News just in: Even though many don’t know this, it’s more than possible to use links on Instagram.
Instagram is one of the hottest new tools for business and social engagement. But do you know the best way to get the absolute most out of it? Once you understand the basics of how it works, Instagram can be just the thing to get your all-important message to the masses.
Your goal with any social engagement is to drive traffic to your business website, blog, or online store. The most beneficial way to do this is by using links.
But there’s just one minor issue with this. The way Instagram makes the bulk of its money is by showing its frequent scrollers ads. If people click on outbound links and leave Instagram, there’s no one to view its ads. To supplement this, Instagram doesn’t allow you to use links to other websites freely.
So how do you get your followers to visit your website?
Best Tips And Tricks To Increase Traffic
Use Links in Your Bio
The first place new followers look when they visit your profile is your bio. So your bio is prime real estate for an outbound link to your business or online store. You can only use a single link in your bio due to Instagram’s one link rule; optimizing your one link opportunity is integral.
When linking to your website, the best practice is to link to your home page, not your landing page. Your home page is where new followers can get the most comprehensive picture of who you are and what you do. All that a landing page does is entice visitors to check out your home page.
In the case of Instagram, your profile should be considered your landing page and be all the enticement a potential client needs to visit your website’s home page.
If you’re linking to your online store, it might be wise to link your bio to your latest offerings or most popular content. Chances are, any new followers clicking on a link in your bio will already be primed to explore your product directly and maybe even make a purchase.
Get Creative. Add Links to Your Posts
Would you be surprised to learn that you can’t use links in your post descriptions? There’s a simple workaround, though, a Call-To-Action. A CTA at the end of your post coupled with a naked URL is a great way to make your Instagram posts work for you.
The most popular CTA in use for business posts is “Click the link.” CTAs add extra encouragement by telling people what to do next, as sometimes people need a little push.
Your posts should be striking and bold and fit with your branding so that followers recognize your posts in their feed immediately. You should be straightforward and concise in your description so that potential visitors know exactly what you are offering.
Tailor your offers to the people most inclined to support you, determine who your key demographic is and what kind of marketing strategies they respond to with the most enthusiasm. As your following grows, you’ll be able to tell what CTAs, descriptions, and posts work best with your core demographic.
Tips and Tricks to Hack Instagram like a Boss
It’s a Balancing Act
It would be best if you tried to strike a balance between content that is inspirational and promotional. If all you do is try to push your business with the same hard-sell tactics and CTAs, followers may get bored and click the dreaded unfollow button.
Try to include human interest pieces about your business or products and how they help others, not just you. This is a brilliant place to feature things like charities you support, social causes you feel strongly about that align with your business or product, and feel-good posts to provide relief from the business side of things.
Whether you’re marketing your business or highlighting your latest products, it’s important to remember that Instagram is a social network at its core. Manage the comments under your posts, take to heart what your followers say about your content.
Take to Direct Messaging to communicate more personally with your clients, learn more about what they want to see, and maybe work in a few special limited-time offers to entice people to keep coming back to your website.
If clients ask, DMs are the perfect place to get a little more generous with links. Link your clientele up with products that will interest them and drive more traffic to your business.
New followers would also benefit from an introduction message straight to their DMs with links to your top content.
Use Stimulating High-Quality Visuals
No one follows an Instagram account because it’s bland, boring, and basic. Ensure that your posts are eye-catching enough to hold users’ attention, make a statement, and set your content apart.
For photographs of people and places, do a double-check:
- Get the sharpest light on the side of the subject.
- No random shadows or obstructions in front of the subject.
- Don’t get carried away with sunray filters that obscure your subject.
For more filter hacks, try the Filtertune app and filter like an influencer.
Unless it’s on-brand, don’t make your background too busy. Let your product or your subject be the focus of your viewer’s attention.
One of the best things for selfies and team photos is checking out how to fix red eye on Instagram with Facetune’s Instagram editor app.
The most efficient way to describe hashtags is that they function as a filing system for social media content.
Essential guide to using hashtags:
- Always start with a #
- Don’t use spaces, symbols, or punctuation. Your hashtag won’t work
- Keep it simple. Don’t make a long string of words and call it a hashtag
#Short #Sweet #Simple
- Don’t use too many, as Instagram has a limit of 30 hashtags per caption
Learn more about the history and usage of the mighty hashtag here.
Because of Instagram’s new algorithm, which we’ll explore below, knowing when to post and doing so consistently is the latest secret weapon in Instagram usage. Figure out which part of the world the bulk of your most loyal followers are from and post consistently when they are online and actively scrolling.
Now it’s a fact that not everyone has the kind of schedule that allows for consistent manual posting. Luckily it’s 2021, and according to a Sked Social blog, there are seven ways to put an automatic scheduling twist on your Instagram posts. Gone are the days of planning your day around when your most active followers are scrolling.
Understanding the New Instagram Algorithm
Instagram used to work on a purely chronological algorithm. This means that the only factor that mattered was when you posted. You saw the most recently published content first, and that was that.
This is no longer the case.
The Algorithm and Feed Posts
Six key factors now influence how the algorithm decides what you see in your feed.
- Interest. Instagram now bases how your feed appears on who you follow as well as posts, hashtags, and accounts you’ve interacted with before. If the algorithm thinks you’re more likely to react to a specific post, it’ll make sure it shows up in your feed.
Instagram also cares about the people you tag in your posts; their posts will show up as priority accounts. Comments, likes, and shares are the most critical engagements, and the way you use them matters to the algorithm.
- Relationship. The algorithm prioritizes content from family and friends. The same will be done for accounts Instagram thinks you have a relationship with. These will be accounts that you send Direct Messages to like, share, and comment on often. The algorithm can theoretically calculate which accounts you care about the most.
- Timeliness. The algorithm also tracks when your content is posted. Instagram always wants to show the most relevant and recent content, so it’s good to find out when your best time to post is. The optimal time to post in general is between 9 am, and 11 am EST. It’s important to remember that every account has its unique following.
What this means is if you’re big in Japan, find out when Japan is generally most active on Instagram and let that be your perfect posting time. Try to keep your most important posts for the weekdays, but don’t post during heavy work hours. Instead, schedule your posts for after work hours.
- Frequency. One way to ensure your feed is more chronological is to be active on Instagram more frequently. If you only open Instagram once a week, your feed will be prioritized by relevance rather than time
- Following. The more accounts you follow, the more Instagram can choose from when deciding what content to show you first. It’s safe to say you won’t necessarily see all the posts from all the accounts you follow unless you are super involved and near-permanently scrolling down your feed. One way to help Instagram along a little is by unfollowing primarily inactive and “ghost” accounts.
- Usage. Theoretically, if you spend enough time on Instagram, you could potentially run out of new content to see. The algorithm will then need to show you suggested content based on your previous interactions.
This also means that if you spend more time scrolling, you’ll see more content because Instagram will have to dig deeper to find relevant content for you to interact with. On the flip side, if you spend only a few minutes scrolling, you’ll likely only see the day’s highlights of what Instagram deems relevant.
The Algorithm and Stories
According to the algorithm, the stories from accounts that you interact with the most, be it by commenting, Direct Messaging, liking, or sharing, will show up first. This means stories from family and friends will be prioritized too.
Paying attention to everything covered so far is a sure-fire way to increase your following and drive more traffic to where you do the bulk of your business.
The biggest takeaway from all this is that if you want your content to be prioritized on people’s feeds, they need to interact with your posts. To get people to interact with your posts, you need to entice them to do so by making sure your posts grab their attention, and your cleverly placed links do their job of directing traffic to your home page.
Interact with your key demographic, and they might feel more inclined to support you. Provide incentives, and your key demographic will be even more predisposed to favor your content. The more you interact with your followers and the more motivation they have to interact with you, the higher your rank will be.
Above all, be good to the Instagram algorithm, and the algorithm will, in turn, be good to you.
This guest post is written by Kyla Stewart.