Instagram Updates & Best Practices

Instagram is an excellent tool for the awareness stage: letting women in your area know you’re there for when they need you. In 2018, the platform has rolled out a number of new features, many of which can help PHCs connect and engage with more abortion-minded women. In this guide, we’ll discuss the new Instagram updates and some best practices to follow in order to make the most of your Instagram presence.

Instagram Updates

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.

Introducing IGTV

IGTV is the biggest recent Instagram update. 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 platform for your center, where you can talk about common pregnancy myths, answer some of the most frequently asked questions, offer a virtual tour of your center, and more. You will want to be careful not to be shooting video where clients could be seen in the background so that confidentiality is not breached.

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

Instagram updates include the allowing of automatic publishing through some third-party social media schedulers. This means you can set posts up in advance, like you would with Facebook or Twitter, without having to pause and post during those peak times, which can save you a lot of time.

Instagram Best Practices

Post at Peak Times

Even though posts are no longer shown completely 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 the top 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 in the Instagram updates section above, 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 resonates with the women you’re trying to reach? 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 abortion-minded women. 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 center as a 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 Instagram updates over the last several months. Hopefully, with this guide, you feel prepared to take on the platform to make your center’s Instagram presence as effective as it can be.

Looking for help with your PHC’s Instagram account? Choose Life Marketing can manage it. Contact us for a free quote today!

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