New to using Instagram for business? Or just looking for tips and tricks to make your Instagram marketing more effective?
Updated: July 27, 2020
This post will walk you through 10 Instagram marketing hacks you may not have thought of.
1. Use Hashtags on Every Single Post.
Consider “hiding” your hashtags in your caption or first comment.
If you want your posts to get found via Instagram’s search feature – or to show up on the Explore page – it’s important to make sure you’re using hashtags on all your posts.
Instagram lets you use up to 30 hashtags in your posts, and up to 10 on your stories.
But how many should you really use, and where should you put them?
According to a study that looked at nearly 650K posts, the best strategies for using this Instagram marketing hack are:
- Use your hashtags in your captions. For small to medium-sized businesses, this brings higher reach-per-post.
- Aim to use around 5-6 hashtags per post if you have less than 10K followers, and 2 hashtags if you have more than 10K followers. Of course, these are just suggestions! Some businesses find they do best when they use all 30, so make sure you test this with your own audience.
- Consider “hiding” your hashtags in your caption or first comment. This involves leaving some space before your hashtags. This results in a cleaner appearance, while still giving you all the benefits of the hashtags.
When deciding which hashtags to use, I recommend using a variety of general and niche hashtags.
Include a few general, really popular hashtags (e.g., #marketing, #blogging, etc.), as well as some highly-specific, niche and brand hashtags (e.g., #influencerstrategy, #igtvmarketing, etc.). This instagram hack will ensure your posts rank high for the niche hashtags, but also give you the chance of getting HUGE reach if you show up for the really popular ones!
2. Remove Yourself from a Tagged Photo on Instagram.
Have you ever found yourself or your business being tagged in a less-than-flattering photo?
Or maybe someone has tagged you in a photo that has nothing to do with you – simply to try to catch your attention and get engagement? (Hello, spam!)
Fortunately, Instagram lets you remove yourself from tagged photos. Here’s how: Navigate to the photo or video, and tap on your username. Click “Remove Me From Post”, and then “Remove”.
And if you feel the tag is inappropriate and/or spammy, I also definitely recommend reporting the post and blocking the account!
3. Try Posting Between 9 and 11am EST for Highest Reach.
In general, this is the best time to post according to research done by Later.com. However, the optimal times also vary depending on the day or week…and of course your audience’s habits and preferences.
For instance, their research also shows that if you’re posting on a Monday, the 3 best times to do so are at 6am, 10am and 10pm EST. The 3 best times for the other days are included in the chart below.
But again, use this data as a starting point, and test out what works with your audience!
4. Post 1-3 Times Each Day.
Confused about how often you should post to Instagram?
While there is no one-size-fits-all posting frequency, I recommend aiming for 1 post per day.
According to research done by Dash Hudson, posting once per day is the optimal frequency; and he found that anything more than that may actually reduce reach-per-post.According to research done by Dash Hudson, posting once per day is the optimal frequency; and he found that anything more than that may actually reduce reach-per-post.Click To Tweet
Of course, definitely test this out with your own audience. You don’t know what YOUR audience wants until you try it out!
5. Focus on Posts (not just stories) if You Want More Reach.
While stories are great for getting your followers to really engage with your business, you may just find that your posts are actually getting far better reach.
Rival IQ analyzed data from thousands of posts and stories and found reach rates were overall far higher for posts. For accounts with fewer than 10K followers, they found post reach was 26.6% on average, while story reach was only 8.4%.Rival IQ analyzed data from thousands of posts and stories and found reach rates were overall far higher for posts. For accounts with fewer than 10K followers, they found post reach was 26.6% on average, while story reach was only 8.4%. Click To Tweet
So, does this mean you shouldn’t use stories?
Not at all! Instagram stories are amazing for connecting with your followers and for showing the personal side of your brand.
Just make sure you’re using both posts and stories for optimal reach and engagement!
6. Have a Routine in Place to Get More Followers.
Marketing guru Neil Patel recommends having a routine in place to increase your growth on Instagram.
Not sure where to start? Here’s his routine for getting more followers:
- Find valuable comments on your posts and respond to them
- Identify people you want to follow you, then leave 3 comments on their posts (this is great for catching their attention!)
- Post at least once per day
- Post at the optimal time of day (see #3)
- Use 11+ hashtags (and do some research to figure out the best ones)
- Write awesome captions
- Find and follow at least 3 new accounts each day.
Your routine may differ from this, and that’s perfectly okay!
The point of this Instagram marketing hack, is that you use the platform consistently, and have a plan in place for building your following…rather than posting sporadically and just expecting it to grow on its own.
7. Tag other users in your posts.
No man or woman is an island – especially on Instagram.
If you’re posting something that’s relevant to another Instagram user, definitely make sure you tag them!
According to this infographic, the most engaging posts on Instagram tagged an average of 1.6 users.
Just make sure your tags actually make sense, and that you’re not just doing it to get increased engagement. Tag people if you’re sharing their stuff, posting an interview, mentioning their business, or, of course, posting a photo or video of them.
8. Never Miss Your Competitors’ Posts.
Do you follow your competitors on Instagram?
I sure hope so!
This is an amazing strategy for staying in the know when it comes to their promotions, new products and marketing strategies.
But as you follow more and more accounts, you may find you just don’t see every single thing they post.
Fortunately, there’s a way to remedy this. Go to your competitor’s profile page, and tap the 3 dots next to their name. Then tap “Turn on Post Notifications”.
With this Instagram marketing hack, you’ll never miss any of their posts again!
9. Consider Switching to a Creator Account.
Did you know Instagram now offers more than just a personal or business account?
A creator account may be the perfect option for you if you’re a:
- Public figure
- Content creator/blogger
A creator account offers additional features and tools like simplified messaging, advanced analytics, and additional publishing tools.
As a creator, you can also tag sponsored products in your posts and stories, which is a GREAT feature if you regularly work with brands!
10. Add Geotagging After You’ve Posted a Picture.
I find geotagging to be an underused, under appreciated feature on Instagram.
Geotagging (adding your location to your image) is a great feature for locally-based business, as it can help you get found by local searchers.
But what if you forget to turn on geo-tagging when you upload an image? No problem.
To add your location after the fact, go to your image and click on the 3-dot icon underneath. Click “Edit”, and then “Add Location”.
And don’t forget to add a location sticker to your Instagram stories too! This will help your stories show up on your local city page.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these 10 Instagram marketing hacks, and that you’ll try them on your own account! These are terrific, effective ways to grow your account, increase engagement, and expand your brand’s awareness.
What are your top Instagram hacks? Share below!