In short: It’s a marketer’s paradise.
Millions of active users are actively refreshing for 15+ minutes each day, just waiting for the next post.
However, are they actually looking for you? Can they find your posts?
60% of Instagram users say they’ve learned about products via Instagram. But the trick is knowing how to target those users.
To do so, you need to know where they hang out.
Here’s how you can leverage your followers (through a little spying) to increase your Instagram sales.
Recon with Socialinsight.io
Socialinsight.io can help you track followers.
Understanding their behavior unlocks everything else.
You’ll know just what to post, when to post, and what tags to use to increase engagement. You’ll even know page popularity and ultimately, sales.
To get started, sign-up and link your instagram account.
Once you’ve done all the preliminary stuff, you’ll get to your account page.
On the left, there will be a dashboard that looks like this:
Go to “Follower Insights” to get more insights on your followers.
You’ll see a list of your followers. Click on a follower to get a detailed review of their account.
You should be able to see the number of posts, followers, and how many people this account is following.
Scroll down, and you can also see the three most popular posts for this account.
If you’re looking for data on a certain type of follower, or are curious how many of a certain type of follower you have, you can go to the top right corner and select Apply Filters.
You can search for followers by username, name, a word in their bio, or the location from which they last posted.
You can also use this feature to gain more specific insights.
For example, if you type “business” in the bio keyword box, you can see how many businesses are following you.
Scroll down on this menu to view filters you can add to narrow down your followers list:
Here, you can rearrange the order of your followers list, sorting by who has the most followers, which accounts are private, and more.
You can use the scale at the bottom to zero in on highly-popular or less-known accounts.
For example, if you wanted info on how to engage with real customers (not businesses) you might consider capping follower number to about 5000:
Hit apply to get a list of people who have a number of followers in the set range.
You now have an updated list of the specific demographic you want to know more about.
This information will be pivotal for telling you about user behavior, when to post, and what type of content will be most engaging, so pay attention to it.
Let’s check out a few of those right now.
Time your posts
Timing is everything.
People use Instagram for a variety of reasons. But they also use it at different points throughout the day depending on their goals.
Do they just want to be entertained or are they looking for something in particular?
According to a study, days of the week can affect motivations (and buying decisions).
The study shows that Wednesday is the best day to post if you’re looking for likes and comments (4.9 likes/comments per follower on average), while Monday is the least engaging day.
The hour of the day also impacts engagement.
According to the author of the study, 5 p.m. is the most engaging time of the day:
“We think this is because less people are posting at that time and that more engaged users are using Instagram at that time,” he says.
But this doesn’t mean that posting on Wednesday at 5 p.m. will improve your sales automatically.
Other timing factors coming into play that can affect conversions as well.
Time zones, for instance, can impact the engagement rates. If you’re posting at 5 p.m. ET, it may be midnight or later for international followers.
Your followers may also have different behavioral patterns based on who they are.
If your core audience is businesses, for example, you might find better engagement on a Monday than a typical ecommerce Instagram account would.
Or if they’re night owls, you may find a later evening post to be more effective.
In one poll, 50% of social media managers said that evenings from 7-9 p.m. were actually the best time to post on Instagram for younger audiences (basically, don’t be afraid to experiment).
This is where having a tool like Socialinsight.io comes in handy.
You can use the analytics tool to find out what times your posts got the most (and the least) engagement from your followers.
Go to the left-hand dashboard and select “Analytics” to view this drop down menu.
Next, choose “Post Performance.”
After the redirect, you’ll see something like this at the top of the page:
This calendar ranks the times of your past posts. You can use it to find the best and worst times for your account.
If you can’t post at the ideal times for some reason, don’t worry!
You can use Socialinsight.io’s Schedule Post tool to automatically update your account during your peak hours.
Just go to schedule post on your dashboard and you can flip through the calendar to select a day to post.
Click on the day, and you’ll be walked through the process to post.
Keep in mind that the “best time of day” can shift over time.
You want to track your metrics over time, find patterns, and experiment with posting schedules to get the best results.
Know your engagement history
If you’re not sure whether or not your audience is engaging the way you want, you can also use Socialinsight.io to look at your engagement history.
Under the Engagement tab in the Analytics drop down menu, you can get this information.
Due to Instagram’s API limits Socialinsight.io cannot pull historical data so you’ll want to link your account as soon as you can.
In the top right corner, set the time period for which you’d like to view your account statistics.
You will be able to see several things that you wouldn’t see on Instagram, how many likes your posts have gotten on average this week, and how many interactions (likes and shares) you’ve received.
Scroll down to view a pie chart showing how many photos or videos you have posted this week, and which of those mediums have accounted for what portion of your total engagement.
Below that, you can view which filters you have used this week. That way, it will be easy to spot which ones have received the most engagements.
You can go to Analytics, then “Follower Growth” to see graphs of how many followers you’ve lost or gained. Net follower growth for the week will also be displayed.
If the data from Socialinsight.io isn’t current, go back to the “Follower Insight” tab and click the “Update” button at the top right of your screen to import your latest Instagram data.
This will give you the most accurate results and help you understand your audience’s behaviors over time.
“Regram” your followers’ posts
Okay. So you’ve spent some time tracking engagement. You’re timing posts during peak days and hours.
Well, now you have to use that data to create a connection that leads to conversions.
One of the best ways to do that is by including your users’ content on your own feed – also known as “regramming.”
Regramming helps you build trust with your followers.
They feel connected to your brand because you’re recognizing them.
Bigger brands like Tic Tac (@tictacglobal) do a great job of this:
Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t make it easy to repost other’s content on your own page.
You will most likely have to use another app like Repost It! Free to reshare a post and credit the creator. (Always credit the creator and even give a shout-out to their @IGname in the caption.)
Start by opening the app and clicking on the camera icon in the top right corner.
Clicking this will take you to your instagram feed.
Scroll through the feed until you find the photo or video you want to regram. Then, click the three dots at the top of the post.
From the menu that appears, choose copy link. You will then see a green popup telling you the link has been copied to your clipboard
Now that you have the link, click in the top left of your screen to return to the Repost It! App.
The photo will be saved on the main page of this app.
Click repost to be directed to the final steps–setting a time for the post to go out, and adding your own caption.
You can also regram content through a manual screenshot on your mobile device.
Always make sure to add a caption that gives the appropriate credit to the original source by adding:
- Credit: @username
- Image: @username
- Hashtags (#regram, etc.)
J.Crew is brand that does a great job of regramming with the appropriate credits:
You can also share the posts to other platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, to maximize your impact.
Just remember to get approval if you’re regramming content from other businesses that users have not submitted to you directly or tagged you in.
Comment (and like) back to followers
You will most likely get a response to any posts you make or regram.
You want to do your best to comment back as much as possible, especially if users have questions about your product.
Take the popular makeup brand Glossier, for example. They frequently respond to comments on product launches:
Comments show that people like your posts and want to engage with your brand.
Instagram also recently launched a feature that allows you to “like” a comment the way that you do on other platforms:
It’s important to respond to posts as quickly as possible. Typically within 24 hours.
This way people feel like a priority and they will know you actually read their comments.
Here, you can see Zappos responding to comments on their pictures while keeping their brand consistent:
Responding to comments humanizes your brand and boosts conversions.
People are using social media more often for reviews, especially in the comment sections.
One study found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 72% of consumers say positive reviews make them trust businesses more.
So if you have positive reviews, respond!
There might come a point when get too many comments to reply to on a consistent basis.
This is totally normal.
Focus on your first 24-hour period after a post, respond to as many as possible, and then move on.
If you notice that a certain post is getting a flood of feedback, you will want to keep track of that, of course.
But for the most part, you want to respond as much as possible (just remember to respond to scheduled posts, too).
If you pay attention, your followers will tell you a lot about how they use Instagram as well as what they think of your brand.
The problem is that Instagram won’t give you many of these insights.
Instead, you’ll have to use a tool like SocialInsights.io to track user behavior and spy on your followers.
Look for the best time of day to post, as well as which channels and audience types are the most engaged with your brand.
After that, use posting tactics to target that audience behavior.
Respond to comments and questions as quickly as possible, regram user posts and mention users in your content as well.
This will help build trust, grow your follower base, and ultimately drive your sales.