Editing, planning, scheduling,. There are plenty of ways to improve your brand’s Instagram offering, but to manage an Instagram account that’s commercially successful, business owners have to strike a balance between all of them.
Social media expert at Hopper HQ, Aminur Rashid, reveals to Business Advice readers five important ways to successfully manage an Instagram account.
How to manage an Instagram account
(1) What will you post?
Plan ahead. The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, making us more visually engaged with Instagram than Twitter.
Having a plan or itinerary of the content you have to post gives you a good flow of material in months to come. Your content plan should include the products or services you want to feature, how it/will they be featured, and where it will feature. Does it require a specific background or location tag, for example?
The above will require more detailed planning and creativity on your behalf to enable you to achieve the best out of each post. The underlying aim is to keep your followers interested and following you.
(2) Research hashtags ahead of scheduling
Research popular industry specific hashtags to get your content seen by potential followers. Devote five minutes of your daily schedule to find new hashtags using a dedicated app, such as Hashtagify.
Viral hashtags have a lot of power, but only use them if relevant to your post. If you search “Trending this (month)” on Google you’ll find loads of hashtags that are predicted to go viral, be sure to incorporate these the best you can.
However, do be wary of being ‘shadowbanned’, this will block your content from being seen on any hashtags.
(3) What’s your editing style?
Consider how you’ll edit your content. Depending on the content in your bank and your experience of editing, you will want to aim for a reasonable target number of content pieces to edit at the end of each of your scheduled sessions.
If you’re an agency, you will need to schedule each of your clients at a valid time slot for each editing day. So, dedicate a day (or days – if you’re an agency scheduling for multiple clients) and time each week to do your editing, devoted to cropping, filtering, adjusting brightness – the list is as endless as you want it to be or need to be.
(4) Decide how many images to schedule per day
Still undecided how many posts you want to share with your followers? As tempting as it is to share as much content as you can, it’s not good practice to clog up your followers’ feed.
If your favourite brand is pressing ‘upload’ every hour, then you won’t feel excited nor appreciative of what they have to show you next. Exclusivity is key, and posting too much too close together, won’t have the same value.
Established brands will post between one and three posts a day. It’s a balance between not too little or too much, and posting should be evenly spread throughout the day. Here are some recommended post times, based on average Instagram users:
- 7am-9am for the first digest, ready for your followers that check their social media feeds before they get out of bed and on their commute
- Next, 12pm-2pm to target the lunch break
- Lastly, 6pm-8pm ready for the evening post-meal, last scroll before bed habits
(5) Engage with the Instagram community
Comments and new followers can have unpredictable patterns, so allocate time to respond to comments and connect with new followers.
Reply to comments on posts to show you acknowledge them, and like and comment on followers’ photos, as an incentive or reward for their dedication. Also make sure to follow back new followers if they add value to your account.
New followers will often judge if an account is follow-worthy by checking the number of current followers. If there’s a significant following, they will want to conform to be part of that crowd too.
So, continue the cycle of building your content calendar and researching new hashtags to gain the exposure you deserve. Use the ‘Explore’ tab on Instagram to engage with new wider communities. Follow and like their posts to evoke the same reaction back.
Aminur Rashid is Social Insight Executive at Hopper HQ, an automated scheduling tool for Instagram users.
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