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Instagram at 11

Instagram launched in 2010. Here are important stats for marketers to know in the platform’s 11 years:

  • Over 1 billion people use Instagram every month (88% are outside of the US)
  • Instagram has 140 million U.S. users
  • Instagram is the 9th most popular Google query
  • In terms of active users, Instagram is outranked only by Facebook, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger
  • Users are about half male, half female
  • Instagram users spent an average of 30 minutes per day on the platform in 2020
  • 81% of people use Instagram to help research products and services
  • 11% of people use Instagram as a news source
  • 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day
  • 90% of Instagram users follow a business
  • The average Instagram business account posts once per day and sees an average 1.46% monthly followers growth
  • The average engagement rate for an Instagram post by a business account is 0.96%
  • How-to tutorials are the most popular form of Instagram video content

Marketing Tips on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is gaining momentum. With fewer ways to build professional networks in person, professionals increasingly turn to the platform to build networks and more. For marketers, this means that more users than ever are actively engaged on LinkedIn.

According to Social Media Examiner, almost 700 million people are on LinkedIn, and 45% of internet users who make more than $75,000 a year annually use LinkedIn. Four out of five LinkedIn users drive business decisions at their companies. That’s a marketing opportunity not to ignore.

LinkedIn Is the Professional’s Social Network

LinkedIn is the platform people use for their professional lives. While most people spend time on Facebook and Instagram to reconnect with friends and family, people come to LinkedIn for professional development. In 2020, people also turned to LinkedIn to stay in touch with colleagues and teams.

Authenticity Comes to LinkedIn

The professional focus hasn’t changed, but today’s users understand that authenticity is important. Posts now go beyond awards, promotions and company news. People are sharing their career challenges, personal success stories, and reflecting on the role of business as global citizens. It is supporting the human connections that help us feel like we are not alone in our challenges.

Less Curating, More Originality

Once it was a good LinkedIn strategy to serve as a curator for a subject or area of expertise. The people who gathered and shared information around a topic were highly valued.

Now, people are more likely to engage with original content from posters than shared articles and links. People are looking for content that reflects a person individually. Likes and shares are most often earned on this original content.

Using LinkedIn Polls and Questions to Get Input

One way the platform supports discussions is with polling options. LinkedIn polls are available via profiles, company pages, and LinkedIn Events, and allow you to provide multiple response options to a question.

Polls are especially useful for creating engagement because people like sharing their opinions. Asking open-ended questions rather than yes/no questions engage your audience and let them share their opinions. Asking questions is a good way to open conversations that build a sense of connection and trust.

Everyone Is an Expert

LinkedIn now lets every user author long-form articles. This is a great way to reflect expertise and to share information and resources. Articles are creating a deep database of content around millions of professional topics, adding value for all users.

LinkedIn Live for Pages

LinkedIn Live is available by application for use on personal profiles and company pages. The key is to decide what your goal is and then plan the length and content of your live video around the goal.

To improve your chances of approval, be sure to have two-factor authentication enabled on your account before you apply and ensure that your page admins and account are in good standing.

When you apply for access, LinkedIn will assess your page’s video and content creation history and engagement history. You should have a few hundred followers who consistently engage with your content; brand-new pages with no history are unlikely to be approved.

Once approved, you’ll need to use a third-party tool to broadcast via LinkedIn Live.

Best Practices for Instagram Marketing

Instagram is a social media channel worth considering for your marketing. The latest data from Pew finds that 40% of adults use Instagram. Use is highest among people in their 20s and 30s. Here are best practices to make your marketing effective on the platform.

Start by creating an Instagram business account. A business account gives you access to features you can’t use with a personal account.

Define Your Target

You can’t use Instagram (or any marketing tool) effectively unless you know what it is you’re trying to accomplish and who you need to reach.

In terms of audience, keep in mind:

  • The most active Instagrammers are between 18 and 29.
  • The United States is the largest Instagram market.
  • More urban residents use Instagram than their suburban peers.

Complete Your Instagram Profile

Your Instagram bio needs to make a great first impression, convey your brand personality, and tell people why they should bother following your Instagram account. All that in 150 characters, so you need to be strategic and make every character count!

Complete all the fields on your Instagram profile to showcase your brand.

  • Your name: 30 characters, included in search.
  • Your username: AKA your handle. Up to 30 characters, included in search.
  • Your website: A clickable URL.
  • Category
  • Contact info
  • Call-to-action buttons

Use the Right Profile Photo

For most brands, your Instagram profile photo should be your logo. This helps provide credibility and allows visitors to identify at a glance who you are.

The Instagram profile photo displays at 110 by 110 pixels, cropped to a circle with a 110 pixel diameter. However, it’s stored at 320 by 320 pixels, so you should upload a file that large to make sure it still looks good if Instagram changes how profile pics are displayed.

Create Visual Posts

Instagram is a visual platform, so your posts have simply got to look great. Photos and videos need to be interesting and good quality – be sharp, well-lit, well-composed, and in focus. Posts need to tell a story and get followers attention.

When users visit your profile they will see tiles of your latest posts. The most effective brands have a consistent look for their visuals, making the tiles alone a component of brand impact in Instagram.

Your Instagram look should be consistent across your posts, helping followers easily recognize your content in their feeds.

Write for Instagram

Your post text, called captions, should consistently present your brand. The best captions are relevant, informative, compelling, and on-brand.

Captions can be up to 2,200 characters. However, only the first two lines of text appear in news feed. You want to get all the important information into those first two lines. (130-150 characters)

Consider Stories and Reels

Instagram Stories disappear after just 24 hours. However, you can create highlight albums to preserve your top Stories content so it doesn’t disappear after 24 hours. Highlight albums appear right under your bio, and you can create custom covers for each.

Reels are multi-cut videos that are the newest content feature added to the platform.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags are a key way to increase your visibility and discoverability on Instagram. You can use up to 30 hashtags in an Instagram post, but using 5-9 per post is generally most effective. To get the most benefit, choose hashtags that are relevant to your content.

Post at the right times

The best time to post on Instagram can vary based on your subject area. Hootsuite analyzed 258,956 posts from 11 different industries and found these best times to post based on industry:

  • Travel and tourism: Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Media and entertainment: Tuesday and Thursday, 12 to 3 p.m.
  • Food and beverage: Friday, 12 p.m.
  • Retail: Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 12 p.m.
  • Professional services: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9 or 10 a.m.
  • Non-profit: Tuesday, 10 a.m. or 4 p.m.
  • Non-retail e-commerce: Thursday, 4 or 9 p.m.
  • Pharma and healthcare: Wednesday and Sunday, 9 a.m.
  • Personal care: Thursday and Friday, 1, 2, or 3 p.m.
  • Technology: Monday and Tuesday, 2 p.m.
  • Education: Thursday, 4 or 5 p.m.

Engage

In addition to posting, you need to engage. Respond to comments. Follow others and like and comment on their posts. Make yourself visible in a non-promotional way.

Try Ads

I’m a fan of leveraging social media for organic or free marketing, but ads can expand your impact for a small investment. You can target ads based on:

  • Location: State, province, city, country, and so on
  • Demographics: Like age, gender, and language
  • Interests: Such as other accounts people follow, apps they use, and ads they click
  • Behaviors: Both on and off Instagram

You can advertise in the Instagram feed, Stories, or Explore.

Pay Attention to Results

Monitor Instagram Insights to determine the impact of your efforts on the platform. Look for insight into what helps you connect with the right audience and what helps you move toward your goal. Adjust your marketing effort as needed!