Facebook or Instagram: Which is better for marketing your business?

It might not be an age-old question, but many small businesses often ask which is better for marketing: Facebook or Instagram?

Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all answer.

Sharing about 4 billion users across the two social networks, the opportunities on both are immense. Of course, they’re also both owned by the same company, Meta, so they do share some linkage and features (especially when running paid advertising campaigns).

Facebook remains the most popular social media platform, while visuals-first Instagram has the fastest-growing audience.

The following are four elements you should consider when deciding whether Facebook or Instagram is the best marketing platform for your business.

Usage statistics

Facebook

Facebook currently has about 2.9 billion monthly active users, while about 1.59 billion are mobile daily active users. Around seven out of 10 U.S. adults use Facebook.

About 56 percent of Facebook users are male.

While some think that Facebook is skewing increasingly older, the largest demographic on the social network is between 25 and 35 years old. On the flip side, Facebook’s smallest demographic are seniors 65 years old or older.

About 82 percent of college graduates are on Facebook, and about 75 percent of online users with an annual income of $75,000 or more also are on the platform.

Instagram

Instagram currently has more than 1 billion monthly active users, while more than 500 million Instagram users use the Stories feature daily.

More than 200 million businesses are on Instagram. And more than 50 percent of Instagram users are female

Instagram does skew toward a younger audience. About 71 percent of U.S. adults ages 18 to 29 use Instagram. In fact, 72 percent of teenagers in the U.S. use Instagram as well.

Functionality of the platforms

Facebook

The social network is all about information, from the about section on a profile or page (which are more robust than what’s available through an Instagram profile bio) to the types of posts you can share:

  • Text only
  • Images or GIFs
  • Videos
  • Links

In essence, because of the variety of options, it can be a distracting and noisy environment where you’re also fighting against the Facebook algorithm.

Instagram

The app is all about images and videos. Text-only posts are not an option.

But that’s because Instagram is less about the communication of information and more about capturing and sharing moments and then engaging around those moments.

Because of some of the simplicity of Instagram’s functionality, it allows brands to laser focus on how their shared moments represent them. That’s when you see such massive brand popularity blossom. (This is in comparison to the almost too many options for sharing as a business on Facebook.)

Of course, Instagram also has an algorithm that drives user experience on the app, but it doesn’t get complained about nearly as much as Facebook’s.

Content marketing

Facebook

Facebook is a great place to share curated content, where you’re sharing someone else’s content to benefit your own audience. (Check out our four tips for finding great curated content to share, as well as 12 tools to help you.) This is because you can easily share links.

This is also the best place to share any company announcements and/or updates. In fact, you can create actual events on Facebook and promote them.

Instagram

The best content for Instagram is original and authentic (not curated). Yes, you’ll see some regrams, memes and even text images. But go original if you want to be successful.

Going behind the scenes is engaging on Instagram. Real-time images also drive engagement, especially through Instagram Stories.

Instagram also is great for image-based contests that center around a hashtag. (Be sure to check out our guide on how to ensure your giveaways and contests are legal.)

Advertising campaigns

As mentioned earlier, Facebook and Instagram are both owned by Meta (formally known as Facebook). This means that you have the ability to run a single paid advertising campaign in one place that can run across both platforms.

Facebook Business Manager can make it all happen, so you don’t necessarily have to choose.

In conclusion

Ultimately, brands should have a presence on both Facebook and Instagram, but depending on your target audience, marketing goals and brand identity, you’ll likely drive a larger presence on one or the other.

As you’re evaluating your presence on Facebook and Instagram, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

9 tips to create engaging Instagram Stories

No longer the “new kid on the block,” Instagram Stories represent an opportunity for every brand to connect in additional ways with its target audience.

Launched in 2016, Instagram Stories allow you to multiple images and/or videos in a vertical format, where you can layer on various doodles, text and/or interactive stickers. They last 24 hours before disappearing, but they can be pinned to your Instagram profile in Highlight groupings and last longer.

(If this sounds very similar to Snapchat Stories, which were launched in 2013, then you’re right.)

About 500 million users per day use Instagram Stories, and about one-third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories come from businesses.

Incorporating Stories into your Instagram publishing strategy helps you reach your audience in two different places in the app, both in the Stories section and the traditional feed section.

Check out our 16 overall Instagram marketing tips that you can try right away. Plus, see the 14 biggest mistakes companies make on Instagram (and how to avoid them).

The following are nine tips to help you create engaging Instagram Stories that best reflect your company’s brand.

Create an Instagram Story-specific style guide

Style guides are a great tool for branding consistency. (See our nine expert tips for starting a new brand from scratch.) 

They can include your font choices, preferred filters, branded colors, GIF types and so on.

While your style guide can be in any format, the key is that it can be easily shared among your team members. Your brand can then appear the same regardless of who is creating your Story content.

Use storyboards

With so many content options to explore within Instagram Stories, a great way to get started involves trying storyboards.

This helps you fully plan out your Story before diving into the design.

And planning is everything. 

Storyboards can be as simple as sketching out your ideas slide by slide. 

  • What multimedia do you want to use?
  • How will you string your slides together to create a visual narrative?
  • What call-to-action do you want to promote? How?
  • Any key brand colors to include?

What you decide in advance will make your creation process more efficient and more effective.

Stay within the lines

Instagram Stories are displayed with usernames and ways to interact with the Story along the top and bottom of the screen. So, you definitely don’t want to design your Story in such a way that your content gets covered up by buttons and other features.

Fortunately, Instagram offers grid lines as a guideline to stay within. Think lines of a coloring book. You’ll want to stay within them.

While you’ll see these grid lines appear as necessary when designing within the Instagram app, keep the following spacing in mind if you’re designing outside of the app:

  • Instagram Story dimensions are 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels.
  • But, ideally, you’ll want to center your design elements within 1080 pixels by 1420 pixels.
  • In other words, leave 250 pixels of space at the top and bottom of your Instagram Story design.

Mix up your multimedia

You have almost endless options when it comes to the types of multimedia you can use in your Stories. Don’t get stuck in a rut.

In fact, even a string of slides together can mix things up throughout your visual narration to help keep the viewer engaged.

Types include:

  • Photography, whether or original or stock images
  • Boomerangs, which are looped video clips
  • Videos
  • GIFs
  • Audio

Always be open to experimentation for the benefit of better connecting with your target audience. (Not sure who your target audience is? See our seven tips.)

Take advantage of stickers

Whether you’re looking to add humor or simply a touch of fun engagement, Instagram’s stickers are a great place to start on your Stories.

They range in functions, including frivolous angles, but some of the most useful include:

  • Polls
  • Quizzes
  • Hashtags
  • Account tags
  • Location tags

You also can create your own stickers and GIFs for users to add to their own Stories. You can do so by becoming a verified brand on Giphy.

Earn access to the ‘Swipe Up’ feature

It takes about 10,000 followers to earn the coveted “Swipe Up” feature, where viewers can access a link from within your Story simply by swiping up.

Until you get this feature, you must direct viewers to navigate to your bio to click a link. But once you can direct website traffic through Instagram Stories, you can level up your call-to-action by designing entirely around the idea of swiping up to take a particular action.

It’s a powerful feature once you can access it.

Create branded highlight covers

While Instagram Stories typically last for only 24 hours, you can add them to the highlights section at the top of your Instagram profile to save them beyond the 24 hours.

There is no limit to the number of highlights you can create, but users will only see the most recently updated five on your profile without having to scroll.

Once you begin using highlights, you can create and use cover images. You can design these to reflect your brand presence on Instagram.

Explore tools to create your best Instagram Stories

You don’t have to be a graphic designer or an Instagram native app designing expert to create engaging visuals for your Stories.

There are a number of templates that you can start with, but more importantly, we recommend checking out any of these 11 free graphic design tools for the non-designer.

Monitor your performance

Just like with any digital marketing tactic (especially on social media), you’ll want to keep an eye on the analytics behind your Instagram Stories.

That’s easy enough to do within Instagram Insights. The key is to know when to pivot your strategy.

See our guide to better understanding your metrics on Instagram.

You also can dive deeper into the opportunities and challenges of Instagram for small businesses. and our six tips to master Instagram hashtags.

Then, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Instagram or Facebook Reels: 7 best practices for small businesses

With the increasing popularity of Reels (particularly on Instagram), small businesses should take note as part of your social media marketing strategy.

Reels is a feature where users can create and share fun, short videos using a catalog of music and other media. More specifically, they are 15-second, multi-clip videos that can have sound, music and other effects added to them. 

If you’re familiar with TikTok videos, then you’re familiar with the capabilities of Reels. 

About 61 percent of Generation Z TikTok users are leaning toward using Instagram Reels.

Find out more about Reels and three reasons why you should consider using them.

Of course, any success with Reels doesn’t just happen. The following are seven best practices for small businesses using Reels on either Instagram or Facebook.

Best practice #1: Highlight brand individuality

Reels is all about unique content with a thoughtful storyline. In other words, it’s a blank slate for out-of-the-box creativity.

However, if you’re struggling to brainstorm ideas that you can take to the next level (creatively speaking), consider:

  • Sharing company culture
  • Announcing new product launches or offers
  • Creating how-to tutorials
  • Displaying your product or service in an attention-grabbing way
  • Revealing insider tips and tricks
  • Repurposing past content that has performed well
  • Showing what happens behind the scenes
  • Highlighting before-and-after moments

Experiment with hashtags, text and captions. Research what is trending and what your competition is doing. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box, whether that with the use of camera angels, audio, etc.

Just be wary of hard-selling too much. Viewers won’t have an appetite for it, and over time, you’ll struggle to build your reach and engagement on Reels.

Best practice #2: Think vertical and consider file size

Like Stories, Reels content is vertical. This might not be a big stretch for content creation if you’re already creating content for Stories, TikTok and/or Snapchat. 

But it can be an adjustment if you haven’t stepped into those other features and/or platforms yet.

As far as file size for Reels, it’s not a huge concern if you’re creating your content within the platform (either Instagram or Facebook). However, if you plan on importing any cllips for your Reels video, keep these characteristics in mind:

  • The recommended Reels size is 1080 by 1920 pixels.
  • The recomended aspect ratio for Reels is 9:16.

If the size is not accurate, you could end up with an awkwardly cropped Reels clip. 

Best practice #3: Balance authenticity with quality

Reels allows for fun, authentic content, but on the flip side, you still want to balance that with well-produced clips.

Take the time to plan, execute and edit your Reels video clips so that you can walk that line and hit that balance every time to best engage with your target audience. Choosing the right audio is a big piece, so don’t rush the creation process.

We recommend using a visual storyboard process to plan your Reels clip frame by frame. But truly, practice makes perfect. Keep experimenting and creating.

Best practice #4: Avoid watermarks

It’s probably not a surprise that since Facebook is aiming to compete with TikTok by implementing Reels, your content will not be as successful if it has another platform’s watermark on it.

For example, if you create a TikTok video on that platform and then save it to upload it to Instagram Reels, there will be a TikTok watermark in the corner of that uploaded clip.

To avoid this, you’ll want to create original content within Instagram or Facebook Reels so that it can play nice with those platforms’ algorithms.

Best practice #5: Add a custom Reels thumbnail

By creating a custom Reels cover, you are taking the power of your content into your own hands. The cover is the first image users see when they come across your Reels video clip.

Make sure that you design an image that is not only eye-catching but also true to the content users will see by watching your clip.

You can add the cover by clicking on “Cover” after creating your Reels clip. You can then add the image from your gallery.

Best practice #6: Optimize the sharing of your Reels

Once created, Instagram specifically allows you to share the video clip to the Reels tab, where your followers can then access it easily on your profile.

Be sure to share your Reels clip to your feed as well so that it’ll show on your main profile view alongside your other feed posts. You can also save it and share it at a more optimized time for your audience. While various “best time to post” articles exist online, the key is to think about your target audience’s time zone and when they’ll likely be engaging with your content.

  • When they wake up?
  • During lunch?
  • Toward the end of the traditional workday?
  • After dinner?
  • Before bed?

From there, experiment with timing to get the best sense for your brand account since every brand is unique with a different audience.

With a public Instagram business account (rather than a private personal account), your Reels clip could be picked up and suggested to users at large in Instagram’s main discovery Reels tab.

Learn more about the difference between personal, creator and business accounts on Instagram.

Best practice #7: Monitor your Reels performance

Just like with any other feature or even platform, tracking your metrics is critical to understanding what works best for your target audience and what isn’t working at all.

You’ll be able to view reach, likes, saves, shares, comments and plays. Keep in mind that the number of plays can be higher than your reach since users can watch a Reels clip more than once.

Your Reels analytics are located within Instagram Insights on the Instagram app, which is only available for business accounts.

Reels analytics for Facebook pages appear to be in the works as of 2021.

Still embracing TikTok? See our 15 tips to better market your brand on the video platform.

As you’re looking into expanding into Reels, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Reels: What it is and 3 reasons why you should use it for your business

Reels is among the new features you’ve likely noticed on either Facebook, Instagram or both.

It’s definitely how Facebook (which owns Instagram) is attempting to combat the popularity of TikTok, a newer social video app that is exploding among younger audiences.

As of 2021, Facebook has 2.9 billion monthly active users, while TikTok has reached 1 billion monthly active users.

Similar to how Facebook copied the Stories feature from Snapchat, it’s going with the same playbook for Reels from TikTok. The strategy effectively rocketed the use of Instagram Stories over Snapchat Stories. However, time will tell if this will happen against TikTok with Reels.

But what is Reels? And why should your business use them?

What is Reels?

Reels is a feature where users can create and share fun, short videos using a catalog of music and other media. More specifically, they are 15-second, multi-clip videos that can have sound, music and other effects added to them. 

If you’re familiar with TikTok videos, then you’re familiar with the capabilities of Reels.

The purpose of Reels is to entertain and inspire creativity.

Why you should try Reels

There are three reasons why you should consider incorporating Reels into your social media marketing strategy.

Improved visibility and discoverability

Because Reels is a prioritized feature on Instagram and Facebook, the platforms are giving prioritized status to all Reels-related content you post.

This expands to users’ news feeds, the “Explore” section of Instagram and a dedicated Reels section on Instagram (located in the center of the navigation bar).

In other words, prime-time visibility for your target audience.

The reason for the prioritization is because Facebook and Instagram want to encourage users to start using the feature, so now is the time to jump in and experiment.

Opportunity to make your brand more personable

Because of the nature of Reels, the feature offers your brand the opportunity to share fun and personable content that will entertain your audience and show a potentially relatable side of your brand.

Just make sure that whatever you experiment with and create on Reels is true to your brand. Being fun and using music and effects in your video clips can quickly go off track if you’re not paying attention.

Lower competition

When a social media feature is new, it can take many brands a while to adapt to it and start using it.

The sooner you can begin experimenting with Reels, the further ahead you can get on your own competition. Think of it this way: Even just experimenting now will make you the experienced brand when your competition is just starting to experiment.

In conclusion

Keep in mind that the use of Reels on Facebook or Instagram is not a substitute for your brand’s presence on TikTok. If you’re trying to reach a younger target audience, TikTok should be part of your strategy as long as it’s a relevant space for the users you’re trying to reach. 

In other words, it doesn’t matter how the battle for users between Facebook and TikTok ends up. TikTok is a relevant social media app for now and still deserves consideration.

See our 15 tips to market your brand on TikTok.

For some inspiration, check out Walmart and Sephora since they are major brands that are already using Reels.

While you’re considering how to set achievable marketing goals, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

14 biggest mistakes businesses make on Instagram (and how to avoid them)

With more than 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram clearly holds an appeal for brands looking to reach key target audiences.

But on the fourth-largest mobile app, it can be all too easy for brands to make very public mistakes.

The following are the 14 biggest mistakes businesses make on Instagram, as well as how you can avoid them for your own brand.

Instagram mistake #1: Purchasing likes or followers

Often, the currency of social media (and Instagram in particular) centers around authenticity. 

Buying your likes and/or Instagram followers may give you quantity, but definitely not quality. And by doing so, you risk breaking the trust of your real followers and commenters.

We also don’t recommend paying for automated outgoing comments because it definitely makes your brand look more like a robot than a personality that people want to engage with. Plus, you’re missing the opportunity to authentically engage with your target audience.

Instead, focus on a strategy where you prioritize engaging content and meaningful interactions with other users.

Instagram mistake #2: Not optimizing your Instagram bio

Too many companies don’t adequately optimize their Instagram bios. Remember that beyond your post that could reach a user who’s unfamiliar with your brand, your bio is often the first impression you can make.

Keep your bio clear, concise and relevant. You can use links, emojis and even line breaks to make your bio unique and easy to understand.

Instagram mistake #3: The use of poor-quality photos or videos

Instagram is a visual-first social media platform. While you don’t have to have the most expensive photographer shoot all your photos and videos, you do have to be thoughtful in the images that you are publishing.

Beautiful is great, but even interesting or well-composed images also work.

Think about your lighting, finding a neutral background and the composition of your images. 

Fortunately, there are many easy-to-use photo editing apps and graphic design tools to edit your images as needed.

Instagram mistake #4: Your posting frequency is off

There’s a fine line to walk on Instagram before you end up posting “too much” or “too little.” It’s such an easy mistake to make.

With too many posts, your brand can look desperate to users. With too few, your brand’s Instagram account can appear inactive and forgettable.

The “right” number is not only ever evolving but can also depend on your industry and audience. 

For example, a news outlet could post multiple times per day, and that makes sense. A retail brand, on the other hand, would be more likely to post a few times per week.

Keep an eye on your analytics, so that you can find the sweet spot for your own brand’s posting frequency.

Instagram mistake #5: Ignoring your performance analytics

A huge (but common) mistake brands can make on Instagram involves ignoring your data, or at least not using your metrics enough to inform your strategy.

But go beyond the vanity metrics. It’s not only about likes. Keep your reach, audience demographics and more in mind as you publish your content.

Seeing what works and what doesn’t will only make your Instagram strategy that much stronger.

Dive deeper with our guide on Instagram Insights.

Instagram mistake #6: Using too many hashtags

A powerful tool on Instagram, hashtags (when used correctly) can help your content organically reach more users.

However, you can use too many and shoot your brand in the foot.

While you can use up to 30 hashtags, you’ll more likely see only a handful in use on any given post. Up to 11 hashtags is generally accepted these days.

See our six tips to master hashtags on Instagram.

Instagram mistake #7: Inattention to sharing quality content

All content is not created equal.

If you allow the quality of your overall content to slide, then you risk publishing posts that are boring, spammy and/or out of touch. Big mistake.

Don’t post just to post. Always ask yourself if what you’re posting is intriguing, informative and/or fun. If it is, your target audience will more likely engage with it. What does your audience care about?

See our seven tips for leveling up your brand’s content marketing.

Instagram mistake #8: Being impersonal

Just because you’re speaking for and representing your brand, doesn’t mean that you’re not human. Many brands make the mistake of being too professional. 

Take a moment to think about your brand voice and how you should be engaging with and speaking to your target audience on Instagram.

Instagram mistake #9: Lacking an Instagram strategy

An Instagram strategy goes beyond just what you’re going to do, it drills into what your Instagram goals are and what actions should happen to help achieve those goals.

No matter what your goals are, it’s very difficult to achieve them without a plan to do so. That lack of a plan or strategy is a big Instagram mistake.

Dive deeper into what you should do with our 16 Instagram marketing tips.

Instagram mistake #10: Inconsistency with your visuals

This ties into your branding. What colors, aesthetics and tone define your brand? Inconsistencies with your overall visual presentation is a mistake.

Now, apply that to the compilation of all your Instagram images. When you look at your Instagram profile (and all your images in one place), is there a consistent look and feel?

Variations can exist, of course. But the idea is that overall, an Instagram follower should generally recognize your content when it appears in your feed.

Your consistent visual presentation can be included in your overall Instagram strategy. It could be as simple as a style guide.

Instagram mistake #11: Errors in your captions

Just like with any other piece of your digital marketing, typos put the perception of your professionalism and credibility at risk.

But even marketing writers can make mistakes. We’re all human.

So, include a proofing process into your social media publishing (not just Instagram).

Instagram mistake #12: Not embracing Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are not as new as they used to be, and about 500 million users use this feature. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring this important feature.

Instagram Stories feature fun, authentic content in a vertical orientation that disappears after a day. Stories can be used to share behind-the-scenes moments, first-person narratives and more. The sky’s the limit as far as creativity.

Instagram mistake #13: Lack of engagement with followers

Social media is not a broadcasting platform, Instagram included. It’s about conversations.

Every time a user comments on your Instagram posts, that’s an opportunity to engage with him and her that can help build a trusting relationship.

Go beyond planning and publishing your content. Consider one of the many social media management tools that can help you not only schedule your posts but monitor all engagement actions on that content. Social media management in general can help you stay on top of all social media activity.

Instagram mistake #14: Including links in your post captions

Instagram does not allow for clickable URLs in post captions. By including “links” in your captions, not only will it look messy and not work, but you’ll look like you don’t know what you’re doing on the platform.

The best practice is to include your relevant link in your bio and refer users to click that. It’s a common practice. If you need to share more than one link at the same time, websites like Linktree and Campsite can create a “landing page” of links that can be found through a single link that you can include in your bio link.

If you have at least 10,000 followers, you can include links in your Instagram Stories as well.

In conclusion

Whether you’ve made any of these Instagram mistakes or not, it’s never too late to improve and move forward.

Check out our list of challenges and opportunities that small businesses face on Instagram.

Plus, you can think about the bigger picture with our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners.

As you’re looking to avoid the biggest Instagram mistakes, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Personal, Creator or Business: Which Instagram account is right for your brand?

Instagram is a vital marketing platform for many brands. Are you using the right account type?

The visual-first social media app boasts more than 1 billion users worldwide. More women use Instagram than men, and the majority of users are between 25 and 34 years old.

If your brand is targeting a younger, female audience, Instagram likely is already part of your digital marketing strategy.

Dive deeper with our breakdown of Instagram’s challenges and opportunities for small businesses.

When using the platform, you have the option to use a personal, Creator or Business account. Two of these are considered professional, while one is considered personal for obvious reasons.

Depending on your brand and needs on Instagram, it’s important to understand what’s involved with each type of Instagram account and whether you’re using the right one.

Personal Instagram accounts

About 80 percent of all Instagram accounts are personal, so it’s the most commonly used type.

On a personal account, there are no analytics or API access, which means that you can’t schedule posts, use Facebook Creator Studio to manage your Instagram presence or get third-party access to performance analytics.

In addition, personal accounts do not have contact buttons on the profile, gift card delivery stickers or the “swipe-up” function in Stories (that can send viewers to a website).

While all of those down sides likely are a no-go for your business, keep in mind that personal Instagram accounts have access to all music options in Instagram Reels and Stories and are the only account type that can be private.

Business vs. Creator Instagram accounts

Considering the likelihood (and best practice) that your brand is not going to use a personal Instagram account, then the question remains: Should your brand use Business or Creator instead?

Similarities

Business and Creator Instagram accounts do have a lot of similar features, including: 

  • Access to Instagram Insights
  • Two-tab inbox (Primary and General) to best manage a potentially high number of direct messages
  • Saved replies
  • Shoppable posts
  • Contact buttons on your profile
  • Gift card delivery stickers
  • Access to branded content features that enable collaboration with other accounts

Differences

Of course, on the flip side, there are a couple of key differences between the two types of Instagram accounts.

Instagram Business accounts are intended for brands that are making money or selling something. They do have API access, which means that posts can be scheduled, access to Facebook Creator Studio (which allows you to manage your Instagram from a desktop computer if you wish) and the option to use third-party analytics tools.

Instagram Creator accounts are intended for influencers, who are individuals who have a sizeable, engaged following. (Find out more about influencer marketing.)

Instagram Creator accounts do not have API access, but they do have access to the full music library on the platform.

Business accounts only have the royalty-free music library, which is limited (and not tied into relevant pop culture).

Business and Creator accounts also have different profile categories. For example, a public figure using a Creator account could choose from “chef,” “writer” and so on, but a brand using a Business account could choose from categories, such as “bakery” or “advertising agency.”

While both account types offer the ability to show contact information on your profile, only the Instagram Business account can include a physical location address.

In addition, the call-to-actions available for the profile button differ between Business and Creator accounts. Creator accounts only have “book now” and “reserve” options, while Business accounts have more.

Therefore, the decision between using a Business or Creator account is typically a straightforward one. Most businesses opt for the Business account.

How to change your Instagram account type

Need to change your Instagram account type or not sure what type you currently have?

Open your Instagram app, go to your profile and tap on the three-line “hamburger” menu button in the top right. Go to Settings, and select the Account option.

At the bottom of the Account selection, you’ll see the option to switch your account type. The options available will be what you aren’t using currently. For example, if you have a Creator account, you’ll only see the options to change to a Business or personal account type.

Be wary of making frequent switches between account types. Doing so delays your access to certain features. Instagram does this to help prevent the abuse of bouncing between account types to get the best features of both. Frequent switches can ultimately lead to your account being flagged as spam by Instagram as well.

Looking to get a jump on your Instagram marketing? See our 16 tips.

While you’re considering your Instagram account type, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

16 Instagram marketing tips that you should know

Marketing on Instagram is a non-negotiable aspect of digital marketing for many brands.

The visuals-first social media platform boasts more than 1.16 billion users, and about 90 percent of Instagram users follow at least one business.

While the success of any brand on Instagram involves high-quality images and videos in the feed and authentic visual content in Stories, don’t be intimidated if your business doesn’t lend itself to obvious visuals. Just check out what Staples is doing on Instagram based on office supplies.

If you are trying to reach a younger audience, see our guide on evaluating the value of marketing on Instagram versus Snapchat versus TikTok.

Also dive into the challenges and opportunities of Instagram for small businesses.

The following are 16 Instagram marketing tips you should know about to boost the impact your brand can make on the platform.

Marketing with an Instagram business account

It’s important to use an Instagram Business account when marketing on the platform.

You can check that you are (and switch if necessary) by going into your Instagram profile and tapping on the menu icon at the top right. Then, tap on “Settings,” “Account,” and then opt to switch to a professional account.

By using a business account, you’ll have access to Instagram Insights, ads, Instagram Shop, primary and secondary messaging inboxes, contact information on your profile and a call-to-action button on your profile.

In other words, this type of Instagram account gives you more tools in your marketing toolbox.

Determine your Instagram goals

Just with any marketing tactic, you must set your goals to best define your approach and strategy.

Ask yourself what you want to accomplish by marketing on Instagram. Some examples include:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Get new leads
  • Establish your brand as an industry leader
  • Create an alternative selling method

Or, of course, you could have a combined goal, but the simpler the goal, the better. That makes it easier to set a timeframe and stay focused on a limited number of metrics that tie into your goal.

To keep it simple and help prioritize, consider what you’d like to accomplish first above all else.

Dive deeper with our seven expert tips to set achievable marketing goals for your small business.

Understand your target audience

First, the following you have (or can grow) on Instagram is going to be different than any other social media platform. Second, you must determine whether this syncs up with your target audience, or if there is some work you must do to better align your Instagram content to the wants, needs and interests of your target audience.

While Instagram users tend to skew younger, that doesn’t mean the overall users of the app aren’t diverse.

Dive deeper with our seven tips to help determine your target audience

Optimize your Instagram profile

No detail is too small when it comes to your Instagram profile. Other than your posts, this is your first impression for countless users who come across your content for one reason or another. This is where users purposefully go to find out more about you. Don’t leave them disappointed or confused.

Some points to consider:

  • Be personable and as detailed as possible in your 150-character Instagram bio.
  • Be clear in your name, where you are allowed 30 characters
  • Your username (or handle) should also make sense.
  • Include your website link in the URL field (but know that you can change that out as often as you like).
  • Choose a category for your business.
  • Maintain up-to-date contact information.
  • Take advantage of available call-to-action buttons.
  • Choose the right profile photo that bests represents your business (often your logo).

Create and post visually engaging content

Because Instagram is a visual-first platform, your posts and Stories have to be eye-catching to say the least.

While professional photography equipment (and skills) may not be available to you, that’s OK. Focus on photos and videos that are in focus and well-lit. Any infographics (or other illustrations) should be easy-to-read and crisp.

Of course, it’s not enough to have well-composed photos. There needs to be a story that you’re conveying in every post to encourage engagement. Compelling posts can include:

  • Behind-the-scenes content
  • Regrams of user-generated content
  • How-to explainers

Ideally, you’re striving to publish Instagram content that’s worthy of sharing and commenting, not just liking.

Keep in mind that your content doesn’t just have to come from you. It can be sourced from your fans, customers and/or other users as well.

Consistent Instagram look and feel

More than any other social media platform, brands must consider what the look and feel of their overall Instagram presence.

We mentioned Staples earlier. You’ll notice their branded red throughout their posts in addition to the same branded fonts and other bright, bold colors. Their images are all very clean and clear.

Your look and feel should reflect your brand overall and be recognizable in your followers’ news feeds, but give yourself a little latitude to play. It’s all about being consistent.

Don’t underestimate the power of your captions

Because Instagram is a visual medium, it’s easy to overlook the opportunity you have with your captions. Your brand’s voice is just as important as your brand’s look. Again, you want to be consistent here.

There is a lot of flexibility in what you can say since you have up to 2,200 characters available to you. Just keep in mind that only the first two lines of text will automatically show in a news feed, without tapping the More button.

In other words, while you can say as much as you like, you’ll want to lead with the most important information in those first couple of lines.

As far as ideal caption length on Instagram, strive for between 138 and 150 characters on organic posts and 125 characters on ads. You can go longer. Just make sure it adds value to your content.

Be smart about your Instagram hashtags

Hashtags are a viable way to increase your discoverability on Instagram. You can use up to 30 hashtags in a single Instagram post, but to be fair, it’s not recommended to use all 30.

Instead, identify about a half dozen relevant hashtags to include with your post. 

Dive deeper with our six tips on mastering Instagram hashtags.

Don’t just broadcast, engage

Just like with any social media platform, success is not based on only publishing the best content. It’s a mix of factors, one of the biggest being your brand engaging with other users and accounts.

Definitely respond to comments on your own posts and direct messages sent to your account. But you also should invest time liking and commenting on other posts that are relevant to your brand for whatever reason. 

It’s those small actions that add up to building a true online community, not just a one-way broadcasting platform.

Check out these 10 tips to get more likes and engagement on your Instagram posts.

Embrace Instagram Stories

While only half of businesses on Instagram use the Stories feature, about a third of the most viewed Stories are posted by businesses.

In other words, you have a great opportunity to engage with your audience through Instagram Stories.

Because Stories content disappears after 24 hours, followers expect Stories to be less polished and more authentic than your Instagram feed.

When considering what to publish in Stories, remember that this is a visual storytelling opportunity, where several Stories can work together to tell a story. So, you want to:

  • Have a message you’d like to convey in mind.
  • Use multiple “scenes” (image or video) to string together.
  • Include a call-to-action that is very clear to viewers
  • Keep your brand identity (look and feel) consistent

You can also reshare others’ Stories that tag you into your own Stories. Just act fast because the opportunity to reshare disappears after 24 hours.

Stories can also be saved longer than 24 hours and categorized into Highlights on your Instagram profile. Cover images are recommended for your Story Highlights as well to maintain brand identity.

Go live on Instagram

To connect with your audience in real time, you’ll want to go live. Of course, even though the expectation on Instagram Live is raw, authentic content, you can still go in with a plan. Some options: 

  • Go behind the scenes at a product launch or an event.
  • Host a Q&A.
  • Lead a workshop or tutorial.
  • Go live with an expert, employee, customer or influencer by using the “Add A Guest” feature.

Consider Instagram Shop in your strategy

About 130 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts every month.

With a professional account on Instagram, you can create your own online store inside of Instagram. Doing so makes a “View Shop” button appear on your Instagram profile.

In addition, with a “Shop” tab on the Explore page of Instagram, having an Instagram Shop will make you more discoverable.

Instagram Reels worth experimenting with

Another content feature on the visual-first platform is Instagram Reels, which are multi-cuut videos (similar to TikTok).

Just as you would play with content on Instagram Stories, the same should happen with Reels. Not sure where to start? Watch some Reels, whether they’re from within your industry or not, to get a feel for different approaches.

Check out our seven best practices for Facebook or Instagram Reels.

Explore an influencer partnership

Influencer marketing is only growing, and Instagram is one of the best platforms for it.

Of course, a partnership doesn’t just happen. You’ll want to do your research and analyze the value of working with possible influencers. Often, a simple Instagram takeover is a common tactic to start with.

Dig deeper with our seven tips to know before starting your first influencer marketing campaign.

Go beyond organic reach with Instagram ads

Based on your target audience, you can better reach them by running Instagram ads, which can be created through Instagram but also by using the Facebook Ad Manager (since Facebook owns Instagram).

You can target by location, demographics, interests and behaviors to best reach the people who will most likely be interested in your business and what you offer.

See our six tips to maximize your social media advertising budget.

Monitor performance with Instagram Insights

Tracking your metrics is an important aspect of any digital marketing campaign, whether it’s on Instagram or not.

Regularly checking on your performance in Instagram Insights will show you what is working and what’s not. Then, you can pivot your strategy quickly to do more of what performs and less of what doesn’t.

See our guide on Instagram metrics.

Not sure if Instagram is the right social media platform for your brand, check out our breakdown of how to determine which one is.

As you’re working through your Instagram marketing strategy, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Snapshot: Understanding your metrics on Instagram

Instagram has shown itself to be one of the fastest-growing social media platforms. Any successful account should have a sense of what’s working and what’s not for its audience.

On Instagram, you can find Insights data in three different places in the Instagram app.

To access Insights from your account page, tap the bar graph icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. For analytics on an individual post, navigate to the post and tap View Insights in the bottom-left corner. Or, to see data for a story, open the story and tap the names in the bottom-left corner.

Insights homepage

The Insights homepage shows a summary of data for the content you’ve posted in the last seven days.

In the top section, find out how many total followers you have and how many you’ve gained in the past seven days.

You can also view how many total posts you have on your account and how many you’ve added in the previous week. Scroll down to see a series of bar graphs that reveal the total impressions, reach, and profile views for the past 7 days, and then you can swipe to view website clicks and call-to-action button clicks (Call, Email, Directions).

On the Insights homepage, scroll down to the Followers section to see a summary of follower demographics including gender, age group, and location. Note that you need at least 100 followers to see demographic data. Tap “See More” to open a page with graphs that break down follower demographics in more detail.

More on followers

At the bottom of the Followers section, you’ll find two graphs that show when your followers are most active on the network.

In the first graph, find out when your followers are online each day. Scroll down to the second graph to discover which days your followers are most likely to be online. Look for patterns in the times and days your followers are online, so you can post content at times that will maximize reach and engagement. You can then create a posting schedule that best reflects when your audience is online.

More about posts

The Posts section of the Instagram Insights homepage shows your three most recent posts. Tap See More to view additional posts.

By default, the Posts section shows the total number of impressions for all of your posts in the past year. To segment this data, tap any of the blue links at the top of the page and choose from these filters:

  • Content type (all, photos, videos, and carousel posts)
  • Measurement (comments, engagement, impressions, likes, reach, and saved)
  • Time (7 days, 30 days, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years)

Individual posts

If you want to see data for an individual post, open the post and then tap View Insights in the bottom-left corner. Drag up to view a variety of metrics for that post.

At the top, you find engagement stats (likes, comments, and saves). In the Actions section, discover what actions users took on your profile after seeing this post.

Instagram Stories

You can access insights for your Instagram Stories from the Insights homepage or directly from an individual story post.

If you access stories data from the Insights homepage, you see all of your Stories posts for the past 2 weeks. This view only shows data in the aggregate; you can’t click on individual posts.

By default, Instagram shows impressions data for your stories. Tap one of the blue links at the top of the page to filter Stories data by time (24 hours, 7 days, and 14 days) and action. Analyze this data to find out what Stories content is resonating with your audience and what content is causing them to exit or swipe away. Use these insights to inform future Stories content.

To see insights for an individual Instagram Story, open the Story and tap “Seen By” in the bottom-left corner. From here, you’ll see which users saw the post, total impressions and reach, and what actions were taken on the post. The actions include replies, swipes away, and clicks on stickers and tagged accounts.

The most important thing is to simply start digging into your data. The takeaways will only fuel a better posting strategy on the visual-first social media platform.

For a deeper look, Instagram details every aspect of its data offerings.

You also can dive deeper into the opportunities and challenges of Instagram for small businesses. and our six tips to master Instagram hashtags.

Then, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Which social media platform is right for your company?

At a time when there are so many social media platforms and businesses know that they need to be relevant online, which platform is best?

The answer isn’t one size fits all. Most importantly, don’t assume that you have to spread out across all platforms. Without a planned strategy and the needed resources, you can do more harm than good by spreading yourself too thin across social media.

Here is a breakdown of each major social media platform, with a few posting tips for each:

YouTube equals billions of hours of videos

Every day, users watch a billion hours of video on YouTube, according to Hootsuite, and it is the 2nd most-visited website in existence, according to Alexa.

In 2018, 73 percent of Americans now use YouTube, according to Hootsuite.

If you’re targeting a younger audience, the top three platforms for teens are now YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, according to Hootsuite. In fact, Statista says that 96 percent of 18- to 24-year-old American internet users use YouTube.

For companies, YouTube might have a low barrier of entry, but video can be intimidating to jump into.

If you need a little inspiration, check out Lego, which has almost twice as many views as any other brand on YouTube. They put out consistent original content on multiple channels.

But remember that you’re an expert in your field. What are the micro moments that you’re always educating your customers on? Each of those can be a separate YouTube video.

Does your business create a product? Product review videos are huge. In fact, people have watched 50,000 years of product review videos.

For the best chance of being discovered on YouTube, optimize everything for search. Otherwise known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), think about keywords and phrases that users will search that your video should appear as a result. Then, use them in your caption and title.

Check out our 20 tips to grow your YouTube channel subscribers.

Facebook can’t be ignored

Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms, currently only ranking behind Google and YouTube as most visited website worldwide.

There are over 2.38 billion monthly active users globally as of March 31, 2019, according to the social network, which saw an 8 percent increase year over year.

To put it another way, 63 percent of all Americans used Facebook in 2018, according to Hootsuite.

For mobile specifically, Facebook Messenger is the most downloaded app, followed by the main Facebook app, according to Hootsuite.

Not only are your customers (and potential customers) on Facebook, your competition is likely there as well. For most businesses, Facebook is a good platform to start with.

Dive deeper into the opportunities and challenges of Facebook for small businesses.

As far as posting, the highest traffic on Facebook happens between 1 to 3 p.m., according to Bit.ly.

But a Facebook post at 7 p.m. will result in more clicks on average than posting at 8 p.m., according to Forbes. Engagement also is 18 percent higher on Thursdays and Fridays (as people start thinking about the upcoming weekend), according to Bit.ly.

Learn how to better understand your metrics on Facebook.

So, while you have the ability to reach more people during peak times, increased engagement happens in the evenings (think post-dinner).

Check out our guides to optimize your Facebook business page or Facebook group to help grow your business.

Instagram great for visuals, retail

Instagram is a visual-first sharing social media platform. The audience has grown from 90 million monthly active users in January 2013 to 1 billion monthly active users as of June 2018, according to Hubspot.

It’s a solid No. 3 most-used social media platform in the United States, but it’s important to remember that Instagram is owned by Facebook, which can lead to cross-posting and advertising opportunities.

But more than anything, Instagram is known for its younger audience. About 71 percent of young adults (ages 18 to 24) used Instagram in 2018, compared with 37 percent who did so in 2013, according to the Pew Research Center.

Dive into the opportunities and challenges of Instagram for small businesses.

Retail brands do particularly well on Instagram. Eight of the top 15 most followed brands on Instagram are retail businesses, according to Statista.

With posting, photos showing faces on Instagram get 38 percent more likes than those not showing faces. SproutSocial also reports that images with a single dominant color generate 17 percent more likes than images with multiple dominant colors.

In addition, more negative space and blue (versus red) perform better.

There’s also not a lot of evidence to suggest any particular caption length drives increased engagement. So, shorter isn’t better or worse than longer captions. Focus on the quality instead.

See our six tips to master hashtags on Instagram.

Twitter smaller and more urban

About 326 million people use Twitter every month, according to the platform. This is 9 million fewer than it had in mid-2018, and 4 million fewer than late 2017. The decline is largely being attributed to the purge of spambot accounts.

Nonetheless, Twitter is a smaller social platform, with 24 percent of American internet users on it, according to Statista. The audience also skews more urban than rural.

Dive into the opportunities and challenges of Twitter for small businesses.

The typical half life of a tweet is about 24 minutes. This means that a tweet gets half of its interactions in the first 24 minutes, with the rest slowly coming in over time at a slower rate. Brands tweeted an average of 122 times a month last year, according to Statista.

Learn how to better understand your Twitter metrics.

While Hootsuite says that the best time to tweet is 3 p.m. on weekdays, keep an eye on your analytics. Everyone’s audience can act and engage a little differently. Tweets with GIFs also perform 55 percent better, according to Twitter. Video and images enhance engagement as well, so think about mixing your tweets up and going beyond the text-only tweet.

Check out our eight expert tips to market your business better on Twitter.

Any other social media platforms?

Depending on your business niche, TikTok (a Gen Z video platform), Snapchat (a dynamic messaging platform) and Pinterest (an aspirational idea platform) could have a place in your strategy. However, do your research first, and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is my targeted audience on this platform?
  • Which brands are successful on this platform?
  • Do I have the time and resources to invest in a niche platform?

Unsure whether to use Instagram, Snapchat or Tiktok to reach a teenage audience? See our guide.

Every social media platform is different, with its own nuances and audiences. As a brand, focus on one first, find your rhythm there and then branch out to the next.

To expand beyond social media in your digital marketing, see our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners.

Then, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentations and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.