Instagram is a highly popular social media platform, with 13% of the world’s population using it! It uses an ultra-smart algorithm, and when you pair this with the significant number of users, it can be very challenging to increase engagement.

In terms of marketing your brand, gaining loyal followers and building a community, Instagram is the best social media platform to use. So, it is important not to be disheartened by the sheer volume of competition. We take a look at how you can improve engagement levels on your Instagram account.

Build a Strong Brand Image

By creating a style, pattern and theme for your Instagram page that is in keeping with your brand is a fantastic way to build brand awareness.

As an example, the large clothing online retailer Pretty Little Thing, are known for their pink branding. Everything to do with them is pink, from packaging to Instagram posts.

Make Your Instagram Unique and Eye-Catching

Maintaining a strong brand image across all Instagram posts can help the user to understand straight away who has posted. In addition to this, having a consistent theme across all posts make your Instagram homepage look fantastic, eye-catching and unique.

It is also important to continually interact with followers by liking and replying to comments. By doing this, you can build a community online of loyal followers, and this should hopefully transpire to loyal customers or clients.

Use a Photo Filter to Achieve Brand Consistency

A great way to ensure you remain on brand is to set a filter that is used across all posts. If you are regularly posting photos rather than digitally created images, this is almost essential. No picture will look the same because of backdrops, lighting etc. so, by using a filter, you can make them look similar and consistent.

Post Regularly

To achieve higher engagement, you must post A LOT; it’s as simple as that! By posting regularly, your account will frequently pop up on people’s feeds, which can, therefore, result in a higher level of engagement.

How Frequently Should You Post?

Some studies state that between one to two posts a day is the right amount, but we would say this largely depends on the type of business. For retail brands, this is a sweet spot, but for more niche businesses, one post a day or even every other day would be sufficient.

New post on Instagram

When Should You Post?

As the Instagram algorithm is extremely intelligent, there isn’t one specific time that is perfect for all accounts. Some suggest between 8 am to 9 am for your first post and then your second post between 2 pm and 5 pm. However, others suggest lunchtime for your first post and then early hours for your second.

Different types of brands will have an engaged audience at different times of the day. The best way to analyse when to post is to test out a few times. Once you have found your perfect time, stick to it. Alternatively, you can use Instagram insights to see when your audience is most active.

Choose the Right Hashtags

While there are noticeably some hashtags that are consistently performing well, if they are not directly relevant to your post, they are totally useless.

Avoid Using Too Many Generic Hashtags

Using generic hashtags such as #fashion or #food, you will be faced with significant levels of competition, with potentially millions of other posts using the same hashtag. To avoid this, use a mix of industry-specific hashtags as well as some that are trending.

As you can see on the post above, IKEA has used a combination of generic interior design hashtags as well as some which are more specific. By doing this, you can face the competition of the commonly used hashtags as well as targeting the more niche audience with the specific hashtags.

Do Your Research

Look into what your competitors are doing; how many hashtags are they using and which ones are they using? This can be a great indicator into those you should be using, and which perform well.

If you would like some more guidance on how to use Instagram and how to make it beneficial for your company, here at Ocean, we offer comprehensive training courses on a range of digital marketing sectors.

Our social media training course covers Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter, and can help you become an expert online. For more information, please do not hesitate to get in contact with our friendly team!