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10 Tips for Finding Success on Instagram in 2022

If you’re already using Instagram as part of your B2B arsenal, you’ve probably heard talk of the almighty “algorithm” that dictates which content is shown to whom, when, and how often. You’ve also likely been frustrated with the lack of transparency that Instagram offers when it comes to the metrics it uses to rank content.

In fact, according to Instagram, there isn’t even one “algorithm” to figure out. In reality, Instagram decides what to show its users based on “a variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes, each with its own purpose.”

A “variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes,” doesn’t exactly clear things up. But there certainly are steps you can take to maximize your potential reach and engagement. Here are our 10 tips for finding Instagram success in 2022.

1. Define Your Goals
Before you ask what or how often to post, you need to think about why you want to be on Instagram in the first place. Is it to create brand awareness? Or maybe you want to generate more leads and get people on your website? Depending on what success looks like for your company, you might want to focus on boosting followers or maybe you center your efforts on raising the conversion rates of your paid ads. Think about it like this: If you are going to spend valuable time on developing, posting, and analyzing, you should make sure you’re getting something out of it.

  • Start by getting a baseline. Assess your current Instagram landscape and build your goals from there.
  • Be realistic. If you have 10 followers, getting to 1 million in three months is probably not going to happen. Getting to 1,000? That seems more likely. Depending on the market or industry, B2B can be slower to accrue than for B2C companies or general creators. Set an attainable goal for yourself and continue to build on that.
  • Make sure it’s working for you. Followers are cool. So are likes. But are they converting into business or sales? Amassing followers or going viral can boost metrics, but if it isn’t part of your core base of current or potential customers, what impact is it really having? In the conversation around algorithms, followers and interactions, the most important focus sometimes gets lost: the customer. Unlike B2C, followers and reach aren’t necessarily currency for a B2B company on Instagram. Think about your customers. They are your audience. Think about who they are, what they like and what they want to see. Build your personas based on this, and then create content for them.

2. Define Your Brand
When customers see your post, you want them to know it’s your post. Even if it is subtle, having a consistent look and feel across your posts can help to quickly identify your brand. It’ll help you stand out from the noise and be recognizable.

The key is to create consistency across all your channels including Instagram. If you are already using social content somewhere else, you can carry it over to Instagram so your followers can easily identify your brand. If you don’t already have a brand identity for social channels, don’t worry. If your company has a style guide, that’s often a good place to start as fonts, colors, and shapes will likely be laid out for you. Beyond that, decide what you want your posts to look like. Will you post mostly graphics or photos? Do you use stock images? What’s the tone of your captions like? And don’t worry. You can start small and change and grow as your Instagram profile grows.

Symmetri likes to have fun with our Instagram account.

3. Post content that people want to see.
Yes, I know, it sounds obvious. But remember: Instagram wants people to use their app. The bottom line is that the more time users spend on their app, the more ad profit Instagram can make. This means that they want to make the user experience as engaging as possible. Instagram shows people what it thinks they want to see. Sure, there’s a complicated soup of coding that decides what exactly that means, but the point is, the more value your content adds to your viewers, whether through entertaining them, educating them, or tapping into their emotions, the more they will interact with it.

With your goals in mind, make decisions about what content you’ll actually be posting. Think about what type of content will best engage the audience you want.

4. Use a Business Profile
In the past, there’s been some speculation that Instagram favors posts that come from personal accounts, but Instagram has confirmed that that is not the case. In reality, there are countless benefits to using a business profile on Instagram: added credibility, a contact button on your profile, and the ability to add links to stories, just to name a few. However, the biggest benefit of a business account is that you get access to Instagram Analytics. With this tool, you can gain insight not only on how your posts perform, but also on your audience. These stats can help you quantify your success and compare them to the goals you set. From there, you can learn what does well with whom and adjust your plan accordingly.

5. Make a Schedule and Stick to It
Maybe you’ve heard that you should post every day. Well, maybe in an ideal world that’s true, but for a lot of businesses, it's just not possible. No matter how often you’re posting, whether once a week or twice a day, be consistent. A schedule will keep people engaged with your content and let them know what to expect. For potential new followers, consistent posting shows that you’re active and engaged and therefore worth following.

6. Interact with Your Followers
Don’t be afraid to engage with your followers. Reply to comments, feature people who tag you, and use interactive stickers on your stories. Much like business itself, success on Instagram is about creating meaningful interactions. Genuine engagement is something that ranks very high on Instagram's value system, so any chance you can get to make a connection with your audience is a chance to boost your brand.

7. Make Good use of your Profile Page
Your profile page is an opportunity to tell users everything they need to know about your company. Instagram gives you a bunch of different tools to do that. Make sure you fill out all the information someone could need: your website, email, phone number, location, etc. Spend time crafting a bio that embodies your organization. In a lot of cases, your profile is the first impression that a potential customer has of your brand.

8. Use Reels
Over the last few years, it’s been clear that Instagram is becoming more and more focused on video content. In 2016 they increased the length of videos allowed to be posted from 15 seconds to 60. Then, in 2018, Instagram introduced IGTV, followed by reels in 2020. In fact, earlier this summer, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri said that Instagram is “no longer a square photo sharing app” but rather a general entertainment app. Instagram plans to “embrace video more broadly,” so it might be a good time to start considering more video content.

9. Be Specific with Hashtags (But Not Too Specific)
Hashtags are tricky because too many are annoying, but too few are wasted potential. There isn’t some magic number for how many hashtags you should be using. A pretty popular number is three per post, but some people say up to 11 is good. The best way to figure out what’s best for you is to test different hashtags and then look at what worked in your insights. Generally, it’s a good idea to avoid broad hashtags as your post will just get buried, but overly specific hashtags will likely have very few users. To illustrate, let’s say you own a travel agency. You’ll likely want to avoid things like #travel or #wanderlust since those are some of the most popular hashtags on Instagram, but a super niche option like #chicagotravelagentwithbrownhair is probably only used by you and therefore not helpful for getting your posts in front of people. That said, a custom hashtag like your company name can be useful for brand recognition, but at first it likely won’t help with reach.

10. Don’t Do It Yourself
So you’re all set! All you have to do is come up with a bunch of goals, align your brand identity with your goals, come up with content, make a schedule, keep up with that schedule, interact with your followers, keep up with the current trends, find some good hashtags, and then continue to plan, post, and adapt as Instagram changes it’s variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes. Oh, and don’t forget to do the same for Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.

Okay, maybe it’s not actually that simple. These days, social media is a full time job with larger companies having entire teams dedicated to handling just one platform. If you have the time and expertise to do your own social media, that’s great, but not every B2B company does.

Luckily, if you’re feeling like all this is a little overwhelming you have options. Symmetri offers a variety of digital marketing services, including several types of social media services.

One more. (We said we like to use humor!)