With over a billion active users, the recent launch of Instagram Reels, and a new monopoly in the aesthetic sector of social media, Instagram can be a goldmine for the right company with the right strategy.
That said, if you’ve tried it, you may have realized that it’s not the simplistic photo-based platform that it used to be. In fact, Instagram is more of a microcosm within the social media universe, with different aspects and characteristics that can take you (and your audience) in several different directions.
Like we said, Instagram is a multi-faceted platform with many options on how to connect with your followers and your overall target audience. There is no one way to post. So if you want to understand how to use the platform, you have to understand how it is designed to be used.
The Instagram feed is the fundamental feature of the platform. While it has evolved over the years, the user experience hasn’t changed much. The feed is where you post images and videos that you want to be visible directly on your profile and on your followers’ feeds.
The best way to use your feed is to create an aesthetic for your brand.
Think in terms of “first impressions”. What do you want your followers to think and feel about your brand as a whole? What do you want to be associated with? Put those visuals in your feed, where they will stay long term while capturing the attention of your audience (and potential new followers).
Stories are probably the most popular feature on Instagram. They appease shorter and shorter attention spans while giving creators enough space to convey a highly engaging message.
Built to compete with Snapchat, Instagram Stories give you 15 seconds to record a video or image that grabs your audience’s attention and expires after 24 hours.
They also come with interactive features like questions and polls, encouraging your followers to interact with you directly (without having to try too hard).
Use stories to start conversations, run short-term promotions, provide news updates to your followers, provide snapshots of a day in the life, and take advantage of the wave of current events.
IGTV is exactly what its name suggests, a television station located within the Instagram platform. This is where you can host longer videos that include interviews, tutorials, long-form creative segments, or whatever your audience cares about.
Instagram Live gives you the ability to connect with your followers on their stories in real time. This is a great feature for connecting with them by asking questions and answers, giving live announcements of product / service changes and launches, and live behind-the-scenes tours with you.
Diehard fans love the opportunity to connect directly with brand leaders to engage with them.
Ultimately, you want to find a good balance between using each type of post listed, so that your users have different ways of interacting and engaging with you.