Those who are dragged kicking and screaming to social media groan with every new application that hits the market. Each has its own little niche in the online space, and we eagerly or reluctantly join the frenzy, competing with millions of other users to create a following, connect and share information. We’ve ramped up to Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. We’re members of online communities such as Nextdoor and Patch.
But many people—especially older users–are struggling with Instagram
If you think Instagram is going away, you may have to wait a while. There are currently more than 700 million users. The demographic? Of course. It’s those millennials and youngsters again—that group who cannot bear ever to be separated from their phones. In response to those who find Instagram annoying and awkward because the messaging has to be executed on a phone, well, you may not be their demographic.
- More women than men
- 18-29: 55%
- 30-49: 28%
- 64+: 11%
Love it or hate it, if you want to reach your market, you need to be using Instagram. Here are five tips for maximizing your Instagram posts.
1. Every word counts
Twitter users get this one. Think efficiency. Conveying your message as succinctly as possible is critical to Instagram communications. While you can include up to 2,200 characters, including emoji, and up to 30 hashtags, only 125 characters will appear before users have to click “More” to see the rest of the caption. In a recent analysis, the average number of words per caption was 33 words. The bottom line: Keep it short.
2. Use emoji where it makes sense
Those emoji showing up most frequently in top-appearing posts? Hearts, clapping hands, the camera emoji. Be selective.
3. Add hashtags for visibility
Hashtags help users discover your content. Instagram limits hashtags to 33—but that’s ridiculous. One study that looked at top publishers such as National Geographic, Bleacher Report and Dodo found that the average number of hashtags per post was only one, due to many of the top 25 publishers’ not using hashtags at all. As with content and emoji, be selective.
4. Provide context with mentions
Publishers and big brands add more power to their Instagram posts by tagging the subjects of the photos—so mention others in your posts. Big brands like Vogue, National Geographic and Time average two-four tags/mentions in their posts. Vogue, for example, mentions fashion brands, celebrities and the stylist teams with whom they collaborate.
5. Add a call to action
As with all of your marketing efforts, include a call to action. Ask a question, ask your audience to tag a friend or direct users to a link in their bio for more information.
A final note: Instagram on your computer
While there are apps that you can download that enable your using Instagram on your computer, this is not recommended because it’s getting away from the essence of Instagram—a spontaneous, immediate way to share great images and impressions.