Facebook has published a new set of tips aimed at helping Instagram creators make the most of the platform. And while some of them are fairly common pointers, it is worth noting the more specific details included - especially as they're coming from Instagram's own team, and therefore based on internal data and insight.
The first four tips in the new guide are fairly generic - anyone who's a regular SMT reader, or has conducted research into building an Instagram following will have heard these, or variations of them, over time:
- Keep it real
- Post frequently and get creative
- Get closer to your fans
- Be a Storyteller
Those are all good and relevant points, but as noted, you've likely heard them before - though Facebook does include a couple of specific notes of interests in its listings.
- "Make a goal of posting at least once across Feed, Stories, Live and IGTV per week" - This is also fairly common advice, but it's interesting that Facebook has made a note of only aiming for at least one post per week, and has included IGTV - though, of course, promoting IGTV is part of the push.
- "Use the questions sticker or @mention fans in Stories to spread the fan love" - Instagram has added a range of tools to help generate more engagement and connection, and this is a solid tip for those looking to maximize their Stories performance. If you want to boost interaction, directly prompting such is a good way to do so.
- "Add context to your posts so your fans feel like they're with you in the moment." - The guide suggests that you share your ride to a venue, or your reaction to a moment with a fan, "or even your morning workout". These elements can add a more human touch, which can bring you closer to your followers, which is a key aspect of Stories, in particular. If you're not sure what to post to Stories, this is a good tip to consider.
But it's in the last few notes that the guide makes some more valuable, specific recommendations to help guide your Insta strategy.
5. Upload longer Stories
"You can now post longer videos to stories, recording past 15 seconds and up to 1 minute. It's also now easier to upload multiple photos and videos at once."
As explained by Facebook, now, as you record your video in the Instagram camera, a thumbnail tray will appear to indicate how many videos you've recorded so far.
"Every 15 seconds of recorded or uploaded media is turned into its own video, and you can record up to four videos for a total duration of 1 minute in a single session."
This is a good option for those looking to share longer video messages within Stories, and expand engagement potential. In addition, last year, Instagram added the capability to upload multiple images or videos at once by tapping the 'Select multiple' icon at the top right of your camera roll. You can then select up to 10 photos or videos which will be immediately transformed into their own, individual Stories frames.
This gives users more options to create their Stories content, more easily, and could be particularly beneficial for those brands which are creating content outside of Instagram and are looking for an easier way to upload it into the Stories flow.
6. Branded Content 1, 2, 3's
The guide also provides some notes for branded content on the platform.
With influencer marketing on the rise, particularly on Instagram, these are some important pointers to keep in mind for your influencer originated material.
The latter two points also work from the perspective of brands - businesses should work with influencers whose content fits with their strategy and voice, while brands should also take note of the fact that 'fans don't want to be sold to' in influencer relationships, and ensure that there's a natural, genuine and mutual fit.
7. Steps to promote your IGTV content
The last point is aimed at IGTV specifically, but the tips, and accompanying visual, could actually apply to almost any type of promotion on Instagram.
Specifically, Facebook advises the following promotion schedule for coming IGTV releases:
- Three days before - Share behind-the-scenes content from your upcoming video on Stories
- Two days before - Post a countdown sticker to your Stories
- During upload - Post a preview of your IGTV video in the Feed
- 1-10 minutes after - Use the IGTV share sticker in your Stories
- 1-10 minutes after - Post the permalink to your IGTV video across Facebook and other social apps
- 1 day after - Go Live to discuss reactions to your IGTV video
Vary the recommended timings as required, and you could use this outline to promote almost anything on the platform, be it a new product, a new blog post, a new video on your site, etc. While, definitely, if you're looking to utilize IGTV, this is a solid structure to follow, but it's also an interesting framework to consider for any campaign you're seeking to boost.
As noted, much of the guide is dedicated to tips similar to those you would have read elsewhere, but it is worth checking out, especially if you're looking to ensure that you're making the best possible use of Instagram for promotion, and connection with your audience.
You can read the full Facebook Creators 'Instagram Creator Guide' here.