Instagram is changing, which means your strategy should be too.
You’re not the only one. Instagram has rolled out tons of features over the last 12 months, making it almost impossible to know where to focus your efforts for the best results.
Which is why this year, we recommend taking a more scientific approach to your Instagram strategy – pairing key objectives with the features and tactics needed to help you achieve them.
Lab coats and goggles at the ready, this is our three-part formula for success in 2022:
Part #1: Reach New Audiences on Instagram
If you’re serious about your Instagram strategy, the first step is to focus on reaching new audiences.
And the good news is that there are now tons of features, as well as tactics you can use, to increase your reach on Instagram.
Instagram Tactics for Reaching New Audiences:
Instagram Collabs: Tap into new audiences by co-authoring a feed post or Reel with another Instagram user.
Instagram Reels: Consistently share Reels that align with your niche to reach new audiences via Instagram’s suggested content feeds. Include 3-5 relevant hashtags in your captions to help the Instagram Reels algorithm categorize your content, and always share a preview to your Instagram feed to boost your reach.
Instagram Carousel Posts: Carousel posts are the perfect format for sharing educational or insightful content – from step-by-step guides to personalized recommendations – and they’re super shareable. More shares = greater reach.
Giveaways: Hosting a giveaway is a real fast-pass for boosting reach, especially when the entry requirements include tagging friends or sharing a post on stories.
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Part #2: Convert Profile Visitors into Instagram Followers
Once you’ve successfully reached new audiences on Instagram, the next step is to convert them into followers.
To use a fishing analogy, you can cast a line out as many times as you like – but without the right bait, you probably won’t get a catch.
So with this in mind, here are four tactics to convert visitors to your profile into followers.
Instagram Tactics for Converting Visitors into Followers:
Profile Picture and Bio: A well-crafted profile bio and picture tells your audience what you’re all about – it’s the sign above your shop door that encourages people to walk in.
Content Niche: Having a clear and consistent niche convinces visitors that your content is aligned with their interests. The more obvious your niche is, the more likely people will follow your account.
Stories Highlights: Instagram Stories Highlights are right at the top of your Instagram profile, making them great for giving a quick preview of what your day-to-day content is all about. Make sure your highlights are up to date, reflect your main content themes, and visually support your brand.
Feed Aesthetic: First impressions count! Curating a grid that clearly showcases your content themes and values is still one of the best ways to convert visitors to followers.
Ready to level-up your Instagram feed aesthetic? Later’s Visual Planner tool lets you preview your Instagram grid before you post, so your feed is always on point. Available on mobile and desktop, for free.
Part #3: Build Community on Instagram
The final part of our formula for Instagram success is to cultivate a strong and engaged community.
You’ve successfully reached new users and converted them into followers, now you’ve got to make sure you keep them.
Plus, the more engaged your audience is, the stronger your profile will be – which in turn will help you reach more audiences going forward. It’s the perfect recipe for growth.
Fortunately, Instagram is packed full of features that are great for encouraging a sense of community and driving engagement. Here are the top five to focus on in 2022.
Instagram Tactics for Community Building:
Instagram Stories: Stories are designed to be informal and interactive, making them the perfect channel for conversational content. Use interactive stickers (such as polls and emoji sliders) to entice as many engagements as possible, and show up on camera to help humanize your brand. Experiment with Close Friends lists to serve exclusive content to hyper-engaged users.
Comments: When it comes to fostering community, listening is just as important as speaking. Take time to reply to comments and encourage conversations – add a call to action to your Instagram captions and use the Pinned Comments feature to help shape the dialogue.
Instagram Live: Live broadcasts are direct and unedited, making them the perfect channel to connect with your audience on a more personal level. Plus, you can now schedule Instagram Lives, which is great for building hype and boosting view counts.
Memes: If you still think memes are reserved for joke accounts, think again. In 2022, memes are key for connecting with your community and generating engagement. From cute animals to funny TV show clips, the meme reigns supreme. If you’re looking for inspiration, think about what your audience really loves – or hates – and consider how these sentiments could play out as text overlays on trending visuals.
Guides: Instagram Guides is a relatively underused tool in the Instagram arsenal, but one that is great for community building. Guides can be used to provide a valuable service to your community – from travel guides and product picks, to curated lists of educational posts.
And that’s it!
It may feel like a lot of different content types to manage, but you don’t have to cover everything at once.
You can split deliverables into weekly and monthly requirements for a more digestible Instagram strategy.
For example, you could aim to deliver the following every week:
2-3 x Feed posts
1-2 x Instagram Reels
4-6 x Instagram Stories
And then deliver the following at a lower frequency, perhaps monthly:
1 x Live broadcast
1 x Guides
1-2 x Collabs
If this feels like too much, you can dial it down to fit your capacity. Alternatively, if you have more time to dedicate to content creation, you could scale up each output.
Whatever approach you take, the most important element is to focus on quality, community-focused content that supports your niche.
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