You need a brand strategy to optimize your presence on social media, but how do you know what is working? On Instagram, you learn that from Instagram Insights. Today, I am going to break down a couple of these metrics and what they mean.
How Do I Access Instagram Insights?
You need to be using an Instagram Business or Creator account. A Business account will allow you to schedule posts, if that is something you want to do.
When you go to your profile, you will see an “insights” button. Click that. This will show you an overview of your insights.
How to Read Your Instagram Insights Overview
The first thing I would do is change the default from 7 days to 30 days. This will give you a better idea of how you are trending.
You can do this by clicking where you see “Last 7 Days” and selecting the 30 day time period.
Now, let’s define the terms you are looking at.
Accounts Reached: The accounts reached are the number of individual accounts who have seen your content. This differs from impressions which is the number of times your content was seen.
Content Interactions: Any engagement with your copy. For example, saves, shares, likes, and comments are all content interactions. (Fun fact: These are all weighted the same according to the algorithm)
Total Followers: The total number of accounts that follow you.
Below these metrics is a record of the content you have shared during the time period you specified. Here you can click to see what performed well and what did not.
Diving Deeper Into Accounts Reached
Accounts Reached is my favorite metric to watch because it, in my opinion, shows you where you have the most potential for growth. Let’s take a closer look. Click on “Accounts Reached” in your Instagram Insights. It will bring you to a more detailed breakdown of that data.
The first thing you will see is how many followers versus non followers have seen your content. You can see here, we have reached many more accounts that don’t follow us than ones that do. Do you know why that is?
Instagram, like all other social media platforms, changes constantly. However, it has never been easier to build an audience organically on Instagram because of short form video content.
Using Short Form Video Content: Reels
Yes, I am talking about reels. If you aren’t using reels, and you are missing an enormous opportunity for growth. For example, when we had less than 90 followers, we created a reel that got over 3,000 views! Personally, I have an account that had around 1,100 followers and created a reel that has 1.3 million views – and is still growing. Needless to say, no other type of content would have received that sort of attention. Not every reel will go viral — most won’t — but in my experience they consistently have a larger organic reach than any other type of content.
Why is Video so Important for Increasing your Organic Reach?
People like video because it is perceived as authentic. Video allows you to connect with your audience in a way that is just not possible through still images. This is largely why Instagram has increased the ways in which you can share video content on their platform.
Additionally, content like reels is being pushed from several different areas within the app which increases the likelihood of your content being seen then liked, shared, or commented on!
How to Share Video Content on Instagram
There are several ways to share video content on Instagram:
Stories: You can share short form video content on Instagram that will stay for 24 hours. These allow you to engage authentically with your audience and post several times a day without overwhelming your audience’s feed.
IGTV: Long form videos are great for IGTV. Generally these should share evergreen content like a podcast or educational videos. You can organize them into series based on topics.
Short video posts: You can post short videos to your feed as long as they are under a minute. These can add interest to your feed.
Highlights: Save your stories and reels shared to your stories to the top of your feed so people can rewatch them after the 24 hour period has passed.
Reels: One of the newest features on Instagram and a phenomenal way to grow organically. These can be synced with trending music, dances, or lip synced audio. But it doesn’t have to be that fancy, you can also do a simple, short talking head video where you share valuable and entertaining information.
Pro Tips for Video Content on Instagram
Include closed captions
Look at hashtags like SEO for your videos (yes, use all 30)
Create branded covers for your video content that looks good in your feed as well as a standalone graphic
Don’t Post Aimlessly!
You shouldn’t post video content to Instagram just to post video content. Each piece should have a purpose and be a part of a larger strategy. If you are looking for help with developing your strategy for social media growth, we would love to hear from you.
Personal branding is important. Whether you are looking to sell a product online, get a job, or become recognized in an industry, your personal brand can help (or hinder) your ability to accomplish your goals.
In this blog series, Personal Branding on Social Media, I am going to share a series of tips for developing your personal brand. Today I am starting with Instagram tips for beginners because of Instagram’s increasing importance for B2C marketing — that’s you selling a product or service directly to customers.
Although Instagram can be overwhelming, there are three things that are essential for creating a personal brand that can help you achieve your goals: engagement, value, and planning ahead.
Engage with your Community
Instagram is a social media platform. Social being the focus. To be successful on Instagram, you must develop a community that engages with you, and you have to engage back. This includes engaging with hashtags that are relevant to your niche and engaging with your followers.
Create Content with Value
You need to create Instagram content that gives value to your followers. Content that is valuable is content that entertains, informs, or inspires. This blog post, for example, is a form of informative content intended to provide value for our target audience.
Trying to create a personal brand on the fly will not work. You need to plan out your content in advance so you can insure you stay on brand. Additionally, planning ahead by using a content calendar reduces daily stress around sharing content and allows you to develop a visual identity.
Digital PR and personal branding have become an essential part of successful public relations. Without a claimed and planned online presence, you can lose the ability to share your story the way you want as well as credibility and authority in your area of expertise.
If you are interested in utilizing social media for your personal brand, stay tuned for the rest of this series.
Well-established companies with bigger budgets are investing a significant amount of money in digital branding and social media. With so many options, understanding your audience and using the best tools is very important to make you competitive at any level of business. So, whether you are representing just yourself, a micro-business, or any size company, here are 3 simple ways to improve your social media efforts.
Tip #1: Where is Your Audience?
So much of the world is on social media. In 2019 they predicted that the U.S. population will spend more time on social media/mobile devices than on TV by the end of the year. My analytics definitely show an uptick in mobile use, with a 50/50 ratio of people who read my content on mobile vs. other devices. Social media host a wealth of loyal niche communities. With clear messaging and focused branding, these communities can quickly become your repeat-consumers.
Tip #2: Should You Pay for Online Ads?
Like any promotional content on a popular medium, ads on social media can be pricey. Luckily, there is more to this strategy than paid advertisements. Channels like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat are one-stop shops. You can create your own original content in-house, free of charge. The average user is bombarded daily with big-budget marketing. In fact, 86% of people on social crave authentic content rather than expertly-crafted material from ad agencies. Stand out in the crowded market and create something to which your audience can authentically relate, without breaking the bank!
Tip #3: Do You Know Your Audience?
We’ve talked about the ways social media branding is useful, but how will you know it’s working? There is a way, and unlike mail surveys or television polls, you won’t have to wait weeks and months to see results. Simply start a poll on your desired outlet. The media mentioned above offer functions where you can pose a question with two or more answer options, and users can select their response. These polls can run for any length of time, from one day to one week. Once the poll closes, you instantly have your results – you can even see votes as they are happening.
Download our eGuide to social media so you can find ways to improve your social media effectiveness.
Love it or hate it if you are promoting something you are waist-deep or at least dipping a toe into the social media marketing landscape. For public relations professionals, we are always focused on effective social media marketing tactics that will build our clients’ audiences. I’ve written about social media on this blog, often breaking down different platforms and their uses, listing the latest stats, and how to build a content strategy. However, I am adding this to the conversation because I think many of us are in denial. Our expectations and feelings about how things should work are getting int the way of our own success. Below are some statements related to social media conversations I’ve had. If you relate to one or more of these, then you might want to read on.
My follower count on Instagram only increases by 5 to 10 followers per week so my campaign isn’t working.
Nobody wants to hear from me on Twitter because I don’t get likes or retweets.
I post contests and polls on Facebook and I don’t get any audience participation.
I post every day and I’m not growing.
Time for a reality check
It’s time to face reality. There are 3.3 billion people on social media; there are bots and marketing agencies spewing generic content; advertising is cluttering news feeds; and if you aren’t a celebrity, you won’t gain followers by the hundreds. So why does anyone even bother you ask? Because there are 3.3 billion people using social media. If your audience was just a fraction of that number you could be happy.
We are so fortunate to be able to reach out to all of these people directly. But you have to be thoughtful, dare I say strategic about how you talk them. If you do your homework and start talking to your “people” who want to hear what you have to say, then you will grow and you may even become an influencer someday. If your social media platforms are not behaving the way you want them to, it is likely that you are not properly focused on who you are trying to reach and what you need to communicate.
Build Authentic Online Relationships
Relationship building online is about earning the trust and loyalty of your customers and audiences so you can maintain, and grow your numbers. But how do you do that? Is it by working with a company that will push out “snackable” content? (I was pitched that idea by a social marketer. Let me ask you this: If you were at a cocktail party would you want to talk to a robot who can say a dozen sentences or a real person who can tell you about a trip to Belize)? Is it by talking about how great you are or how wonderful your product is? Would having a roomful of cats posted on Instagram fit the bill?
Even though we can now hide behind our screens, it doesn’t mean that the skills and needs of human interaction are out the window. If anything, you need to be even more thoughtful about your dialogue with others to practice effective social media marketing. Your content needs to be authentic and you need to do your due diligence and research in advance to identify an audience that will be interested in receiving your messages. After you determine your audience, you need to figure out how to reach it, what platforms to use, the content you will use, and when you are going to post and share.
It takes time and tenacity
To build an army takes an army and that’s what you are doing. You are setting up a foundation of friends and followers who want to know about your ideas or buy your product. If satisfied, they will help spread the word via retweets, shares, and referrals. And as I’ve said, it doesn’t happen overnight.
When I was at a conference recently a woman asked me about an aggregation application that helped drive followers on Twitter, but she was losing followers as quickly as she was gaining them. I told her that Twitter has been public about their attempt to rid the server of unattended accounts and spambots. Aggregators are not a shortcut when it comes to quality, actionable followers. The ones you end up with are often spam and other ineffective types. You need to put a real engagement plan into action, stick to it, monitor the results, and take appropriate action when necessary.
We all need to accept that this process is going to take a lot of work. I’ve got a business built around media with a heavy social focus, and I know about the time that goes into an effective social media marketing campaign. But if you aren’t able to hire somebody to do it for you, then you can set up a schedule that works for you. Block out time every day to work on internet engagement and research. Find a tracking program or use the tools that the individual platforms provide so you can see how your content is doing. Someone told me once regarding careers that you start with one brick and soon you will have built a wall. So go ahead and start your construction and you will see how things progress.
The last thing I’ll add is for people who dislike social media or do not feel comfortable with it. My advice is: Don’t establish any platforms you are not going to use. If you feel super hesitant about social campaigning, then do not do it. In a future post, I’ll present some ideas for alternatives that will still build your SEO presence online.
Additional Informational Resources
Here are a couple of articles from around the internet that talk about current content and social strategies: