Published on August 26th, 2014 | by Juliane Krause-Akelbein

5 Tips for more success on Instagram

There is another version of this post: German

As of late, you can analyze Instagram profiles with Fanpage Karma. We’ll show you what you get from that with a handy example: Five simple tips for more success on Instagram. To do this, we selected the Top 10 fashion brands by engagement and took a closer look. You’ll find that list at the end of this post.

1. Get to know your Followers

The first phase in any relationship is simultaneously the most important: getting to know each other. Are your followers morning grouches or busy bees at o-dark-thirty? Do they have more time in the afternoon or are there strict rhythms like lunch breaks and end of the work day? Maybe there are some commuters amongst them?

When are posts especially well received? You can’t ignore the timing of your competitors: What is their preferred time and where is a niche in which you can be successful? In this case the weekend presents itself: few posts in comparison to weekdays, but many reactions.

You can adjust your content to this rhythm and increase reach and engagement of your posts significantly. The Top Fashion Brands we analyzed hit an average engagement rate of 17%, leader of the list was AERO with a whopping 24% engagement rate. Compared to this, engagement on Facebook is almost laughably small: According to our study on engagement on Facebook the top 10% of fanpages only reach a 1.2% engagement rate.

2. Regular posts

Instagram is a very active network, that is checked regularly by its users. In part due to a missing newsfeed algorithm that also means: a higher frequency of posts turns into a competitive edge for brands. The most successful brands in our analysis post 5 images per day on average, the frontrunner LookBook Store ups that to 12 posts per day.

No, those are not 100 profiles, it’s 10. But: ten very active profiles, that reach high engagement-rates and many followers. So: get going, collect content!

Obviously, this needs to be planned well. Only few brands are able to just shake out five images per day. So: Prepare your content strategy and look around to find potential for images in your company.

3. Content, Content, Content

Simply aiming on something with your camera and hitting the shutter doesn’t necessarily work for Instagram. Like on other social networks you need to know exactly what you post and especially, what your goal is. Do you want to make your brand more accessible? Then “behind the scenes” images might make sense for you. Do you want to advertise your product and images that relate to your products are easily found? Or do you want to get creative and use the tagging function? IKEA, for example, has used the tagging function creatively to place all products of a line on Instagram and produced the first interactive Instagram catalogue.

One thing stands out: video content isn’t used by the majority on Instagram yet. Here’s a niche that you can claim – but be quick about it, because Instagram launched its own video app Hyperlapse.

There’s some room for improvement…

Integrating other users in your own content, for example by cooperating and mentions, offers a playground of creative possibilities. Have fun with your content and your community, your followers will notice and reward that.

4. Know your hashtags

Just like on Twitter, hashtags are an integral part of the Community on Instagram and an essential function for discovering new and interesting profiles. But which hashtags should you use? Simply define your own? As a general rule you can assume that your fans were there before you. It’s definitely worth to take a look at your competitor’s profiles to find out which terms are already used and maybe even claimed. Using trending hashtags can – if there is a relation to your brand – lead to more reach for your posts. So stay up to date on everything around your brand!

By the way, there are numerous hashtag lists in the broad expanse of the internet. Like in any network, there are already some “classic hashtags”: #TBT (throwback thursday), #PhotoOfTheDay, #NoFilter, etc.

Use hashtags that can easily be related to your brand by users. If there’s already a hashtag for your brand – wonderful. Otherwise you can introduce your own hashtag that should slowly become the default for content about your brand by continuous use. Take care that it’s a simple term that can easily be associated with your brand. In our analysis Urban Outfitters uses #uoonyou to collect and share images by users that are wearing their apparel.

Hashtags are perfect to bundle campaigns and to conduct simple contests. And of course you can also generate user content and structure it. Which leads us directly to the next item:

5. Let your followers participate

Call on your users to participate. Users can tag their own content with your hashtag and share in your brand experience. You have a full bouquet of possibilities: elect the best user post, simple sweepstakes, raffles and all the way up to high quality competitions for professionals and even the production of whole TV-Spots with the help of your Instagram community – there are no limits to what you can do. So give something back to your community for their loyalty!

If you want to find out more about your own Instagram profile and want to take a closer look at your competitors you can easily do that with the Fanpage Karma Instagram Analysis. More on how that works here.

You want to take your Instagram activities to the next level? Try the extensive analysis for Instagram!

Article-Header by Frosch 50 under CC by 2.0 license.

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Mein Name ist Juliane, und ich bin bei Fanpage Karma für das Marketing zuständig. Damit sorge ich nicht nur für mehr Östrogen im Büro und Blog, sondern bin auch immer auf der Suche nach neuen Themen für unsere Kunden und Ideen für unser Produkt.

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