Instagram is a huge platform these days for all things business– marketing, expanding reach, building a brand image, and increasing conversion. According to Instagram itself, it now entertains over 1 billion monthly active users, with at least 90% of users following at least one business profile.
With this huge platform available for business success, an Instagram manager has become a pivotal role in social media success.
Because there are so many elements to running a social media platform, an effective Instagram manager is a must. And hiring the right one is key to your Instagram’s success. So, what defines a top Instagram manager?
There are so many things that an Instagram manager should be helping you achieve on your Instagram platform, and knowing what they are will help you to hold your Instagram manager accountable.
We’ll lay out the must-have knowledge for hiring a top Instagram manager, regardless of your niche. Let’s get started!
1. Hire a Manager Who Understand How Instagram Works
While this seems to go without saying, it’s better that we start at the basics. As with any management position, it’s vital that your Instagram manager understands the basic inner workings of Instagram and all of the features that it has to offer.
If your Instagram manager has a clear understanding of these features and which ones to build into your strategy, they’ll have greater success in taking your Instagram to the next level.
Your Instagram should always be run by your Instagram manager as a professional, public account. This optimizes features such as Instagram insights and allows for better reach.
Let’s take a look at some of the basic (but non-negotiable) elements of Instagram that a successful Instagram manager should understand and utilize. This will help you choose one with the right qualifications.
- Content: Instagram has a variety of ways that users can share content across the platform. Initially, the platform offered a feed of photos to which users could post photos to share to their followers. This is still a main component of Instagram, but there are many other types of content users can now incorporate. Using video, photos, graphics, and shoppable posts are all types of content that add value to your Instagram content. Building a profile with valuable and engaging content is a must-have for any Instagram manager, and this responsibility is at the core of Instagram management.
- Instagram Stories: Instagram stories, while an additional type of content, is important on it’s own. Instagram shares that half of their monthly active users, around 500+ million, actively engage with Instagram stories. Having a successful Instagram stories strategy is absolutely vital in ensuring your brand continues to perpetuate successful interactions with followers and users in your target audience. Using a tool like Canva can be a great way to incorporate valuable content into Instagram stories.
- Instagram Live: Using this tool to connect with followers is also an important function that is available to Instagram managers. Looking for ways to humanize your brand and give followers a real look at what you’re offering is a key strategy for any Instagram manager. Plan this into your Instagram schedule so that your followers have access to you and can build bonds with your brand and image.
- Bio and External Linking: The only place for a clickable external link on Instagram is via Instagram bio. As an Instagram manager, it’s your job to make sure that your followers and target users can access your brand and all other materials that they need in order for a positive experience. Also, your bio should be a quick go-to for users to understand what you’re all about. Many Instagram managers are also using linking tools like linktree in order to streamline the user experience when it comes to external links.
- Instagram Highlights: As part of a visually-pleasing landing profile page, you should incorporate effective Instagram highlights. These are viewable underneath your Instagram bio and allows profile visitors to access important content or relevant information about your brand. These should all be a cohesive visual element as well, using images as the cover photo that correlate to your brand image. Instagram highlights are basically pinned posts from your past Instagram stories, so it’s vital that you use Instagram stories with the intention of adding these posts later, when relevant, to an Instagram highlight album. A successful Instagram manager knows how to add value to your profile page through Instagram highlights.
- Engagements: Your Instagram manager must understand the effective ways to engage with followers. The basic engagements on Instagram include likes on posted content, story reactions, comments, and direct messages. Not only should your Instagram manager find ways to encourage followers to engage, but they you should be actively engaging back with your followers. This helps to humanize your brand and show your followers that you care about them and are available to them.
- Hashtag Feeds: We’ll talk more about hashtag strategy later, but a key function of Instagram is that users can now follow hashtags. When a user follows hashtags, all posts that include that hashtag will appear in their feed. This is a great way to expand reach to new followers and must be a part of your strategy.
These are some of the basic functions of Instagram that your Instagram manager should know in order to build productive engagements with your followers and create value through your Instagram profile and content.
2. Hire an Instagram Manager Who is an Expert at Time Management
An Instagram manager must have an impeccable grasp on key elements of workflow and time scheduling. As there are many elements in creating a valuable Instagram profile, they must understand how to balance their time and give the necessary attention to each element of your Instagram. This includes things like content creation, content scheduling and posting, engaging with users on your platform, hashtag strategy and captioning, analytics, and follower growth.
Because finding a balance between these elements can be challenging, even for the best Instagram managers, good ones will always bring on additional tools in order to help them bring you even more Instagram success. Let’s take a look at some of the top tools that you should be using with your Instagram manager.
Building Real Followers: Growthoid
One of the most time-consuming aspects of Instagram management can definitely be building your network of followers. This doesn’t simply mean increasing follower count, but finding real, organic followers that actually care about your content and engage with it.
The typical method for an Instagram manager to build followers is to engage with users on the platform that are within your target audience. These targets may be users that follow a particular hashtag feed, users that follow one of your competitors, users that comment or engage with content similar to yours, users in a particular location, among others.
Finding these users and then creating engagements across the platform can be so time-consuming that your Instagram manager may not have time to focus on other aspects of your platform, such as creating, managing, and scheduling content, including captions and hashtag strategy.
An effective Instagram manager knows that using an Instagram growth service can help to streamline this process; however, there are many growth services out there these days that are less than trustworthy and often rarely deliver results due to increasingly strict regulations on these services by Instagram itself.
Our choice, Growthoid, is by far the best and most productive way to increase real followers without having to do hours of tedious engagement work. Growthoid isn’t one of those Instagram growth services that does everything through automated bots– they actually help you grow your followers through manual engagements.
Think of Growthoid as your management extension; after signing up, they’ll give you a designated account manager that will take over where you left off. You’ll provide your account manager with your targets, and they will engage your target users through manual interactions.
This is a game-changer for Instagram managers– now, both you and your Instagram manager can have peace of mind that a real person is in control of growing your followers. If you’re just starting out, find that your follower growth has hit a plateau, or just need more eyes on your content, Growthoid is definitely the Instagram growth service that your Instagram manager should be using.
Content Management: Later and Other Instagram Schedulers
A common complaint of an Instagram manager is that it can be challenging to keep a consistent posting schedule and keep up with a cohesive brand aesthetic. Make sure you know how your Instagram manager prefers to organize their content posting, and what types of schedulers they may be using. A top Instagram manager should be using a tool like Later, which can give you many benefits.
Later will help you and your account manager to visualize your Instagram posts in one place through their visual scheduler. That way, you can see how your posts will come together once they’re live and make any adjustments to keep your aesthetic consistent. It’s great because even if you’re not dealing with the posting schedule, you can peek in and see what your Instagram manager is planning without much effort.
Not only that, your posts can be scheduled in advance with your captions and hashtags, which means that your Instagram manager will have an extremely effective workload so that they can focus on other elements.
One thing that is harder to schedule is Instagram stories, as many schedulers don’t have this feature due to the way that Instagram allows third parties to work with the platform.
A best practice for a top Instagram manager is to schedule out all photos in the feed, and then keep their Instagram stories as a more spontaneous element of their brand, helping to keep the human element of their brand or business. Make sure you know what an Instagram manager’s plan is before deciding to hire them.
In any case, there are many Instagram scheduling tools out there, and all of them offer varying packages, features, and price points. The best way for an Instagram manager to choose an effective Instagram scheduler for their platform is to consider what features you need for your account, what your budget is, and how user-friendly the scheduler is. Discuss these types of decisions before hiring an Instagram manager so you can find out if you’ll be compatible working together.
3. Hire an Instagram Manager That is Optimally Organized
Because Instagram has expanded their features, you need your Instagram manager to be able to do more than ever before if you’re going to consider them a stand-out Instagram manager. If your Instagram manager isn’t able to keep these different tasks organized and manage collaborations and strategies, you will definitely sink, and you’ll have to be looking to hire a new one pretty quickly.
Trello can also be a useful tool when planning and managing tasks throughout their completion process. It’s extremely useful for those who want to see their tasks in a visual way and it can be a super easy way for you to stay up-to-date on your Instagram manager’s tasks without having to waste time asking about different things.
Since you may have a variety of players that need to be in contact with your Instagram manager, many of your partners including photographers, business partners, copywriters, marketers, and more, will need channels that streamline communication and help to manage workflow is an absolute must for an Instagram manager. Tools like Later and Slack can help you to do this with ease. If the Instagram manager you’re looking to hire has never heard of these, keep looking.
These tools are invaluable in creating a smooth workflow, enhancing communication, and giving confidence to your business partners.
Ultimately, a good Instagram manager will be able to manage many tasks, organize a lot of information, and communicate it to partners in an accessible way; always find out if that’s the case before hiring one.
4. Hire an Instagram Manager That Understands Instagram Strategy
Alongside a basic understanding of Instagram features, an Instagram manager absolutely must understand the strategies that help to expand content reach. There are a variety of things that an Instagram manager should do to bolster the success of your content across the platform, and these elements should be incorporated in all content.
Your Instagram Manager Needs to Know Your Audience
When creating and posting content, your ideal customer and target user should be your Instagram manager’s top priority. For example, if you run a beauty blog, your Instagram manager must ALWAYS consider what your ideal customer would be, what that customer is looking for in Instagram content, and how to reach them and appeal to them. Ask your Instagram manager candidates what their strategy is.
Some things that can help you to recognize whether or not your Instagram manager can effectively execute this strategy are:
- Knowing your target audience habits: Your Instagram manager should know the habits of your target audience and when they’re online in order to create optimal posting times. They should also be knowledgeable of your competitors’ accounts and note how they are engaging their followers and what’s working for them. They should be asking, “How can we incorporate this on your profile in a way that aligns with your brand image?”
- Engage users: your Instagram manager should always spend time engaging your clients and getting their feedback. They should write captions that ask your followers to respond and tell you what they like. Many successful Instagram influencers and brands ask their followers questions in their comments and give them polls on stories. This can easily be a way to do market research that is built into your content.
- Respond to your followers: Your Instagram manager should make it a priority to be responsive to your followers, which is a way to build good relationships with your users and show that you are an approachable and connected brand. It will show that you care about your followers and that you are responsive. Having a strong bond with followers will not only build trust, but it will also open communication lines for getting honest feedback and understanding what’s working and what can be improved. It will also expand business opportunities.
If your potential Instagram manager isn’t able to speak to these elements, that’s a red flag.
Your Instagram Manager Must Understand Hashtags
Hashtag strategy is a vital part of your Instagram content. When you partner an effective hashtag strategy with a service like Growthoid, there’s no doubt that your content will perform better and you will reach more people in your target audience.
There’s no doubt that a top Instagram manager will understand hashtag basics, and if they don’t, find a new one. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags, but many argue that the magic number is between 7-11 hashtags.
They should avoid using hashtags that are overly general, such as #love, #beauty, #instagood, and so on. These hashtags, while popular, have so many posts being uploaded with the tag that it’s unlikely anyone following this hashtag feed will see your post.
These posts get pushed down the hashtag feed so quickly due to the sheer number of posts including them that it’s basically a waste of a hashtag.
Make sure your Instagram manager employs hashtags that are more specific to your niche. For example, if they use the hashtag #goodeats, there will be about 8 million other posts on this hashtag. Making it more specific, such as #eatnola or #goodeatsla will help to focus your post to people in your local area that follow this tag.
#beauty has 409m posts. A more specific tag like #newyorkbeauty has 19.2k posts. You’ll find more reach when you use hashtags that are connected to your specific market or niche.
Another way to identify successful hashtags is to research which hashtags competitors in your area are using. This can also be an indicator of which ones are currently performing well.
A good Instagram manager knows that hashtags incite follower growth, and you should make sure you hire one that knows the ins and outs of hashtag strategy.
Call to Actions
A top Instagram manager knows what they want your followers to do. All of your content and posts should have a purpose and should help guide the user experience. If your Instagram manager doesn’t know how to create posts that call users to actions, they are not the right one for you.
Do you want them to click out to an external link? Do you want them to engage in in-app shopping? Are you looking for them to tag a friend on your post? Do you want them to answer a question on your Instagram stories poll?
There are many different actionable things your Instagram manager can get followers to do through the Instagram platform. The more they can get your followers to engage, the better your performance will be in terms of the Instagram algorithm.
The Instagram algorithm is designed to favor posts that have high engagement levels. If your followers are constantly engaged with your content, the more likely it is that your posts will perform well and even end up on the “top” section of a hashtag feed, or the “explore” page.
A good Instagram manager has a clear strategy in place to keep users engaged, perhaps without them even realizing it. Make sure that they can explain it to you before hiring them.
5. Hire an Instagram Manager That Will Stay Brand-Oriented
It’s vital that an Instagram manager be flexible and always thinking about things from the perspective of your individual brand.
While it’s common for an Instagram manager to manage multiple accounts at a time, having a one-size-fits-all is not going to be an effective way to work.
Each brand has its unique elements and demands, and each profile that you manage cannot be mashed into one single strategy. You must hire an Instagram manager that has a unique vision for each account that they manage and should always think about things from your perspective as the brand or business.
Make sure your Instagram manager knows your content inside and out– have them review your posts, give them links to your content and blogs, and make sure they review your external links. In addition, they should know what your mission statement is and what your brand values are. If your account manager does these things, they will be able to offer you valuable areas for growth as well as perpetuate a consistent brand image.
In order for a brand, business, or influencer to see success through Instagram, there must be a level of authenticity. It is your Instagram manager’s job to ensure that this authenticity is maintained through an understanding of the roots and identity of your brand.
Wrap-Up: Hire a Top Instagram Manager
All in all, an Instagram manager has to be a jack of all trades. They have to understand what your brand needs, what your core values are, what type of users are in your target audience, and how to reach those followers through valuable content.
If they can’t do this, they’re not worth your time.
Having a basic understanding of what Instagram offers as well as what strategies are most effective is also a must when choosing a top Instagram manager to hire.
Make sure you are compatible with your Instagram manager and the tools that they use. Organic follower growth through a tool like Growthoid will help you to keep building your reach and getting eyes on your content without sacrificing time for content or quality of engagement.
Organizing and scheduling tools like Later, Slack, and Trello can ensure your Instagram manager runs a streamlined workflow and keeps their attention on things like content and analytics. You’ll have open communication lines across partners and be able to keep tabs on tasks and projects without having to have a bunch of time-consuming communication back and forth.
No matter what your specific Instagram goals are, or what niche you find yourself in, finding an Instagram manager that can speak to all of these 5 categories will ensure that you hire the best Instagram manager for a successful Instagram platform.