21 Instagram Best Practices in 2021 (1/2)

Instagram best practices

Instagram keeps being a game-changer in this online marketing world. With a lot of ways to showcase your brand, it’s only natural to seek out it intimidating. By integrating Instagram best practices, your brand will easily stand out from the crowd.

Making a consistent style, planning content, and understanding when to post is essential. However, there’s more to it. In this post, we cover Instagram best practices you need to be doing for every kind of Instagram post in 2021.

Instagram best practices for 2021

1. Know your audience

Instagram boasts over 1 billion users and that makes it a perfect platform for getting your brand the popularity it deserves. Take a look at Statista’s worldwide Instagram user growth chart:

number of Instagram users worldwide 2016-2023

Source: Statista

With so many people online, how do you identify who your viewers will be?

Let’s take a look at some key methods to narrow this down:

Who is your ideal customer?

Think about breaking down your viewers into age, location, gender, and interests. Get rid of who you don’t think will fit and go from there.

What are they interested in?

Once you’ve discovered who your target audience is, ask yourself what else they may be interested in. If a fashion brand is marketing towards young women, you’ll want your content to fit that. After all, we like to see ourselves in brands that market towards us.

Need to get more in-depth? Take a look at this template on the way to find your target audience.

2. Set SMART goals

To gain traffic, dedicated viewers, and brand recognition on Instagram, it’s essential to set S.M.A.R.T. goals (particular, measurable, attainable, related, and timely).

In fact, all of us want millions of followers, however, let’s start with your first thousand and develop from there. The important thing to gaining new viewers lies in keeping consistent content that is attractive, starts a conversation, and makes your followers want to share it with others.

Think about what you need to gain in your first month, your first 6 months, and so on.

Keeping devoted followers is equally as essential as gaining new ones. By keeping content fresh, but on-brand the audience stays compelled.

Begin with some beginner targets, such as:

  • A consistent publishing schedule.
  • Your first 1,000 followers.
  • Creating a brand hashtag.
  • A lot of comments and likes on new posts.

Pro tip: Slow and steady wins the race! When content is engaging and tailors itself to the audience like-minded people are able to hop on board and be a part of the conversation.

3. Measure performance

Having a look at how your content is doing can be shown in a number of different ways. After all, we all want our followers to skyrocket, but how much your audience interacts with your content is just as essential.

Using Instagram’s insights, you’ll be able to see how your audience engages with your content. The better you understand how and when your audience engages, the better it is to know what to post.

Click on ‘View insights’ on the bottom left of a post. From here, you’ll be able to see the number of likes, comments, shares, and more. Insights provide an in-depth look with reach and impressions.

Instagram post insights

Source: Instagram

Compare these insights on each of your posts to see what kind of content your audience is searching for. Take note of the time posted as well, since this can show you a great suggestion of when your audience is most likely active.

Take a look at our in-depth guide to Instagram analytics.

Instagram content best practices

4. Create a style guide

Instagram is a visual app, so the look and feel of your page are the number one priority. Find a style and stick to it. This might be via a color scheme or a consistent method of editing your photos. Having a set style keeps your brand uniform and recognizable when it pops up on somebody’s feed.

You don’t need the most expensive, or fancy tools to create great, engaging content. Grab your smartphone, discover some good lighting, and experiment with different photo editing apps.

Pro tip: High-quality content that compels your audience to like, comment, or share, wins every time.

5. Use a content calendar

Plan, plan, and plan some more. Consistency is essential, however, remembering to post typically isn’t always easy. The ability to pre-plan and schedule your posts ahead of time ensures that you could keep up. Think about some essential things when planning content:

  • How often would you like new content on your page? You don’t have to post every day to achieve success but post usually enough that people don’t forget about you. On the other end, ensure you’re not posting so often that people’s timelines are flooded. Unfortunately, this could result in an unfollow, or a mute.
  • Style consistency. Whether you’re utilizing the identical photo filter on everything or a curated color scheme, make your content recognizable.
  • Organizing your content in one place. Having your content and captions prepared ahead of time saves you the trouble of scrambling for a new post. The better you plan your content ahead, the easier it is to remember to post for holidays or special promotions.

Pro tip: Set aside time that’s dedicated to content creation. This will set you up for a whole month of consistent, on-brand, and interesting posts.

6. Find the most effective time to post

An excellent tool for businesses is the Insights space on your business profile. Tap the Insights button to gain access to data about your followers, such as who your audience is when they are most active online, and the way to create content.


Source: Instagram

When you’re on the insights page, tap the ‘your audience’ section to gain insight into your followers and audience.

Insights Overview

gender overview

Source: Instagram

This covers location, age, gender, and most active times. Under most active times, you’ll be able to see when the perfect time to post on Instagram is. From what day of the week, to what hour works best. These screenshots below highlight some examples of what audience insights look like.

audience insights most active times

Source: Instagram

As you can see from the above pictures, the quantity our audience appears online seems to be similar day by day. Once you begin to break it down by the hour we get a much better idea of when our audience will likely be online and most engaging.

Pro tip: Timing posts to when the audience is most likely to be online, allows for more sets of eyes to view the content. Find out one of the Instagram best practices is the best time to post on Instagram.

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