The ‘Why’ and ‘How’ Behind Best Practices for Instagram
Social media: everyone has it but does everyone know how to effectively use it?
There’s actually a lot more to posting on social media than you would think. What I mean by “a lot more” is that everything that goes into a post — the day you post, the time you post, content type, quality, and more — on any platform, plays a role in overall engagement. Identifying these factors that play a role in overall engagement can be called best practices. Best practices are different for every social media platform. What’s the same, however, is what best practices can do for your social media presence. Understanding and implementing best practices for the specific platform that you’re using help maximize your social media efforts and help your posts stand out and gain more attention amongst the crowded newsfeeds.
For my personal interest project, I created an Instagram account based out of Central Florida that posts content relating to coffee, drink, and book recommendations. I post frequently and I post content that I think my followers want to see but if I want to do well in those efforts, I need to focus on other areas. There are best practices tailored to Instagram that I try to implement throughout my social strategy. These best practices include posting high quality visuals, carousels, and writing shorter captions. All of my in feed posts include hashtags that relate to the area I’m in or the product in the visual which is always a good thing to do in Instagram captions. And you can’t forget emojis! Emojis are a great way to boost engagement for Instagram posts and my posts 100% of the time include at least 2.
Instagram, and every other social media platform, have ideal posting times. Posting at an ideal time can do so much for engagement and for a brand’s social presence in general. “To succeed on Instagram, businesses need to play the game well. And that includes picking the best time to post on Instagram, targeting a time when people look at their Instagram accounts, but which doesn’t coincide with the time when most people upload their Instagram content” (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2021). Brands need to emphasize those targeting times through their social efforts to not only remain relevant on Instagram, but to standing out and maximize overall engagement.
- Wednesday at 11 am and Friday at 10–11 am are the best times to post.
- The overall best day is Wednesday.
- The most consistent engagement happens Tuesday through Thursday from 10 am–3 pm” (Optinmonster, 2020).
So how can brands integrate this strategy into their routine and make sure they’re posting at the above ideal times? Simple: by planning and scheduling.
To emphasize my point about playing the game well — “Instagram is an incredible channel for businesses to achieve their marketing goals, but in 2021, it isn’t enough to just post content whenever you feel like it anymore. By planning and scheduling your posts in advance for the best time to post on Instagram, you can boost your engagement, drive traffic, and gain new followers and customers” (Later, 2021). There are many social media calendar and scheduling tools outside of Instagram that can help, and Later is one of them. “Scheduling Instagram posts (and your Instagram Stories!) with an all-in-one Instagram marketing platform is a great way to save time, but it can also help get more sales and drive better results with your Instagram Stories. You can start scheduling Instagram posts in only 2 minutes with Later’s easy to use, drag and drop calendar (Chacon, 2019)!
“What is Later for Instagram? Later is a social media scheduling app. It allows users and brands to schedule a month of Instagram content in an afternoon, so they can spend more time focusing on all the other things in their business” (Bucceri, 2019). This is key for brands! Having (essentially) a social media personal assistant can help them them focus on other areas for their business. Using Later, or another social media scheduling tool, helps brands execute best practices on social media platforms and more importantly, can help with business all around.