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Understanding Social Media Part Two: Instagram

Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service with currently over 112 million active users. Although mostly popular among younger audiences, more older users are starting to engage with Instagram.

The good news for businesses? Well over 50% of users engage with brands that post stories on Instagram.

The hard part? Competing and standing out among the over 500 million stories posted each day.

Depending on the type of businesses you do and who you want to reach, Instagram can be a very viable advertising option. As with Facebook, you have to be prepared to invest time and money into your account.

Here are a few best practices for using Instagram:

  • Use stories. Instagram’s algorithm favors user engagement with stories over posts.
  • Use images that tell a story without much captioning. Better yet, use short-form video.
  • Invite comments in the caption with clever calls to action.
  • Use color that is easy for people to decipher the images — natural color performs better on Instagram than duotones, etc.
  • Use your brand’s colors purposeful in images to continue building implicit brand recognition.
  • Shots that include the subject of the post as the focal point (versus a hard-to-define focal point) perform better on Instagram.
  • Use hashtags. People search for content using hashtags, so thinking about which hashtags could deliver different audience segments is key.
  • Follow hashtags for social listening.
  • Identify Instagram influencers and engage with their content.
  • Instagram is not currently including video or photo likes in its user-facing engagement statistics. Its algorithm has followed Facebook’s in weighting user commenting as the most important (and possibly relevant) user statistic to follow.

Need help with social media or your brand in general? Contact the team at or learn more online at