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Don’t be like me – get on Instagram now if you aren’t on it already.

You are probably thinking: Instagram is one of the world’s top social platforms, but just how many people use Instagram today? According to statistics from Data Reportal, “based on its global advertising audience reach numbers, Instagram has at least 1.628 billion users around the world as of April 2023. The total number of users that companies can reach on Instagram increased by roughly 310 million (an increase of 23.5%) in the three months leading up to April 2023.”

I just got on Instagram last month. Yes, you read that correctly, last month. It was a mistake for me to have waited so long. But if you know me, I’m one of those people that does a lot of research before I look at new technology. As I was deciding how best to craft an Instagram presence, I wanted to figure out the best way to use this platform to the fullest. I found three tips that include:

1. You have to know when to post. In the article “When Is the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2023? [Cheat Sheet]” written by Jana Rumberger, she says, “If you’re new to social media you might start posting as often as you can and see what happens. But what if you add some scientific thinking to the process? For example, you could try posting at different times of day and jotting down the likes per minute for each post.”

Of course, loyalty takes time and effort to build. It’s especially tough for small businesses that must compete with big brands on social media. Posting during peak times on Instagram helps you connect with more of your followers at once. It shows your audience that you want to engage with them and keeps your brand top of mind. It also helps set expectations. Building loyalty is about more than great products and customer service. It’s about being a consistent presence in their feeds that helps you build relationships.

2. Use video to get noticed. Sprout Social says, “Although Stories might be king in terms of content, videos aren’t far behind. The need to produce video is universal among all social networks and Instagram is no exception. The good news? Doing so is easier than ever thanks to the slew of apps out there that serve as your pocket studio.”

As I mentioned in a prior column, I use my smartphone and some really great software to create videos. Words are great, but everyone loves a good video.

3. Don’t forget to engage. Buffer advises, “Using Instagram for business doesn’t mean turning your profile into a nonstop sales pitch. Instagram is a social media platform, so learn to socialize. If someone takes the time to share their thoughts with you, it’s important to respond to them and show that you’re listening. Responding to comments is a great way to build a strong community on Instagram.”

Just like anything else, Instagram takes work. You have to be on the platform and socialize. Just posting marketing content won’t work.

I’ve loved being on Instagram. I hope you’ll use it to grow your business.