5 Ways to Make the Most of Instagram in 2018

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New year, new social strategies. Refresh your Instagram know-how and use it to help achieve your company goals in 2018. Here are five ways to make the most of the platform.

1. Stories, Stories, Stories

Instagram Stories give your business the opportunity to showcase its creative side, boost engagement and remain visible to users. Stories — photos and videos that live on your profile for 24 hours — give content a sense of immediacy. Late last year, Instagram began allowing users to camera roll photos they took over the past week, rather than over the past 24 hours, to their Stories. Take it a step further and film a live video on Instagram to truly give users real-time content. Stories allow you to demonstrate your product in action, highlight specials and anniversaries and share behind-the-scenes content. You can also increase engagement by including a poll, or you can condense a blog post or article into a series of images and videos to give users digestible, mini-stories. Want to save an Instagram Story that is relevant beyond 24 hours? Instagram now allows you to pin stories to your profile through Instagram Highlights.

2. Boost Posts

You can check all the right boxes to optimize your organic reach with Instagram’s algorithm in mind, but to further get your content out in front of audiences, you’ll want to start backing some of your key posts with a few dollars. It’s less intimidating and fussy than a full Instagram ad campaign, and it works just like boosting a Facebook post. This move keeps you relevant to audiences and increases engagement. With all the content and competition on the platform, it's worth it to pay.

3. Take Advantage of Hashtags

Don’t underestimate the power of hashtags. They’re major players in helping you gain exposure. First things first, find the ones that are most relevant to your business. Does your city have a top hashtag? Add it. Sell jewelry online? Who else does too, and what hashtags do they use? You can also look at the top posts under a hashtag and see which hashtags those users include too. And with the new feature that allows users to follow hashtags, you now have another way to reach audiences. A bonus? You can find influencers in your industry and head to the “Following” tab in their profile to see which hashtags they follow so you can get in front of their eyes.

4. Be Consistent

Aesthetic is everything when it comes to Instagram. As a business, plan your feed in advance and keep the visuals clean and consistent — from background colors to editing techniques. A cohesive look portrays quality and entices users. Consistency should also apply to brand voice. Think of your brand as a character. What does the character value? Are they direct and formal or funny and witty? When determining your aesthetic and voice, balance your brand personality with your audience’s desires. What appeals to your customers? What do they value and want to hear and see from your business? Determine that then stay consistent.

5. Stay Community-Minded

At Imagine Media, we help our partners build relationships, not profiles. It’s important to use these strategies to foster a sense of community around your brand and to be authentic and transparent as you tell your story. Building trust is vital to the success of any business, online or offline. Your Instagram, and social media presence in general, is an extension of your business — through advertisements, customer service and more. When you focus on serving your online community, you will end up producing better, more valuable content, supporting yourself along the way.

Story By: Kris Martins