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Instagram 101 - Boosting Your Posts [Social Media 101]

Instagram 101 - Boosting Your Posts [Social Media 101]

Pretty much every social media platform has paid options available to Business Accounts that can help increase the chance that their posts are seen by their target audience. Instagram is no exception.

Despite the fact that Instagram is owned by Facebook, boosting is a bit different on this image-centric platform. And, due to the limited capabilities of Instagram as of this date, you really need to be boosting your Instagram posts if you want to make the most out of your social media marketing.

Why Should You Boost Your MSP’s Instagram Posts?

Just like with all of the social media platforms, paying to promote or ‘boost’ your posts helps ensure that they are seen by more people. This is especially important due to the trend of these platforms switching from chronological viewing to an algorithmic newsfeed, and Instagram is no exception. Even if you have a lot of followers, they might not even be seeing your posts!

By boosting your posts, you can ensure that more of your followers, in addition to other members of your target audience, see your posts in their feed.

The problem is, Instagram is more mobile-centric than the other social media platforms. There’s limited functionality if you go to from a laptop or desktop computer - you’d have to download a computer application if you wanted all of the management capabilities that you get through mobile. This means that a majority of your target audience that is on Instagram will be browsing from their smartphone.

The Issue with the Instagram App

If your social media marketing is how it should be, then you should be using at least some of what you post to try and direct your followers to your website to learn more about what you do.

The problem: In the Instagram app, any links that you use in the description of your post are not hyperlinked. They can’t even be copied!

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be linking back to your website when applicable. But, it means that you definitely need to be using short URLs - a URL shortener like,, or (ideally) your own branded URL shortener. This way, it’s not too much of a hassle to follow that link - even less if you can customize that URL with an easy to remember file path.

Fortunately, as a business account, you have an option available to you that allows people to actually go to the links that you include with your post - you can promote it.

Promoting Your Instagram Posts

Instagram makes it easy - and affordable - to promote your posts through the Instagram app. You can promote your posts for as little as $1 per day! When you promote your posts, you have the ability to have links and calls-to-action buttons.

Instagram Promote ScreenshotUnderneath the post you want to promote in the mobile app, you should see a “Promote” Button underneath your image.*

*If you do not see this button, it means that your Instagram has not been made into a Business account yet. To convert it so that you can run ads, you will need to connect it to your Facebook Page and have a Facebook ad account already established. Just head to your Instagram profile settings and select “Switch to Business Profile”. Then, follow the prompts. You WILL need to be an administrator of your Facebook Page for this to work.

When you click on the Promote button, it may prompt you to sign into your Facebook account for authentication purposes.

From there, you would select your desired goal or outcome, choose the audience you are looking to target (the default suggested audience or based on targeted interests/locations/demographics), set your budget, and choose how many days you would like to promote your post for. Here you can also choose to have a call-to-action. If you choose to include one, it will appear below the image or video you are promoting.

When you have finished setting the specs to your liking, just select ‘Create Promotion’.

Once your ad is reviewed and Instagram determines that is complies with their Ad Policies, it will begin running.

What Should Your Ad Specs Be?

We can’t tell you exactly what you should be doing to get the greatest success with Instagram - it will depend on your business size, goals, budget, what your target audience looks like, your competition, and numerous other factors.

However, we can tell you what works for us - a small business (managed service provider) in Central New York.

We’ve found that we get the greatest success in terms of brand awareness, quality engagement, and links clicked - all without breaking the bank - by promoting ALL of our posts, each one for $1.00 per day for 3 days. Specifically, we promote our posts based on location to those between 18 and 65 years old.

By promoting all of our posts (even the ones that link to somewhere other than our website, or are company culture posts without a link at all), we’ve found that it helps us establish better relationships with our followers and showcase our expertise as a capable managed service provider.

You may not want to go this far, especially if you’re just starting out. That’s okay. You could start with a couple of posts that are performing well on their own, then promote them to give them an even greater boost. Instagram will tell you which posts are doing well on their own with a message similar to what can be seen on the right.

Need Additional Help with Instagram?

Feel free to fill out our form in this blog if you have any further questions about Instagram or any of the other major social media channels, and how you can use these platforms to successfully market your MSP. Once you do, be sure to follow Social Media 101 so that you’re notified of when a new blog post is up. You can also reach out to us directly if you want your question answered even sooner.

If you want help jumpstarting your Instagram feed, we can push content to your channel - in addition to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter - through Social Media as a Service. Visit this page to learn more.

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