We recently found out about a neat tool that shows a collection of the top “suggested searches” that pop up when you google something, by topic. So we gave it a test and it inspired us to look for the most commonly asked Instagram questions.
Our Answers to Some Odd, Some Fun, Some Smart Instagram Questions
Should I use Instagram Stories or Feed Posts?
Right now Instagram Stories get the most views and engagement. And I know because at Lightspan we manage dozens of accounts. But to get the most exposure, you should do both.
A trick you can use is to repost a feed post to your story, which will point people back to your post.
Another tip is to actually use your own @user name in the story and encourage people to click on it to go back to your account.
If you have over 10K followers you can use the swipe up feature to send people to another location, like your website, youtube channel, Facebook, wherever you want. This is not something you can do with posts. So it’s definitely a better way to promote your off-Instagram content.
Can you tell who is looking at your Instagram account?
No. With Instagram Stories you can see who watched your story. There are apps, such as the app Instatistc, which claims to show your “stalkers.” If you really want to know, it’s worth a try, although I’m not sure it’s accurate. Instatistc claims that I have almost as many stalkers as followers… Yeeks! However, the list includes some of my close friends, which makes me doubt its credibility.
Other apps have different definitions for “stalkers” – such as, accounts that liked a post of yours but don’t follow you. But I don’t know of an app that can track just views on your account. If they haven’t taken an action, such as liking or commenting on a photo, they most likely won’t show up on the lists of any apps.
Is Instagram for attention seekers?
Can Instagram be used on a computer?
Not in its native form. But you can install an android simulator, called Bluestacks and use it as if you were using a mobile device. This would give you access to mobile apps including Instagram.
You can schedule posts via apps such as BufferApp and Latergram. But you’ll still have to go in and manually push the post live.
How should I use hashtags?
Instagram is a place where you can go a little crazy with hashtags. There are no set rules or magical numbers. It’s just about finding the right hashtags. And the best way to find those is to test different options.
There are also different preferences on where to place hashtags. Some like to push them down below the description, and some prefer to put them in the comments. You’ll have to test it out and see what works for you. We work with dozens of Instagram accounts and have noticed that the more niche the hashtags are, the more engagement the posts get.
That means you have to focus your content and go for passion moments. Passion hashtags seem to do best. For example, any time I post #oceanconservation hashtags I get tons of new likes and followers. But if I post inspiration related hashtags, it doesn’t work so well. The latter hashtag set is overused, and too broad.
And where do I find Instagram hashtags?
The best app I found is called Hashtag Expert. You enter a hashtag and it returns many others. Then you copy and paste them into your post. It also inserts spaces so that when you post it pushes the hashtags far to the bottom of your description.
Is Instagram listening to you?
A number of bloggers and the BBC have reported that Instagram is listening to your conversations. Zoe Kleinman of the BBC challenged two cybersecurity experts to see if it’s possible. They built an app that was able to listen and transcribe conversations. So theoretically Instagram could turn your conversations into text and use the text to target ads to you.
Does it really happen? No one knows for sure. Google issued a statement that it’s against their terms of service for apps to collect information without the user’s knowledge. In other words, Android apps should not be listening to you. We don’t know about iPhone but many claim that both Instagram and Facebook listen to conversations and then tailor ads based on conversations you have.
However, there is one other plausible explanation. Mathematics professor David Hand wrote a book called The Improbability Principle, in which he argued that apparently extraordinary events happen all the time. In other words, it could be a coincidence, but because it’s hard for us to believe, we see it as an extraordinary event and thus impossible to happen on its own. But extraordinary events happen all the time. So it could just be a coincidence.
But the technology is there if someone wanted to use it.
How can I post a longer Instagram story?
There’s an app called CutStory that will take a longer video and break it down into multiple segments.
And of course, now you have IGTV, but use it wisely. Or check out our video on IGTV.
How can I know who blocked me on Instagram?
Many follow/unfollow apps in the app store will show you. The one I use is called Followers.
You can also see who unfollowed you recently, and who deleted likes and comments. Why would anyone delete likes? No idea…
But it’s more important to focus on your top fans and thank them for engaging with you. Forget about those who block and unfollow. These apps will also give you lists of people who have liked your posts the most, and commented the most. Give those folks some love.
Do you have any hot Instagram tips? Let us know in the comments!