Founded in 2010, Instagram is a mobile social networking service that enables users to take photos and videos, apply digital filters to them and share them on a variety of other social networks. Although there are web profiles to view the visual streams, all content must be originally published via a mobile phone. A distinctive feature is that it confines photos and videos to a square aspect ratio, and video uploads are limited to 15 seconds.
- 200 million monthly active users.
- 20 billion photos shared.
- Average of 60 million photos shared per day.
- 35% of users access the site multiple times per day.
- Average user spends 257 minutes a month on the site.
- 51% of the 2014 graduating high school students use Instagram daily.
- 36% of 18-29 year olds in the US have an Instagram account.
- The most popular filter is Normal (or no filter) with nearly 50% of photos.
- The second most popular filter is Valencia with 6% of photos.
- The most popular hashtag is #love.
- Owned by Facebook.
- Brands that post on Instagram deliver 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.
Setting Up A Page
Once you have determined that Instagram is the best platform to help you reach your goals, follow the steps below to launch your page.
- Download the Instagram app on your mobile phone. Then follow the instructions located here: https://help.instagram.com/182492381886913/. Do not register with Facebook – use a Rowan University email address to register your account.
- Choose your username. This will become your Instagram’s website URL. It must be fewer than 30 characters in length. If you have a Twitter account, use an identical username. Whenever possible, Rowan should be listed prior to the college, department or program to help build a consistent awareness of all units and broader search relevancy. “RU” should not be used unless the expanded versions cannot accommodate character limits.
- Choose your profile graphic. Recommended dimensions are 180x180 pixels. Use one of the customizable icons created [here], or if you would like to create your own you must first submit it to University Web Services for approval.
- Fill out your profile. Update your bio by describing your department, program or initiative and how it is unique to Rowan University in 150 characters or less. Complete the website field.
People find the most value on Instagram by bringing unique identities and values to life through captivating imagery in a simple, uncluttered environment.
New photos and videos from those you follow will show up in a visual stream on your Instagram home tab every time you log in. Because of this photographic, real-time stream, taking visually stimulating photos and videos should be considered one of your primary goals on Instagram.
Follow the best practices below to get the most out of your updates. You can also visit Instagram’s comprehensive list of Getting Started tips here.
- Discover relevant sources.
- Find and follow other Instagram accounts relevant to Rowan University and topics specific to your initiative.
- Use the ‘Explore’ tab to discover topics that might be of interest to you based on the type of posts with which you interact.
- Post several times per week (a couple times per week or as many as 3-5 times per day).
- 43% of accounts post more than once a day.
- Post outside of normal business hours.
- Space posts out by at least one hour (can be less time during events that ignite heavier traffic).
- Share compelling content and tell your story.
- Post photos that users can’t see anywhere else.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with new content.
- Pay attention to what users like and comment on the most.
- Experiment with different filters to see what garners the most interaction.
- Engage your community with hashtags.
- Make it easy for other like-minded Instagrammers to find you by making sure your tags describe your post.
- Pay attention to other hashtags used on posts that use the same tag as yours.
- Participate in the top trending hashtags on Instagram.
- 83% of posts include at least one hashtag.
- Posts that include up to five relevant hashtags receive the most interaction.
Social media encourages two-way interaction, so it’s important to give your Instagram community something they want to see. It’s an opportunity for advocates to communicate with you and see what you have to offer in an environment that cultivates user-generated content.
Follow the best practices below to get the most out of your updates. You can also visit Instagram’s best practices for business here.
- Monitor page at least twice per day for comments and hashtag interaction.
- Answer questions and add input to show users that you’re listening.
- “Like” relevant photos and videos.
- Cross-promote with other Rowan University Instagram accounts.
- Gain insight into what strategies they use and what types of photos/videos are garnering the most interaction.
- Share photos and videos sparingly to existing Twitter and Facebook accounts, where visuals ignite more engagement.
- Interact with your community.
- Monitor keywords and search for people who may not necessarily reach out to you directly.
Instagram does not yet have an internal analytics platform, however you can track important metrics here: http://iconosquare.com. More specifically, you can see statistics about follower growth and the performance of your photos and videos in relation to likes and comments received. Visual “snapshots” of these metrics can be emailed to you at any time.
We recommend measuring the numbers below at least once per month to determine the success of your page. University Web Services may ask you for a comprehensive report at any time.
Simply, the total number of unique people who follow you on Instagram over time. Use the Tweets tab to track your follows and unfollows.
The number of people that your Instagram page follows.
Measure how often your account posts photos and/or videos to determine if it affects a relative increase or decrease in followers, likes and comments.
Arguably the most important metric, engagement reflects the total number of people who have interacted with your page in any way, including liking and commenting on your photos and using your dedicated hashtag(s). Navigate to the Engagement tab to see your average likes and comments per media. Or navigate to the Overview tab to view your ‘Love,’ ‘Talk’ and ‘Spread’ Rates, which aggregates data about your last photo and the average of your last 15 photos.
Navigate to the Optimization tab to see what your current posting habits are versus the times when your community has been interacting to help you determine the best times to post. Here, you can also view your media’s average lifespan, which filters trigger the highest engagement, and the hashtags you use versus the most popular Instagram hashtags.
Navigate to the Community page to see important information about your audience, such as comparative and reciprocal growth and influential followers. This page also suggests people who often interact with your page who you may want to follow back.