIT for branding photos) and I alternate them in between the stock photos I’m using. From there, I have specific Lightroom filters (I love girl boss creative filters) I use for my photos, and BAM-themed Instagram feed! The best tool I recommend in order to keep all of this organized is Planoly. Planoly is a visual Instagram planning tool that lets you move potential pictures around for those who love to theme their feed, you can even auto post as well!
MORE STORIES, LESS FEED
Because Instagram’s algorithm changes to adhere to the times and what’s trending, it’s now better to post more on your Instagram story than on your feed according to Antoinette Minor (loved her segment at last year’s The Blog Connect). She says that in order to see better results with engagement on Instagram, you should post more on your Instastories as opposed to your Instafeed Why? Because we are now in a time where people want to know everything that you’re doing, from sun up, to sun down. Snapchat created this precedent and Instagram shortly followed suit. A good ratio that I follow is posting on my Instastory at least once a day, where as I post on my feed about 3-4 times a week, but take this piece of advice with a grain of salt. Before making any decision regarding your posting, always cross check your analytics!
The word of the day is ANALYTICS. No matter what I’m saying in this post, listen to this-If you don’t pay attention to your analytics you’re just missing out on the opportunity to grow because the data is right there in your face!!! More importantly, anything that I’m saying won’t work or make sense if you don’t apply it based on your account’s analytic information. Instagram gives insight into not only how many people follow you and how many likes or comments you get on a post, but it also gives you insight into how many people come to your page within a week, how many people saw your post vs. engaged with your post and how many people clicked on a link if you have an ad running. It’s free information that many have used to skyrocket their account, and if you fail to pay attention to this data, your doing your brand a complete disservice.
Probably the most effective tool Instagram has is the ability to use hashtags for visibility. The best thing I can tell you is to research and create a curated list of hashtags for your brand. Sure, using typical and common hashtags are OK, but when you find unique hashtags or even create some of your own, you’re more likely to end up at the top of the list under that hashtag list. Some of the hashtags I love to include under my posts are #akbrownstl #yourfavoritefashionstylist #fashionfinds #streetwear & the list goes on.
But not only should you create a curated list of hashtags to use, you should be following those exact same hashtags. Following the hashtags you post not only shows you the type of content that is trending in that category, but you see other users who are using the same tags which equals potential new followers and online networking opportunities!
Are you going to be ahead of the curve or will you allow your Instagram to become stagnate? I think we both know the answer to the question. Take these tips and research your own so you can transform your Instagram into the powerhouse it can be! And while you’re doing that, click here to sign up to receive 300+ hashtags researched and curated by me to help you get your Instagram to the next level!