Over 2018, Instagram has rolled out a number of new features, many of which can help your winery, brewery or distillery make a smooth connection with your target customer base. So, let’s talk about the new Instagram updates and some best practices to follow in order to make the most of your Instagram presence.
Instagram API Changes
Facebook, and subsequently Instagram, made a number of changes this year in order to better protect user data and privacy. These changes mean that Instagram bots are officially dead, that you can’t use any third-party apps to track Instagram follower behavior, and that posting or deleting comments has to be done through Instagram, not through third-parties. They’re looking for pure engagement, the kind that makes a splash.
IGTV is the biggest of the recent Instagram updates. IGTV, or Instagram TV, is a long-form video content sharing platform with its own app. It is fully integrated with the Instagram app, so users will receive notifications when new content is uploaded.
Videos on IGTV can be up to an hour long and are shown in vertical-form, much like Instagram Stories. This update can create a unique content strategy for your winery, brewery or distillery, where you can talk about the production process, offer a virtual tour of your tasting room or events, showcase the story behind your brand, and more. You could even have some of your customers come in for a taste test alongside some of your competitor’s beverages if you’re feeling bold.
Instagram Algorithm Information Revealed
Instagram has been very private about its algorithm, leaving advertisers in the dark about how it all really works. This past June, Instagram has revealed key information that can help you better understand when and how to post in order to get the most out of Instagram. Here are the main factors in how the algorithm determines what users will see:
- The level of interest a user has in content similar to yours
- How recent your post is, with more recent posts given higher priority
- The relationship between you and the user: the more a user interacts with your content, the more of it they’ll see
Automatically Schedule Instagram Posts
The new Instagram updates now allow automatic publishing through some third-party social media schedulers. This means you can set posts up in advance without having to pause and post during those peak times, which can save you time better spent perfecting your craft beverage.
Post at Peak Times
Even though posts are no longer shown chronologically, timing still matters. The new Instagram algorithm values more recent posts, so you’ll want to be strategic about when you hit “post.” The best way to determine peak times is through your own accounts’ insights. Simply click the graph icon at on the upper right-hand corner of your profile page. Go to the “Audience” tab, and you’ll be able to see when your Instagram followers are most active.
Create Engaging Content
Based on the revealed algorithm information, more engagement means more of your content will be seen. The only way to create effective, engaging content is to think of your target audience: what excites your target audience? What causes someone to read and respond to what you’re saying? The more likes and comments you receive on one post, the more you’ll receive in the future.
Utilize Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories create an excellent platform for you to connect on a more natural level with your target audience base. With Stories, you can create polls, show behind the scenes content, showcase your staff, and more.
Consistency is Key
One of the best ways to establish your Instagram presence is to post on a consistent basis. Additionally, posting content with a consistent theme is highly effective. Using similar colors and consistent messaging in all of your posts will help establish your beverage’s brand.
Respond to Comments
Don’t forget that Instagram is meant to be a relationship-building tool. Be accessible by responding to comments left on your posts. The best practice is to respond with four or more words and within one hour. This will help increase your account’s credibility.
There have been a number of changes to Instagram over the last several months. Hopefully, with this guide, you feel prepared to take on the platform to make your brand’s Instagram presence as effective as it can be.
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