Instagram Introduces Insights for Reels and Live


Instagram is rolling out new and improved Insights with Instagram Reels and Live analytics.

In a press release, Instagram stated that this major upgrade would ensure “creators and businesses can understand how their content is performing.”

Find out all the must-know details, as well as how to access the new analytics, in this blog post:

Instagram Insights: New and Improved Reels and Live Analytics 

As part of the update, Instagram will now display detailed analytics for Reels and Live:

Instagram Reels Analytics

For Reels, users will be able to see new metrics including Plays, Accounts Reached, Likes, Comments, Saves, and Shares.

Source: Instagram

They will be available in both the Instagram Insights tab and for individual Reels. 

Instagram Live Analytics

For Live, users will now be able see the number of Accounts Reached, Peak Concurrent Viewers, Comments, and Shares.

Source: Instagram

In addition to this valuable extra data, Instagram has updated the Instagram Insights experience.  

The new format includes new data breakdowns that provide transparency into which types of accounts you’re reaching, and which content formats are the most effective at driving Reach:

Source: Instagram

“We know that understanding more about how content is being distributed is important,” Instagram explained. 

“We have been inspired by the ways our community has embraced these content formats and want to make sure creators and businesses can understand how their content is performing,” they added. 

ICYMI: You can view up to 1 year’s worth of feed post and stories analytics in Later’s desktop dashboard, making it super easy to identify your biggest opportunities for growth. Ready to take your content strategy to the next level? Sign up to Later today!

 

How to Access Instagram Reels and Live Insights 

Instagram Insights are only available to Business and Creator accounts. 

To access Instagram Insights, tap the “Insights” button on your account profile page. From here, you will be able to access up to 30 days of analytics for Instagram Feed Posts, Stories, Reels, IGTV Videos, and Live Video:

Source: Instagram

To see how a specific Instagram Reel is performing, visit the Reels tab on your profile page and open a Reel. 

From here, tap the three dot icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, and select “Insights.”

If enough time has passed, you should be able to see a detailed overview of your Instagram Reel’s performance

It’s that simple!

Understanding your Instagram analytics is the first step to building a best-in-class content strategy for your business or personal brand — and with these updates, you’ve got even more information at your fingertips. 

Never miss an important Instagram update again! Sign up to Later’s newsletter — a must-have source of breaking social media news, tips, and growth strategies:

 

 

Written By

Jillian Warren

Jillian is Later’s Editor. A go-to expert in social media strategy and content marketing, she has worked in both London and New York. Next up? Lisbon and Paris! You can reach out to her on Instagram here: @jillwrren.





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The Top 10 Mental Health Apps for Social Media Managers and Creators


Are you finding it difficult to take a break from scrolling social feeds? Feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list? 

There are tons of mental health apps to help you incorporate moments of calm into your day — whether it’s through guided meditation, reminders to stretch, or micro-journaling prompts. 

In this blog post, we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite mental health apps to help build new habits, relieve stress, and achieve a healthy work-life balance.

10 of the Best Mental Health Apps for Social Media Managers and Creators 

  1. The Headspace App
  2. The Noisili App
  3. The Shine App
  4. The Fabulous App
  5. The Liberate App
  6. The Aloe Bud App
  7. The SPACE App
  8. The Pride Counseling App
  9. The DeskJob App
  10. The Talkspace App

#1: The Headspace App for Solo Meditation

Headspace has hundreds of meditations that are great for both beginners and those who are more advanced. 

The award-winning and research-backed mental health app is a Later team favorite.

You can choose courses on a range of topics including sleep, self-esteem, relationships, and creativity. 

They also have a free collection of guided meditations and breathing exercises if you’re feeling the pressure of self-isolation or working at home.

Available on iOS and Android.

#2: The Noisili App for Getting in the Zone 

Looking to block out external noise?

Noisili lets you mix different sounds to create your ideal work environment and boost productivity. 

Listen to ocean waves crashing in a thunderstorm or the background noise of a cafe — whatever will help you find your focus. 

This is especially helpful when you’re working on a detailed project or want to power through a long to-do list. 

Available on iOS and Android.

Later’s social media scheduling tools let you schedule your posts in advance — so you can step away from your screen at the end of the work day. Get started for free today!

 

#3: The Shine App for Managing Daily Stresses and Anxiety

The average person spends over two hours per day on social media, and it could be even higher for social media managers and creators.

But too much time spent scrolling, answering DMs, or dealing with negative comments can be stressful and anxiety-inducing. 

Enter: the Shine App. Created to “make caring for your mental and emotional health easier,” the app is like your own personal self-care kit. 

Through a selection of services including daily meditations and community support, Shine helps you learn how to manage daily stress and anxiety.

Available on iOS and Android

#4: The Fabulous App for Building Healthy Habits

Taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing often starts with building healthy habits.

Luckily, the Fabulous app is a handy digital coach that’ll help you incorporate more structure into your daily routine. 

Whether it’s a reminder to drink more water, take a break from your screen, or go on a walk after lunch, you can build habits that’ll become second-nature to you. 

And if you’re looking to join a like-minded community, you can meet and engage with other Fabulous users too!

Available on iOS and Android.

#5: The Liberate App for BIPOC-led Meditations 

Working in social media does have its downsides — especially if you’re a BIPOC navigating racist comments or DMs. 

While other apps included on this list are full of helpful meditations surrounding stress and anxiety, the Liberate app takes it one step further by addressing topics like racism and microaggressions. 

Using a mental health app like Liberate can help you feel seen and heard, and encourage you to take the steps needed to heal. 

Available on iOS and Android

#6: The Aloe Bud App for Organizing Your Thoughts

On days when you’re feeling overwhelmed, writing down your thoughts can help you gain clarity and awareness. 

If you don’t know where to start, the Aloe Bud app is a great tool for micro-journaling how you’re feeling each day:

Instead of being presented with an intimidating blank page, the app’s bite-sized prompts can help you reflect, recharge, and check-in with your emotions. 

Only available on iOS. If you’re on Android, check out Chiku.

#7: The SPACE App for Reducing Screen Time 

Whether it’s managing Twitter comments, answering emails, or editing photos, we spend a lot of time looking at our phones.

If you’re looking to reduce your screen time (especially outside of work hours!) try the SPACE app

Simply fill out a questionnaire about your phone habits, and SPACE will help you set goals to be more mindful of your screen time and present in your everyday. 

Available on iOS and Android

#8: The Pride Counseling App for the LGBTQIA+ Community 

Pride Counseling is a great mental health app for those in the LGBTQIA+ community as it aims to make help accessible and accepting to everyone. 

All it takes is one discriminatory comment, DM, or post to impact your day — which is where the Pride Counseling app can be a resource for you to turn to. 

The app matches you with queer-friendly counselors who can offer support via messaging, phone calls, or video conferencing. 

Available on iOS and Android.

#9: The DeskJob App for Stretching at Your Desk 

Staring at your screen for too long has been shown to increase eyestrain, blurred vision, headaches, and neck pain — otherwise known as Computer Vision Syndrome. 

One way to help? By taking screen breaks and stretching! 

The DeskJob app is a simple tool that reminds you to take a break and guides you through some easy stretches. 

There’s nothing fancy about it — just useful prompts to keep your mind and body nimble.

Only available on iOS. For Android, try TOBEE.

#10: The Talkspace App for Connecting With Therapists 

Talkspace is a popular mental health app offering access to thousands of licensed therapists in the US and Canada. 

And with the rise of social media burnout, having someone to talk to can be extremely helpful.

Simply take an assessment, choose a therapist from their recommended list, and voila, you can start your therapy — because self-care isn’t selfish. 

Available on iOS and Android.

While minimizing your social media use can be difficult when you’re trying to grow a brand or business, these mental health apps can be the first step to building new habits and incorporating more calm into your everyday. 

Want to Speak to Someone Now?

Sign up to Later’s free newsletter for more social media and mental health tips to help you find work-life balance.  

 

Written By

Monique Thomas

Monique is a Content Marketer at Later who loves helping brands define their voice and content strategy. You can usually find her sipping matcha or adding another book to her ever-growing TBR list. Say hi on Instagram — @wordsbymonique





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8 Instagram Features to Help Manage Your Mental Health at Work


If you’re a social media manager, content creator, or small business owner — you likely spend a lot of time on Instagram.

And while the app is great for building a community and making sales, it can also take a toll on your mental health.

Luckily, there are a few Instagram tools and features that can help protect your mental health at work and create a more mindful digital space.

Mental Health at Work: 8 Ways to Create a More Mindful Experience on Instagram

From never fully “switching off” to monitoring notifications, it can be difficult to find balance when you’re using Instagram for work.

We know all too well how time spent scrolling, answering DMs, and responding to comments can easily add up.

And the social media burnout is real — Dr. Michaela Dunbar of @myeasytherapy describes it as a “form of online fatigue that can happen when you spend too much time on social networks.”

Thankfully, we’ve found some Instagram features and tools to help you “unplug” and create a more mindful space:

  1. Mute Push Notifications on Instagram
  2. Schedule Your Instagram Content in Advance
  3. Manage Your Time Spent on Instagram
  4. Block Offensive Comments
  5. Delete Multiple Comments in One Go
  6. Choose Who Can Mention or Tag You
  7. Restrict (or Block) Hateful Accounts
  8. Unfollow (or Mute) Accounts That Don’t Make You Feel Good

#1: Mute Push Notifications on Instagram

Need a break from Instagram notifications?

You can use Instagram’s mute feature to silence push notifications including likes, comments, tags, DMs, and more.

Go to your Instagram settings, select “Notifications,” and turn on “Pause All” to mute notifications from anywhere between 15 minutes to 8 hours.

When the time is up, your notifications will return to their normal settings — no reset needed. This means you can easily carry on with your work after getting some well-deserved downtime.

NOTE: Notifications will still appear if you open the Instagram app, so take a full hiatus if you really want to unplug!

#2: Schedule Your Instagram Content in Advance

Streamlining your workflow when you work in social media can be a massive time-saver.

One way to streamline? By scheduling your Instagram content in advance with a platform like Later.

This way, your content will go “live” when it’s the best time to post, without you having to log on to the Instagram app.

Scheduling your content in advance is one of the best ways to claim your time back, so offline really means offline.

Ready to safeguard your time? Schedule and automatically publish your Instagram content with Later — for free!

 

#3: Manage Your Time Spent on Instagram

Whether you’re responding to comments or looking for new leads, it’s easy to find yourself spending hours a day on Instagram.

Luckily, the Daily Reminder tool can help you be mindful of how much time you spend on the app, and manage your time more efficiently:

How to Create a More Mindful Instagram Experience

Lindsay Ashcraft, Later’s Social Media Coordinator, takes it a step further to set boundaries during out-of-work hours.

“I set social screen time limits on my phone to create a healthy work-life balance, and leave my phone at home when I go for weekend walks.”

Here are some of her favorite no-screen activities:

#4: Block Offensive Comments

Offensive comments can have a serious effect on your mental health at work — especially if they’re targeting you or your business.

In an effort to combat the rise of bullying, Instagram has implemented various moderation tools, including blocking offensive words.

To access the tool, go to the “Privacy” page from your settings menu and click “Comments.”

How to Create a More Mindful Instagram Space

Here, you’ll be able to:

  • Choose who you allow comments from.
  • Block comments from certain accounts. Any new comments made by people you block will only be visible to them, but this doesn’t apply to paid ads.
  • Automatically hide offensive comments.
  • Manually filter comments that contain specific words, phrases, or emojis from your posts, stories, Reels, and Live broadcasts.

#5: Delete Multiple Comments in One Go

As a social media manager, part of the job includes protecting your community from negative interactions.

And while we support open and honest conversations on social media, trolling doesn’t serve anyone.

For that reason, Instagram created the option to mass delete comments.

With this tool, if you spot comments that are heading into troll territory, or go against Instagram’s community guidelines, you can quickly delete them and move on.

Instagram Pinned comments

You can also leverage Instagram’s pinned comments feature to help you moderate.

Pinning testimonials, engagement-starters, or a FAQ with your response can help combat spam or trolls as they’ll be pushed further down in the comments.

Keep in mind that deleting comments asking for accountability is different than deleting hateful comments.

Responding to the former gives you the opportunity to illustrate transparency, reaffirm your values, and humanize your business.

#6: Choose Who Can Mention or Tag You 

You can now choose who’s allowed to mention or tag you in comments, captions, Stories, and Live broadcasts.

How to Create a More Mindful Instagram Space

Instagram released this feature as an effort to tackle online bullying on the platform, acknowledging that tags and mentions can be used in a negative way.

“We’ve seen that tags and mentions can be used to target or bully others, so we’re rolling out new controls that allow you to manage who can tag or mention you on Instagram.”

You can choose to allow mentions and tags from “Everyone,” “People You Follow,” or “No One.”

#7: Restrict Hateful Accounts 

If there’s an account that is consistently bringing negative or spammy vibes to your comments and DMs (but you don’t want to hit the block button) you can use the Restrict tool.

After restricting an account, comments on your posts from that person require your approval before they can be seen by anyone else. Their messages will also be sent to a different inbox, so you can manage them separately.

How to Create a More Mindful Instagram Space

How is this different from blocking an account completely?

In an interview with NPR, Instagram’s Adam Mosseri explained that after speaking with teenagers, they discovered two things:

  • Blocking a bully can often escalate the situation.
  • If you block a bully, you can no longer see what the person is saying — losing the ability to keep track of what’s happening.

However if you do want to block someone, simply follow the steps as you would to restrict an account and tap “Block” instead.

And to take it a step further, Instagram recently announced a new feature that lets you preemptively block any new accounts that a person creates — so once someone is blocked, they’re blocked for good.

How to Create a More Mindful Instagram Space

#8: Unfollow (or Mute) Accounts That Don’t Make You Feel Good 

As someone who uses social media for work, you likely have more than one Instagram account — those you manage and your personal.

This can double the amount of time you’re spending online, so it’s important to be mindful of the content you’re consuming.

Do a quick audit of who you’re following: Do they align with your values? Are you getting caught up in a comparison game?

Curate your social media feed full of accounts and people that inspire you, teach you something new, make you laugh, and most importantly — make you feel good.

If you’re unable to unfollow someone due to work obligations, use the mute button to create some space without losing the connection.

While all eight of these tools can help you create a more mindful digital space, it’s important to do daily (or weekly) check-ins with yourself too.

Setting boundaries, taking screen breaks, and seeking support when you need it are all steps we can take to protect our mental health at work (and home).

Sign up to Later’s free newsletter for more social media mental health tips, industry news, and time-saving hacks to help you find work-life balance.  

 

Written By

Monique Thomas

Monique is a Content Marketer at Later who loves helping brands define their voice and content strategy. You can usually find her sipping matcha or adding another book to her ever-growing TBR list. Say hi on Instagram — @wordsbymonique





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How to Get More Views on TikTok


TikTok can be a powerful tool for increasing brand awareness.

But first, you need to get more eyes on your videos. So how do you do that?

In this blog post, we’re breaking down how to get more views on TikTok — from optimizing your content for the For You Page to using trending sounds:

How to Get Views on TikTok:

  1. Optimize Content for the For You Page
  2. Use Trending Sounds and Effects
  3. Collaborate With Other Creators
  4. Engage with Users in Your Niche
  5. Post Valuable Content
  6. Cross-promote on Other Platforms

Tip #1: Optimize Content for the For You Page

If you want to go viral on TikTok, your goal should be to get featured on the For You page (FYP).

TikTok’s For You page is the app’s homepage, filled with an endless feed of algorithmically curated content tailored to a user’s interests.

How to Get on the For You Page on TikTok

The beauty of the For You page is that anyone’s content can be featured — meaning you don’t need to be an established creator or have thousands of followers.

Nevertheless, it helps if you optimize your content to make it easier for the algorithm to recognize and promote. You can do this by:

Want even more expert advice for achieving TikTok success? Watch our free How to Use TikTok for Business video course below:

Tip #2: Use Trending Sounds and Effects

One of the best ways to get views on TikTok is to hop on new trends.

Usually, this means creating videos that include viral visual effects and TikTok Sounds.

In fact, there’s a theory among some TikTokers that adding a trending sound to your video — even at a low volume — will trick the algorithm into showing your content to more people.

@keenyakellyHOW TO GO VIRAL #newcreatorsupport #tiktoktips101 #contentcreatortips #viraltips #tiktok101 #over30 #over40 #over35 #keenyakellly♬ Pop Smoke candy shop – EZD

Whether it’s true remains to be seen, but here’s what we know for sure: TikTok’s algorithm shows users content similar to what they’ve previously watched.

Tons of people watch trend-based videos, so if you join in on a trend, you improve your likelihood of being discovered by those users.

TIP: Trends come and go quickly on TikTok, so if you find one you want to try, act fast!

Tip #3: Collaborate with Other Creators

Collaborating with other creators (particularly those with an engaged community that mirrors your target audience) is another way to get more views on TikTok.

One successful example of this is the skincare brand Peace Out.

Erin Murray, the company’s VP of Brand and Consumer Marketing, told Marketing Brew that for their latest campaign, her team spent over a third of its budget on TikTok influencers.

When the company collaborated with @dermdoctor, a dermatologist with a massive following,  the original video received over 1M views:

@dermdoctorNew Blemish Balm – Cleanse with Benefits @peaceoutskincare #skincare #peaceoutpartner #acne #salicylic #dermatologist #dermdoctor♬ Shallow Water – Clutch

And the repost on Peace Out’s account has 9K views and counting, making it one of the brand’s most popular videos.

But that’s just one example. Brands large and small are prioritizing partnerships with TikTok creators.

Tip #4: Engage With Users in Your Niche

TikTok first gained recognition for its viral lip-syncing and dance videos, but it’s since become a home for all kinds of content.

Now, whatever your niche, there’s a place for you — and your audience — on the platform.

@happy.rugsDm me on Instagram for custom orders! 💚 #rugmaking #rugtiktok #rugtok #rugtufting #art #artist #kuchikopi #handmade #smallbusiness #rug #tuftinggun♬ Viva La Swing aka #SandoTwist by @Abiud_Sando – Mingaling 2.0

If you know who your target audience is, think about the type of content they’d engage with, and the creators they’d follow.

Once you have a list, start to build relationships with those users by liking and commenting on their videos and sending DMs.

By regularly engaging with other user’s in your niche, you’ll gradually build a support network for your brand.

This can lead to more likes, comments, and shares for your own TikTok videos — which is the best way to boost your profile with the algorithm and secure more view for your content.

Tip #5: Post Valuable Content 

It may sound obvious, but one of the most effective ways to get views on TikTok is to create interesting and valuable content.

If you’ve spent a lot of time on the app, you may have noticed that “how-to” videos — and other educational content — perform well.

@curlsbykeishReply to @katelyn_034 AFFORDABLE ROUTINE FOR TRANSITIONING HAIR! #curlyhair #damagedhair #curlyhairtips♬ Elevator Music – Bohoman

Why? Because they give viewers new, useful information that’s relevant to their lives.

Take Doctor Emi Mawson (aka @dentist_emi) for instance. The UK-based dentist is an expert at creating content that combines her professional expertise with tangible takeaways for her TikTok audience.

@dentist_emiSharing the toothpastes I have bought recently #dentist #toothpaste #BOSSUpYourGame #LiveForTheChallenge #recommendations2021 #tiktokmademebuyit♬ original sound – Dentist Emi

By pairing trending effects and sounds with interesting but niche content, Dr. Mawson manages to attract thousands of viewers to her oral care TikTok videos.

TIP: Wondering where to start? Think about the most frequently asked questions you receive. Answer them in your videos!

Tip #6: Cross-promote on Other Platforms 

If you’re an avid social media user, you may have noticed that many people now share their favorite TikTok videos to other platforms, too.

For brands, this cross-promotion can be an effective way to boost their TikTok content using the communities they’ve built on other social networks, like Instagram.

Sharing your TikTok videos to Instagram Stories (with a clear call-to-action that encourages viewers to check out your TikTok channel) is a great tactic to get more eyes on your content.

And there you have it, six ways to get more views on TikTok.

While finding your footing on the app can require some trial and error, these tips will help you reach new followers and potential customers.

Ready to plan and schedule your TikTok videos in advance? Later makes it easy — get started today with one of our paid plans! 

 

Written By

Erica Salvalaggio

Erica is a Toronto-based content writer with a love of alliteration and a background in public relations. Her dream is to climb Mount Everest. Say hi to her on Instagram — @ericasalvalaggio.





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How STIL Grew an Instagram Community of Over 30K Followers


Welcome to Later’s SelfMade series, where we showcase small business owners, their journeys, and tips for aspiring entrepreneurs.

We spoke to Marissa Grootes, founder of STIL, a purpose-led company that sells organizational products and planners. 

Marissa shares the inspiration behind the brand, why consistency matters, and how her team has grown an Instagram community of over 30K followers. 

Inspired by the Dutch word for style, STIL represents a minimal and sophisticated way of living.

A quick glance at STIL’s organizational product line, and you’ll see modern colors with pops of gold — mirroring the dreamy aesthetic on STIL’s social media feed.

And this isn’t by accident.  

As a self-proclaimed pen-to-paper person with a background in design, Marissa found herself on the hunt for “a planner that looked professional, fit my style, and was highly functional.”

Marissa Cristina Grootes, founder of STIL

Marissa Cristina Grootes, founder of STIL

But her search was futile when one planner after another didn’t meet her needs: “I started researching the highest tier of planners you could get, different price points, and discovered that young, professional women were underserved in this space.”

Many planners targeted moms and their busy schedules — something she couldn’t relate to as a millennial in her 20s. 

Using everything she learned, she created a hand-bound planner and gifted it to a few girlfriends for Christmas. They loved it. 

“One thing led to another, I quit my full-time job, and created STIL.”

Fast forward six years, and Marissa has built a successful business that’s been featured in publications like Fast Company and US Magazine, and has an engaged digital community. 

Later: What tactics have helped you grow your community on Instagram? 

Marissa: Consistency is key. We’re very active on social and use Instagram Stories to communicate our story. 

We also use them to engage with our community and gather feedback using polls and questions. 

When we’re working on a new planner, we’ll ask: what colors do you want? How can we improve our products? 

This year, we also started hosting an Instagram Live every two weeks on Saturday mornings. I either do it alone or am joined by a co-host — usually another woman-founder.

Going live lets me engage with our community in real-time and share other business owner’s stories. 

Love to get organized? With Later’s free desktop app, you can schedule your social media posts months in advance. Start planning now!

 

Later: How far in advance do you schedule and plan your social media content? 

Marissa: While we plan our marketing strategies much further in advance, we typically plan our social media calendar within 1-2 weeks.

This allows us to schedule and publish original, organic content that will resonate with our audience and stay top-of-mind.

Later: How has Later been an asset to your team and business? 

Marissa: Later makes it easy to stand out on social. By using one platform for all of our shared social content and assets, we’re able to build and manage our calendar in a collaborative way.

Peach background with white text: "Later makes it easy to stand out on social." - Marissa Grootes, Founder of Stil Classics

The Analytics tool helps us create better content for our community and reach new audiences, while the Media Library and Preview tools ensure our Instagram feed is cohesive, consistent, and on-brand. 

We frequently use the First Comment and Auto Publish tools too — can I just say we love all of them?

Later: What are your social media goals this year?

Marissa: To continue to grow. Last year, our goal was to get to 30K followers and we reached it!  

Our new growth strategy is to host or be included in a monthly giveaway, usually in partnership with other women-owned businesses. 

And a major goal for me personally, is to be even more present with our customers through our live streams. I want to have monthly touchpoints where I ask how they’re using the planner, give productivity tips, and answer questions. 

Later: What’s your #1 tip for small business owners getting started on social media? 

Marissa: Remember that you are the number one champion for your brand. 

When I first started, I didn’t want to have my brand tied to me — because I feared that if people got tired of me, they’d get tired of my brand. 

Light pink background with white text: "Remember that you are the number one champion for your brand." - Marissa Grootes, founder of Stil Classics

But the two don’t function without one another. 

I created the brand so I am the best person to speak about it and sell it. When you’re first starting out on social media, you have to be the biggest salesperson for your business. 

Later: What podcast would you recommend to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Marissa: If you’re looking for e-commerce tips and topics, the Shopify podcast is an amazing resource. 

Another favorite is the WorkParty podcast by Create & Cultivate — it’s full of inspirational women entrepreneurs.

Later: Can you ever really “turn off” when you run a business? How do you juggle work-life balance? 

Marissa: Building a business takes a lot of time, energy, and money. So work-life balance is basically impossible [laughs].

But the one thing I’ve learned (and I live by this): If I’m having a bad day, I know I won’t be productive. So I’ll take the day off and use it to recharge. 

If that means going outside, taking myself out for lunch, or watching Netflix all day, then I’ll do that.

Usually all it takes is a good night’s sleep and I’m good to go. Give yourself time to rest! 

*Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for clarity and length. 

Later’s SelfMade series will be returning soon! Until then, sign up to our free email newsletter for industry news, interviews, and content tips to help you grow your business on social media.

 

Written By

Monique Thomas

Monique is a Content Marketer at Later who loves helping brands define their voice and content strategy. You can usually find her sipping matcha or adding another book to her ever-growing TBR list. Say hi on Instagram — @wordsbymonique





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How to Identify Burnout When You Work with Social Media


Burnout can affect everyone.

And with the increase of video calls, social media scrolling, and working from home, there’s never been a better time to check in with your mental health.

We spoke with Dr. Michaela Dunbar, clinical psychologist and founder of @myeasytherapy, to discuss what burnout is, how it differs from stress, and several ways to identify and combat it.

How to Identify Burnout When You Work in Social Media

  1. What is Burnout?
  2. What is Social Media Burnout?
  3. What is the Difference Between Burnout and Stress?
  4. 8 Common Signs of Burnout
  5. 5 Ways to Combat Burnout

What is Burnout?

Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged and repeated stress.

You may use the phrase “burned out” whenever you’re feeling a bit tired or run down, but psychological burnout can be much more serious. In fact, the condition was officially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019.

“Burnout is an actual psychological condition that affects one’s outlook on life and work,” Dr. Michaela explains. “If left unaddressed, this cycle can make your day-to-day responsibilities feel devastating, making it difficult to function in every aspect”

It’s key to recognize that no matter what industry you work in, you can be susceptible to burnout. And for those who use or work in social media, “social media burnout” is a real possibility.

According to Dr. Michaela, social media burnout is a “form of online fatigue that can happen when you spend too much time on social networks.”

If you spend time on social media for personal enjoyment, Dr. Michaela’s advice is to minimize your social media use and be intentional about the accounts you follow, and how they make you feel.

“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with unfollowing accounts that don’t leave you feeling your best,” Dr. Michaela shares. “Protect your peace.”

For those working in social media, this can prove to be a challenge. For many, your role requires you to consistently scroll, create content, and engage with your community on social media. Because of this, limiting time on the apps can feel almost impossible.

However, there are ways to set work-life boundaries.

For example, you can batch create content in advance, and then use a scheduling platform like Later to plan and automatically publish your social media posts at a set date and time.

Step away from your screen with Later‘s easy-to-use scheduling platform. Sign up today and start auto-publishing your social media posts for free:

 

What is the Difference Between Stress and Burnout?

As conversations surrounding burnout increase, it’s important to understand the difference between stress and burnout.

The two share some common side effects, such as feelings of unhappiness, lack of motivation, and low energy levels, but are fundamentally different.

Stress is a feeling of emotional or mental tension often caused by pressure at work or other responsibilities.

“We all know what it feels like to be stressed”, explains Dr. Michaela. “You may experience a tight knot in your stomach or lay awake at night worrying about work and the future.”

Burnout, on the other hand, is a state of emotional, mental, and oftentimes physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged and repeated stress.

“It’s a feeling of being mentally exhausted, drained, and uninterested in the things you once loved,” she says. “It can have serious consequences for both your physical and mental health.”

8 Common Signs of Burnout

Amidst tight deadlines, long to-do lists, and hours spent on social media, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and tired.

But, how can you tell if what you’re experiencing is burnout?

Dr. Michaela explains it can be challenging to identify: “People might think burnout is another term for overworking or mental exhaustion. But burnout is more than that.”

As outlined by the WHO, there are three main components of burnout: energy depletion or exhaustion, increased feelings of negativism or cynicism, and reduced professional efficacy.

And each component will manifest differently in everyone. Whether you’re a small business owner or an Instagram creator, the signs of burnout aren’t a catch all.

According to Dr. Michaela, here are eight common signs of burnout to be on the lookout for:

  1. Feeling easily irritated, frustrated, and overwhelmed
  2. Having little to no motivation to work on your tasks.
  3. Lack of sleep, waking up tired, and feelings of heaviness
  4. Emotional fatigue and feeling more pessimistic, cynical, and drained than usual
  5. Compassion fatigue both professionally and personally.
  6. Physical exhaustion such as headaches, stomach aches, and weaker immune functioning.
  7. Trouble concentrating or paying attention, manifesting into chronic stress.
  8. Neglecting your own needs and turning toward unhealthy coping strategies.

5 Ways to Combat Burnout

Every person will experience social media burnout differently, but the are some common techniques to combat the condition and restore your mental energy levels:

  1. Disconnect
  2. Set Boundaries and Say No
  3. Take Time Off
  4. Cultivate a Rich Non-work Life
  5. Connect and Seek Support

#1: Disconnect 

Whether it’s a 10 minute break in your day, an hour after work, or an entire weekend — taking the time to fully disconnect from screens is important.

Dr. Michaela recommends disconnecting on a daily basis.

“If you’re taking a break during the work day, try not to look at emails, reply to work messages, or work on projects,” she explains.

This allows you to  refresh and come back to work feeling renewed and rejuvenated.

#2: Set Boundaries and Say No

Saying no can be a challenge — especially if you’re a people pleaser.

If you struggle with always saying yes to avoid disappointment on the other end, it may be time to consider setting boundaries.

To do this, assess your current commitments and identify what’s a high priority versus a low priority. If your plate is overloaded, focus on your high priority tasks, and communicate with any stakeholders that your lower priority tasks have a new deadline.

“The immediate relief this can bring may surprise you,” shares Dr. Michaela.

#3: Take Time Off 

One of the best things you can do for yourself to prevent burnout is to take time off — and really switch off.

“Time away from work will help you enjoy your life and improve your work-life balance.”

Dr. Michaela suggests putting vacation time on a high priority list for yourself and your mental health.

#4: Cultivate a Rich Non-work Life

When you work with or in social media, leaving work at work can feel impossible.

Whether it’s turning off Slack notifications or scheduling your social media posts, it’s important to actually shut off.

Dr. Michaela recommends finding a hobby, playing a sport, volunteering, or any extracurricular activity.

“Find something that is rewarding to you,” she advises.

Other ways to cultivate a rich non-work life include getting enough sleep, meditating, eating nourishing foods, and staying active.

#5: Connect and Seek Support

Asking for help is not a sign of failure.

With 76% of employees experiencing burnout on the job at least sometimes, you are not alone in how you feel.

“Talking about burnout with loved ones can be a great source of support. Your friends, family members, and coworkers can help you see that burnout is a process, not a personal failure.”

Another avenue is to seek professional help. Speaking to a professional can help you identify the cause of your burnout and find personalized coping methods.

“Expressing your feelings and feeling validated is a great way to lessen the burden of burnout.”

Want to Speak to Someone Now?

Not in the US, UK, or Canada? Find an international crisis line here.

To mark Mental Health Month, Later is sharing a new post every week to help social media managers protect their mental health. Sign up to our weekly newsletter here:

 

Written By

Jessica Worb

Jessica is a creative problem solver and a content writer. Jessica is from Winnipeg, a city smack dab in the middle of Canada — but is currently living and working remotely in Paris, France. Follow along at @jessicaworb.





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8 Ways to Cheat the Instagram Algorithm


Ever wondered if there’s a way to cheat the Instagram algorithm?

In short, the answer is yes — and there’s no need for shady tactics like engagement pods or pay-per-like schemes.

Simply understanding how the algorithm works, and how to optimize your content strategy for it, is the best way to gain an advantage.

Can You Really Cheat the Instagram Algorithm?

Ultimately, Instagram’s algorithm (or multiple algorithms, to be precise) is designed to serve users the content they are most likely to engage with.

So when it comes to cheating the system, the best tactic is to give the algorithm exactly what it needs to do its job properly.

With this in mind, here are 8 strategies you can use right now to gain an advantage with the Instagram algorithm:

  1. Be Consistent in Your Niche
  2. Share Content When Your Audience is Most Active
  3. Encourage Comments and Likes
  4. Tailor Your Posts for Instagram SEO
  5. Improve Your Hashtag Strategy
  6. Embrace New Instagram Features
  7. Regularly Post Stories with Engagement-driving Stickers
  8. Share Original Content on Reels (Without a TikTok Watermark)

Algorithm Hack #1: Be Consistent in Your Niche

The Instagram algorithm is constantly learning from you. Every post you share, hashtag you use, and engagement you make gives the algorithm an indicator of what your account is all about.

The more you put in, the more you’ll get out.

With this in mind, being consistent in your niche (from the content you post to the accounts you interact with) is one of the best ways to continually educate the algorithm.

The easier the algorithm can “categorize” your account and its content, the more likely your posts will appear for users who have shown a previous interest in your niche.

Once the algorithm has a strong indication of your niche, your profile is more likely to be shown to relevant audiences in suggested profiles to follow, recommended Reels, and Explore Page results.

Algorithm Hack #2: Share Content When Your Audience is Most Active 

Another way to boost your performance with the Instagram algorithm is to post when your followers are most active and engaged.

This increases the likelihood of likes, comments and shares, as your community is more “switched on,” rather than distracted by work, or school.

And this engagement is a huge indicator for the Instagram algorithm. The more engagement your post receives, the more likely it will be served to more users.

However, it can be tricky to know exactly when your audience is most active, as every account is slightly different.

You can find your unique best time to post by delving into your Instagram analytics, or by using Later’s Best Time to Post feature.

best time to post on instagram

Later automatically calculates your seven top posting times for the week based on your audience’s activity from the recent month — making it super easy to reach your audience when they’re most engaged.

Discover your best times to post by upgrading to one of Later’s Starter, Growth, or Advanced plans today!

 

One of the main ways to hack the Instagram algorithm is to encourage as many engagements as possible.

According to Instagram, the most important engagements for feed ranking are comments, likes, reshares, and video views.

The best way to encourage more of these engagements? Include a strong call-to-action in your post captions!

This can be as simple as asking your community a question, or prompting them to tag a friend in the comments to enter your latest giveaway.

Want to improve your caption strategy? Discover all of our top tips in The Ultimate Guide to Writing Good Instagram Captions.

Algorithm Hack #4: Tailor Your Posts for Instagram SEO 

As we’ve already covered, the Instagram algorithm is constantly “interpreting” your posts so it can categorize your content and serve it to the right audiences.

In the early days, this categorization likely relied heavily on the hashtags a user included in a post.

However, Instagram now allows users to “search by keyword” in several countries, which indicates the algorithm is also processing visual content and caption semantics.

With this in mind, there are a few things you can do to optimize your posts for Instagram SEO:

  • Write descriptive captions with relevant, highly-searched keywords throughout.
  • Manually write alt text for your Instagram posts. To do this, tap “Advanced Settings” in the publishing flow, and select “Write alt text.” Instagram uses image recognition software to automatically generate a description if you don’t manually input alt text, however this is often inaccurate or lacking in detail.
  • Include up to 30 relevant hashtags in your post caption or first comment.

Algorithm Hack #5: Improve Your Hashtag Strategy

Instagram’s search features may have evolved over the years, but the humble hashtag is still a big player when it comes to categorizing your content.

If you’re looking to improve your hashtag strategy, these four tips are a good place to start:

  1. Make sure your hashtags are relevant to the content of your post, target audience, industry, location, or brand.
  2. Take inspiration from trending posts in your niche. Look at relevant content on your Instagram Explore Page and take note of commonly used hashtags.
  3. Use hashtags with a healthy volume of posts, but avoid oversaturated ones. Anything between 10K and 250K will give your content the best chance of being seen.
  4. Avoid banned hashtags. Even seemingly innocuous hashtags can end up on the banned list, so do your due diligence and carry out an Instagram search for every hashtag you use.

 

TIP: Later’s Saved Captions feature is great for saving curated lists of hashtags for different content themes. When it’s time to schedule, all you need to do is click to add the right bundle of hashtags to your caption or first comment — it’s that easy!

Algorithm Hack #6: Embrace New Instagram Features

One of the biggest ways to hack the Instagram algorithm is by jumping on the latest features, fast.

Instagram gives extra prominence to new features to help drive adoption, so getting to grips with them while the competition is still low can be a huge advantage.

Take Instagram Reels for example. Instagram have prioritized Reels in users’ home feeds over the last 6 months — with early adopters seeing major results.

“Since introducing Reels to our Instagram channel last year, we’ve seen our engagement grow by 280%,” shares Later’s Social Media Manager, Christine Colling. “Reels have become a crucial role in our social media strategy.

Instagram Reels are still a big opportunity for creators to “hack” the algorithm, but new features are rolling out all of the time. Instagram Guides are still in their infancy, and could be one to watch.

Looking to level-up your Instagram Reels strategy? Discover the top Instagram Reels hacks you need to know in this video:



Algorithm Hack #7: Regularly Post Stories with Engagement-driving Stickers

Interactions are a huge indicator for the Instagram algorithm — and Instagram Stories stickers are one of the quickest and easiest ways to boost your engagement.

Poll, emoji slider, and quiz stickers are fun and have a super low barrier to entry, making them a real quick win for audience interactions.

Question stickers, on the other hand, are a great way to encourage DM conversations, which indicates a deeper, more personal relationship to the Instagram algorithm.

Instagram Stories are often more personable due to their ephemeral format. Capitalize on this opportunity by verbally encouraging your audience to let you know what they think — either by voting in a poll or replying in a DM.

Algorithm Hack #8: Share Original Content on Reels (without a TikTok Watermark)

As we’ve already mentioned, Instagram Reels are a serious growth hack right now — but there is a catch.

Instagram has confirmed that the Reels algorithm will deprioritize Reels with a TikTok watermark, and favor original Reels content instead. Similarly, low quality or blurry content will be deprioritized.

With this in mind, the best way to hack the Reels algorithm is to create original, high-quality content, right within the Reels editor.

So there you have it, eight ways to improve your ranking with the Instagram algorithm.

These tips can be used as a baseline for your posts, but ultimately, the best way to gain favor with the algorithm is to keep your audience at the heart of your strategy.

Building authentic relationships with your followers is the most powerful way to “cheat” the algorithm, and will always deliver measurable results for your brand or business.

Ready to optimize your posts for the Instagram algorithm? Start planning and scheduling your posts with Later. Sign up now – it’s free!

 

Written By

Jillian Warren

Jillian is a content marketer at Later based in the UK. She is an aficionado of London brunch spots and an avid listener of true crime podcasts. You can connect with her on Instagram @jillwrren.





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How Brands Can Celebrate Juneteenth on Social Media


Is this your first year celebrating Juneteenth?

If so, you’re probably not alone. 

As awareness of the holiday continues to increase, we want to help you better understand its history and how your brand can successfully celebrate Juneteenth on social media.

Image with text: How to Celebrate Juneteenth on Social Media

What is Juneteenth?

Most people are familiar with the celebration and history behind Independence Day. While the United States became free in 1776, Black people weren’t freed from slavery at that time. 

In fact, Black people were not declared free for another 87 years. And even still, it took an additional two years beyond Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation for the last enslaved people to be freed in Galveston, TX.

June 19, 1865 – Juneteenth –  is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

Why is Juneteenth Important?

When the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, slavery still existed in America. So the Fourth of July holiday can feel slightly tainted for many in the Black community. 

Fans of ABC’s Black-ish may remember the “Juneteenth” episode from Season 4, which was pushed the holiday into pop culture and educated many about its importance:

Today, social activism is more prominent on social media than ever before, and awareness of Juneteenth has grown tremendously.

Though Juneteenth has yet to be declared a federal holiday, many brands have made a point to celebrate the holiday. 

Twitter and Square CEO, Jack Dorsey, was one of the first to announce that his companies will be honoring Juneteenth as a company-wide holiday:

Since then, other companies like Nike, Buzzfeed, Lyft, and VSCO have also followed suit.

In addition to businesses acknowledging Juneteenth as an official holiday, many brands are also taking to social media to celebrate the date.

Never miss an important date on social media — download our free social media holidays calendar:

How Brands can Celebrate Juneteenth on Social Media

At its heart, Juneteenth is a day of celebration. 

It’s a celebration of the journey and freedom of Black people in the US, and a great opportunity to acknowledge the many contributions that Black people have made to American culture. 

In years past, you might have seen Juneteenth celebrations around your city. This year however, due to COVID-19, much of the celebration will likely take place online. 

With that in mind, here are five tips for celebrating Juneteenth on social media:

  1. Educate Your Community
  2. Spotlight Black-owned Businesses and Creators
  3. Use Hints of Red, Green, and Black in Your Juneteenth Graphics
  4. Use Diverse Images and Stock Photography Websites
  5. Don’t Use Juneteenth As an Opportunity to Sell

Tip #1: Educate Your Community (As They May Not Be Familiar With the Holiday) 

The first step to celebrating any holiday is understanding its history. 

One way to do this is by educating your audience about Juneteenth. You could create an in-depth YouTube video, an IGTV series, fun and educational Instagram Reels, or even a carousel post driving traffic to a blog full of more information:  

Using the day to give a short history lesson can increase awareness about why Juneteenth is culturally significant, and even prompt deeper discussions.

Tip #2: Spotlight Black-owned Businesses, Creators, and Community-led Organizations

Educating your community about Juneteenth is important, but you could also use this day as an opportunity to amplify Black voices, businesses, and community-led organizations.

A fun and interactive idea could be to host a virtual event (Instagram Live, Facebook and Instagram Rooms, etc.) with a Black influencer or community leader in your industry. 

Alternatively, coordinate having a Black influencer do an Instagram Stories takeover, where they speak to their personal experiences within your industry — whether that’s fashion, television, healthcare, or beyond.

You could even use it as an opportunity to spotlight non-profits or organizations you support, creating an opportunity for your audience to amplify their initiatives.  

Need a head start in your search? Check out our blog post: 18 Impactful Black Creators to Follow on Social Media.

Tip #3: Use Hints of Red, Green, and Black in Your Juneteenth Graphics

These are the three colors of the Pan-African flag: a flag that symbolizes freedom and represents all people of the African Diaspora. 

Even if you have a dedicated color palette for your brand, spend time finding ways to integrate these colors for your Juneteenth social media posts.

If you want to find out more, this Code Switch podcast from NPR dives deeper into the history behind the colors and flag.

Tip #4: Use Diverse Images and Stock Photography Websites

If you’re looking for images, head straight to the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History & Culture’s open access image library.

These historic images have been released into the public domain as Creative Commons Zero (CC0), meaning  you can use, transform, and share the assets without asking for permission. 

When it comes to finding more diverse stock photography, Black-owned stock photography sites like Nappy, TONL, and CreateHER Stock are also great resources.

These websites specialize in telling culturally diverse and authentic stories, and can help you find high-quality photos for your Juneteenth celebrations.

The Stock Websites Changing the Instagram Game

Tip #5: Don’t Use Juneteenth As an Opportunity to Sell

Juneteenth is a celebration, an opportunity to educate your audience, and elevate Black voices. It is not the time to push sales. 

Depending on your business, you may even want to pause paid-for ads and sponsored post promotions for the day. 

If this is your first time celebrating Juneteenth on social media, use these tips as a launch pad for creating content surrounding the holiday.

Juneteenth is an opportunity to connect with your audience and raise awareness, but it shouldn’t be an event viewed in isolation. Consider how your content strategy supports diversity and inclusion every day, from the content you share to the creators you partner with.

Stay up to date with all the latest social media news, events, and strategy tips. Sign up to Later’s free weekly newsletter today:

 

Written By

Dante Nicholas

Dante is a social media strategist & photographer based in New Orleans, LA. He’s helped develop and manage social campaigns for dozens of clients. You can connect with him on Instagram @allthingsdante.





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How to Streamline Your Workflow as a Social Media Manager


Finding ways to streamline your workflow as a social media manager can be a huge advantage.

With the right strategies and tools, you can reduce stress and maximize your efficiency — even when managing multiple profiles.

Here are six ways to streamline your workflow as a social media manager:

6 Ways to Streamline Your Workflow as a Social Media Manager

Workflow Tip #1: Batch Your Content

Content creation can take a huge chunk of time out of your day, which is why content batching is one of the best ways to win back time in your schedule.

This is where you set aside time to create all of your content and write your captions in one sitting.

By doing this, you can focus on one task at a time and channel your creative energy without interruption.

Content batching is especially helpful for tasks that require a lot of prep, such as video content creation. By filming several videos in one go, you’ll save yourself all the time it takes to set up your tripod, create a backdrop, and prepare to go on camera.

It’s also easier and more efficient to write a full week’s worth of Instagram captions in one dedicated power hour. Once you’re in the zone, get as many captions written as possible!

With Later’s free scheduling tools, you can write captions for all of your upcoming posts on desktop or mobile. Plus, you can save different templates to use as guidelines for your captions, which is a great way to speed up your writing process.

TIP: Block off specific hours or days on your calendar for content creation — this will help you stay on top of your content strategy and be more consistent.

Workflow Tip #2: Streamline Your Content Collection Process

If user-generated content is part of your social strategy, there are ways to streamline how you find and credit your content.

With Later’s Search by Profile feature, you can find content from your favorite Instagram accounts and add it straight into your Media Library, ready to be scheduled. Simply enter a username or profile URL, select a post from their feed, and tap “Add to Library.”

Plus, Later will maintain the high-quality resolution of the post and will automatically add the handle of the user to your caption notes, making it easy to credit the original content creator.

And that’s just one way to collect media with Later. You can also browse all the posts you’ve been mentioned or tagged in, or search for all the posts that have a specific hashtag.

Ready to streamline your content collection process? Find out all the ways you can use Later to gather and schedule user-generated content in this quick video:



Workflow Tip #3: Curate Lists of Hashtags That Align With Your Content Pillars 

ICYMI: Posts with at least one Instagram hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag.

However, finding and adding up to 30 hashtags to your posts every time can be time-consuming.

To improve your workflow and save time, it’s a good idea to curate set lists of hashtags that you can use on rotation for your posts.

Plus, with Later’s Saved Captions feature, you can keep your lists of hashtags in one place — and add them to your captions in two quick taps.

saved captions later

TIP: Use a hashtags analytics tool, like Later’s Suggested Hashtags, to research the best hashtags to add to each of your curated lists.

 

Workflow Tip #4: Schedule Content to Multiple Platforms from One Dashboard

As a social media manager, you’re probably already using tons of different apps to create your content.

So when it comes to prepping and scheduling your posts, it makes sense to do it all from one easy-to-use dashboard.

With Later, you can schedule posts to multiple platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and TikTok) all from one dashboard.

Plus with built-in cropping tools, you can automatically crop the image or video to get optimal dimensions for each platform you post to. It’s a huge time-saver!

Workflow Tip #5: Automate Your Reporting Process 

As the end of each month rolls around, compiling an analytics report can be a time consuming task.

However, analytics are one of the best ways to learn what’s working (or not working) for your social strategy.

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can streamline your reporting process.

Start by creating a report template to track your monthly analytics. While the exact metrics you track will ultimately depend on your individual goals, having a template in place helps speed up the process and keep you right on track.

social media report

Plus, Later gives the option to download up to three months of your Instagram analytics data as CSV files – so you’ll have all the key data to add right at your fingertips. Reporting made easy.

Workflow Tip #6: Create Saved Replies for Your Most Common DM Queries 

Our final workflow hack is to set up Instagram Saved Replies that answer your most commonly asked questions.

Not only will this decrease the time you spend managing DMs, but it will also ensure your followers experience A+ customer service with quick and relevant replies.

How to Streamline Your Workflow as a Social Media Manager

It may seem like a small win, but over time you’ll build up a bank of Saved Replies that’ll save you hours of effort.

With the right tools and strategies, you’ll win-back tons of time in your schedule — leaving you more capacity to be creative and experiment with new content formats!

Ready to level up your social media workflow?  Plan and schedule your content in advance with Later, it’s free! 

 

Written By

Lindsay Ashcraft

Lindsay is a Social Media Coordinator at Later based in Northern California. You can usually find her wandering around farmers markets or scheming up her next trip. Follow her adventures: @lindsay.ashcraft.





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Ultimate Guide to Instagram Shopping


Every month, 130 million people tap on an Instagram shopping post — showing just how strong the appetite for social shopping is.

For businesses, Instagram shopping posts are a great way to showcase your catalog and drive sales. For creators and influencers, it opens up a world of opportunity to promote products from brands you partner with.

With this in mind, it’s time to optimize your profile for Instagram shopping!

From tagging products in your posts to creating an Instagram Shop, you’ll be converting followers into customers in no time.

Table of Contents:

  1. What Are Instagram Shopping Posts?
  2. How to Set Up Instagram Shopping
  3. How to Tag Products in Your Instagram Feed Posts and Stories
  4. How to Create Instagram Shopping Posts that Convert
  5. How to Measure the Success of Your Instagram Shopping Posts
  6. What Are the Alternatives to Instagram Shopping?

What Are Instagram Shopping Posts?

In a nutshell, Instagram shopping posts make it easier for people to shop on the platform.

Businesses and creators can tag products directly in their posts — creating a seamless shopping experience.

And thanks to Instagram Checkout (still rolling out globally), users can buy products directly on Instagram without leaving the app.

nstagram Shop: Everything You Need to Know

Instagram’s e-commerce features are continually evolving, and they are changing how we shop.

Alongside Checkout, Instagram is also testing features that allow users to “virtually try on” products — powered by Instagram Stories AR filters.

But that’s not all. Instagram’s current e-commerce lineup includes:

  1. Instagram Feed Post Shopping
  2. Instagram Shops
  3. Instagram Stories Shopping
  4. Instagram Live Shopping
  5. IGTV and Instagram Reels Shopping
  6. Instagram Guides Shopping
  7. Instagram Shopping from Creators

#1. Instagram Feed Post Shopping

Instagram feed posts are a great way for followers to discover new (and current) products. By adding a direct route for shopping, they can go from inspiration to conversion in a few taps.

Once you’re set up with Instagram Shopping, you can tag up to five products on single-image and video posts.

And don’t worry — you still tag other accounts too! This would come in handy if you used user-generated content and wanted to tag both the creator and the product they used:

Ultimate guide to shopping on Instagram

No matter the size of your business, shoppable feed posts can be extremely effective.

Both mega-brands like Lululemon and small businesses like Shop Khalia use them as part of their selling strategy:

How to Sell Products on Instagram

You can also add product tags to Instagram carousel posts, and include up to 20 products.

This creates a quick and easy way to show a full collection (or “lookbook”) in one go.

Check out how British fashion brand Whistles uses a combination of carousel posts and tagged products:

Instagram Shopping

These types of posts are the simplest way to sell on Instagram, by allowing you to promote your products in a non “salesy” way and organically integrate them onto your feed.

Easily plan and schedule all of your Instagram posts — for free!

 

#2. Instagram Shops

Instagram Shop is a game-changer when it comes to reaching new customers and driving traffic.

With this feature, brands can curate a list of shoppable products that are directly accessible through the “View Shop” button on their Instagram profile page.

Instagram Shopping

And even better — brands with Instagram Shop can also be featured on the Instagram Shop tab.

The Shop tab is a streamlined way for users to discover new products on Instagram, with the option to browse and explore:

  • Shops
  • Editors’ Picks
  • Collections
  • Guides
  • Videos

Instagram Shopping

By clicking on a suggested product, users can see pricing information, how to purchase, and more.

Read our Instagram Shop blog post for everything you need to know about this product discovery tool. 

#3. Instagram Stories Shopping 

Brands are no longer limited to the “swipe up” call-to-action when it comes to driving traffic to their website via Instagram Stories.

Now, followers can tap on a product sticker to learn more about the product and, ultimately, make a purchase.

Tagging products in Instagram Stories can be a more subtle approach to highlighting product details and promoting your catalog:

Everything You Need to Know About Instagram Shopping

The best part about using shopping stickers for Instagram Stories?

Small businesses with under 10K followers can drive traffic to their products, rather than wait for the “swipe up” option. Thank you, Instagram!

#4. Instagram Live Shopping

Instagram Live is one of the best ways to showcase your products in a personable, relatable way.

And with Instagram Live Shopping, you can tag products directly in your Live broadcast for viewers to tap and purchase.

It’s like a modern-day QVC experience.

Top social media moments of 2020

How does it work?

Accounts with access to Instagram Checkout can tag up to 30 products from their Facebook Shop or catalog before going live.

Then, during the broadcast, the host can pin one product at a time to the screen — providing a new and interactive way to shop.

ICYMI: Instagram recently rolled out Instagram Live Rooms. While there aren’t any shoppable tools (yet), you can still use the feature to sell on Instagram by hosting product demos or classes!

#5. IGTV and Instagram Reels Shopping

In 2020, Instagram announced IGTV Shopping and the ability to shop via Instagram Reels — adding even more news ways to discover products within the app.

Previously, the only way to share product links in IGTV videos was in the description box, which viewers would have to tap to open.

Now, you can tag shoppable products directly — game-changer!

As for Instagram Reels shopping, Instagram’s Adam Mosseri stated: “Creators can tag products in Reels, and if you’re interested, you can find out more about them inline.”

While these updates are rolling out globally, the ability to select products to view, buy, or learn more about, takes Instagram one step closer to becoming a virtual shopping mall.

#6. Instagram Guides Shopping

Instagram Guides provide an easy way to share recommendations or tips — and there are three different formats to choose from: places, products, and posts.

With product guides, you could curate a list of your best-selling products, or create targeted roundups based on your audience’s needs.

Instagram Shopping

Plus, anyone can create a product guide on Instagram, so this can also be a great way to partner with influencers or creators.

TIP: Consider using attention-grabbing titles like “Gifts for Mother’s Day”, “Products under $20”, or “Community Favorites.”

#7. Instagram Shopping from Creators 

Shopping from Creators gives influencers and creators the ability to drive sales on behalf of the brands they partner with.

With this feature, they can create shoppable Instagram posts featuring the brand’s products. Their followers can then purchase them using Instagram Checkout.

Everything You Need to Know About Instagram Shopping

For now, it’s only available for a select number of businesses and creators.

But that could soon be changing. Instagram has been rolling out the feature to more businesses in the US, and with their recent announcement that they’re introducing an affiliate commerce model — we predict there will be a wider release soon.

Want to drive more sales on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and TikTok? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Social Selling!

How to make money with Instagram

How to Set Up Instagram Shopping For Your Account

Once you’ve enabled Instagram Shopping, you’ll be able to tag products in feed posts, stories, IGTV videos, Reels, and Live broadcasts — and even set up your Instagram Shop.

And if you have access to Instagram Checkout (still rolling out globally), users will be able to buy your products directly on the app.

Here’s how to set up shopping on Instagram:

Step #1: Check Your Eligibility

Instagram has some fairly strict requirements for getting set up with their shopping features.

This ensures that only genuine retailers and e-commerce brands are able to make sales via the app.

Here are some of the requirements needed:

  • Your business must be located in an approved market. There are over 40 approved countries, including Canada, the US, Puerto Rico, the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands.
  • Your business must primarily sell physical goods and comply with Instagram’s commerce policies.
  • You must have an Instagram business account.

For a full list of requirements, you can find more details here.

Step #2: Convert to a Business (or Creator) Account

Before you can set up an Instagram Shop, you’ll need to switch to a Business account.

Once you have a Business account, you can add in relevant business information, such as opening hours, business address, phone number and a link to your website.

Step #3: Connect to a Facebook Page 

Next, follow these steps to link your Instagram business account to a Facebook Page:

  1. Go to your business’s Instagram profile
  2. Select “Edit profile”.
  3. Under the “Public business information” section, select “Page”
  4. Choose a Facebook Page from your Pages that you’d like to connect.
  5. If you don’t have a Facebook Page, select “Create a new Facebook Page”.

Step #4: Upload Your Product Catalog 

Instagram Shop requires you to have a product catalog, which is a list of all your products, inventory, and descriptions.

There are two ways to connect a product catalog to your Instagram business account:

  1. Catalogue Manager (The “do it yourself” method found within Facebook Business Manager)
  2. E-commerce Platform Partner (An integration through a certified e-commerce platform partner like Shopify or BigCommerce)

For more information about catalogs and Business Manager, check out Facebook’s helpful guide here.

Step #5: Submit Account for Review

Once you’ve connected a product catalog to your Instagram, you will need to submit your account for review by following these steps:

  1. Go to your business’s Instagram profile and tap the menu icon
  2. Select “Settings”.
  3. Sign up for shopping
  4. Follow the steps to submit your account for review.
  5. Visit “Shopping” in your “Settings” at any time to check your status.

NOTE: Account reviews typically take a few days but can sometimes take longer.

Your business may also be asked for additional information to prove domain ownership. If you receive this notification, follow these steps to complete a domain verification process.

Step #6: Turn On Shopping

Once your account is approved, you can turn on shopping features.

  1. Go to your business’s Instagram profile and tap the menu icon.
  2. Select “Settings”.
  3. Tap “Business” and then tap “Shopping”.
  4. Select the “product catalogue” that you want to connect to your account.
  5. Select “Done”.

NOTE: If you don’t see Shopping in your settings, your account is probably still under review or hasn’t been approved.

Ready to build your audience and convert them into loyal customers? Learn how to turn double taps into dollars with Isis Breanna’s free video course.

How to Tag Products in Your Instagram Feed Posts and Stories

Now that you’ve been approved by Instagram, you can start adding product tags to your posts and stories.

Instagram Feed Posts

Tagging products is a similar process to tagging Instagram accounts in your feed posts.

After uploading a photo or carousel post, you’ll have the option to add your caption, any filters, and select products by tapping “Tag Products.”

Next, search for and select the product you want to tag in your image.

Once you’ve added the tags you want (you can add up to 5 in a single image post and 20 in a carousel post), tap Done and share your post.

NOTE: If you’re using a scheduling tool like Later, you can also tag products after the image has been posted. Simply tap on the photo, click the 3 dots in the upper right corner, choose “Edit”, and then tag.

Instagram Stories

For Instagram Stories, open the stories camera and take a photo or video (or select one from your camera roll).

Next, tap the stickers button and select the “Product” sticker. You’ll be given the option to choose a product from your catalog:

Instagram Shopping on Stories

Once you’ve picked a product, you can change the color of the sticker by tapping it. You can also move it wherever you’d like on your story.

Instagram Shopping tag on Stories

Just remember that you can’t edit the product name in your story. If you want to rename a product, you’ll need to do it from your product catalog and manually change the name there.

A major bonus of the Instagram Story shoppable sticker is that you don’t need to have over 10K followers or be verified to use it!

This means regardless of your business size, you can add shoppable tags and encourage your community to shop your store.

How to Create Instagram Shopping Posts that Convert 

Okay, so now that you know how to make your Instagram posts shoppable, it’s even more important to create content that will convert.

You want posts that resonate with your community, appeal to your target audience, show off your products, and entice people to click buy.

Here are six tips for creating click-worthy Instagram shopping posts:

Tip #1: Use a Strong Call-to-action

Adding a call-to-action (CTA) in your Instagram captions can increase engagement on your posts, and more importantly — encourage followers to complete an action.

Whether it’s signing up to a newsletter, clicking the link in your bio, or commenting to enter a contest, a strong CTA can go a long way.

Instagram Shopping

TIP: Be clear and direct with your CTAs, so followers know exactly what you’d like them to do.

Tip #2: Maintain Your Instagram Aesthetic

Having a cohesive Instagram aesthetic is one of the best ways to grow your account and show off your brand’s style and voice.

And your shopping posts should seamlessly fit right in.

TIP:  Use Later’s Visual Instagram Planner to make sure your Instagram feed looks cohesive before you post. You can easily drag and drop your posts until you find the perfect composition for your grid!

 

Tip #3: Space Out Tags in Images

The space on a mobile screen can be small, so if you’re tagging multiple products in a single post or carousel, make sure they’re evenly spaced out.

This way, they won’t overlap and obstruct the information on the tag. You want to make the shopping experience as easy as possible for your community.

Everything You Need to Know About Instagram Shopping

TIP: If you’re struggling to fit product tags in your post, you can always create a carousel post instead.

Tip #4: Add Relevant Hashtags 

The Instagram algorithm pays attention to your Instagram shopping posts, so you want to make sure you’re optimizing them.

Including descriptive hashtags is one way to optimize your posts and make them  ‘searchable’.

Plus, users can follow hashtags so your posts will be more discoverable too.

Everything You Need to Know About Instagram Shopping

If you use hashtags effectively on your Instagram shopping posts, you’ll soon start to see an uptick in engagement and conversions as more people discover and follow your posts.

Don’t know where to start when it comes to hashtags? Our Instagram Hashtag Strategy Guide will help you plan and implement a hashtag strategy to increase engagement and grow your brand. 

 

Tip #5: Showcase Your Products With User-generated Content

Leveraging user-generated content (or UGC) is a great way to show off your brand and let customers be the spokespeople for your products.

It lets you diversify your posts, spotlight your community, and can elevate your feed aesthetic.

Everything You Need to Know About Instagram Shopping

NOTE: Make sure you’re legally reposting content before you share it to your feed. Unsure? Check out this blog post on how to legally repost UGC on Instagram.

Tip #6: Use Videos to Bring Your Products to Life 

Videos on Instagram Stories are a great way to integrate shoppable stickers on your posts and demo what your products do or look like IRL.

Particularly useful for clothing, makeup, and jewelry brands (or anything that can be personally styled), it’s a fun and easy way to capture your product from all angles and give followers a sneak peek of what to expect when they purchase.

Sign up to our FREE Social Sales Sessions and get access to webinars, panel discussions, and Q&As with digital selling experts.

How to Measure the Success of Your Instagram Shopping Posts 

Measuring the success of your shoppable Instagram posts is an integral step in your overall social media strategy.

Once you know what resonates with your audience, you can create similar content that you know drives sales for your business.

And the best way to do this? Check out your Instagram Insights. 

Instagram Insights for shoppable posts hold tons of useful data. You can see the usual metrics like comments, likes, and reach, but you can also dig deeper.

To see how an individual post is performing, tap “View Insights.”

Here you’ll see product-specific metrics (like product page views and product button clicks), which will vary depending on if you’ve enabled Instagram Checkout.

Everything You Need to Know About Instagram Shopping

Alongside Instagram’s native analytics, Later’s Instagram Analytics tool gives you a broader overview of how your posts are performing.

With this easy-to-use dashboard, you’ll have access to the must-have analytics from Instagram along with other insights like your best time to post.

instagram analytics tools

You can also track up to 3 months worth of Instagram posts and stories, so you can see what performed well, and areas of improvement.

Plus, Later’s Instagram Analytics have separate “Post Performance” and “Story Performance” dashboards — giving you insight into how each channel is driving traffic.

What Are the Alternatives to Instagram Shopping? 

While e-commerce features like Instagram Checkout have made it easier for brands to sell on the platform, it might not be for everyone.

For some, Instagram’s transaction fees could be a cause for concern. According to their Business Help Center, the selling fee is 5% per shipment or a flat fee or $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less.

Businesses may also lose out on valuable customer data — like emails — as all communications are handled with Instagram directly.

Luckily, there’s another way to drive traffic to your online store — the link in your Instagram bio.

For businesses, the link in your bio is easy to find, readily clickable, and a great way to generate sales from your Instagram posts.

And with Linkin.bio by Later, you can add URLs to every single Instagram post — turning your feed into a clickable, optimized landing page.

drive traffic from instagram

Rather than change the link in your bio every time you want to drive traffic to a product, you can use Later’s Linkin.bio tool instead.

Now, when people click the link in your bio, they’ll be able to browse your linked posts and shop your feed. 

And if you upgrade to a Later Growth or Advanced plan, you can connect your Shopify store too.  

This way, you can direct your audience to specific product pages, and generate even more sales.

Plus, with the Shopify integration you can track your revenue for individual posts — making it easy to see how your content is performing across the board.

There you have it — everything you need to get started in the world of Instagram shopping.

By becoming an approved Instagram retailer, tagging your products, and optimizing your link in bio, you’ll create an easier shopping experience for your followers and make sales. Cha-ching.

Ready to drive more traffic from Instagram? Start using Linkin.bio today!

 

Written By

Monique Thomas

Monique is a Content Marketer at Later who loves helping brands define their voice and content strategy. You can usually find her sipping matcha or adding another book to her ever-growing TBR list. Say hi on Instagram — @wordsbymonique





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