If you’re not marketing on Instagram, you could be missing out on a lot of sales. Instagram is one of the most popular social platforms ecommerce entrepreneurs market on. Whether you’re a beginner looking for steps on how to use Instagram or a seasoned store owner looking for some different Instagram marketing ideas, you’ll find 60 Instagram hacks in this read. By learning how to hack Instagram, you’ll be more likely to get more engagement, followers and, of course, customers. In this article, you’ll learn how I was able to drive thousands of video views, followers, likes and comments to my Instagram page. And how I landed sales from new customers.
- Hack Instagram Marketing with these 60 Instagram Tips
- Final Thoughts: Instagram Marketing Hacks
- Want to Learn More?
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Hack Instagram Marketing with these 60 Instagram Tips
Instagram Marketing Hacks
1. Hashtag marketing
When I build up a new Instagram account, I always create a hashtag. There’s no complicated process to do this. All you need to do is add a hashtag (#) and your brand name. For example, Forever 21’s hashtag is #forever21. In the beginning, only you will be using your hashtag. However, as your brand grows in popularity and people start buying your products, you will see more people using your hashtag. If your brand name is a common word, you can use your brand’s slogan instead.
In every Instagram post, you should always include up to 30 hashtags. Thirty is the max. Typing them out every time will be annoying. So feel free to add a note or file on your phone and copy and paste them every time. Your hashtags should be in the first comment of every post you write. For my online store, I would add about 25-30 hashtags per post. I found it helped me grow my following quickly.
You might be wondering, “how do I find the best hashtags?”
Tools like Hashtagify allow you to find popular hashtags for your niche. It can also tell you how popular your hashtag is, top influencers using that hashtag, and which countries the hashtag is most popular in.
I also really like Top Hashtags. All you need to do is type in your keyword and a list will populate with some of the most popular hashtags with that keyword. You’ll even be able to see the number of pictures that use that hashtag proving its popularity.
You can also find popular hashtags on Instagram. You can search your keyword with a hashtag. For example, #dogs and a dropdown of related hashtags will appear which you can add to your list. You can also browse popular accounts to view the hashtags they use in their marketing.
There are also popular weekly and thematic hashtags you can jump on. For example, #MotivationMonday #WisdomWednesday #ThrowbackThursday. You can post content around these themes on those days. For example, if you’re in the fitness niche you might post a before and after shot on Motivation Monday or even Throwback Thursday.
2. Find Instagram influencers
Influencer marketing can help increase your social following and sales. To find the best influencers, you can browse Instagram accounts and/or use influencer platforms. If you choose to browse influencers on your own, you won’t need to pay a fee to find them. However, you might end up with an influencer whose audience doesn’t convert. With an influencer platform, you can rate and review influencers whose performance is sub-par. You can also choose influencers based on their glowing reviews.
Here are a few influencer platforms:
Aren’t influencers expensive, though?
I’ve had some success with influencers in the past. Typically, I usually have two approaches to finding affordable yet profitable accounts.
First, if I’m starting a brand new store, I’ll usually reach out to influencers with small audiences under 10,000 and ask if they’d be willing to do a post for a free product and affiliate commission. You’ll likely get a lot of rejections from this, but there will be some who do it. This strategy works well for brands who have no customer photos and want to build them up. You might not get any sales through their commissions. But the pictures you get of people using it can be used in ads. Make sure you get their consent and make them sign a contract for permission to use their image for your ads.
Second, if the goal is to get sales, I usually reach out to influencers within my niche who actively post sponsored posts. You can browse sponsored posts using keywords like #ad or #sponsored. But the big mistake I made when I was just starting out was that I paid influencers who had big followings but weren’t niche specific. The result typically ended in no sales.
When the approach focused on sponsored posts within my niche, I usually made sales. You’ll have to ask a few people what their rates are. And in the beginning, it’s often a shot in the dark trying to figure out which influencer will convert well and which will lead to you breaking even.
3. Instagram Ads
Instagram advertising is a popular way to get sales for your online store. You can create photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and Stories ads. While most create their Instagram ads on Facebook Ads Manager, you can also create ads on specific posts directly on Instagram.
To create Instagram ads on your Facebook account you need to do the following:
- On Facebook, click the downward arrow on the top of your account
- Click Create Ads
- Choose a Marketing Objective
- As a store owner, I always choose Conversion. Under this category, you can choose from one of three ads. Conversions, the one I personally use, optimizes your ad to get sales. Catalog sales shows items from your catalog based on who the target audience is. Store visits works well for brick and mortar businesses that want to promote their store to relevant audiences who are nearby.
- After choosing an objective, click continue
- Give your Ad Set a name. For example, ‘Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2021’
- Choose your website from the dropdown. Scroll down to Purchase. You can also type in the word into the search box. This section is for your pixel. Adding a pixel to your website allows you to create retargeting ads. Retargeting ads will help you recover abandoned carts efficiently.
- Under Audience, add the audience you’d like to target.
- Locations: I usually do multiple ads that have different locations. For example, I’ll do a World ad and exclude Canada, US, Australia, and the U.K. And then I’ll create four separate ads for those four countries.
- Age: What’s the age range of your demographic? An anti-aging skincare line will likely target an older demographic than a fidget spinner store.
- Gender: Is there a gender that makes the majority of the purchases? If you’re unsure, you can always select All and let the data give you more insight into any of these options.
- Detailed Targeting: Here’s where you add your keywords, behaviors, demographics and more.
- Add your budget and schedule
- Daily budget: You can set how much to spend each day
- Lifetime budget: You can set your total budget for the time period
- Schedule: Set the dates for when you want your ad to start and end
- Click continue
- Add your Instagram account
- Choose your ad’s format. You can choose from a carousel, single image, single video and more.
- Next, add your copy to the ad
- Then add your image or video
- On the right-hand side, scroll down until you find Instagram Feed
- Click Confirm
4. Show off your customer photos in Instagram marketing
Customer photos are the social proof that every business needs. If a customer posts a picture or video with your product, it shows their audience that someone they know likes your brand. It also showcases your brand to a new audience.
However, that customer photo can and should be used beyond that. Before I dive into it, I want to make this clear: don’t use customer photos for Facebook ads. Unless a customer agrees to let you use their photo for their ads, it’s not fair game. And you could get into trouble legally.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t share it on social media. You can repost their photo on your Instagram account or other social networks. And you can even take it a step further by posting it on your website.
Shopify has a few Instagram apps that allow you to share customer photos on your website. You can install Snapppt, Social Shop Wave, Above Market or Expert Village Media Technologies to create shoppable Instagram galleries, add customer photos to product pages and more.
Avoid adding customer photos as your main photos. While their lifestyle photos often convert really well, it’s best to keep your photography in those main images. When customers browse your product page or Instagram gallery, they’ll see that those pictures come from real customers. Customer photos help give your brand credibility while showing customers what the delivered item looks like.
5. Offer special Instagram promotions
Make your Instagram fans feel special by running exclusive promotions for them. This can be a 15% discount code labelled INSTAGRAM for your followers.
To do this you need to:
- Go into your store’s Shopify backend
- Click Discounts in the left navigation
- Add the phrase ‘INSTAGRAM’ in the first blank box
- Under options, choose ‘Percentage Discount’
- Beside that add a number under Discount Value (I usually aim around 10-15%, but you can choose the number that makes sense based on your store’s prices)
- You can add a minimum purchase (for social media discount codes I usually don’t)
- You can add Usage limits
- Set the active date to today (don’t click add an end date as it’s not a promotional discount code but a lifetime one)
- Click Save
Or it can be exclusive promotions for the day. You’d need to mention that this is an Instagram exclusive sale to help bring a sense of loyalty while promoting it. Keep in mind that this works best once you’ve built up a sizeable and loyal following over 50,000 followers. Anything under that might not convert well because the audience size is too small.
6. How to Hide Instagram Ads
If you’re a store owner, I don’t really recommend hiding Instagram ads, even if you do find them annoying. Personally, I’m constantly saving Instagram ads to study them. They can be really eye-opening to understand what type of ads generate high engagement and which ones don’t. Over time, you’ll start to see patterns within the products of the best performing ads. Thus, improving how you choose products for your business. And helping you create better ads too!
But if you’re really set on hiding Instagram ads, here’s what you need to do:
- When you see an ad on your feed, click the ‘…’
- Then click ‘Hide Ad’
- Then select one of the three options: It’s not relevant, I see it too often or It’s inappropriate
Tips to Post on Instagram
7. Best times to post on Instagram
If you’re marketing or selling on Instagram, the best time to post is during lunch (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and the evening, after work (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.). The best days to post on Instagram are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Sunday is the worst day to post on Instagram, though the best time to post on Instagram on Saturday is 5 p.m. Wednesdays get the highest level of engagement on Instagram.
Keep in mind that the times that work best for your brand may not work for another brand and vice versa.
I’ve managed Instagram accounts where I posted throughout the day whenever I had a spare minute. I didn’t always have a strategy for the times I’d post at. If you’re running a business, it’s better to post when you can than to not post at all if you miss the perfect time. It’s not always easy to find time to run a business.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment. But you don’t have to always match the exact times for every day. The truth is if your post is great, you use hashtags and you build your following overtime, you’ll still get high engagement.
But for those of you who schedule your posts using a scheduling tool like Buffer or want to try to get the right times, here are some of the most popular times to post.
You’ll need to test out what times work best for your audience. And optimize your content to give your posts the best chance of growing organically.
8. Post several times a day
While you can build a strong following with one post each day, you’ll grow your followers much faster if you add new posts to Instagram multiple times a day.
First off, while no study confirms this, it would be pretty safe to say that how often you post on Instagram depends on what type of content you post.
For example, in the pet niche, you could probably post pictures of cute animals 3 times a day with little backlash from followers. And if you regularly post funny videos, you could also get away with posting multiple times a day too. However, if every post on your social media is just a plain product photo, posting more than once or twice a day can likely result in Instagram unfollowers.
So before we dive into what experts say, I want to make it clear that it can be very niche and content specific. Your content needs to be engaging and captivating enough for you to be posting more than once a day.
According to Buffer, top brands usually post on Instagram 1.5 times a day. That means they usually post 1-2 pictures every day.
CoSchedule agreed that 1-2 posts per day was sufficient. And that 3 posts a day was considered high.
Adobe is all the way on the extreme other end of the spectrum. They say that certain brands can get away with posting as much as 10 times a day on Instagram. But recommend a minimum of 1 post per day.
9. Schedule your Instagram posts
It can be difficult to remember to post on social media. Whether you have a full-time job or a hectic schedule, scheduling your Instagram posts each week can save you time. By scheduling posts once a week, you ensure that your audience constantly sees new posts to keep your brand at top of mind. Plus, it allows you to keep a consistent schedule.
- Buffer is the tool I use to schedule my social media posts. I like it because you can schedule ten posts at a time for free. This is great for new entrepreneurs or budget conscious entrepreneurs. You can add videos or pictures. You can also schedule posts for other social platforms.
- Later is another scheduling tool. It allows you to see your posts on a calendar to better plan out the week.
- Schedugram is a tool I used when I first started managing social media accounts. They post on Instagram without requiring you to log-in at a specific time to authorize the post which keeps it hassle free.
- Hootsuite is a scheduling tool you can use to manage all your social media accounts. It’s one of the most popular scheduling tools on the market.
10. Use Instagram carousels
Instagram carousel posts allow you to upload up to 10 images in one post. If you have a lot of related pictures you want to post without adding them into separate posts, this is the feature you want to use.
Use Instagram carousels if:
- You want to post several items from the same collection. For example, if you just launched a collection of embroidered apparel, rather than posting items in different posts, you might choose to make one post about that collection. Those who love the embroidered look may want to scroll through some of your collection on the app before jumping onto your website to make their purchase.
- You’re launching a promotion. If you have a Buy Two Get One Free promotion for select items on your store. You might have a main image that tells users about the sale. However, the following images could be the types of items on sales such sweaters, shoes, etc. You’ll want to make sure every item that follows is eligible for the promotion you offered.
- If you hosted an event, you could use Instagram carousels for people to browse event pictures. It works great as it groups the relevant pictures together. Those interested in the pictures will flip through the collection. And those not interested don’t have to see several different posts about the event.
How to Add Multiple Pictures to a Post:
- Click the + on the bottom middle of your Instagram app
- Click Select Multiple
- Click on the circle for up to 10 images you want to add
- Click Next
- Add filters, if necessary
- Click Next
- Add a Caption
- Click Share
11. Share Disappearing Posts
Store owners can share disappearing posts to create a sense of urgency. For example, say you want to let people know about a secret 1 hour sale. You can create a disappearing post for it so that the rest of your audience doesn’t see it. It creates a sense of loyalty since not everyone will see the post since it disappears after being viewed by people you choose.
To create a disappearing post, you need to do the following:
- Click the camera icon on the top left
- Click the circle to take a photo or video
- Click Add Effects
- Click the arrow button
- Choose the people you want to send the post to
12. How to delete your Instagram post
As an online store owner, there are two main times when you’ll want to delete posts. First, if you post something that your audience doesn’t respond well to. If you post content that gives you bad publicity or an overwhelming number of negative comments, you might choose to delete your post.
The second time to delete a post is a strategy I use often as a marketer. For my online stores, I usually post content that my audience loves. I know that they often don’t like to see sales content when scrolling through my profile. However, having sales posts/product posts are important every now and then to make money online. So I’ll delete the posts after 24/48 hours so people only see the content they like. It can also help entice a higher number of people to follow you as they see how much great content you post.
To delete a post, you’ll need to do the following on Instagram:
- Go to your Instagram profile (circle with your picture)
- Click on the photo you want to delete
- Click the ‘…’ at the top of your screen
- Click the red font ‘Delete’ button
- A pop-up will appear, click ‘Delete’
Instagram Profile Hacks
13. Maintain a consistent look
You want your business to be known for having great products. But what do you want your Instagram account to be known for? There’s a slight difference. With Instagram, the focus is more on how you present your brand. Or in other words, your brand’s personality.
For example, Letterfolk uses their Instagram to showcase funny slogans on their letter boards. Every day they post new pictures that are relevant to the season such as graduation, Halloween, and other popular holidays and events. While letter boards aren’t the most exciting product in the world, they make it exciting through great yet simple marketing. Every post includes the product but it’s presented in a way where you’ll be entertained by the image. The style on every post is consistent. The content delivered is always delivered in a similar way. The only difference is the content on the letter board and the accessories that help bring the image to life.
GoPro showcases the type of video and images you can take with their camera. Since their camera was designed for adventure, their posts often include cool outdoor shots. They’ll include pictures of skydivers, surfers, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts. By including images that cater to a similar audience, they become more likely to attract their target audience through their posts. The consistency plays a huge role in their branding as well as people will eventually recognize their posts through their image style alone.
BarkBox is a subscription service for dogs that includes treats, toys and more. They’ve amassed over 1.4 million followers by posting dog videos and pictures. Dog owners often follow dog pages on Instagram. Seeing cute pictures of dogs or funny dog videos makes going on Instagram an enjoyable experience. While they don’t post too many pictures of their box, it does appear in a few posts to maintain brand recognition.
Letterfolk included their product in every image. GoPro showcased their product in use in every image. BarkBox showed pictures that were relevant to their target audience. While all three brands presented their brand and products in different ways, they all shared one common trait: consistency. The way they presented their brand/product was consistent in every post.
14. Limit comments to people you follow
If your goal is to increase engagement, visibility, and followers, I don’t recommend limiting comments to people you follow. As a brand, you should typically allow anyone to comment on your posts as they can become a future customer. It also allows you to get to know your customers. The comments can also help raise your post’s visibility in searches, especially if you use hashtags.
I usually reserve limiting comments to people you follow when you’re getting bad publicity or if the comments are all really toxic. You can unfollow all of your followers to get no comments at all. Or if you’re over protective about your privacy, you can limit comments to the people you follow as you’ve chosen them yourself. On average though, ecommerce brands shouldn’t be doing this.
To limit comments, these are the steps to follow:
- Go to your profile (click the icon with the picture)
- Click the Gear next to Edit Profile
- Scroll down to Settings
- Click Comments
- Block Comments From
- List the profiles you want to block comments from
- Then, under Automatic Filter
- Click ‘Hide Offensive Comments’ to block other negative comments
You can also click the ‘…’ when on your post and click ‘Turn Off Commenting’ to stop all comments.
These two steps should help prevent those who’ve written negative comments because you’ve blocked them while also preventing other offensive comments from future trolls.
15. Add two-factor authentication to prevent Instagram hacking
An Instagram hack so you don’t get your Instagram account hacked is to add two factor authentication on your account. What this does is require you to add a code every time you log-in. You’ll receive a text message on your phone letting you know what the code is each time you try to log-in. If a person tries to hack your Instagram account, they may be able to cross the first barrier if they have your password. However, the hacker won’t have access to your phone or the code that’s sent to it. Thus, making it less likely for a hacker to takeover your account.
As your Instagram account grows in popularity, there’s a greater risk of hackers trying to hack your Instagram account. Here’s what you need to do to add two-factor authentications:
- Click on your profile (your image icon)
- Click the Gear (next to Edit Profile)
- Under Account, click Two-Factor Authentication
- Turn on Require Security Code (it’ll turn from white to blue)
- A pop-up will appear. Click Add Number.
- Add your cell phone number (you’ll receive text messages)
- Click Next
- Wait for a text message to get sent to your phone
- Enter the code
- Click Done
- Screenshot your Backup Codes
16. Switch to an Instagram Business Profile
If you use your Instagram account for your business, it might be a good idea to look into switching into a business account. With an Instagram business account, you can monitor real-time metrics on the performance of your ads and content. Additional content such as business hours, phone number or location can be added making it even easier for customers to contact you.
You’ll know how many impressions you got, what your top posts are, and what time you got the most followers. This level of data insight allows you to create more content your audience loves.
Instagram business accounts have an even easier time creating ads. Rather than having to log into Facebook to create your Instagram ad. You can choose to promote your posts directly on Instagram. This drastically simplifies the process.
The only downside to creating an Instagram business profile is that you can’t have a private account. Everything you post will be public and accessible to anyone that isn’t blocked.
How to Set-up an Instagram Business Profile:
- Click the Profile icon (image icon)
- Click the Gear (next to Edit Profile)
- Click Switch to Business Profile
- Click Continue (x4)
- Click Choose Page (you need to have created a Facebook page for a dropdown to appear)
- Click Next
- Add your Email, Phone Number and Address (Make sure these are your business’ details and not your personal as this will be public)
- Click Done
17. Add and switch multiple Instagram accounts
If you own and operate multiple online stores you’ll likely need Instagram accounts for each one. Adding posts and monitoring comments on all your Instagram accounts can be managed easily on Instagram. To switch from one account into another, all you need to do is click a button.
How to Add Multiple Instagram Accounts:
- Visit your profile (click image with your picture)
- Click the downward arrow next to your username at the top
- Click Add Account
- Add the username and password
- Click Login
How to Switch Between Multiple Instagram Accounts:
- Click on your profile
- Click the downward arrow beside your username
- Choose the account you want to log into
18. How to get verified on Instagram
Getting verified on Instagram isn’t easy. But it gives your brand credibility making it worth the effort. You won’t get verified just because you launched an online store. You need to build a strong following on multiple social networks or earn influencer/expert status to gain the coveted blue circle next to your brand name.
What can I do to increase my chances of getting verified?
- Build an epic Instagram following. This won’t guarantee your verification though. But having hundreds of thousands or millions of followers makes it more likely to have social proof. Though there are plenty of celebrities and huge niche pages that haven’t earned that little blue icon next to their name.
- Start a YouTube channel and build a loyal following. If you have over 10,000 views on your videos consistently, you’ll be more likely to get verified. This works well because it helps show that you have built a following on several other platforms. Though keep in mind that even if you have verification on Pinterest or even Facebook, you’re not guaranteed for Instagram verification.
- Become a public figure. Instagram typically verifies public figures. If your personal brand is blended with your business account you can increase your chances of being verified. Being in your videos and images while building a presence on Instagram can help you increase your chances of getting verified on Instagram.
- Do you have copycats? This can make it more likely for you to get verified. If you find you regularly have people copying your brand name or website, you can try to reach out to Instagram by reporting the copycats or contacting them. Keep in mind that Instagram doesn’t accept verification requests. However, over time, your account might get verified by Instagram if they see everyone copying your brand.
Instagram Photo Hacks
19. Add your product photos on unique backgrounds
Lifestyle photos often work best on Instagram. But sometimes, especially when you dropship, you’re given photos of products on plain white backgrounds. Posting these pictures on Instagram likely won’t do your brand any good. You might get a couple of likes and comments but if you want to stand out on Instagram you need to make your pictures appealing.
In fashion, most retailers will add product photos of their clothing to Instagram. Sometimes models are wearing the clothing. Other times, the clothes are laid out on a colored background or hanging.
For example, H&M regularly posts pictures of their clothes on a colored background. They’ll rearrange the clothing to make the picture seem similar to what you’d find in a magazine spread. If you have several images of products laid out in a similar way you can play around in Photoshop to give it a similar look for your Instagram account.
ASOS another popular fashion retailer also showcases their product photography in a similar way. If you dropship products online, you might find your product photography looks similar to the picture below. Even adding a change in color for the background can help drive engagement. Keep in mind that you don’t want to include images in this style exclusively as engagement is much lower than lifestyle images. However, it can work well for those odd times when you want to share a great product but only have a picture of it on a plain white background.
If you want to do more than just change the color, you can even add backgrounds to your images to create a unique look. On stock image sites you can look for patterned backgrounds, wood background, brick wall and more to give your image a unique look.
For example, MVMT adds their watches on a wooden panel. While they likely take their own product photography, you can create a similar look using stock photos and Photoshop. You will need to have some design skills for it to look professional but the look is achievable.
Tiffany & Co designs their own colored background where they place their product photos on. If you don’t have the budget to design this in Photoshop, you can use Canva to create your own unique backgrounds. The style isn’t commonly seen on Instagram but can be effective at capturing attention. Notably, they use the famous Tiffany Blue in every image to maintain their branding and so customers will know it’s a Tiffany’s product when scrolling. The blue isn’t always obvious but you’ll find it in every photo.
20. Add text to your images
When you’re on the Instagram app, the tendency is to scroll through the images until you find one you like. A little trick to get people to stop scrolling is to add a bit of text to the image that they need to read. If you can stop a scroller from scrolling, you can increase your chances of getting them to engage with your post through a like, comment or follow.
The text doesn’t need to be long like a quote, though it could be. You could even add one word that captures attention. For example, if you own a meditation store, you might add the word ‘BREATHE’ to an image which could entice a person to engage with the post. It’s short and to the point yet still attention grabbing.
There are a few tools you can use to add text to your images:
- Quick by Over allows you to add text to images directly on your phone. They offer a range of fonts and colors. You can even change the size of your font. And move the positioning of it.
- After Photo offers a range of templates you can use for your text. You can choose from over 70 filters and textures. And there’s over 60 fonts for you to choose from.
- ImageQuote allows you to add text captions to your images. They have over 50 fonts, colors and text options. You can even add multiple font colors with ease. You can choose from their selection of backgrounds too.
21. How you layout your products matters
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, having your product photo on a plain white background isn’t going to cut it on Instagram.
For you to stand out on Instagram, you’ll need to take your product photos to the next level. Brands, especially within female dominated niches like fashion, jewelry and beauty, carefully position each product within a photo in an artistic yet simple way to showcase their product in the best light.
Dynamite Clothing angles their clothing. Pictures are never taken with the product straight. They also accessorize their images. For example, they’ll match a sweater with a pair of jeans. Or if they’re highlighting shoes, their sweater acts as the image background.
Tous Jewelry takes a unique approach in how they style the images on their Instagram page. There’s a notable use of hands in most images. Whether bracelets are worn on hands or a necklace is being held with two hands, there’s always that one consistent factor. It adds a unique look to the style while maintaining a sense of branding. Here are some examples:
Popular blog The Current Crush also positions products in stunning photographs. For example, in the beauty product image below, you’ll find a marble countertop, flowers and part of a lace sleeve. Marble, flowers and lace are often used in Instagram images as they help enhance the beauty of an image while highlighting a bit of femininity.
22. You can post more than just product photos
When building a brand presence, you’ll want to add a mix of images to your Instagram page. Product photos are great for optimizing for sales. However, you can use other types of images to grow your followers and increase social media engagement while still being on brand.
Here are a few Instagram post ideas to get you started:
- Quotes/Inspiration: Lipstick Queen occasionally posts beauty quotes on their Instagram page. The quote tends to perform a little bit better than the rest of their content giving a boost in engagement. This type of content can be created using Photoshop or Canva for days when you want to share something with little effort. Influencer Photos/Customer Photos: Hi Smile Teeth posts influencer photos. Their influencers take pictures with the teeth whitening product or holding the box. While the influencers also share on their social media pages, adding it to your own also helps you fill out your content and increase social proof.
- Reposted Content: Flo Activewear reposts content on their Instagram. Since they sell yoga wear they share videos and pictures of people doing yoga. While some content includes their apparel, most do not. The focus for reposting other content is to provide value and thus increase their social media count.
- Pop Culture References: Nasty Gal adds some fun to their Instagram account by having pictures and quotes from iconic movies, popular characters and more. While it doesn’t increase sales, it shows the brand as fun while keeping them at the top of mind for customers.
- Sales and Promotions: Le Chateau occasionally posts sales on their Instagram. For Labour Day, they added a main image that included a pair of shoes with the words ‘Labour Day Summer Clearance.’ What followed was a series of pictures detailing other information such as ‘up to 80% off’ with pictures of people wearing their apparel.
- Contests and Giveaways: Suzy Shier regularly shares contests with their audience. To promote the contest, they’ll share a picture of the prize. Their most recent contest included Yves Rocher as a partner who offered some prizes. Customers can sign up for the contest using the link in the bio.
23. Edit your images beyond Instagram’s filters
Instagram’s filters work great for adding a different tint to your image. However, images sometimes require editing beyond that.
Typically, you don’t want to alter the product’s color in Photoshop too much as it can set unrealistic expectations for the customer. However, top brands typically alter the product color to make it brighter.
Jewelry brands will often add effects to make it look like the accessories are sparkling. This is a common practice.
Fashion photos or photos with models will often use Photoshop to remove bruises, blemishes, discolorations or wrinkles. Some products may have dust or scuff marks that need to be cleaned up before posting.
Some brands Photoshop models to give them an hourglass silhouette or to make them appear skinnier. While it’s a common practice, avoid altering influencer or customer photos.
If your picture is on a white background, you might choose to change the background color to make the product photo more Instagram friendly. Or you might choose to add a patterned background to give the picture a unique look.
24. Use Instagram Grids
One of the most famous examples of using Instagram Grids is Taylor Swift. To prepare for the launch of the first single off her Reputation album, she deleted all of her previous Instagram posts. Then, to let her fans know something would be coming out soon she posted a video that was divided into three sections.
Tiffany’s also uses Instagram Grids for their posts.
Some choose to only do Instagram grids to have a clean and attention grabbing look. It also adds greater emphasis to a whole image when scrolling through their posts.
The downside is that when you see the posts in your feed it’ll look incomplete which can annoy some users.
Ultimately, it boils down to the look you want to achieve on your Instagram account. You can choose to have the grid look for all your posts or to add emphasis on specific products, promotions, etc.
How to Split Instagram Images:
- Upload your image to Image Splitter
- At the top, click Split Image
- Change Columns to 3
- Change Rows to the number that turns each into a square
- Select ‘jpeg’
- Click the blue ‘Split Image’ button
- You’ll receive a zip file
- You’ll then need to upload each image from the bottom right corner up to the top left corner. Each line uploaded needs to start from the right
Instagram Video Hacks
25. Share Video Content
A couple of years ago I had a store in the pet niche. I’d repost pictures of other people’s pets, always with credit of course. The gamechanger happened when I started reposting videos. The second video I ever shared on my account got 25.5k views, 801 comments and 4781 likes. Before that my posts usually only got a couple hundred likes. I was blown away.
So I started reposting video content more frequently. The most successful video I shared was only a few weeks after the second video and it received 52.8k views, 1269 comments, 9207 likes. Yup, pretty safe to say that when it comes to Instagram marketing video content gets engagement. My Instagram account at it’s highest had over 12,000 followers in only a few months. But I eventually stopped managing that brand so it started to drop a bit.
My reposting video strategy worked well for a few reasons. I didn’t have to create the perfect video. I just had to find the perfect video and share it with my audience. As long as you tag and credit the owner they’re usually pretty cool with it. It made video posting low maintenance. I also had the opportunity to pull the most popular videos from various brands. This helped elevate my following since the video content was posted so frequently. If I had created my own unique content, it’d be hard to keep up with quality assurance while trying to drive big growth at the same time.
However, I don’t want to turn you off from creating your own video content. Maybe you’re great at creating engaging content. Or maybe you want to humanize your brand or build your personal brand through video content.
It’s socially acceptable to take video content on your phone for Instagram. You don’t need to invest in special lighting or a set.
You can give tips about your niche. Or create short how to videos. For example, if you’re in the yoga niche, you might create videos of you mastering postures. You can create video content where you talk about mindfulness or taking the time during the day to breathe. If you sell yoga pants you might be wearing them and mention them in your video content but the video itself isn’t an obvious sell.
You provide value when you create positive, fun or educational content. Your content lacks value when you constantly focus on the sales pitch.
26. Choose your video thumbnail
Your video thumbnail can make the difference between a video viewed and a video that gets scrolled by. Choosing the right thumbnail can be tricky. For example, if you’re doing a video of a person, you’ll want the thumbnail to be where the person looks best. You’ll want to choose the thumbnail that makes the video most clickable. Fortunately, you can choose your video thumbnail on Instagram pretty easily.
How to Choose Your Instagram Video Thumbnail:
- Click the middle button on the bottom
- Click Video
- Create a video
- Click Next
- Click the third icon on the top (three rectangles)
- ‘Choose a Cover Frame’ on the bottom
- Click Next
Instagram Growth Hacks
27. Repost others’ content to scale quickly
My go-to tool for reposting pictures and videos on Instagram is Repost. I paid for the $4.99 upgrade. As a business owner, you can likely expense this cost during tax season.
I like this app because you don’t need to take screenshots to upload the posts, the app is able to grab the images and video content for you to upload it onto your Instagram page. The downside is that it doesn’t remind you who you’re reposting from. So sometimes when writing your comment you need to check back so that you tag the right person in your post. And they don’t save your hashtags. I found myself always having to retype it. Would’ve been great if they allowed me to save collections of hashtags for it.
Always. Always. ALWAYS credit the person you’re tagging. You didn’t take the picture or video. It’s not your content. When you credit the people you post, over time you’ll start building relationships with them. For my pet page, I regularly chatted with the people within the niche because I’d regularly repost their adorable pet’s pictures. It helped elevate the engagement on my pages too.
I also saw a lot of my competitors disappear because they’d post content that wasn’t theirs without crediting. Keep in mind that within most niches there’s a tight knit community. People know one another. So when they see you sharing their friend’s picture, they’ll not only tell them but they’ll also report you to Instagram. You might be new to a niche but the community is one you need to be accepted into. You can earn their trust and support by tagging them.
28. Remove business tags for negative customer photos
If your business grows its audience size or lasts a long time, at some point, you’re bound to have negative customer photos. Maybe the product quality didn’t match the customer’s expectations. Or they’re disgruntled from a bad customer service experience. While you can’t stop people from posting negative comments, you can take the right steps to solve the issue.
First, you should apologize on the Instagram post itself. Try to resolve the issue directly by offering a refund or replacement. Only after a customer is satisfied with the solution can you ask them to delete the photo. Some may choose not to.
First, here’s how to find pictures you’re tagged in:
- Go to your profile
- Click the icon with the person in a box
Second, here’s how to untag yourself from bad photos:
- When on the Instagram post, tap the photo.
- Your name will appear, click on it.
- Then, click ‘More Options > Remove Me from Post’
- Then, click Remove
You’ll want to untag yourself from negative photos first before addressing the customer. Fans of your page can access tagged photos which can lower your sales. Still, you should treat the customer comment seriously and take the appropriate next steps to offer a resolution. If you notice you receive a high volume of negative reviews on a specific product (more than the standard 1-2%) you should consider removing the product from your store.
29. Instagram Followers Hack
Need more followers on your Instagram account. Here’s a proven Instagram followers hack you can try:
Engage with other Instagram accounts regularly. Build up a relationship with them. Comment on their photos and praise them well. If you consistently post nice things about them on their Instagram account they’ll eventually follow you back. This works best for accounts that get some engagement but not an overwhelming amount. Stick to people within your niche for maximum results from this Instagram followers hack.
Another Instagram followers hack is to follow several people first. Many top store owners and influencers do the follow/unfollow method. This is when you follow a bunch of Instagram accounts and then unfollow people who didn’t follow you back. Some brands use bots to do this. Unfortunately, Instagram is cracking down on those so doing this can be a bit tedious.
Taking advantage of Instagram Stories is another Instagram followers hack. That’s because when you use that feature, you’re more likely to end up on Instagram’s recommended section. You’ll need to be consistent about posting on Instagram and within Stories for this Insta hack to work well.
Posting contests on your store’s account is another Instagram followers hack that works like a charm. You’ll need to create a contest where the prize is your store’s products. You can create entries like asking people to tag a friend and follow you for a chance to win or to repost on their account and follow you to win. This will help give your contest more visibility.
30. Run contests on Instagram
Running contests or giveaways can help you grow your audience faster. You’ll want to have a bit of an audience already, over 10,000 followers for you to get some strong traction on it. But feel free to experiment with contests even if you have a smaller following on Instagram as they can help you reach your goals. You can use hashtags like #giveaway or #contest to get more but untargetted entries. But be sure to also include niche hashtags as well to get a more targeted audience.
There are a few types of contests you can run:
- Like/Comment/Follow for a chance to win
- Photo challenge contest (entrants need to take a picture based on guidelines you set)
- Repost for a chance to win
- Selfie contest (selfie with your product)
Each contest has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. For example, with a like/comment/follow to win, you’ll have a higher number of entrants. If the goal is to increase engagement this could work well. However, if the contest requires users to have your product, then it’ll be limited to your customer base. In this case, it may be best to tell customers via email about the contest.
Notably, contests require some legal information. You might want to check out the guidelines for an international audience. For example, in the United States, certain states have different requirements for contests which is why they’re often excluded from participating. If you have an international audience, you need to keep in mind the different laws and requirements of those countries.
ShortStack created a template you can use for the legal details for your contest or giveaway on social media.
31. What Instagram posts do your competitors like?
As you start to hack Instagram marketing, the next step is to focus on competitor analysis. While it’s important to study what type of content your competitors post, it’s also enlightening to see what type of content they like on the platform.
Using your personal Instagram account, follow your competitors on Instagram. If your brand follows them on Instagram, they’ll likely see it and possibly start paying attention to your brand too. It’s best to be subtle in your competitive research.
Here are a few steps to view your competitors likes:
- Follow your competitor using your personal Instagram
- On the bottom of your Instagram app, you’ll see a heart. Click on it.
- You’ll see your notifications
- At the top, click Following
- Scroll through to find your competitors’ likes
Things to look out for while browsing your competitors’ likes:
- Customer photos (what products did they buy, what was the general tone of the post)
- Influencer posts (how many followers do they have, do they add an affiliate link in their bio, what type of influencers are they working with)
- What type of content do they like (is it only brand related – customer/influencer posts? Do they like posts within the niche? Do they like a lot of posts? What type of comments do they like?)
32. Add a shoppable Instagram gallery on your store
Shopify has several apps on their store where you can easily install shoppable Instagram galleries.
In order of popularity, Snappt, Covet Pics, Expert Village Media Technologies and Social Shop Wave have the most reviews in this category.
Ultimately, a shoppable Instagram gallery is a page that gets added onto your website that includes all of your Instagram posts. The main difference is that each product featured in it has clickable links so that customers can buy products. Thus, making them shoppable. Here’s an example from Holly Aiken.
In the previous section, I mentioned that you could add the link to your shoppable Instagram gallery instead of changing your links or linking to your homepage.
This could work well because customers can browse through your Instagram feed while being able to buy from your store. This allows you to keep a static link with a focus that creates a better user experience for your customers.
The only downside is that it might lower the chances of customers buying other products on your store. But it can improve your chances of selling products that you promote.
The goal isn’t to sell every product on your store – well unless you carry inventory. But as a dropshipper, the focus should be on finding and then selling best sellers. As long as your profitable and hitting your financial goals, it doesn’t matter if one product isn’t selling well. You won’t lose money for not selling a specific product over another.
33. Pin your Instagram posts to Pinterest
Instagram is a great platform for growing your audience. However, it’s also a good idea to step beyond the one platform to become even more visible. Pinterest is another great platform for growing your audience. Fortunately, you can easily add your Instagram posts to Pinterest.
- Click on your profile
- Click on the image you want to pin
- Click the ‘…’
- Then, click Share
- Click Copy Link
- Open your Pinterest app and paste the link under Upload Image
You can also post on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr after the Share Step by clicking the button next to the social platform.
34. Follow relevant people
You can grow your audience size by following relevant people. While not every person will follow you back, many will choose to follow your brand if it’s relevant to them. For example, if you sell hockey equipment, following people who regularly post pictures of hockey can help you increase your followers.
In the past, Instagram users would use bots to grow their Instagram following. However, Instagram does crack down on this. You could lose your Instagram account. So, avoid using bots.
According to Chron, there is a limit to how many people you can follow and unfollow each hour: 160.
If you follow too many accounts at once, Instagram might think you’re using a bot. Focus on following relevant people rather than everyone.
Using the hockey example, you can find relevant people to follow using the hashtag #hockey. While browsing the hockey hashtag, you’ll find people who post content using the main keyword for your niche. Thus, making it more likely that they’ll be interested in the products you’re selling.
35. Save posts you love
As a store owner, you might choose to save Instagram ads, product posts from competitors and ideas.
By saving Instagram ads, you’ll start to see patterns between good ads and great ones. You’ll also develop a better understanding of how to create your own effective ads. You’ll start to see how brands advertise products within your niche. If you visit online stores regularly, you’ll also learn which ones send retargeting ads. Saving these posts will help you become a better marketer if you regularly look through them for inspiration.
When you save your competitor’s product posts, you end up learning new trends. You might discover that they added a new product which received a high level of engagement on Instagram. You can then browse through dropshipping apps to find and add the product to your store.
Staying on top of your competitors is essential in ecommerce.
Not only does saving images remind you of what you need to add to your store but you can start to analyze the patterns in the type of products your competitors are adding.
Saving ideas or inspiration posts is a great idea too. Sometimes you see a really stunning product photo on social media that isn’t relevant to your niche but it serves as an idea of how you can position your brand. There might be Instagram accounts that you want to emulate when it comes to their style. Or a post that you want to look at again because it was really compelling. Saving helps you organize your inspiration. Since it’s as easy as clicking a button it helps prevent that ‘oh no, what’s that brand’s page called again’ feeling.
To save an image in Instagram you need to do the following:
- Click the bookmark icon below the image
- Save to Collection
- Enter a name for your collection
- Click Done
To add multiple collections in Instagram, these are the steps you need to follow:
- Go to your profile (picture icon on the bottom)
- Click the bookmark icon
- Click the + symbol
- Add a collection name
- Click Next
- Check the image you want added to that collection
- Click Done
Instagram Feature Hacks
36. Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories is an Instagram feature where videos and pictures that play in a slideshow format that disappear after 24 hours. These Stories appear on the top of an Instagram feed of your feed giving maximum visibility. Instagram Stories also include a range of fun features that allow you to take your content to the next level.
To access Instagram Stories, click on the camera icon on the top left corner.
Here you’ll find a range of features such as:
- Face Filters: The happy face with the three stars is the icon to click to find face filters. You can scroll through the options to find the filters that you like best. Face filters are often used by influencers. You probably wouldn’t use them a lot as a store owner, but they can be a fun addition for a post every now and then.
- Boomerang: This feature turns up to 10 photos into a video. It’s similar to a gif but with the difference that it plays the images forward then backwards in a loop. We dive into more detail on this feature in a later section.
- Superzoom: This feature zooms in with dramatic music. If you’ve ever see the Dramatic Chipmunk video, the feature is kinda like that but with different music. Skip ahead to our Superzoom section to learn more about this feature.
- Rewind: The rewind feature plays videos in reverse. Here’s an example of the feature in use:
- Stop-Motion: Instagram’s Stop-Motion feature allows you to tap images to create a stop motion video. You’ll need to multiple pictures moving the camera slightly left or right before taking the next picture for maximum effectiveness.
After you finish pictures or videos, you’ll have a few more Instagram features you can try out:
- Happy Face icon: Here you can add stickers like location which geotags the images. There’s a poll sticker where you can poll your audience and see the results. There are also a range of stickers or images you can add to your picture or video.
- Marker icon: This icon allows you to scribble doodles on your picture of video. You can choose from multiple colors. Feel free to change the thickness of the marker. There’s even one with a glow effect on it. And if you’re unhappy with your doodle you can erase it
- Aa: This icon let’s you write words on your Instagram story. You can change the font color. And increase or decrease the font size. Use your fingers to move the positioning of the words.
Here’s our guide on how to use Instagram Stories like a pro to build your audience.
37. How to choose Instagram filters
There’s little consensus on what the most popular Instagram filter is. Everyone has their own favorite.
According to PetaPixel, Clarendon is the most popular Instagram filter for their users – and by a landslide. Then, it’s Juno, Gingham and Lark rounding out the top four.
Huffington Post also did a feature on the most popular Instagram filters. In first place, was the Early Bird filter. Mayfair, Amaro, and Rise take the positions for second, third and fourth.
Slash Gear’s list of American and global favorites in filter use uses a combination of the two lists above. In the United States, the most popular filters are Claredon, Gingham, Juno, Lark, Mayfair, Sierra, Valencia and Walden in order of popularity. And on a global scale, it’s Claredon, Valencia, Gingham in first, second and third.
However, just because an Instagram filter is most popularly used, doesn’t mean you should use it in your Instagram marketing.
According to Bustle, the second most popular filter for nature photos is no filter at all. And in first place is Valencia. Those of you with fashion stores might want to try out the Kelvin filter which tends to be the most popular. No filter tends to be the most popular choice for selfies.
IG Reviews shares a study where warm filters like Sepia, Mayfair, and Rise tend to get more views than cooler filters. They also share examples of posts that that use the Mayfair filter to showcase the number of likes and comments on it. According to their list, the filters that get the most engagement are Toaster, LoFi, Amaro and Sutro because they have higher levels of exposure.
If you wanted your brand to use the same filters as Fortune 500 companies, Juno tends to be the most common with Lark following close behind.
So, ‘how do I choose the right filter?’
Choosing the right filter is more about what makes sense for a certain niche or image rather than just choosing the most popular one altogether. You’ll need to do some trial and error when you’re just starting out to figure out what works best for your brand.
You might find that an image that’s vibrant with color that makes your product stand out looks best without a filter. Or you might want to add a filter to create a particular mood.
If you own a watch store and take outdoor adventure shots, you might try out the filters Bustle recommends such as Valencia and no filter and see which drives the most engagement from your audience. If you’re posting a selfie of you wearing the lipstick you’re selling, you might try out no filter. Your fashion store could benefit from the Kelvin filter.
38. How to hide filters
Most Instagram users have their go-to filters. Maybe you don’t like the way a certain filter works or you hate scrolling to find your favorite filter. Making these changes can help you save time, especially if you’re constantly posting on Instagram.
Fortunately, you can add, hide or rearrange your Instagram filters.
To make these changes to your filters, you need to be posting an image.
- Select an image you want to upload, click Next
- You’ll see a selection of filters to choose from, scroll to the end.
- Click Manage
- To add a filter, click on the circle beside it. A blue checkmark will appear.
- To hide a filter, click on the checkmark. If you see a blank circle, you’ve hid the filter
- To rearrange your filters, drag the filter into the position of your choice
- After completing one or all of these steps, click done.
39. Turn on Instagram notifications for pages you love
Instagram shows you notifications for popular posts first. If you follow a lot of people, you might miss out on some great posts. As a business, there are three main types of audiences you’d want to follow: fans, affiliates/influencers, and competitors.
If you have fans who are regularly posting pictures of your products or who comment on every post, you’ll want to get notified of their notifications. You can comment on their posts to build your relationship with them. It helps humanize the brand. Go above and beyond and comment on posts that aren’t related to your brand.
You’ll want to turn on notifications for affiliates so you can see their sponsored post when it goes live. It’s also great to have their notifications on to monitor what they say about your brand. It can also be enlightening to see if your direct competitors start reaching out to them over the following weeks. It can help determine whether you should work with that affiliate/influencer in the future.
Turning on notifications for your competitors helps you monitor them closely. You’ll see what products they share, the type of content they post and you may even get some of their ads.
Notably, you’ll also want to tell your customers to subscribe to notifications. Wait until you have a few thousand followers before requesting this. And don’t ask too often as it can become annoying after a while.
Turn on notifications on Instagram by:
- Follow the page you want to receive notifications for
- Click the ‘…’ next to their page name
- Click ‘Turn on Post Notifications’
- Click ‘Turn on’ to receive push notifications or ‘Dismiss’ to not receive push notifications
40. How to clear your search history
If several people manage your Instagram business account, you might want to clear your search history every now and then. It helps maintain a sense of privacy. In an earlier section, you learned how to save posts. So there’s no point in keeping your search history.
How to Clear Your Search History on Instagram
- Go to your Instagram profile (circle with your image on it)
- Click the Gear (next to Edit Profile)
- Scroll down to the bottom
- In a blue font, you’ll see ‘Clear Search History’
- A pop-up will appear
- Click ‘Yes, I’m sure’
41. Instagram takeovers
Instagram takeovers are when an influencer or another brand take over your Instagram account for the day. This strategy is typically used to grow your Instagram followers or to gain more brand recognition.
First, you need to find influencers with a sizeable audience. The influencer should have more than a sizable number of relevant niche followers for you to be able to get some traction on your account.
Then, you need to reach out to the influencer. Some may choose not to do an Instagram takeover so reaching out to a few gives you the best chances of success. Keep in mind, they’ll expect some form of compensation.
You’ll need to discuss some of the following with them in your next conversations:
- Compensation – cash, affiliate commission or free products
- Are there any guidelines or rules of do’s and don’ts
- Does the influencer have the freedom to post the type of content they usually share or do you have a specific vision
- How will the influencer market the takeover to their audience
For those on a tight budget, you can ask employees or fans of your page to do the takeover on your account.
Before allowing an influencer to do an Instagram takeover, be sure to change your password. You can change it back after the takeover is complete.
After the takeover is done, you’ll want to analyze the results. Keep in mind that not all takeovers are made equal. For example, one influencer might bring in thousands of new followers for your brand while another influencer doesn’t bring any. Experimentation is important before deciding whether or not to continue with this Instagram strategy.
42. Use your fingers to zoom into photos
Sometimes your competitors post pictures of jewelry or fashion related products that are zoomed out. If you’re trying to see the fine details of a product that a competitor is selling, you can use your fingers to zoom into photos. Say there’s a necklace with a pattern on it, you might not be able to see what the pattern is as is. So when you zoom in, you end up seeing the pattern. You can then search for items with that pattern to add to your own online store. To zoom into photos, use your thumb and index finger to enlarge the image.
43. Use Geotags
Geotags are stickers you can add to your Instagram story to tell people where you are. For example, if you’re travelling, you might add a sticker to prove that you’re in that location. Geotagging stories can let people in that city find your content giving your brand more publicity. If you sell to an international audience, you might ask your customers to geotag your products in their city. So you don’t need to be a local business for geotags to work well.
How to Add Geotags in Stories:
- Click the Home button on Instagram
- Under Stories, click You
- Click ‘>’
- Take a photo or a boomerang
- Click the Happy Face at the top
- Click the Location sticker
- Choose one of the locations below (aim for tourist attractions like CN Tower, Central Park)
- Slide your sticker where you want using your finger
- Click Pin
- Click Next
- Click Your Story
- Then Send
44. Instagram superzoom
Instagram superzoom is a feature that drastically zooms in while cuing some dramatic music. Most people use the feature to zoom into their face. But you can use it to zoom into your product to show the little details. I wouldn’t use the Superzoom for every product you post. However, every now and then, when you want to highlight a popular product or a new product that you think will do really well, superzoom can be used to go zoom in.
The dramatic music Instagram includes helps make the effect more fun so feel free to play around with it a bit. Feel free to make some funny videos with the feature. It doesn’t always have to have a product focus.
To use the Superzoom feature follow these next steps:
- Click the camera icon on the top left corner of the app
- Next to Normal, scroll until you find Superzoom
- Click the middle circle to create it
- Then, you’ll need to click the ‘>’ on the top right corner
45. Create Instagram boomerangs
Boomerang is a feature that allows you to turn pictures into a video. When you click on the app it takes ten pictures and then stitches them together to create a mini video. It’s almost like a gif with the main difference being that the video plays forward then backward on a loop. Boomerangs work best for big actions like jumping into a pool, falling, doing flips, and activities like that.
To create Instagram Boomerangs follow these steps:
- Click the camera in the top left corner
- Next to Normal, click Boomerang
- Click the middle circle to create it
- Then click ‘>’
46. Instagram Insights
Instagram Insights is a feature that allows you to view the reach, demographics, and other important details to understand your business’ performance on the platform. This feature is only available for businesses so you need to make sure you’ve already made the switch to a business profile on your Instagram account.
To view insights, you’ll need to go to one of your photos and click ‘View Insights.’ You’ll immediately see the number of impressions, reach, and engagement numbers for your post.
On your profile you can also click on the graph icon to find the insights for your profile. Here you’ll find your best performing posts over the past 7 days, how many impressions you got that week and details about your followers. You’ll know what the gender split of your audience is, your exact number of followers, age range and more. Using these insights you can then create ads for that audience since you have a better idea of who your audience is.
Instagram Captions Hacks
47. Add Captions to Instagram
An Instagram caption can help increase the level of engagement on your post. To maximize the effectiveness of your caption, you’ll want to have the most important details at the top. Long captions tend to get off with ‘…’ requiring people to open it to read on.
Here are a few examples of what you can include in your caption:
- Ask a question that requires an answer. It doesn’t always have to be about the product. For example, if you post a picture of a watch you’re selling, you might ask ‘What time did you see this post at?’ Time is relevant to watches, it can help increase engagement in comments since everyone will have a different response and it’s pretty random capturing people’s attention.
- Ask people to tag a friend. This one is my favorite. I’ll usually say something like ‘Tag a friend who’d love this’ and it usually gets really high engagement if the picture is captivating.
- Tell people to check out the link in your bio. If you post a product picture, the emphasis should be on directing people to your website. A simple ‘Check out the link in the bio’ is sufficient.
- Credit the image source. If you’re reposting someone’s content you should always credit them in the caption. It’s the proper Instagram etiquette for sharing someone’s content.
What about hashtags?
I usually add all my hashtags in the first comment. By keeping the caption short and sweet, you avoid having your message cut off while also increasing your level of engagement. Hashtags still show up when they’re included in the first comment.
Instagram Bio Hacks
48. Should you change your Instagram bio link?
Before we dive into whether or not you should change your bio link, here’s how you can add or change yours.
- Go to your profile, it’s the icon on the bottom with your picture
- Click Edit Profile
- Under website enter your URL
- Click Done
Most people enter their website as ‘www.insertyourwebsitenamehere.com’. This works well if you direct people to your homepage. However, some use link shorteners like Bitly if the link is long like if you direct them to a specific product page.
Most brands keep their bio link the same. On my brand’s Instagram account, I’d direct people to the homepage.
Here’s a list of Instagram Bio Ideas that you can copy and paste to your profile.
But is that the most optimized page?
When you run ads on Instagram and Facebook, you don’t typically direct people to the homepage. This is because people don’t want to browse your site to find the product featured in the ad. So if you have a picture of a cool cat t-shirt, when a customer clicks on the link they want to be able to find that cat t-shirt.
Using this logic, you should consider changing your bio link with all posts. The great thing about this is that you create a sense of urgency since the link will only be up for a day or even a few hours. Thus, making it easier to compel people into buying.
The downside is that if someone sees the post a week later and you’ve replaced the link, it could cause bad user experience. The customer will have to either ask you where the product link is or they’ll have to browse your website to find it which can be challenging.
Alternatively, you could link out to your shoppable Instagram page.
49. Add line breaks in your bio or caption
Instagram doesn’t easily allow users to add line breaks. A line break allows you to have content span several lines like you’d find in bullet points. Instead, Instagram tends to have your content take the shape of a paragraph. To create a cleaner look in your bio or caption and to make it easier to read for your customers, line breaks can come in handy.
How to Add Line Breaks on Instagram:
- Don’t write your caption or bio directly within Instagram
- Write your caption or bio in your phone’s Notes app
- Between each line add [ ] pressing the enter key in between the brackets
- Copy and paste the caption or bio into Instagram
- Delete the brackets not the space between them
- Post the content on Instagram
Instagram Live Hacks
50. Instagram Live
Instagram Live is a great feature to use for Q&As, launches, making big announcements, takeovers, and humanizing your brand.
Say you run a meditation store, you can do daily live meditation sessions on Instagram at the same time each day to build your audience. People who want to follow along to daily meditation sessions will likely follow your page to join in each day.
Or maybe you’re preparing for a Black Friday event. You might do a Facebook live where you talk about why people should buy from your store on Black Friday. Since you’ll be live, it’ll keep your brand at top of mind while lowering your ad costs on the most competitive day.
Maybe you run a children’s toy or clothing store, you might do a Q&A with parents to better serve them. You might answer questions about what toys are popular right now for a child’s birthday or general topics like how parents can spend more quality time with their children.
One of the cool things about Instagram Live is that you can go live with a friend. This works great if you want to have an expert join in on your live session without physically being there. Your audience will still see both of you in the session. You can bring in guests each week to offer your customers a unique look into your niche from top experts.
How to Share an Instagram Live Video:
- Click the camera icon on the top left corner
- Click Live on the bottom of the screen
- Click Start Live Video
If you’re looking to learn more about Instagram Live, here’s our complete guide to Instagram Live Video for businesses.
Instagram Hacks From Instagram Experts
51. The Three Rules for Instagram Success
Juanika Dildy, founder and CEO of Ladypreneur Academy LLC, shares this Insta hack, “The key factors that have helped me to grow my Instagram presence have been authenticity, consistency, and engagement.
To be successful in marketing, people must first like and trust you before they will do business with you. Engagement builds trust. To gain trust, it’s important that the marketer first show genuine interest in their target BEFORE trying to sell them. Set aside time during the day to search for your target using hashtags that relate to you, like a few pictures, and send a few encouraging comments. You’ll gain your target’s attention and they’ll be curious enough to visit your page.
Now it’s important to be authentic. What is your differentiating factor? Be sure that your page has a theme that is unique to you and sets you apart from competitors. You’ll find that your target will likely scroll to determine who you are and how you found them. Use this to your advantage! Position yourself as the expert by offering advice in your field and you’ll quickly gain influence. Be sure to brand your pictures with a logo, or something that will point them to a landing page or website.
Lastly, be consistent. If you’re going to engage with your target, don’t be the creep with only one or two pictures available. You’ve attracted your audience, now spoon feed them what you want them to eat. The more of a consistent presence you have on social media, the more recognizable your brand will become in the marketplace.”
52. Hashtags are a Must
Photographer Anna McNaught grew her Instagram account to over 60k followers in only 15 months. She shares, “The most effective tactic for growing my Instagram has been incorporating a variety of different pieces such as color scheme, consistency, optimization of my bio and captions, and of course a strong hashtag and tagging strategy. I always use 30 hashtags and I space them down from my caption or put them in my first comment. I perform in-depth hashtag research to make sure I am targeting my ideal audience. I then save these hashtags in a note in my phone. Most businesses and even personal accounts are not using hashtags effectively and tagging what is in the photo or generic words such as love and happy. A strong hashtag strategy is key for growing an account.” She currently blogs about Instagram marketing over on her blog.
53. Theme your posts
Andrea Serie, of Double Down Digital a digital media agency for startups, personalities and consumer products recommends “Think about your customers and what interests them and then provide content they would actually want to see/read. Establish “four theme buckets” for posts. For example, if you are a pool company, your buckets might be: outdoor entertainment, yard decorating types, aquatic exercises and pool maintenance tips.”
54. Partner with Niche Influencers
LoveCrochet grew their Instagram following to an astounding 135k. Emma Lextrait, their social media mastermind shares, “Building relationships with niche influencers has boosted our growth via Instagram takeovers, which sees them guest post content on our feed for a day or more. They notify their own likeminded followers to discover us, which means we build an authentic following who will continue to engage with LoveCrochet. This has been supported by a daily schedule for posting curated feed and story content as well as keeping up with digital trends such as video content that continues to engage our audience on a deeper level.”
55. Partner with Brands
Ryan O’Connor of One Tribe Apparel grew his brand’s Instagram account to a sizeable 52k followers. He recommends, “We try and team up with another brand every two to three weeks where each brand share the giveaway and to enter people have to follow both brands and leave a comment tagging two or more friends. We’ve gained as many as 2,000 followers in a day using this strategy.”
56. Get Discovered
One Tribe Apparel also shared one of their best Instagram moments: being featured in Instagram’s Discover section. O’Connor shares, “There is no way to force this… or plan it into your marketing schedule but if your post gets a lot of early traction you can reach the discover section and it can be a game changer. Earlier this year we had a photo that reached the discover section in multiple tags and we gained over 4,000 followers in one day and the post had nearly 10,000 likes which for us at the time was massive.”
57. Instagram Stories Are a Must
Samantha Wormser, blogger at The Salty Twig, built up her Instagram to over 16,000 followers. She shares this Instagram Stories hack, “I love Instagram stories and use that feature the most. I try to post on Instagram stories every day because it’s a great way to drive people to my profile and blog, increase engagement, and show more of a behind the scenes of my life. I also love watching other Instagram stories because it gives that sneak peek into people’s lives that isn’t so edited or staged, but more authentic. The linking opportunity within Instagram stories for business accounts is by far my favorite feature. As someone who is in PR, I know how important it is to work with influencers who have the ability to link and be able to look at the traffic and conversions that came through that link on the client side within Google Analytics. On the influencer side, the insights that you get with linking and tagging brands in Stories shows you how many people clicked on the link so you have a better idea of how much of an impact you’re generating for brands and if I’m linking to a blog post (another way I drive traffic to my blog) then I can see how many people clicked on the link from my stories.”
58. Instagram Stories
Rosalie, a blogger at Rosealie Goes, grew her Instagram to 19,000 followers. She advises, “With the latest algorithm changes, influencers everywhere have been agonizing over the dramatic dips in post-engagement. If your posts aren’t being pushed to the top anymore, then focus on what your followers do see: your stories. Post engaging content consistently during the day. Make sure you utilize geo-tags and hashtags so that your stories are discoverable by new people, and try to utilize live video once or twice a week.”
59. Polls Are the Way to Go
Social Media Account Manager Zellie Friedman of Power Digital Marketing recommends this Instagram Stories hack, “Our favorite Instagram story features include linking and polls. We love the fact that business accounts with over 10k followers can now link to their stories. This can help increase traffic to the website by nearly 400%. The polls are also great new feature. While they are simply fun and great for engagement, they can also help you gain valuable insight from your audience. You can ask what kind of posts they prefer to see, what products they love the most, and more.”
60. Learn from the best
Talia Koren, Instagram Marketing Consultant, grew her Work Week Lunch account to over 70,000 followers. She recommends this Instagram hack, “One of the most effective things I did to grow was I started making shareable content in my niche. I paid close attention to the content that got reposted, and how I could make my own version of it. That meant I stopped using my iPhone and switched to a real camera. I started using Snapseed to edit my photos on my phone and strategically tagging people who would be interested in sharing my content. And it worked! Now my content gets shared 5-10 times a week on accounts of all sizes, some have over 700k followers.”
Final Thoughts: Instagram Marketing Hacks
With Instagram’s growing audience size, mastering Instagram marketing can help you drive more sales. This is just the starting point for starting out on Instagram. As you begin to experiment on Instagram, you’ll start discovering your own Instagram hacks. Plus with new features constantly getting added to the platform there’s going to continue being new improvement within Instagram. If there were any Instagram hacks not mentioned on this list feel free to leave a comment and we’ll add it to this list.
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Want to Learn More?
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Have an Instagram tip you’d like to share let us know in the comments!