4 Tips to Optimize Your Instagram Strategy

Simple tips to enhance your Instagram presence and increase your content's reach and impact.

Instagram is one of the most popular social media channels that brands use to connect with fans on a regular basis. The following are simple tips to optimize your Instagram strategy and help your content be delivered to and seen by more people.

Publish consistently

It all starts with a solid foundation for content strategy (understanding who your audience is and what type of content they are seeking from you). From there, it takes making a commitment to post regularly. My #CSUSocial team posts once a day to Instagram, Monday through Friday, and occasionally on the weekends.

Consistently publishing to Instagram is a critical way to influence the Instagram algorithm. By posting regularly, you are giving your audience opportunities to connect with your content and in doing so, it is more likely your content will appear in your followers’ feeds. Read more about how the Instagram Algorithm works in 2021.

Use Stories

If you are not already, it’s time to start experimenting with Instagram Stories. Not sure what to post? Here are 10 ideas for Instagram Stories. Stories are another way for your audience to connect with your content, so it’s a good idea to consistently post to Instagram Stories (you may be sensing a theme here). My team typically posts to Instagram Stories Monday through Friday, and occasionally on the weekends.

Use a link service

A tricky thing about Instagram is finding ways to share clickable links. The only place Instagram allows a clickable link on account profiles is in the bio. Using the bio link to drive people to your main website is a popular choice. If you’re looking to drive people to links based on content in your feed, I highly recommend using a link service.

Using a link service like Later’s Linkin.bio (this is the service my team uses) or LinkTree offers the ability to share multiple links associated with content on your feed.

Screenshot of CSU's Instagram profile with arrow pointing to the linkin.bio section

For example, in this post we want to share the full story about Ivar the puppy and the treatment he received as a patient at our Veterinary Teaching Hospital. In the feed caption, we used the text: Read the story in our bio link 🔗

Screenshot of Ivar the puppy post on CSU's Instagram

When users click on CSU’s bio link, they see a grid of images. When they tap an image, the link service directs them to the corresponding website pages we selected to accompany the feed post.

Screenshot of gallery of images available on the link service grid on CSU's Instagram.

Using a link service is a simple way to drive traffic to relevant pages on your website. Since we began using Linkin.bio, we’ve been able to direct Instagram traffic to CSU’s news and information hub, SOURCE. Read more about other ways to share links on Instagram.

Understand the best time to post

There are two factors of Instagram’s algorithm – timeliness and relevance – that need to be considered when determining when is the best time to post your content. The best time to post to Instagram is when your audience is online and scrolling through the app, therefore making your content timely. Instagram also wants to deliver content to users that regularly engage with that type of content, AKA, relevant content.

Instagram Insights shows the days and times your followers are most active on the platform. You will need an Instagram business profile to access the insights. Select the Audience tab to see some demographic data about your followers including their most active times. Based on the example below, an ideal time for my team to post to Instagram on Wednesdays is roughly 6 p.m.Screenshot of CSU's Instagram bio with an arrow pointing to the Insights section; view of the Audience section inside Insights with arrow pointing to Most Active Times data

One thing to note, that insights data only goes back a week so you will need to experiment to understand what works best for your brand and audience needs.

According to a Later article about the best times to post on Instagram, “Instagram’s algorithm gives more weight to the time that something is posted. So does this mean the chronological feed is back? Not exactly. Instagram adjusted their current algorithm so that, among other things, very old content doesn’t constantly get bumped up in people’s feeds. Basically, it gives priority to newer content.”

In a nutshell, it is super important to understand when your audience is online and serve them content during that time. I also recommend checking out a Buffer article with more tips about how to find your best time to post on Instagram in 2021.