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Instagram has played a pivotal role in our social media posting and scrolling over the last eight years. As the app has grown to reach over a billion users worldwide, many features have come, went and updated over the years. It has turned into a huge platform, and for your business to grow, you must establish yourself on the social media network.

To grow on Instagram, it is important to highlight the changes which have been made with recent updates, their importance, and how to fully utilise them to achieve maximum growth for your profile, building an account that’s worthy of the explore page!

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Hashtags in comments are no longer visible

That’s right, the only comments which will gain traction from Instagram users are the comments which you blend in with your caption, meaning that further commenting more hash tags in a separate will no longer be visible since it causes spam for users who keep circulating hashtags in the comments of their images to boost their photos to rank higher. This means that you should carefully choose the comments in your caption. Anything between 10-20 relevant hash tags is enough to build momentum for your photographs, with studies saying that 11 or more hashtags receives the best engagement.
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Use the correct and relevant hashtags

Just because a hashtag is popular, does not mean it will gather exposure for your business, it can have the opposite affect since so many people and so many bigger accounts are using the same hash tags as you, that it is virtually impossible to compete with so many users who are adding the same tags as you into their posts.

The best method to avoid this, is to conduct hash tag analysis, by finding hash tags which are related and relevant to your sector or post, but are not overused, meaning that you will have the opportunity to be visible to your targeted audience and your post will not be drowned out by images and videos from other accounts on the feed using the same tags. This is a practical way to gain followers because your post will have a much longer lifespan at the top of certain pages due to not many other users using the same tags as you. Researching popular hashtags related to your business is crucial, and finding ones that do not have astronomical amounts of posts are the important ones to incorporate to your

Instagram T.V  

Instagram T.V is also a sizeable way to grow your Instagram page because unlike the fifteen second videos on your story, or the sixty second videos on your posts, I.G.T.V allows users to upload videos which are up to an hour long, this is perfect for vloggers, bloggers, or any businesses which can use the feature for things such as tutorials, interviews and product or service descriptions. I.G.T.V sixty-minute videos are currently only available for verified accounts, but other accounts can post videos in 10-minute intervals, which is still ten times the size of normal Instagram video posting times.

Instagram T.V also allows users to have a “swipe-up” call to action on their I.G.T.V videos. Something which normal Instagram accounts only have when they reach 10,000 followers, a practical feature for anybody using Instagram T.V as a means of advertisement, to have a link to their product once viewers watch the video. Instagram T.V also has its own app, which, like YouTube allows them to “Continue Watching” videos and show you videos which are “popular.” Much like the story feature, friends can also send IGTV videos to one another, gaining your business further exposure and new viewers.

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Being able to allow users to ask you questions is actually a great way to grow your engagement and page because this can be very informative, humorous and a great conversation starter with followers and could lead to them sharing your answers to others. The “Ask Me A Question” section of the story is a post which incites people to ask you questions, who in return type inside of the box and you receive the question. You then choose which questions to answer on your story and answer them in any way you like. This can lead to engaging conversations, sharing of knowledge, information and simply socialising, which leads to Instagram growth.

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Launched in 2018, the ability to shop through Instagram has helped businesses grow drastically. Users can now tag up to five items per post, with prices and a link to the item for customers to purchase it through Instagram. If you are selling a service or a product this is an incredible way to grow because Instagram users will have no need to switch between apps when looking to purchase items online, they can simply go to their favourite brands and buy through the app.

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Polls/ Ratings Bar

Every day we use polls to gather information in diverse ways, and Instagram is no different. Instagram now has a poll feature and a ratings feature, which is useful for gathering data, gaining first hand feedback from people and engaging and interacting with users which will build your following because if your account is known for responding and interacting with followers, more people will wish to follow it. The ratings bar is also a stupendous feature when because it allows users to rate your images or videos, and depending on how interesting your post is, these images or video clips can be forwarded to others who will also rate your content.

Adding GEO location to your content

Adding a location to your Instagram posts is not only informative because it shows users where you, or your products are based, but it also helps with rankings because adding your location to your story or post could mean that your post ends up on the story of whichever location you have used (i.e. – tagging London, could mean you end up on the London Instagram story, which is currently on 102m posts, with a story viewed by millions of people.)

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Dean Lynn

Dean is the Founder of Trusted Media and has over fifteen years experience of commercial business marketing. If you ever meet Dean, you'll quickly realise how honest and straight to the point he is; something his clients love about his marketing approach. When Dean's not at Trusted Media providing marketing consultancy to clients, he can be found at home with his daughter, who loves creating (breaking) things. Dean never sits still, enjoys eating food (part-time #instafoodie), and finds his happy place in the kitchen baking or in the garden.

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