10 Things You Should Definitely Be Doing on Instagram

Step up your Instagram presence by following these tips

Instagram is an active social platform with a thriving community of people looking for as much visual content as they can take. When you want to make a name for yourself or attract more followers and increase engagement, look for new ideas on what and how to post.

If you have a personal or business account, here's what you can do to improve your content and interaction with your followers on Instagram.

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Post Photo Collages

A photo collage in Instagram.

Many of Instagram's active users post photos as a collage. You can use the app's built-in collage maker or use a third-party app to condense multiple images into a single post.

Why photo collages? Collages are perfect ways to tell stories through photos. Rather than posting each photo separately, combine those pictures to showcase different scenes of a related event.

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Use Appropriate Hashtags in Captions

Using hashtags in Instagram.

Hashtags are beneficial on Instagram, mainly because everyone uses them to find ​specifically themed content they're interested in viewing. They give users a way to filter results based on keywords or phrases categorically.

Why hashtags? People search for hashtags all the time. Instagram users who have attractive photos or videos and incorporate a few hashtags relevant to their posts have a higher chance of increasing their following and engagement.

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Post Time-Lapse Videos

Video time lapse in Instagram.

Instagram has a standalone app for iOS called Hyperlapse that easily lets users film and create high-quality time-lapse videos. Time-lapse videos are clips that are sped up so they can be watched in a shorter amount of time. There are third-party apps for Android that accomplish the same thing.

Why time-lapse videos? People's attention spans online are short. They can take as little as one or two seconds of watching a video before deciding to move on. Time-lapse videos offer a way to hook viewers' attention effectively while squeezing more footage into Instagram.

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Edit Captions If You Notice Mistakes or If You Left Something Out

Editing an Instagram post.

For the longest time, you couldn't edit a caption on Instagram. If you wanted to change something in the caption, you had to start over and repost it. Now, they're editable.

Why edit captions? Including captions without mistakes and typing enough information makes you look like you care about your posts. You can also add and remove hashtags, or tag users in posts you want them to see.

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Publish at the Right Time of Day to Ensure Your Followers See Your Posts

A post on Instagram.

Even though people look at their phones all the time, there are optimal times and better performing days of the week to make posts. If you want people to see your content and get as much engagement as possible, pay attention to when you post.

Why post at certain times of the day? Some companies study social media traffic and report these activity trends for each platform. Knowing when your potential audience is most active can generate more views and likes. You do have to stay on top of trends as these tend to change from year to year.

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Track Your Instagram Statistics and Activity With Iconosquare


If you have a lot of followers and receive a fair bit of engagement, tracking it through Instagram can be difficult. Iconosquare is a powerful tool you can use to access your account and look at your stats.

Why track your stats? Iconosquare shows trends in your engagement. Use it to find out what types of content your followers like, and when they're most likely to engage. You can also read and respond to comments and see which followers you lost.

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Use Shoutouts to Increase Your Exposure and Get More Followers

A shoutout in Instagram.

Users who have a similar number of followers often partner up and agree to promote each other. It's called a shoutout or an s4s. It usually involves an agreement to post one another's photo or video for a specified amount of time (before potentially being deleted) and instructing followers in the caption to follow the other user.

Why shoutouts? Shoutouts are a fast and effective way to grow an Instagram following. The only downside is that you have to keep posting other users' content and telling your followers to follow them. In turn, your shoutout partner does the same. If people are engaged, you should see new followers start to trickle in.

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Tag Posts to Corresponding Geographical Locations

Instagram post with location info.

Instagram lets you attach photo and video posts to the places where you took the images, by tagging under Location. All you do is select the possible locations provided by your GPS. Or, you can manually enter the location.

Why tag locations? Tagging a post to its location files it under the public page for that location. The photos that you and the millions of other users post can be searched by location. Depending on how popular the area is, you could get more exposure from people browsing it.

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alexsl / Getty Images 

When Instagram first came out, users applied different filters to make images look different or to give a vintage effect. Today, filters aren't as hot as they once were. New trends have popped up, such as posting in portrait and landscape, or shooting with a DSLR, and posting higher quality photos.

Why keep up with trends? If you're out of the loop with what people want on Instagram, your engagement could suffer. Things move fast on social media, so yesterday's cool trend isn't as cool today. Keep your content fresh by staying current.

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Use Instagram Direct to Privately Message Individuals or Groups

Chat within Instagram.

Do you love to post several times within a few hours? Some followers prefer extremely active accounts while others don't. Instagram Direct is a great way to privately share a photo or video post with one or multiple followers. Facebook has integrated Messenger into Instagram Direct, so you can direct message your Facebook contacts from Instagram.

Why Instagram Direct? If you need to contact a user directly, Instagram Direct is more effective than leaving a comment on one of their posts. It's also a preferred way to share content relevant to a small group of followers rather than everyone.

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