Best Practices

So you want to use Instagram for your business, but don’t know where to begin?  Keep these tips in mind as you work with the platform to generate more business!


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Instagram is gaining popularity quickly. It’s visual, it’s effective, it’s mobile and it’s pretty simple to use.  As Facebook continues to struggle with privacy issues, lower ROI on paid ad campaigns, and an overall feeling of less than transparent content, many businesses have come to rely on Instagram as the preferred way to reach their clients (of course Facebook owns Instagram so they still win).

There’s no better time than now to get started with Instagram. Following some simple guidelines can help you make the best out of your own Instagram experience.  This way you can grow your followers and increase engagement while gaining exposure for your brand.

Post beautiful, cohesive content with a great bio section

The purpose of Instagram is to provide value to your followers. You want to encourage more engagement(which we will discuss further shortly). Posting quality, coherent content that is visually pleasing will encourage people to follow and interact with your profile.

Of course it varies based on your business or brand but, your goal should be to post photos and videos that evoke emotion – happiness, humor, motivation, nostalgia, or love for example. High-quality photos with a lot of colors tend to get the most action on a profile.

Example of Cohesive Business Content

Instagram Tips

In the above image, all of the posts have a similar look and feel. This is an example of what a cohesive profile could look like. The colors complement each other, messaging is similar, and other aspects of each post are reoccurring. When building your brand, it’s incredibly important to achieve a look your followers become familiar with.

Example of Cohesive Personal Content

Instagram Tips

Personal profiles can often times be used very effectively to drive traffic to your business website.  When people are connecting with you based on the content you post, they often want to learn more about you an what you do.  By effectively using the “Bio” section, you can drive traffic to your business website.

Example of Effective "Bio" Section

Post Often and Use Hashtags Correctly and sparingly

Using hashtags is a great way to increase your reach on Instagram, encourage more engagement and even attract new followers. Most of the time though, people take it way too far. Their captions are often bloated with hashtags – many of which aren’t even relevant to the topic of their photo. If you do decide to use hashtags, make sure to keep it to a minimum, and only use keywords that are relevant.

How do you find relevant hashtags? The easiest way for most users is just to use Instagram itself. Search for your hashtag in the search bar and you will see how many posts include that hashtag, as well as related hashtags ranked by post quantity. There are other more advanced tools out there to measure hashtags, trends, and traffic, but this simple trick is usually enough for most people.

#Brevard vs #SpaceCoast

If you live in the Greater Melbourne, Florida area you could refer to the area by town name, or by using Brevard County or the Space Coast. To avoid having a hashtag bloated post, which would you use? If we perform the simple search we just discussed, we can see #spacecoast is mentioned in 165,444 posts versus the 105,939 posts #brevard is mentioned in. It is safe to say the #spacecoast is more popular and likely more searched for.

Posting often is key, but we hear clients consistently tell us they do not know what to post about.  Notice there are also related hashtags that may give you ideas for future content. You can also alternate between hashtags on different posts. One week you could focus on #spacecoast, and the next on #brevard, and then see if there is a difference in engagement.  Search for related hashtags for you industry, brand, or even interests.  It could help spark some new ideas for content in the future.

engagement and follower to following ratio matters

Everyone wants to consider themselves an “influencer” these days.  In fact, many people claiming to be influencers sell sponsored posts to business to promote other products and brands.  This is a great way to spend marketing dollars for your company if it will be effective.  So how can you tell if you should align your brand with someone instagram?

1.  Check Post Engagement.  If an influencer has real followers, you should expect real engagement.  If you research this online, you will find the average Instagram engagement rate to be considered an influencer (based on a large number of followers 10,000+) is somewhere between 3%-5%.  In our experience working with clients, we find it is most effective for a business to have between 10%-15% engagement, and 20%-25% for a “personal” brand.  To do the math, take your total engagement (likes + comments), divide it by your total followers, then multiply by 100.  Example: 2500 like and comments/ 10,000 followers = 0.25 x100 = 25%

2.  Never Buy Followers. You can very easily purchase “followers” for your profile, though you can expect your engagement to be very low.  It is a tell tale sign when someone has 10,000 follower, but only 15 likes or comments per post.  If you find this to be the case, it is likely the followers have been purchased to make the profile look popular.  Building a following takes a lot of work and good content, but in the long run it equals more trust and therefor conversions to dollars for  your business.

3. Follower to Following Ration Matters. Generally speaking, our thought process goes back to the same 20 to 25% ration when it comes to followers versus following.  Simply put, if you are an influencer and post quality content on a consisstent basis for your followers, you should have have more followers than you are following.  A perfect profile (in our humble opinion) with 10,000 followers would be following no more than 2,500 (preferably less) and have average post engagement be around 2,500 as well.  It looks bad to other people on instagram when you follow more people than are following you.

Example of Ratios

There are tools to help you manage these metrics that are inexpensive. They help you keep track of who you are following versus who is following you, who engages with you the most, and a lot more. Most options are less than $10 in the iTunes or Google store.

No matter how you do it, do not let anyone tell you that post engagement and follower to following ratio is less important than total followers.

Any social media profile is essentially your own mini website.  If you had an online store would you prefer 10,000 visits and no purchases, or 5,000 visits and $1,250 in purchases?  Your social media profiles are no different, drive targeted traffic to your profiles by providing the product followers want – 

Beautiful and Cohesive content Posted Consistently 

Don’t have time to manage your Instagram page or other social media accounts?  Echo Digital Solutions can help you with content creation social media profile management.  Give us a call to learn how we can make your social media more effective !