Last year, my friend checked her Instagram engagement numbers and noticed something unusual.
“I used to get lots of likes and comments, but now it has totally dropped off,” she told me.
I asked her what she was doing differently.
And that was the issue.
Instagram has changed a lot since it first launched in 2010.
They now have 800,000,000 monthly active users.
And while that number is incredible, what is more striking is the rate at which the platform is growing.
In 2013, it had 100,000,000 users.
In 2016, it had 500,000,000 users.
By April 2017, it had 700,000,000 users.
By September 2017, it had 800,000,000 users.
This means its user base rocketed by 100,000,000 users in five months.
This graph maps out Instagram’s impressive growth numbers over the years.
Since Instagram is purely visual, it’s an incredibly captivating way to make a connection with your customers.
But only if you know how to use it in 2018.
Let’s take a look at the top Instagram trends all marketers need to know about in 2018.
1. Instagram is becoming ‘pay to play’
At first, access to 800 million users might sound like a marketer’s dream.
But the more you think about that number, 800 million users means more competition.
And more clutter.
To make matters worse, Instagram continues to make changes to their algorithm, negatively affecting brands’ organic reach.
In March 2018, Instagram announced that “introducing [algorithm] changes to give you more control over your feed and ensure the posts you see are timely.”
These changes include:
Testing a “new posts” button to help users control when their page refreshes to see new posts in their timeline
An update “to ensure that newer posts are more likely to appear first in your feed.”
What does this mean? Instagram is still toying with their algorithm.
Good for users. Bad for brands.
That said, it isn’t all doom and gloom for businesses.
For one thing, 8 out of 10 users follow at least one business.
Increased competition means more saturation. That fact, combined with decreasing organic reach, means you’re going to have to pay to play in 2018.
Promoting your basic Instagram posts isn’t the same as running an Instagram ad campaign. But it is your best shot at getting content to stick out from the crowd.
Only Instagram Business Accounts have access to promoting posts.
To get started, make sure your profile is set to public. You can do this by heading over to your profile.
Then click the gear shift wheel icon and switch to a Business Profile.
Setting up a boosted ad is one thing, but knowing which posts to boost is another.
Naturally, you’ll only want to boost posts that people are engaging with.
Your Insights will quickly aggregate all of this basic reach data.
To get even more engagement for your posts, you need to pick the right hashtags.
How to pick your hashtags
If you use trending hashtags that are relevant to your audience, your posts’ discoverability will increase.
But how do you make sure you pick the right ones?
Well, there are a variety of tools that can help you decide which hashtags are the right ones for you:
Command – This tool will show you how your hashtags are performing. However, it is only available in the App Store for iOS users for $1.99 – $9.99.
Hashtagify – This is a free service that will allow you to search any hashtag. It will provide you with the hashtag’s popularity, current trend, and other related hashtags to consider.
KeyHole – This tool is interesting because it allows you to track a hashtag in real-time, provided up-to-date data on the hashtag over a set period of time.
SeekMetrics – SeekMetrics’ Hashtag Generator will source popular hashtags based on the keywords you input.
But how many should you add to a single post?
Read entire article at https://blog.kissmetrics.com/instagram-marketing-trends/
About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.
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