5 Simple ways to improve your instagram performance
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Instagram is a powerful marketing platform for brands, and that has been proven time and time over, as staggering statistics have been released. However, that does not mean all brands are achieving those results. In fact, many brands are far from achieving them.

But on Instagram, starting is half the battle, so if you've begun putting some effort into the platform, you're already ahead of some of your competitors.

Now, we know that Instagram is powerful, but exactly how powerful is it? Let's take a look at some statistics to get a better understanding:

  • Brands on Instagram with over 100K followers have grown by 163% in two years.
  • In 2014 86% of top brands had Instagram accounts.
  • 1.6 billion "likes" are made every day on Instagram.

I mentioned that starting is half the battle, but that's not completely true. Half the battle is creating an Instagram strategy on how you're going to get started - and then starting.

Guessing you've already come that far, you're probably looking for that next thing that will help you improve your Instagram marketing and get better results.

1. Optimize your photos
Instagram is a visually driven platform, so inevitable, visual content will play a vital role in your Instagram content strategy and efforts. It will also have a huge impact on how well your brand perform. In addition to that, more than 80 million photos are uploaded on the platform per day, which means you'll have to post unique and high-quality content in order to stand out and win the battle of people's attention.

In addition to that, more than 80 million photos are uploaded on the platform per day, which means you'll have to post unique and high-quality content in order to stand out and win the battle of people's attention. Unfortunately, though, it seems like everywhere you go on Instagram, you can see brands who just haven't implemented a strong content strategy into their social media presence, and that's a riskful thing.

So how can you catch people's attention and get better results from your posts?
Photos on Instagram that show faces get 38% more likes than photos not showing faces.

A study of 8 million Instagram images found that images with a single dominant color generated 17% more Likes than images with multiple dominant colors.
Images with a high amount of negative space generate 29% more likes than those with minimal negative space.

Photos that have the dominant color as blue generate 24% more Likes than images that are predominantly red.

If you take all the information in these stats into consideration, you can be sure that your posts will increase dramatically in reach, engagement, and impressions.

2. Share posts strategically
Do you have a clear content strategy that tells you when and how often you should post? If so, you can jump to the next point, but surprisingly, many brands don't and just post whenever and whatever they feel like posting. That is not the recipe for success on Instagram.

Post at the right times

First of all, it's important to share posts at "the right" times. The studies that have been made are often not agreeing on a single time when it's best to share a post for optimal engagement, which makes it a bit tricky to know when you actually should post, however, often times, the answer is that it depends on your followers and your target audience. Obviously, your optimal time to share a post will be different if all your followers are from Europe compared to if they would be from Los Angeles.

A tip is to use Instagram Insights to see which days and hours your followers are most active. While it only shows you the times when your followers are visiting the app the most, it will give you a hint of when it might be a good idea to post.

Think about the numbers of post you share

The number of posts you share is also important.

Once again, this number may vary based on the type of followers you have. Thankfully, the studies are not completely at odds regarding this matter, so figuring out how many posts is a good number for you shouldn't be difficult to figure out.

Source: Buffer

Source: Louisem
Source: Revlocal

3. Use hashtags
There are not many social platforms where hashtags are as powerful as they are on Instagram, so not using them would mean missing out on a huge opportunity of growth and exposure.

A study of the top 100 brands on Instagram found that their captions averaged 2.5 hashtags per post.
Another study found that posts with 11 or more hashtags received nearly 80% interaction. A huge jump up from only 22% when using 2 hashtags.

Instagram posts that include both a hashtag and a location tag see higher engagement. Also, posts that include several hashtags receive higher engagement.

The statistics speak very clearly. Hashtags are incredibly powerful in terms of reaching a bigger audience and getting a higher engagement. This means increasing brand awareness and getting your brand in front of individuals who have never heard about your brand previously.

4. Check in to a location
Posts that have checked in at a location get 79% higher engagement as opposed to those without.
By adding a location to your post, you get your content displayed at an additional spot on Instagram which means getting it seen by more people thus resulting in a higher engagement and the chance to impact more people.

Certainly, you want to check in at the place where you actually are. If you have a physical location for your business, you could use that, however, the chances are that not a lot of people are searching for that location on Instagram which means you won't get a very big reach.

Instead, you can use a location that is broader and more actively used by people.

For example, if you have a business in New York, instead of tagging your venue, you could simply use the broad tag "New York". However, as a lot of people are using it, there's a chance that your post will disappear quickly in the crowd - unless it ends up on "Top posts". Top posts is the section of a hashtag or location where the top 9 posts that have received the highest engagement over the last couple days end up. Since they are displayed at a place where a lot of people see them, you'll get a ton of exposure if you succeed in ending up there.

If you don't yet have an account that is as big so you can compete with the big guys and girls, focusing on locations that are a bit more targeted for example "Brooklyn".

5. Partner with influencers
Influencers are trusted individuals who have become thought leaders in their industry on social media. Influencers are individuals who impact and influence people's lives, habits, and decisions.

By identifying the individuals people in your target audience look up to, you can partner up with them and get them to spread your brand message. Because influencers are a lot more trusted than brands, their words will be more credible, thus generating better marketing results.

The key to a successful influencer campaign is that you work with an influencer who suits your brand perfectly and make the campaign genuine. If the brand is the one who pre-writes the caption for the influencer, and creates the content, people will smell something is up, and the campaign won't be trusted.

When it comes to selecting influencers, you need to have the following in mind:
Avoid working with influencers with fake followers
Work with influencers that have a high engagement
The more followers isn't always better
Work with an influencer who resonates well with your brand and speaks the same language as you.

About the author:
Jens Wirdenius is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Veloce International and the influencer directory Veloce Network.
He is a social media and marketing nut, sharing his passion for business in his articles.

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