Instagram have hit a major milestone this week.
The picture and video sharing app – which Facebook bought for $1 billion in 2012 – this week announced that it has reached 300 million monthly active users. This is a big deal as it overtakes the 284 million that Twitter has, according to their official stats.
In two more big steps forward, Instagram have begun to verify accounts and alter follower counts by clearing out spammers.
Last month, the app introduced a People tab in their explore section, making it easier to discover interesting account to follow. With so many people using the feature, the need to know if the celebrity or brand you’ve found is the real deal has never been higher. From this week, verified badges will be awarded to athletes, teams, celebrities, bands and brands to authenticate their presence. These will start to appear in the next few days.
At the same time, the Instagram team will be going through and deactivating spam accounts to “improve your experience.” The clear out will delete bots and inactive accounts too, which will effect the number of followers some brands and personalities have. It will also give you a truer indication of your audience. With a reported 70 million videos and pictures being posted each day, the platform is keen to stay on top of their user base with this December spring clean.
This news is a good time to check that you are making the most of your brand’s Instagram presence.
Here are some tips to bear in mind:
1. Plan your posts
Like any social strategy, planning ahead helps you to create a good variety of highly engaging posts, without any panic.
2. Use #hashtags
It’s a no-brainer, but the use of quality hash tags will put your content in front of a wider audience. On average, posts with seven hash tags get the most engagement.
3. Know when to post
The most popular time to post content is around 2-3pm, but videos are watched most between 9pm and 8am.
4. Post quality visuals
Taco Bell are a brand doing well on Instagram because they post visuals relevant to their audience, from the consumer’s point of view.
5. Post regularly
Another obvious one, but being consistent with your posts keeps your audience interested.
6. Make the most of user generated content
Nothing builds brand affinity on Instagram like having your image used by the brand you love. Remember to accredit the original poster with a tag and/or “@mention” – it’s just good manners.
Over to you
What are your thoughts? Is Instagram part of your marketing strategy?