Social media is everything! With hundreds of platforms, reaching all over the world, the possibilities are endless!

Welcome to a new blog series where we  dive into social media. This series will be known asThe Hive?s social media best practices; we will be covering a different platform in each blog post to provide details, and how best to use each platform.

Initially, we figured we could jam pack all the ?do?s and don?ts?, and provide a great reference for you all to read and apply for your social channels in just one blog post. However, the deeper we got into our research, the more we discovered that there is SO MUCH to learn about social media. Inspired by this, we present to you our blog series.

Our first blog will be covering the wonderful world of INSTAGRAM!

Instagram was launched on October 6, 2010…and oh boy has it come a long way.

If you are already using instagram (whether that be for personal or business reasons) then you are already very familiar with all it?s greats perks and understand the overall benefit of this platform. If not (omg what?!?), we hope this blog will encourage you to get started.

A few facts about our great pal IG:

? Instagram has 1 billion active monthly users.

? It is the second most engaged social network (after Facebook), with over 60% of daily user log-ins.

For businesses, here are some great stats we discovered:

? Engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter. 

? 60% of users (that?s 600+ million people) seek out and discover new products on Instagram.

?  71% of U.S. businesses use Instagram.

?  70% more likely to buy via mobile.

?  75% of users take action. 

From our gathered research, we have compiled a list of what will be the most helpful tips to get the most out of Instagram-from a business standpoint. 

  • Quality content is key. Want to show up on the newsfeed of your followers? Make sure all your content is very specific to your target audience. All content that is delivered should be of value. If not, followers will simply scroll by and less engagement means less exposure for your IG profile which will drive overall traffic down. No bueno.
  • Plan your content! Planning your posts will help keep you organized and on top of any important upcoming dates. You?ll be ahead of the game and build consistency in the mind of your followers! Building a positive brand awareness in the mind of your consumers- oh the places you?ll go!

Our favorite tool for planning posts is Hootsuite

  • Engage with your audience! Don?t just write a caption. Tell a story! Ask for opinions! Start a discussion! Engagement with your followers will set you apart. 
  • Determine your post frequency and maintain this consistently! Test it out, see what works for your page. Engaging is great,  but too much? -That is simply overwhelming for your audience. Make sure this # is realistic to ensure it can always be met. 

The best posting frequency for Instagram is the posting frequency that you or your business can keep up with consistently.

  • Choose a Themeand stick to it. Check out these examples beelow! Establishing your aesthetic is a great way to keep your brand/page cohesive, creating visual consistency and an overall enjoyable user experience. A consistent theme will allow you to reinforce your brand identity.
  • Post stories! Stories is a great feature that allows you to post photos or videos for 24 hours. After that, they?re gone! This is great because it allows you to post more with the advantage of it not being posted in your page grid, some content is more important than others and this will allow you to distinguish that. Since the content does not remain on your profile, instead stories appear at the top of your newsfeed, in chronological order. You are able to tag accounts, hashtags, location, add GIFs, draw, type, ask questions, conduct polls, there is so much to do! 
    • An idea for a business story: Show some behind-the-scenes! Working on a new project? Give your followers a sneak peek so you can encourage them to follow along the journey,  through this they will learn more about the personality of your brand.

Overall, the most important aspect of IG stories is the instant nature that it provides. Allowing companies to be in the moment and posting real time content is a key benefit when used effectively.

  • Take advantage of Instagram?s Insights feature! Learn more about  your demographics. All of this key info will evaluate your IG?s growth efforts and determine what?s working and what you should ditch.

Who– Male? Female? Age range? Understand who your audience is.

When– What time is most engagement occuring? This can help you narrow down on the best time to schedule posts.

Where– What cities and countries is your content reaching the most?

What– What posts are performing better than others? Focus on these so you can better understand what your followers like to see.

As you can see, there are so many tips and tricks when it comes to getting the most out of Instagram. Apply our favorite tips and share your experience below! 

Stay tuned for our next series post featuring…Facebook!

Ready to take the next steps in building a stronger Instagram presence?

I’m ready!