2. Content Selection + Frequency (Intro)
Knowing what to post, when and how often is key for solid growth on social, especially on Instagram! You probably have more valuable tools resources on hand than you might realize, from sales data to anecdotal observations. Here are some of the approaches and suggestions we use to bring together observations and hard data, and use this information to inform marketing plans!
You know your business better than anyone else - use this information to your advantage to select the best content for your social channels! Start by assessing how much of your revenue (or sales) each year comes from each of your products or services. This is something you can typically pull in a report from your accounting or point-of-sales software. Once you have this information, take a look at monthly and quarterly trends.
Every business has trends month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter, and year-to-year. Take a close look at how many of each product or session you sell in an average quarter to determine what’s the most popular and in-demand. Once you know what percentage of your total business for each service or product, jot this down.
Next, determine the number of feed posts each month you want to post, and apply the percentages from the previous step to this total.
In Quarter 4 (Oct., Nov., Dec.) last year, sales breakdown is:
This client is planning on posting 10 times to their main feed. The breakdown of posts would be:
3 posts about sweaters
3 posts about coats
4 posts about dresses
This is a basic approach to content selection, and serves as a general guideline to get you thinking analytically. Down the road, you may opt to promote your most profitable services, or another approach. These are all great talking points to bring up to your accountant or business development consultant!
Instagram has three channels where you can share content: your home feed, stories, and IG.tv (a new feature this year!) Here’s a brief overview of the differences between these channels, and how they should be used! (Stay tuned for an in-depth look on how these channels work together, and how you can maximize your impact!)
Appear in your profile as “the grid,” and us user’s home feed
These are the core of your marketing - and should come together in a cohesive story. (More spontaneous posts should be strongly considered for stories.)
Stories (of the accounts you follow) appear at the top of the home screen at the top of the screen. Users can watch your current stories (posted within the last 24 hrs) by clicking on your profile picture anywhere across the platform.
Stories expire in 24 hrs, but can be highlighted on your profile screen in curated groups.
Stories are a great place to have fun, use stickers, and give users a sneak peak into the everyday workings of your business, and behind-the-scenes sneak peaks!
IG.tv is a new feature introduced this year that’s Instagram’s take on YouTube, and is a place to share videos up to 10 minutes (60 mins for larger + verified accounts).
IG.tv is an ideal space to showcase your videos. Keep it in mind for behind-the-scenes creative planning - for example, give users a sneak peak of your team building a photo set, or creating a new product!
This is a channel to focus on once you’ve got a solid strategy for your Feed and Stories - if you haven’t ventured past posting to your feed, focus on learning Stories before you tackle IG.tv.
The frequency with which you post to Instagram on each channel is a lot like watering house plants - underwater or overwater, and the plants will die. Your main Feed posts are ranked on how much engagement they get - likes, comments, saves (bookmark icon), and shares (paper airplane icon). You want the likes and comments to rack up on your feed posts - so it’s not to your advantage to post several times a day to this channel! This is especially true if you are just starting out, or have less than 1000 followers. Posting more than once daily typically only works well if you have a larger account (15k-30k+ followers), and only then when executed strategically.
Your Feed should be reserved for your BEST work. If you want to feature a large number of favorites, move them over to Stories! Remember to crop your Story images to 1080px wide, 1920px tall so they’re clear! Stories autoplay, so sequence is something to keep in mind. For example, a series of Stories from the same photoshoot. Stories are also a good place to broadcast live from a client session, or from an event (as two examples).
Fill out the below forms with any questions or feedback that comes to mind while you set up your social publishing setup!