Happy October! Welcome to our September lecture about Instagram basics for business owners.
In this digital media age, Instagram is the most popular platforms in the world. Like what we discussed during our event on September 9th at Rancho Poco a Poco, it is very important for you to identify is Instagram is something you’d like to use for your business. In order for you to know if this is the right platform, you need to know the age group that uses Instagram.
Fun fact: In June 2018, the network reached 1 billion monthly active users, up from 800 million in September 2017.
Distribution of Instagram users worldwide as of July 2020, by age group
Understanding Instagram Shadowban
Understanding the term shadowban. Where did it come from? In 2017, a photographer who is well established on Instagram noticed that his posts were not appearing in hashtag searches. Many concluded that different people would see different content in the same hashtag search.
Instagram hasn’t cleared this to the public, in terms of their algorithmic transparency about hashtags. This means that for certain searches, different users may see different content results. Some users may even find themselves coming across different content when looking at the same search at different times. In conclusion, there isn’t a “shadowban” on any accounts using any hashtags.
Instagram’s account restrictions involve suggestions of ‘spam content’ when your posts exceed the limit within the normal user range. Understand it better with the points below:
- If your account is doing follow/unfollow to gain followers. Instagram users are limited to following 7,500 accounts. When this limit is reached, you will have to unfollow someone to be able to follow someone new.
- Some businesses always ‘likes’ a post of a certain hashtag relevant to their brand (we do that too!) but remember that Instagram has a 350 like per hour limit.
- When we are offering services to people who are already following us, we tend to do copy/paste of any offer that we may have and send it via direct message. To avoid spam, Instagram limits this copy/paste to 15 recipients per hour. You can still send messages to as many people as you like. You just need to wait a little bit so your account won’t be marked spam.
- The hashtag limit for each Instagram post is 30.
- In every post, you can tag a maximum of 20 accounts per post.
Review these items on by one and make sure to follow them diligently. This way, your account will appear more on people’s newsfeeds (or even the ‘popular’ post!)
Effectively selling your product and services on Instagram
Do you advertise on Instagram? If not, let us introduce you to lead ads, the most basic and easiest advertising tool for Instagram.
Lead ads collect contact information from followers who can be potential clients, without making them go out of the Instagram app. Try setting this ad following the steps below:
- Promoting a post on Instagram.
- Creating Instagram ads for Facebook news feeds.
- Creating Instagram Stories ads in Facebook Ads Manager.
Instagram Stories ads: Considered the best form of advertising on Instagram for product awareness. There is a 24-hour limit for this kind of ad, however, with the short attention span that Instagram users have, this represents the best form of Instagram ad.
Examples of 15-second Instagram ads: driving brand awareness, announcemnt of sales and promos, and or calling for user-generated content (giveaways).
Can you market your business on Instagram through hashtags?
Twitter is a widely-used platform in the United States and this is where the hashtag mania was born. When it was first introduced on Facebook (later on, Instagram when Mark Zuckerberg bought the brand), it wasn’t very clear if it works the same way as Twitter. Twitter’s hashtagging feature is the best and is always accurate. However, we did not find that on Facebook and Instagram.
A hashtag on social media keeps topics organized and can help you search easily for the subject you are interested in.
Following specific hashtags that are relevant to your business will help you connect with customers who may be potentially interested in your product or service.
Have you identified which hashtag resonates best with your brand? For us we are following #Sayulita because it is already a strong brand on Instagram.
Once you have determined the hashtag, you have to create a strategy. The best way to do this is to not maximize the 30 hashtag per post limit but to identify 4 that strongly identify for your brand. In our case, we use #Sayulita #SayulitaInsider #Nayarit #Mexico. Depending on the post, we vary/mix that with #sayulitastreetfood #sayulitarestaurants #sayulitayoga #sayulitasurf. It really depends on the post you want to publish. Again, the important part is keeping it to 4. This will help you reach your target audience.
It is also important not to use the same hashtag in every single post. Try to combine it every time you post then it will give you better results!