In case you missed it, I recently answered 10 questions about Instagram here.
But the questions kept coming in, so I made a second blog post. Here’s round 2!
11. What type of posts encourage interaction, versus which ones get passed over?
It depends on your audience, there are so many variables. I recommend posts that show what you’re doing, and you being excited and happy doing that thing. Posts that are funny and humanizing do really well. Share what motivates and inspires you and you’ll motivate and inspire your audience.
12. You mention posts showing what you’re doing. Makes sense! What if you’re a writer, focused on writing? What do you share then? “Hello, here is my screen. Again. With edits.” How would you take something what could be perceived as bland into something more exciting?
I’d take a photo of a random stranger that might be like one of your characters or has a similar look to the person you’re writing about, and give a description of them over the picture. “Brooding. Could be a Spy.” Do the same thing for the locations you’re writing about. “Rainy. Perfect kind of night for a murder suspect to get away clean.”
Another idea would be to take a couple of sentences from the beginning of a chapter and make a video out of the text. Do a voice-over of you reading those sentences, and type the words out and set them to display in motion as you say them.
13. What’s the point of getting followers when they’re fickle and unfollow you as fast as they can?
This is a super annoying trick that unfortunately, works. If someone follows you, but doesn’t comment on your pictures or like any of them, chances are they’re just following you in hopes for a follow back. It’s a strategy that I’m not a fan of, but it does work to increase your numbers. You can follow 10 people in the field you’re working in, and 6 will follow you back. 3 will unfollow you as soon as you unfollow them, but the 3 that stay will help you grow your numbers. If you repeat this trick every day, you will increase your follower count. That isn’t my style, but this strategy does work for some people.
14. What are optimal image sizes for Instagram?
It depends on what you’re trying to convey. Some people edit their photos to have lots of white space. Some people like wide images, some people like narrow images. It’s always a good idea to look at what others are doing, then go the opposite route! Personally, I like the portrait sized full screen pictures that Instagram lets you post, but everyone is different. Post what you like and you feel is artistic.
15. Should I convert to business profile?
If you’re a business of any kind, yes! You can have a “contact” button that lets you add your phone number, email address and even physical address if you’re a storefront. The main advantage of a Business page is that you can link directly to a Facebook Business Page, rather than just your personal page. From there, you can share it to your personal page if you’d like.
16. Will organic reach decline on Instagram like it did on Facebook?
The main reason Facebook set organic reach to decline was to prevent news feeds from being overwhelming. If you saw every new post from every brand you’d liked over the past 5 – 6 years, you’d be buried. The point of organic reach is to save you from that. Instagram doesn’t currently have organic reach the same way that Facebook does, but it does order the pictures based on an algorithm, not based on time. If you scroll back far enough, you’ll see all the pictures. A better idea is to use hashtags and post great pictures to make the Explore page.
17. When can I get links on my stories like the big brands do?
At this point, that’s still in testing. However, you can @mention so maybe try @mentioning yourself to direct people to your page?
18. Can I create lists on Instagram?
Instagram doesn’t support lists currently. That’s an interesting idea for the future. I tried in Hootsuite and Tweetdeck but that doesn’t seem to be supported that way either.
19. Are there best times to post?
I’ve read that you want to post when the majority of your audience is online, but I feel like that could be anytime these days. I use my phone constantly – when I take breaks at work, when I’m in between sets at the gym, or when I can’t sleep at 3AM. (Admittedly, I may have a problem.) But people are online constantly, so if they don’t see your post at the time you post it, they’ll see it the next time they log in. Unfortunately since Instagram isn’t sorted by time but rather an algorithm, your post might not appear at the top of their feed, no matter how recently you posted it.
20. How many times a day do you recommend to post to get traction? This would be for a blog post, podcast, or services for hire.
I am a personal believer in posting no more than once per day, and about 3 – 5 times per week, maximum, with varied content of pictures and video. Use 30 relevant hashtags to get more traction, and make sure you’re reaching out and engaging with other people using those hashtags. If you have more to show than 3 – 5 posts per week will allow, use Stories aggressively and document your work, your life, and what you think others will want to see. People will watch your Story like it’s a television show, and people may find you and start to follow you based simply on your Stories!
21. I have a personal account, but should create a second account just for business to promote my freelance services?
For as long as I’ve been on Instagram, I have thought about this. I have seen people successfully create and manage 2 accounts, but it’s very easy to neglect a newly created account that doesn’t have a lot of followers. I recommend just one account, because I feel if you’re a human in the real world, be human online. You’re a person, not a business! Just balance the freelance stuff and the personal stuff so none of your followers get overwhelmed or aggravated. And go comment on other people’s pictures!
Send me more questions and I’ll answer them for you!