Instagram best practices cover
Analytics & Reporting Instagram Analytics

25 Instagram Best Practices For 2024: How To Rock Your Presence on Instagram

Kseniia Volodina
Kseniia Volodina
Table of Contents

Running an Instagram account for your brand or about to introduce one? You’ve come to the right place.

Instagram remains one of the biggest players in the social media market, and it’s only natural to think of how to make a successful Instagram account and leverage this power to your brand’s advantage.

In this article, I’ve gathered 25 tips for Instagram performance to help you build a consistent strategy and take the most out of it. Let’s roll!

Instagram Best Practices 2024

  1. Overall Best Practices in Instagram Marketing
  2. Instagram Reels Best Practices
  3. Instagram Stories Best Practices
  4. Instagram Post Performance Best Practices
  5. Instagram Ads Best Practices
  6. Instagram Profile Best Practices

Overall Best Practices in Instagram Marketing

Instagram is not just another social media platform — it’s a powerful asset that can be a game changer for some brands.

Here are some overarching Instagram best practices for business to keep in mind when creating your growth strategy:

1. Define your goals

Whether you’re boosting brand awareness, increasing website traffic, or driving sales, having clear, measurable goals is crucial. This clarity will guide your content strategy, defining the content pillars, formats, topics, and approaches you’ll use to gain followers and engage them.

When setting your goals, use one of the frameworks like SMART, ORK, or Jobs To Be Done. These frameworks help you set measurable and scopeable goals that keep you on track.

2. Know and engage your audience

Success on Instagram hinges on deeply understanding your audience's demographics, interests, and lifestyles. Often, this leads to creating multiple buyer personas — a general portrait of an ideal client.

For instance, if you run a hiking goods store, analytics might reveal two key personas:

  • Adventure Enthusiast Sam: seeks high-tech, durable hiking gear for extreme weather conditions. Values informative content on gear maintenance and adventure safety tips.
  • Weekend Hiker Taylor: looks for comfortable, family-friendly equipment, enjoys scenic and beginner trail recommendations, and tips for hiking with children.

Recognizing their distinct needs and pain points helps you tailor your content to engage both despite their differences.

3. Measure your performance

Analytics help you understand whether your content strategy is viable, adjust it for better results, and stay on track while working towards your business objectives.

You can track Instagram analytics using the native Insights tab. It provides general data on account performance, such as likes, reach, impressions, follower growth, etc.

However, if you need a more in-depth look, utilize Socialinsider’s Instagram analytics tools.

Socialinsider provides data on engagement, paid and organic reach and impressions, demographics, performance by post type, competitor analysis, and more.

Socialinsider's Instagram analytics dashboard

With Socialinsider, you can:

  • Track your Instagram metrics in real-time on both post and account level
  • Benchmark your Instagram performance against top competitors
  • Split Instagram posts into content pillars and track the performance of each of them
  • Spot trending content from your competitors and include it in your social media plan
  • Download comprehensive reports in multiple formats like PDF, PPT, CSV, and Excel.

4. Use hashtags wisely

Incorporate relevant hashtags to increase your content's discoverability and help your followers navigate it.

Socialinsider’s AI listening tool helps you track and analyze various hashtags. The tool provides real-time insights into specific Instagram hashtags, breaking down the sentiment and engagement metrics, showcasing the most popular posts, and gathering data on demographics for each hashtag.

Sentiment analysis for Instagram hashtags with Socialinsider
Sentiment analysis for Instagram hashtags with Socialinsider

A thorough hashtag campaign can complement your Instagram performance, so use hashtags wisely in your strategy.

5. Post consistently

Regarding questions like how to be successful on Instagram, many viral strategy templates say you need to post daily, with 3-4 stories a day, 3 posts, and 4 reels a week, etc.

All of those points are valid – if you can provide that much high-quality content in the long term. The key is not the amount of content; it’s the consistency of your content plan.

Build a content schedule you can maintain consistently with your resources and stick to it.

New Report: TikTok vs Reels vs Shorts
New Report: TikTok vs Reels vs Shorts 

Instagram Reels Best Practices

Despite the recent drop in engagement, Instagram Reels remain the platform's most shared and engaging content. A successful Instagram growth strategy should include Reels, especially if you’re concentrating on brand awareness.

Reach on Instagram is decreasing
Reach on Instagram is decreasing

Here are a couple of action tips:

6. Hone your hooks

Life’s short, and so is content in 2024.

You only have 3 seconds to capture users' attention before they swipe, so use this time wisely.

Instagram Reels hooks

Start your Reels with an engaging hook to capture attention within the first few seconds. A good Instagram Reel hook is:

  • Short: 6-7 words in a hook max
  • Easy: 5th-grade level hooks work best
  • Relatable: keep it more human, less salesy
  • In-character: steer clear of things that are too off-brand

Feel free to experiment with different hooks to see what resonates with your audience.

Using Instagram trends in Reels is a powerful way to boost visibility and tap into new audiences.

Instagram statistics by Socialinsider
Instagram statistics by Socialinsider

To stay relevant and relatable, incorporate trending sounds, memes, and templates that align with your brand’s identity. Check the Reels tab and Instagram’s Explore page to spot trends early and ride them smoothly (or save Socialinsider’s monthly trends article).

Remember, though, that trends are good for discovery and impressions, but they should complement your strategy rather than be the foundation of it.

8. Leverage captions

Captions are another tool you can use to rank higher on the platform and reach more people. Adding subtitles and in-video text caters to many users who watch reels without sound, making your content accessible to everyone.

Besides, captions can contribute to your discoverability. Social media platforms are adopting keyword practices, and your subtitles can help Instagram’s search algorithm categorize your content.

Instagram app has native captions, but you can also add custom ones using third-party apps like CapCut.

Instagram Stories Best Practices

Instagram Stories require less effort but are just as impactful as posts or Reels, allowing you to connect with your audience daily. Here are key tips for Instagram Stories fans:

9. Use interactive elements

Interactive elements like polls, questions, and direct links transform your Instagram Stories from simple announcements into engaging conversations.

The polls and questions can provide interesting data on your audience's preferences, and links are a great way to drive web traffic to your landing page or giveaway.

How PrettyLittleMarketing uses Instagram stories stickers
How PrettyLittleMarketer uses Instagram stories stickers

Consistently weave these interactive features into your stories to increase engagement — and, therefore, get more views.

10. Maintain a visual consistency

We can't skip visual appearance when discussing how to succeed on Instagram.

Being visually consistent across your Instagram Stories helps strengthen your brand identity, making your content instantly recognizable to your audience.

To stay consistent, consider using design tools like Canva to create a brand book and stick to it. Use the same visual style, fonts, colors, and patterns to maintain an aesthetically pleasant brand identity.

11. Use the momentum of Stories

Instagram Stories only last 24 hours. Use this opportunity to share more spontaneous, behind-the-scenes content that might not fit the polished aesthetic of your main feed. Share moments from your day-to-day operations, sneak peeks of upcoming products, or candid team interactions.

This fleeting format allows you to be more human and authentic, showing the real people and processes behind your brand.

12. Highlight important Instagram Stories

Treat Highlights as your quick access panel that stays on even after 24 hours. Categorize and preserve Instagram Stories that showcase your brand's milestones, customer testimonials, or product tutorials.

Create Instagram highlights
Create Instagram highlights

This approach not only extends the lifespan of your key messages but also makes your profile more informative, engaging, and accessible for both new visitors and loyal followers.

Instagram Post Performance Best Practices

Feed posts remain the foundation of a successful Instagram. Here are some Instagram posting tips to create a balanced and versatile account:

13. Optimize your captions

Your captions are just as valuable as the visuals you publish and, therefore, can significantly boost the performance of your Instagram feed posts.

Consider your caption as a conversation starter: ask questions, share insights, or tell a story that resonates with your followers.

Use clear calls to action, like inviting your audience to share their thoughts or click on a link in your bio, to increase engagement and drive specific actions.

14. Post at optimal times

Analyze your audience's activity to determine the best times for posting. Instagram has this data available in its Insights tab, where you can see your audience's peak day and time.

post on Instagram when users are the most active
See your audience's peak day and time

Frankly, I believe that posting time is a little overrated and doesn’t always reflect the real situation for multi-location brands. However, it still makes sense: if more people are online when you publish your content, there’s a bigger chance they’ll see it.

So consider your peak time a good bonus to your engagement but not the driving force behind it.

15. Experiment with different types of content

In the times of ever-changing algorithms, we can’t allow ourselves to keep all our content eggs in one basket. Today, Instagram favors reels, and tomorrow, it praises carousels.

So, the best practices for Instagram advocate for a healthy mix of formats. Mix your posts with images, videos, and carousels to keep your feed interesting and diverse.

You can also choose different narrative angles, such as testimonials, how-to guides, employee tips, etc.

Instagram posts performance over time
Instagram post types performance over time

16. Balance high-quality content with authenticity

As you curate your Instagram feed, opt for a balance between an aesthetically distilled on-brand look and authentic expression.

Although we’re moving away from overly curated polished images to more genuine snapshots, ensuring that your content is visually attractive and aligned with your brand’s identity is key.

The final balance between branding and authenticity lies in your brand’s storytelling approach: if a more relaxed look is a good fit for your brand, go for it.

17. Encourage User-Generated Content

Invite your audience to share their own content related to your brand. UGC is the ultimate social proof that contributes to your Instagram success, providing more visibility and brand recognition.

UGC on Instagram

Consider running your own hashtag to track Instagram user-generated content and gather it for future content pieces.

Instagram Ads Best Practices

When hunting for an organic base, don’t dismiss the paid social media strategies completely. Here’s how to get the most out of Instagram Ads:

18. Target your ads carefully

Use Instagram's targeting options to reach the right audience for your content. Pinpointing your ads based on demographics, interests, and behaviors ensures the platform puts your content in front of the people who are most likely to interact with it.

Don’t try to scope out too broad or too narrow. Aim for a moderately defined audience and adjust it based on whether you’re after conversions, followers, or views.

19. Test different creatives

The key to captivating your audience lies in diversity in ad formats and visuals. What works for one segment might not work for another, so vary your approach with carousels, stories, and video ads.

Run A/B testing to measure the impact of different creatives, and let performance data drive your creative strategy. Remember to comply with the platform’s dimension requirements — wrongly sized assets affect the overall effectiveness of your campaigns.

20. Include a clear Call To Action

Make it easy for users to know what action you want them to take. A compelling call to action turns viewers into active participants, guiding them toward the desired outcome.

New report: The impact of CTAs in captions on engagement
New report: The impact of CTAs in captions on engagement

Make your CTA direct, irresistible, and simple. Whether it’s making a purchase, visiting a website, or following your Instagram page, clarity in your CTA can significantly increase conversion rates.

21. Monitor and adjust your campaign

Keep a close eye on your campaign's performance metrics and be ready to adjust your strategy for better results. This will ensure you hit your target KPIs and save you some marketing budgets.

Remember, the algorithm may take a few days to optimize your ads fully, so don’t rush into tweaking them immediately after launch. In my experience, the ads work best after 2-3 days of circulation.

Instagram Profile Best Practices

Your Instagram profile is the foundation of your presence on the platform. Follow these tips to polish your Instagram profile and turn it into a viable business asset:

22. Tidy up your header

Your Instagram header is your first impression on visitors, so ensure it clearly communicates your brand's essence and what you’re doing. A compelling profile picture or logo and a straightforward and catchy bio that describes the core of your activities set the right tone.

Utilize your name and username fields creatively to include relevant keywords. This can help the discoverability. Note that name and username are not the same thing, so you can get creative.

For instance, if you’re a nail salon, try to include words like “nails” or “manicure” alongside your location in the name while keeping your username intact.

Maximize the potential of your bio link, as it’s the only clickable link on your Instagram profile except for those in Stories. Use it to funnel Instagram traffic to where it matters most: your website, blog, or a specific product page.

include relevant instagram links in bio

Since April 2023, you can add up to 5 links in your Instagram bio. I recommend keeping one for your website and utilizing others for seasonal updates, additional resources, or promotions.

24. Leverage pinned content

Besides highlighting your stories, you can also pin some of your most important or best-performing posts to make them visible on top of your profile. This can be time-limited offers like promos or giveaways, evergreen content about your products or team, or a new launch.

pinned content on instagram

Choose pinned posts that align with your marketing goals and update them regularly. This feature can direct new followers’ attention to your key messages or actions you want them to take.

25. Engage with your community

Building and nurturing a community on Instagram goes beyond just posting content. It involves actively engaging with your followers through comments, direct messages, and interactive stories.

Dedicate a little time daily to responding to messages, tags, and feedback and participating in conversations. You don’t have to be online and available 24/7, but some takes are better served hot.

Final thoughts

There’s no secret sauce to how to create a successful Instagram account. What works for one brand might be a total mismatch for another.

The thing I'd recommend concentrating on is aligning your marketing goals with your brand identity and staying true to your brand. Think of what drives your customers and how your brand can serve those needs, and build your Instagram growth strategy on it.

And if you feel lost, turn your gaze towards analytics — data has all the answers. Try Socialinsider to evaluate your Instagram performance. You’d be surprised how many actionable insights you might discover 😉

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