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8 Statistical Insights to Improve Your Instagram Game and Business Proven facts that help turn businesses' Instagram strategy more successful.

By Teodora Lozan Edited by Jason Fell

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With a successful strategy, Instagram can be a great way to spread the word about your company, engage your current clients and attract new customers. Users apparently spend significantly more time on Instagram than on any other social media site: over 40 percent longer than on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, according to a study by Yotpo.

This means that Instagram marketing should be at the forefront of your marketing efforts. Unfortunately, successfully using your business Instagram account isn't always easy. Sure, it's easy enough to sign up for an account, but after that, it can feel impossible to make your business and brand stand out and attract new clients.

The trick is to keep in mind the Instagram algorithm and keep your audience engaged. The question then is how to grow that audience? What sort of Instagram content works, and what doesn't?

These are the questions that a recent content engagement study from Socialinsider tried to answer. Please keep reading for the top 8 ways to improve your Instagram game and grow your business, all based on strategies proven successful by analytics.

1. Use more carousels to improve average engagement.

Typically, users are presented with image after image after image. This is just fundamentally how the app works.

Your general aim is to hold your users' attention for a few seconds and hope your users press that heart or leave a comment (post interaction). Of course, that means that if you offer something different you'll probably increase your engagement, and that's precisely what happens with carousels.

Carousels (if you're new to the Instagram game, carousels are when users can swipe through a set of images in the one post) increase user engagement by an average of 0.25 to 0.51 percent!

2. Use videos and encourage people to comment more.

Like the use of carousels, videos have a way of asking your audience to spend a few seconds longer watching your video, which is more likely to lead to post engagement, specifically comments.

There are some caveats to this - you need to be at least a mid-sized account, with between 50,000 to 100,000 followers to get this effect. Once you're in this range, videos are the way to go.

While carousels bring more overall engagement, if you're strictly interested in receiving comments on your post, video is the way to go.

3. Write clear and concise captions of fewer than 10 words.

Essentially the recommendation for al Instagram business accounts is to stay away from unnecessary explanations and embellishments and get to the point!

Although you may want to write a more detailed caption, try to avoid doing so. According to the data, ten words or less is the sweet spot.

4. Try using emojis.

And with your short and concise caption, add emojis, emojis, emojis.

The same data as above shows that the posts which have the best engagement rate average around 20 emojis! So, what you now know not to express in words (remember 10 words is enough), try to express in emojis.

Think of emojis as being part of the language of the Instagram community. Just anecdotally, people have told me that they like Instagram the most as it has a "happy vibe". Emojis are a great way to tap into this feeling and hopefully win over more customers. People like brands that are relatable.

Most Used Emojis on Instagram

Even if it might seem off-brand, get into the habit of using a liberal hand with your emojis. It's an easy way to signal to your audience what's happening and what you might be feeling, adding a level of personalisation to any post.

5. Get better content performance with hashtags.

The key here is using good quality hashtags that will attract future followers and hopefully clients.

For smaller accounts (less than 100,000 followers), a targeted two to eight hashtags placed in the caption is about right - more hashtags actually won't increase your engagement.

If you have a bigger account, you can be more liberal with your use of hashtags, but put them in the first comment rather than in the caption.

6. Use location tagging.

This is an easy one to forget, but location tagging has two main benefits. If you have a physical location it means people can find you quickly, and it tends to bring customers directly to your doorstep.

If you're a digital company, the use of location tagging can also make you easier to find digitally. It helps put a face to a name, and users like to know who is behind the post.

Location tagging means people in the area know that you're in the area as well. Someone might tag themselves somewhere, have a click through to see what else has been posted in the location, and then randomly find your business.

7. Include contests, giveaways, and 'do it yourself' posts.

Posts which include any of the above have a much better engagement rate than posts that don't have any of those three mentioned. For example, image posts which include the term "giveaway" have an engagement rate of 0.85 percent more than a "normal" post.

It makes sense that giveaways and contests would lead to improved engagement, so if you find yourself at a loss for your next Instagram campaign, always keep these three categories in the back of your mind.

8. Use analytics to maintain the page's performance growth.

This may be the most important point on the list - track your development!

Look at the time you're posting, the type of post, the hashtags, if you've used emojis and anything else you can think of. Then you can track which posts are most liked and which ones bring new followers.

You might be surprised at what works and what doesn't for your specific audience.

It can be a slow process building your Instagram marketing approach and create a loyal following, but it's worth putting in the hard yards.

The key takeaway for a lot of the points above is that small tweaks can lead to a vastly different level of engagement. It can be as little as tweaking your captions or putting a few images in a single carousel post rather than using them over multiple posts.

Just like any other marketing strategy, you are going to have some ups and downs, but use the data to your advantage and hopefully, you'll see a quick rise in engagement.

Teodora Lozan

SaaS Marketer at Socialinsider

SaaS Marketer and Content Writer. Digging through data @Socialinsiderio to unveil actionable insights for marketing and social media professionals.
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