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5 Tips for Posting on Instagram

Instagram, the mobile-sharing social platform with over 500 million users and 300 daily active users, is taking local marketing by storm. Are you following these 5 tips to make the most of your business’ Instagram presence?

With 50% of Instagrammers following at least one business [Social Media Today] and 60% of users saying that they have learned about a product or service using the platform [WordStream], this visually-rooted social platform is an opportune place for your business to connect with local consumers.

Tip #1: Use “Thumb-Stopping” Content

It should come as no surprise that the most successful accounts on Instagram are those with visually appealing imagery and video content. To stop an Instagrammer as they scroll through their endless feed of content, your post needs to be what social media marketers call “thumb-stopping” content: high-quality, eye-catching & relevant.

Instagrammers desire and expect their main feed to be filled with high-quality content. If users see content that is blurry, poorly composed, or irrelevant – they are unlikely to engage with it and will most likely unfollow the account. Make sure you only share high-resolution photos and videos that are in-focus, eye-catching and tell a visual story to the user.

Scroll through your personal Instagram feed and take note of what posts you pause on. What caught your attention? Was it the color, the subject, the composition, the type of media of the post? Take note of these variables and keep them in mind when posting for your business.

Flock IG Content

Source: @flock_boston

Fomu IG Content

Source: @fomuicecream

Tip #2: Expand Reach with Hashtags, Tagging & Geotags

Similar to Facebook, when your business posts on Instagram, only your business’ account followers will see the content in their main feed. However, if you would like to reach new, potential users, there are a couple of ways to do so (without advertising!) This includes using hashtags, tagging other IG accounts & adding a geotag to your post.

Hashtags (a keyword preceded by the # symbol) help Instagrammers to discover your content, even if they do not follow your account. Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag []. The hashtags you add should be relevant to your content and help Instagrammers to stumble across your post when searching for specific keywords or topics.

When looking at your post – what are 3-4 keywords that appropriately categorize your image or video? What keywords would someone be searching for that would make your post an appropriate result?

It’s also important to create and include your own branded hashtag specific to your business. Think about a unique keyword combination that you and your consumers can use whenever posting about your business or events. Click here to learn how to add hashtags to your Instagram posts.

Source: @norestforbridget

Source: @fleetfeetcincy





Tagging is when you can identify another person, business or brand on Instagram in one of your posts. This sends a notification to the tagged Instagram user(s) and links them back to your profile and content. It’s important to tag any relevant people, businesses or brands in your post when appropriate. For example, if you posted a group photo from a community event that your business hosted, it would be wise to tag any of the people who attended your event or any local businesses who supported the event. Click here to learn how to tag your Instagram posts.
Geotags allow you to add a location to your posts. This tells an Instagrammer where the content was taken and allows the user to click on the location to see more content from that place. Whenever possible, include a geotag for your business location to help users to discover more content taken at your store and to amplify your reach on the platform.  Click here to learn how to add a geotag to your Instagram post.

Source: @southendbuttery

Geotag Posts for South End Buttery

Tip #3: Post During Peak Platform Times

Depending on where you are sharing content, every social platform (i.e: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) has its own unique “peak user” time frames.

[Related Content] Best Times to Post on Social Media

According to HubSpot’s “The Best Times to Post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Media Sites” article, the following days of week and times of day are when most users are on the Instagram platform.

  • Anytime except 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. (Monday – Thursday)
  • Slightly higher engagement during off-work hours

Additionally, according to TrackMaven, there are also “slight spikes of engagement on Mondays and a slight dip on Sundays.” [Source: Hubspot] When planning out your Instagram content, test out the recommended time frames above – but also A|B test others as well. Every business will have a different optimal time to post on Instagram depending on who their Instagram audience is.

Keep in mind, the one caveat to posting on Instagram is that you cannot schedule or automate your content. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, where you can pre-curate your posts and use various tools to schedule or automate the posts, Instagram requires you to log in at the time you would like your content to go live in the feed. Depending on your daily schedule, this may impact or limit your ability to try out various posting times.

Tip #4: Follow & Engage with Local Accounts

Engagement on Instagram is highly influenced by interest and reciprocation. This means, if you start following and interacting with other relevant Instagram accounts (such as local customers and businesses), they are much more likely to do the same back for you. That’s why it’s important if a local consumer or business follows you on Instagram or comments on your content, that you follow them back or respond to their comment! This tip can help you build relationships with current and potential customers and is a great way to build rapport as well.

Source: @charlesriverrunning

Source: @charlesriverrunning

Tip #5: Complete Your Business Profile

You’ll want to make sure that you set-up a Business Profile on Instagram (as opposed to a personal account) so your business can reap the full benefits of insights and advertising. Click here to learn how to set-up a Business Profile on Instagram. When filling out your business information, make sure to include as many store-specific details as possible, such as store hours, business address and a phone number. A Call, Email & Directions button will appear near the lower half of your profile. When consumers click on those buttons, they’ll be able to directly contact or get directions to your store location.

Road Runner Sports IG Account

Source: @roadrunnersports

Olives & Grace IG Account

Source: @olivesandgrace

Retailer Quick Tip:

In need of some “thumb-stopping” content and captions to post on your business’ Instagram feed? Many of your brands on Promoboxx provide high-quality, eye-catching content for you to customize and use on Instagram. Login to Promoboxx and utilize your campaign filtering tool to quickly determine what brand campaigns have content formatted for Instagram. Once you’ve found a post you like, click here if you’re an iPhone user and click here if you’re an Android user to follow the steps on how to share.

Have a social media question that you would like discussed on our blog? Send your suggestions to – we’d love to hear them!

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