Best practise guide for Facebook and Instagram

Image credit: Pixa Bay

Image credit: Pixa Bay

Just when we thought we couldn’t keep up with the ever-changing industry, Facebook recently answered our prayers with the launch of their new best practices guide for both itself and Instagram.

The guide covers all of the key elements of each platform and updates on the company’s recent shifts (hello, pesky algorithm!).

Some interesting notes include:

  • Community – Facebook recommends Pages focus on building a personal connection. Your audience are more likely to engage with posts that feel personal rather than something that’s over-pushed, not genuine to you or content that is not created by you.

  • Stories – Stories are overtaking imagery in terms of higher engagement and can be posted to Instagram and Facebook at the same time which helps to maximise your coverage and engagement. Bear in mind that functions such as Swipe Up won’t translate to Facebook.

  • Hashtags – do your research into the most targeted hashtags for your content. Facebook notes that more than 150 million users visit the Instagram Explore tab every day so the more relevant your hashtags, the more likely your content will be discovered here.

For some who have been using these platforms for some time, these notes are basics but it gives you a good reminder of the latest updates and tips, and will definitely be beneficial for those trying to get a better understanding of both platforms fast and how to leverage the algorithm to its maximum.

You can download the guide here or read below for more tips.

Keeping it real

Facebook and Instagram are about community. Audiences are looking for a connection and are more likely to engage with a post that is personal to you. Be conversational and authentic in your captions and get creative when you have something to promote. Share exclusive content that fans can’t see from anyone else, like behind-the-scenes photos and videos.

Frequency and creativity

Consistent posting is key; to increase your awareness and gain followers steadily, it is recommended you post daily. A long as you stay fresh and authentic, fans will be excited to follow your journey.

Get creative and post variety of content to maximise your reach. Your audience won’t all have the same preference of content they’d like to see. Some will like video, some will like photos, and others may like stories.

Make it fun by using creative tools like Boomerang, face filters, stickers, drawing tools, apps like Unfold, or Over to share your highlights.

You and your fans

Take a moment to like a comment or respond with a few words that sing true to how you feel. Acknowledging a comment may earn you a lifelong fan (and it’s polite!) and bonus - you will be rewarded with your content featuring higher on the algorithm.

If you go live on Facebook or Instagram, dedicate time to do a Q&A with your live viewers.

Keep regular track of your insights (fortnightly or monthly is ample). Insights on Facebook and Instagram will enable you to see who your audience is and which posts resonate with them most.

Stories

The most engaging stories are made in the moment and use a combination of videos, photos and other creative tools.

We know stories disappear after 24 hours so don’t be afraid to show the real, unglamourised moments.

Like image posts, stories can be added to both Instagram and Facebook at the same time. Just adjust your settings to have your Instagram stories automatically shared to Facebook every time, or you can choose to share individual stories when you create them.

If the creative juices aren’t flowing, kickstart your stories with something you do every day (e.g. your morning routine, your favourite meal of the day, sharing the book or podcast you’re reading). You may think it’s boring but it’s adding a personal touch to your accounts, which fans love seeing.

Video

More video is being watched on Facebook and Instagram than ever before, especially on mobile phones.

You don’t need to invest big bucks in production either. Just shooting on your phone provides context and allows fans to feel like they’re there with you. Add a description that lets viewers know what they’re watching and why it’s interesting.

Don’t forget to pick a good cover frame / thumbnail before posting and keep the shakiness to a minimum.

Live

Got an announcement or want to share something new? Go live on Facebook or Instagram stories. Fans can experience the excitement with you.

We know that followers can receive notifications when you go live so that they’ll be able to tune in right away. A good way to interact with them is by taking the time to answer their questions.

Safety tools

I can’t stress enough that your safety and well-being on social media is paramount so be sure to turn on comment filters to prevent trolls from harassing you in comments. You can filter specific words, phrases or emojis by turning on the standard filter or customising this.

Lastly - turn on two-factor authentication to help prevent hacking.

Locations and hashtags

By researching and integrating relevant hashtags and location tags into your content, you can connect with a moment or place and encourage fans to use them also if at your event / show etc.

Bonus is that using hashtags ensures your content is discoverable and increases your chances of appearing in the Instagram Explore tab, (which 150 million users visit every day).

But don’t go overboard – simply choose the most relevant tags for your posts. Irrelevant tags can annoy fans. Tag other pages and accounts when relevant to make the post eligible to appear in more feeds and be exposed to other audiences.

You can download the guide here.