The most important lessons you can learn from the best accounts on Instagram

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You do not need to struggle for too long to find the best and biggest brands in the world on social media, particularly on one platform – Instagram. The most famous brands that include Disney, Starbucks and Nike, all have active and very prominent footprints on the platform in terms of their engagement and overall business profile, based on recent data from a marketing analytics platform.

The largest flowing on Instagram is held by the shoe company Nike, which also has a record of five times greater than Starbucks. However, Starbucks wins decisively in terms of the ratio of engagements, which is the average interactions a brand has for every 1,000 followers they have.

The obvious conclusion is that all these prominent brands have a direct advantage over their competitors, especially on the social media platform. Their products are already geared towards visual success and impact. However, what are the lessons you can learn from them, even if you are just opening up an Instagram account for business? Here are some of these lessons.

Almost all their brand engagement comes from likes

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The game to maximize your influence on Instagram is not by posting more, but increasing the engagement levels of each post you put out. The platform is not a community reactive platform but plays by the rules of sheer engagement – which is something that the Instagram algorithm confirms. Introduced in 2016, it has become the gateway to ranking Instagram posts, based on the likes, comments and shares they get.

However, you do not have to resort to the method of buying Instagram auto comments for your new posts. The best brands on the platform all have one thing in common; the likes they get drive their posts up the algorithm. In fact, this is significant enough to occupy almost 99 percent of all their interactions, while comments are simply at 1.1 percent.
Because of this fact, it means you need to be posting engaging and interesting visuals. Do not struggle so much to expect other things from the platform, as it does not operate like other social media networks.

Most of the posts come on either Thursdays or Fridays

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The best brands also reveal something interesting in their posting patterns. Most of them will post on Thursdays and Fridays, even though some of them will post regularly throughout the week. Many brands will also post during the course of a full day, although the biggest amount of posts usually happen during mid-day hours (between 11 am and 2 pm).
The midday hours tend to have higher levels of engagement, as opposed to the early morning or late evenings, mostly at engagement levels of 8.78 percent.

However, this rule does not need to apply to you. Find out the schedule that works best for you, and what applies to your business, as every industry is different. You can test the different timings and see if they make sense.

Be consistent in your brand identity

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Before you decide to open that Instagram account and post your photos or videos, it is very important to decide what themes you want to go for. Instagram is not like most social media networks – the focus is mainly a visual one, so there are additional things you need to decide like your filters and style of photographs.

The more consistent your theme is, the more it evokes certain emotions in your audience, which they will eventually associate with you. For instance, choosing a theme that emphasizes minimal décor and soft colors will evoke a feeling of style and luxury.

The consistency of your theme will help in creating your brand voice and identity. When you are posting your images, think of five emotions that you want the viewers to feel when they see your work and then figure out the best settings and feelings that bring out the essence of these feelings.

Take advantage of the grid layout to help your audience

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As long as you have operated an Instagram account for some time, you do know that part of the appeal of the platform is the grid style of its posts, which maintains a clean and efficient look. When you visit the feed of any user, you notice that each row has three photos or videos, laid out across in the form of a grid.

However, have you thought about taking advantage of this grid when you are marketing your products? It may be time consuming and detailed in terms of its planning, but it can make you stand out from the competition immediately. When it is done correctly, it will make a real impact.

For instance, you take a crisp clear picture of an artifact, but during the editing process, you enlarge it and split it into nine different images, then post each photo at different times. This creates a composite image once you post the last picture, and makes your feed look very intriguing to a visitor.

However, you need to be careful when making this decision.

Avoid ‘clogging’ your feed

While the idea of creating a composite image on your feed is very interesting, it is best to be cautious when you are posting these images. Do not overwhelm your audience with twenty images in quick succession like in a day, for instance – otherwise, they will lose interest and unfollow you.

According to the Hootsuite blog, the best advice is to stick to between nine and fifteen images, so that you do not overwhelm the feed of your consumer.

Create contests

When you think about it, it is not surprising that Instagram contests make for some engaging moments on the platform. You can consider doing it slightly differently though – use the grid layout to inform your followers about it.

Structure it like a scavenger hunt, for example, and encourage your audience to guess where the next clue is using hashtags so that their chances of winning are higher.

Final thoughts

Marketing on Instagram is not as difficult as it may seem on the surface, and as long as you manage it properly, you can gain a lot of benefits for your brand.

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