Let's Get Some Tips and Fast Facts From the REAL Instagram Experts (hint: not me!)
I am not an Instagram expert nor do I play one online. 😊 Good thing I know some serious, REAL Instagram experts to turn to for Instagram marketing help. And since you now know me, you can get access to those experts too!
Look, I love gorgeous images and great photography – I photography books on my coffee table and my bookshelf, have taken classes of/off for 30+ years, and have bins full of cameras in my office that say I need to get out and shoot more. But that’s just it – I like using my real cameras, and then processing, and maybe sharing the best. Ok, I love my iPhone camera too, when I can get a well-composed shot.
But I mostly use Instagram to share food, wine, and travel pics. Not business-related pics. It didn’t make sense as a business tool for me in my library consulting and training business, and not sure it makes sense for Mighty Marketing Mojo either.
BUT I get it! I get the appeal. And like I said, I DO know research and the right experts to connect us to for Instagram help.
First – a few Insta-facts [Updated]:
- Instagram has more than 1 BILLION monthly users as of July 2020.
- 37% of US Adults use Instagram
- 7 out of 10 hashtags used on Instagram are branded. Hashtags are a driving force on Instagram, often ‘the more the merrier’ – which is NOT true on Twitter or Facebook. You simply MUST use the right hashtags on your ‘grams. [While many brands only use a few, the optimum number of hashtags is said to be 11 – keep reading for some tools to help your hashtags]
- 90% of Instagram users follow a business on the platform – and while it may not be super easy to go from Instagram post to an org’s website, Instagram says 120+ million users (per month?!) go on to visit a website, get directions, call, email, or DM to get info on an org.
- 33.2 percent of U.S. Instagram users were between 25 and 34 years old. The second-largest user group was 18 to 24 year olds with a 22.9 percent share. Here’s where that group went when they left Facebook and Twitter.
- Instagram users are educated – 32% attended college
- Instagram Stories have become an integral part of the app – over 500 Million accounts use IG Stories DAILY – time to learn how stories work, eh?!
Tips and Trends from the Instagram Experts
Hootsuite reports on how a lot of big brands are shifting to Instagram (they were already there, but are strengthening and concentrating efforts) for even more visual content and communications. And they are seeing some BIG numbers in engagement. Instagram skews younger (majority under 30) and really brand conscious (54% of users follow brands on Instagram) – so if that matches your demographics, start planning ways to amp up your Instagram efforts.
Thanks to my very plugged in, Instagram-expert pal, Ken – I’ve known for a while that Jenn Herman is a serious go-to guru in social media, especially Instagram. Look for her at Jenn’s Trends, and also read her other Instagram marketing articles at SME So it’s great she’s featured on Social Media Examiner (another site I love) explaining how to use Instagram Type Mode in Instagram Stories. Until reading this story I had no idea you could create a text-only story in Instagram!
I’m a fan of this post from Buffer with at least 8 actionable tips for Instagram marketing based on more than 20 studies of Instagram marketing efforts from a lot of smart sources and brands. Plus, they analyzed a lot of top, popular Instagram accounts and posts to see what’s really working. Great! Our research is already done. check out Tip #2 – reinforcing that earlier advice I gave you that consistency matters more on social media than quantity.
Another research-driven social media and marketing guru I’ve followed for years and frequently read is Neil Patel. So if he says he’s derived “10 powerful Instagram marketing tips (that actually work)”, then I’m definitely going to check those out.
Remember when we debunked some of the bad social media advice – including that more is not better on hashtags?
It is important to do your homework and research hashtags first, and then keep a list of common tags for topics your biz to frequently post on. [Tip: I have a photographer pal who keeps a list of common photography hashtags and tags for our local area in a Notes file on his phone, easy to copy&paste into Instagram.]
I mention a few hashtag research options in my Top 10 Fave Social Media Tools guide – you can get your copy free here if you don’t have it already.
Plus check out these hashtag tools:
#tagdef – run a search on a hashtag or a phrase, see what’s popular, what’s trending
Trendsmap – find the hashtags trending in your local area (particularly for Twitter, but can try using for Instagram tags in your area too).
I’d love to hear more about how you’ve incorporated Instagram into a solid marketing strategy for your service-based business. Drop me a line and share what you’ve learned about Instagram – or drop a note in the comments.
[Orig Sept 2018; Updated Sept 2020]