Yesterday I took a little field trip down to the Instagram headquarters in Culver City. You’re probably wondering how in the world I was able to do this? My management team got us in touch with our contact over there who helped us set up a meeting to come in, explore, and sit with someone to get some Insta-tips. I’ve been looking forward to this visit for a while because I had tons of questions I wanted to ask them!
Facebook obviously owns Instagram so when we arrived into the Facebook building, the first thing that drew my attention was their employee cafeteria. They have a wall of snacks!!!!! (Pregnant woman in the house! LOL) When we went upstairs for our meeting, I noticed a life-sized chair that I HAD to take a pic of. Their space is super chill and casual with couches everywhere so that’s where we decided to have our little one-on-one meeting. Stevie and I were ready to ask a million questions and I thought I would sum up a few from our visit to share with you! Instagram is a huge part of both my businesses (personal and Bless Box) so we’re always looking for ways to utilize the platform and strategize new ways to grow and reach a wider audience.
Here were a few (not all!) of my questions, with my Instagram consultant’s responses (I paraphrased) underneath:
1. Is Instagram going to surprise us anytime soon with ANOTHER algorithm change? Not to worry. Right now we are focusing on the user experience and making it more effective and easy to use. (perhaps more Search friendly and discovering new accounts??)
2. Are we eventually going to have to boost/pay for ADs so our followers can see our posts? *Laughs* Absolutely not on our agenda. That would ultimately hurt us just as much as it would hurt you.
3. What are key ways to grow right now? LIVE videos, Insta-Stories, and incorporating more videos in general on your feed. Collaborating with other accounts that your audience will be drawn to is also a great way to grow (ie. keep it relatable and the content has to make sense for your brand)
4. When I promote people to go to my blog through Instagram, am I low key being pinged or penalized by the system for driving people out of the platform? No you’re not. It’s totally fine to promote your personal business and use the platform to cross promote. (She did mention however to be careful with affiliate linking – i.e.. Reward Style, ShopStyle links.. etc.)
5. How many times should I post a day? It really depends on your audience and what works for you. (Then she looked at my analytics through her own secret database) The 1-2 times a day you post actually has worked in your favor in comparison to last years 3-4 posts a day and your engagement is awesome. Keep doing what you are because it’s working!
6. How accurate are the built in analytics and should I be paying close attention to that? We have a totally separate analytics database that we have access to for our partners. (She then showed me a bunch of cool stats and things about my profile I didn’t know!) I recommend that you continue using the built in analytics as a guide but consider it just a small piece of analytics – trust your gut and don’t be afraid to post on a Saturday because it’s your “lowest” engagement day.
The biggest shocker for me was learning I actually have a HUGE Instagram audience from Indonesia! Perhaps I should take a trip there? The biggest takeaway for me from the visit was realizing you have to test and play with all of their features (ie. IG stories, LIVE videos etc) and not be afraid to change things up. The goal is to keep things fresh and exciting for your audience. She recommended utilizing their features to bring light to an area or topic people WANT to see you give them “exclusive” access to. AKA something they wouldn’t necessarily get by just following your feed.
Hope this insight helps any of you out there who have been INSTA-STRESSED lately! 😉 hehe If you’re in the LA area this weekend, I would love to meet you! Come hear me speak at Simply LA at The Grove this weekend and get a free mini Bless Box! 😉 Details here.
P.S 10 Instagram Tips for Bloggers + Social Media Tips for each Platform