October 2020 will mark a decade since Instagram was first launched. Since its birth, Instagram has evolved and matured to become a powerful tool for marketers. Now, with the popularity of 15-second videos integrated with Instagram, marketers recognize the formidable marriage of the two.
Social media tool marketer SocialPilot reports that 80 percent of the more than 3.5 billion worldwide social media users follow one or more businesses on Instagram. They went on to say that more than two million advertisers use Instagram monthly to actively engage the more than 800 million people who are on the platform each month.
Marketers should also note that nearly 60 percent of micro-influencers say they receive the best interaction on Instagram. Unlike celebrity influencers, micro-influencers generally engage their audiences of one to ten thousand followers more frequently. SocialPilot reported that 60 percent of Instagram users are on there daily.
In a more recent survey in the spring of 2019, and less than a month after Instagram revised its shopping platform, financial services giant Piper Jaffrey found that Instagram is particularly powerful in marketing to Generation Z: 70 percent of that demographic said they prefer Instagram for shopping.
Marketers wishing to jump aboard the Instagram train should hire someone thoroughly versed in this media or ensure that the appropriate person on staff has the proper training to manage not just Instagram, but also the brand’s other social media. One of his/her priorities should be publishing consistent content on a regularly scheduled basis.
Another priority would include a plan to measure progress based on goals. The results should be reported monthly and adjusted, when necessary. Analysis as to what went well and what didn’t is important and would likely benefit from group input from everyone involved in the plan.
Captions that are compelling are important, and here again, feedback and ideas from team members can be invaluable. Subscribing to posts and publications from experts in the field can also be stimulating and thought-provoking.
The best time to post?
Later, one of the platforms for Instagram, analyzed 12 million Instagram posts and concluded that the best time to post is between 9am and 11am eastern. The company also acknowledged that the best time could vary depending upon the nature of the business because of its different publics and perhaps time zones.
One of the best ways to determine a company’s best time is to analyze data from past posts to see when most people are active. Another is to survey consumers and ask them or use Instagram’s native analytics tool. Companies would need to establish Instagram business and creator profiles as well.
Later also dug deeper into its survey and reported that different days revealed a diversity of best times to post. For Monday, it was 6 and 10am and 10pm. Tuesday came in at 2 and 4am and 10pm. Wednesday rang in at 7 and 8am and 11pm, while Thursday reported in at 9am, noon and 7pm. Friday was 5am, 1 and 3pm, and Saturday 11am and 7 and 8pm. Sunday showed 7 and 8am and 4pm. All times reported are eastern.
Whatever is decided, experiment with the messaging and times to see what appeals best with the company’s target audience(s) and what drives the most attention and traffic. Be adaptable to change.