3 Instagram Tips straight from Meta

Read about hashtags, trending audio and post cadence

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I still don’t believe the TikTok Ban is happening. This’ll be a long, drawn out legal battle. Even if they’re forced to sell, those deals don’t happen overnight. I know marketers are panicking a bit… maybe I’ll write an extra “what if TikTok gets banned” issue later this week…

Until then, let’s talk about

  • Meta’s suggestion for Instagram hashtagging

  • How often your brand should post on Instagram

  • What happened when India banned TikTok

Instagram Strategy, straight from Meta

It’s a running joke how social platforms rarely offer strategic help for marketers. Getting answers to the most basic of social questions out of reps is like pulling teeth.

But out of nowhere, I was offered a call with a Meta Media Expert about Instagram Content Strategy via, of all things, my basketball Instagram account. It was an in-app pop-up, offering 20 minutes of consulting. I quickly forgot to screenshot it & clicked yes.

Maybe most interesting: I got some actionable tips that’ll help brands & creators alike make sure their content’s primed for the algorithm.

I’ll walk you through the 3 major points she made about consistency, hashtags, and trending audio

1. You’ve gotta post at least 3-5x a week

Some brand marketers probably scoff at this, already running daily or multiple posts per day from their brand Instagram accounts. I’d certainly hope your brand’s appearing more than thrice a week on Instagram, but it turns out it’s rather important you maintain at least that consistency—anything less and the algorithm actually won’t push your content consistently, as it assumes you’re not a frequent poster.

I asked if too much content could hurt creators or brands—she mentioned that every creator should do what works for them (I post Reels daily on my basketball creator account), but that if you’re not seeing consistent performance with increased content frequency, consider scaling back to that 3-5x a week mark.

An important note here: a post is a Reel, a carousel, or a static image. Stories do not count towards that minimum posting number! Guess you’ll have to throw that selfie on the grid.

2. Use between 3-8 hashtags

This one intrigued me. Everyone’s got a different take on hashtags—I’ve worked with brands that felt they’re too ugly to use (seriously), then had other clients who seemingly wanted more #### than actual words in the caption.

My Meta Media Expert said 3-8 hashtags is the sweet spot and to make sure:

  • your hashtags are in the post caption, NOT the first comment

  • your hashtags are related to the niche or audience you want

  • random or viral or #foryoupage type hashtags won’t help

  • More than 8 hashtags actually won’t help you.

After your 8th hashtag, the algorithm isn’t guaranteed to disperse the content towards whatever hashtag you’re tacking on the end.

3. Trending audio gets you in the algorithm

I made sure to clarify this one several times on the call.

She confirmed that the Instagram algorithm prioritizes content containing trending audio. The way to know if a song is trending: there’s a little arrow mark next to the title & artist on the song selection screen.

That’s a pretty big deal. On the artist side, the rich get richer. On the creator side, we’re gonna be top 40 all the time now. But you’re a brand, I’ve got bad news—you’re not gonna wanna use those bangers.

Now, if you’re a brand, you probably shouldn’t be using any audio that isn’t in the “sound collection.” According to Meta, if your Instagram is properly set as a business account, you shouldn’t even have access to songs you’re not allowed to use. The fool proof approach for brands: license your background sounds from a sound library.

So there you have it—basics from an actual Zuck employee. Play with the tips, use them, and make sure you’re always hitting your social fundamentals.

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Social Cues

Ban or not, I still don’t think we’ll see a TikTok pause in service to Americans. In any case, it’s happened elsewhere in the world, and the TLDR: Instagram & YouTube heavily benefited from a Tokless country.

You know I love a simple breakdown—Colin & Samir’s Short on a Short quickly drills the analysis. Hell, this sentence is longer than their take.

It’s crazy how most award shows don’t require marketers to provide public case studies. Thankfully, The Shorties aren’t one of them—each brand has to explain what they did, why it worked, and why they deserve to win, giving us bunches of info to munch on.