Actionable tips to be current on Instagram

by Shannon Hinderberger

In our previous blog post, we highlighted the changing landscape of the Gram, emphasizing its evolution from a simple photo-sharing app to a dynamic space for nurturing your customers and building a community. 

Whether you’re an individual user, a small business, or a marketing agency, understanding the intricacies of Instagram’s various feeds and features is crucial to staying relevant and thriving in this social media landscape.

With competition from TikTok, Instagram stepped it up by adding features like Reels and Threads and changing what you can see based on what you’re interacting with (a.k.a. the algorithm).

1. Home Feed Excellence:

Your home feed remains the heart of your Instagram experience. To truly master it, go beyond passive scrolling. Engage with the accounts you follow, comment on their posts, and participate in discussions. Instagram rewards interaction, so ensure your content is engaging to stay on top of your audience’s feeds. Additionally, explore the suggested users and sponsored content. These can introduce you to new connections, both personal and professional.

2. Storytelling through Stories: 

Instagram Stories is your canvas for real-time engagement. Use it to tell your brand’s story more spontaneously and authentically. Behind-the-scenes glimpses, sneak peeks of upcoming projects, and exclusive announcements are perfect for Stories. Their ephemeral nature sets Stories apart; they disappear in 24 hours, creating a sense of urgency for your audience to tune in regularly. Use stickers, polls, and questions to encourage real-time interactions and engage your audience.

3. Reel in New Followers

One Reel a week isn’t going to cut it anymore — and here’s why. The Reels feed is your gateway to reaching new audiences. It’s more than just a platform for entertaining videos; it’s where you can expand your brand’s reach and awareness. Reels are showcased to your existing followers in their feeds, but the magic happens when the Instagram Reels Algorithm takes over. New users can discover Your Reels in two primary ways, making it a fertile ground for growth. Craft your Reel content with the intent to invite followers rather than immediate sales. Ask thought-provoking questions, tease exciting content, and leave your viewers wanting more.

4. Profile Evolution

Your profile feed acts as the centralized hub for all your content. In the past, there was significant emphasis on maintaining a consistent, branded aesthetic. However, times have changed. With Instagram simplifying connecting with your content via the follow button next to your username in Reels, you can worry less about the aesthetics of consecutive posts. Your audience is more likely to engage directly with your content on their feed, so focus on delivering captivating, stand-alone posts.

5. Explore, Discover, and Connect:

Instagram’s Explore Feed is akin to TikTok’s For You Page (FYP). It’s personalized to your preferences and interactions, creating a unique browsing experience. Explore it regularly to discover content aligned with your interests. Engage with new discoveries, comment, and share. The more you interact, the more tailored your Explore Feed becomes, delivering content that resonates with your passions.

Mastering Instagram in 2023 involves active engagement, creative storytelling, and adapting to the changing dynamics of the platform. You’ll thrive in this evolving social media landscape by nurturing your existing community, exploring new avenues for growth, and embracing the algorithm’s nuances. Stay flexible, experiment with new strategies, and watch your Instagram presence flourish.

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