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How to Optimize Your Instagram Posts for Saves

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How to optimize Instagram posts for saves

Likes and comments have long been indicative of a post’s success on Instagram, showing that it resonates with the audience. However, the platform is now testing removal of likes in different markets, so companies might need other metrics to rely on when assessing their performance. One such metric is saves, showing how many people have found the post interesting enough to revisit it later. This guide presents 11 proven ways to optimize your posts and get more people to add them to their Instagram saves.

How Instagram Saves Indicate Engagement

Instagram saves were first introduced about two years ago as a way to help users keep their favorite posts in a single place. Saving a post is really easy: just click on the “bookmark” icon in the lower right corner below a post. It will be added to your saved posts, where you can find it again at any time. 

You can also categorize saved posts by topic, author, etc. and create different collections. That’s an excellent way to organize the content and make it easy to navigate. 

instagram saved collections
An example of Collections on Instagram

You can check the number of saves by tapping “View insight” under your post. There, you’ll see the number of likes with the heart icon, the number of comments with the thought cloud icon, the number of shares with the paper plane icon, and the number of saves with the bookmark icon. 

Saves on Instagram post insights
Saves on Instagram post insights

So, why do you need to track Instagram saves and optimize your posts accordingly? First, they are much more indicative of a post’s relevance for the audience than likes. A simple like means that the user has seen and enjoyed your post, but a save indicates that the publication brings real value and the user wants to come back to it later.
Second, Instagram is testing the removal of likes in some markets, so you might soon need another metric to understand if your content resonates with your audience. 

Finally, Instagram saves are an important signal for the platform’s algorithm. High number of saves shows the platform’s algorithm that your post is useful and worth showing to more people, so it may even pop up in the “Explore” page for other users.

How to Get More Instagram Saves

To get more people to save your posts, you need to bring real value that would make users want to come back to that post again and again. Here are 11 proven ways to incentivize your audience to click “save”.

1. Create Infographics

While good-quality photography does really well on Instagram, educational images can draw attention for much longer. People need time to process the information, so they might want to save the post to come back to it later. For example, @bookingcom shares a game template to cheer up followers and inspire them to think about travel even in times of the pandemic.

Infographics example on Instagram
Infographics example on Instagram

Another great example is from @wizzair. The brand shares instructions for traveling to Greece with simple infographics, clearly showing the arrival rules. It makes the information easier to follow, and users might want to save it to come back later when they are ready to actually go to Greece.

Infographics example on Instagram 1
Infographics example on Instagram

To create these types of images and get users to save posts from Instagram, make use of the best infographic tools such as Canva, PiktoChart or Easel.ly. They have plenty of templates to use to make stunning graphics in just a few minutes. However, most infographics are created as long-form pictures, so they are inconvenient for mobile viewing. Instead, you can divide the picture into several pieces and publish it as a carousel post. 

Write Long Captions

Captions on Instagram give you an opportunity to share more valuable information and draw attention for longer. The platform allows for up to 2,200 characters in a caption, so microblogging is often used by influencers to share their knowledge and experience and bring value. Take advantage of this space to increase the chances of followers saving your post for later. 

Take, for example, Kiki from @theblondeabroad, who consistently uses captions to talk about her life experiences, traveling, and insights. Kiki has over 530K followers on Instagram, and her posts always get comments from the audience, which is a great engagement indicator. 

Long captions example on Instagram
Long captions example on Instagram

Liz from @youngadventuress uses microblogging to share her experience and memories related to the places she shares. For example, in this post about the Spanish city Toledo, Liz talks about her life back in Spain and inspires users to follow her lead and share their feelings and memories about the place. 

Long captions example on Instagram
An example of using captions for microblogging

Share Evergreen Content

With as much content as Instagram accumulates every day, it’s hard to keep users’ eyes on your post for long, let alone make them check it twice. The solution is to create content that your audience would love to come back to again and again. So, make sure to publish posts that will stay relevant for next week, next month and maybe even next year to give followers a reason to save them.

For travel bloggers, it’s a win-win to present popular sights and must-visit places in the destinations that are relevant for their audiences, as well as useful tools and apps for traveling. For example, Inma and Jose from @aworldoftravel share their favorite spots in the destinations they visited. This information doesn’t depend on the season, unlike Christmas and other holiday related posts, and will stay relevant for followers all year round. 

Post Quotes

Quotes can be another asset to your marketing strategy. People often want to keep them for motivation or share with friends and family. Inspirational and funny quotes can do especially well as they evoke positive emotions. You can quote someone’s famous words, share a proverb or even use numbers as a quote. 

Just like with infographics, tools like Canva or Visme offer templates to quickly create quotes by overlaying text on an image.

Add a Call to Action

A call to action, or CTA, is a powerful tool to encourage readers to follow your lead. It can be a friendly reminder to save your post in case users like your work, because they may simply forget about this option, so a CTA will serve well in this case. 

For example, you may add something like “make sure to save the post if you want to check it out later” or “ check these tips at any time by saving this post to your collection” at the end of your captions. For example, @bookingcom adds a call to action to the video to make it more visible. 

CTA on Instagram post
CTA on Instagram post

To encourage more saves, you can run a special campaign, for example, make a series of posts about different destinations, ask followers to save one they want to visit the most and leave a comment as to why. Then, create a series of posts for a destination that gets the most engagement as a way to reward followers’ loyalty and effort.

Share Tips

Tips and tricks are usually warmly welcomed by audiences, as they provide practical insights and help people learn something. Take, for example, the following post from @bookingcom, sharing a Hawaiian language lesson. Tourists headed for Hawaii may find it very useful and save it for later. Sharing vocabulary lessons is a brilliant idea for an educational post that travel bloggers should take note of. 

An example of educational post on Instagram
An example of an educational post on Instagram

Another example is from @wearewilderness. This post presents five places to sleep under the stars coupled with breathtaking images. In addition to great visuals and valuable information, the post’s captions also contain an CTA that encourages users to find more information by clicking the link in the bio, sending traffic to the website.

An example of an educational post on Instagram
An example of an educational post on Instagram

Use Great Visuals

While Instagram is full of eye-catching visuals, the ones that provoke emotions get saved a lot. So whatever the aim of your post, make sure that the image is of decent quality so that people want to look at it again and again. For instance, travel bloggers can share pictures of the destinations they write about, and followers will save them if they visit the place in the future. 

Another idea is to share unusual snapshots that others would like to reproduce. For instance, Jess from @jess.wandering puts great effort into taking breathtaking shots. She manages to capture the beauty of the place and show it from an unusual angle, and her posts tend to generate a lot of engagement. 

Using great visuals on Instagram
Using great visuals on Instagram

Take advantage of dedicated tools that allow for creating high-quality visuals. For example, PicMonkey helps fix selfies and make great landscape photos. Canva is a comprehensive tool for creating social media graphics from scratch, as it offers tons of customizable templates and plenty of editing options. Another Instagram app is Framatic, providing dozens of Instagram layouts, vintage borders, and effects that you can apply to your photos to make them stand out from the rest of the content on the platform.

Stay Relevant to Your Audience

Whatever kind of post you share, it’s essential to stay aligned with your brand and your audience. For example, if you are a travel blogger, users will expect travel-related content from you, such as popular destinations, travel planning tips, news, etc. Otherwise, irrelevant posts may get little engagement and bring unfollows.

For example, @intrepidtravel shares travel principles for trips in 2021 to help followers adapt to the changing environment, and the high number of comments the post generates is indicative of a successful approach. 

Staying relevant to your audience
Staying relevant to your audience

Share Funny Posts

Don’t hesitate to spice up your Instagram content with funny posts. People love getting entertained, and you may be surprised how often they save funny pictures. So, make sure to share such content every once in a while or even create memes of your own. However, don’t post overused materials, as old jokes don’t generate enough engagement and may even repel users. 

To cheer the audience up, @bookingcom posted a meme about 2020 travel trends and encouraged followers to share their close-to-home destinations. 

A fun post by Booking.com
A fun post by Booking.com

Post Carousels

If you have plenty of great visuals to share, take advantage of carousel posts on Instagram. They allow you to publish up to 10 pictures in one post and hold users’ attention for longer. For instance, @airbnb uses carousel posts to share as many pictures from hosts as possible to encourage bookings. Thus, they can get a comprehensive view of the place, which positively affects the number of reservations. 

A carousel post by Airbnb
A carousel post by Airbnb

Carousel posts also give a great opportunity to make comprehensive guides to a destination, as you can collect several pictures in one post for the convenience of users. For instance, @aworldoftravel takes advantage of carousel posts to gather all spots for their followers to visit in one place in one post. 

A carousel post by A World to Travel
A carousel post by A World to Travel

Share Inspirational Content

It’s no secret that Instagram is a never-ending source of creative ideas, and many people come to the platform to find motivation for the future. Take advantage of this appetite for inspiration and publish content that will encourage your followers to travel. 

For example, @statravel shares a video that will inspire users to visit the Philippines and try out social tourism for a change. Creation of such kind of content naturally takes time, but it will definitely make users click “save” on Instagram to revisit it later.

An inspirational post by STA Travel
An inspirational post by STA Travel

You can also take advantage of captions to share your passion for travel and encourage others to follow your lead. Tell followers what encourages you to travel, take on adventures and move towards the unknown. Who knows, maybe someone saves your post to reread it before making a big move. As an example, take this post from @thisbatteredsuitcase, who so passionately talks about her reasons to travel solo. 

An inspirational post by This Battered Suitcase
An inspirational post by This Battered Suitcase

How to Track Your Instagram Saves

While Instagram openly shows the number of likes and comments on your posts, tracking saves requires switching to a business account, which is absolutely free of charge. Then, you can tap “View insights” under any of your posts and see the number of times users saved your content.

Go through your posts and see which ones got the most engagement and especially saves. This is a clear indication that your followers really enjoyed the content, which you can strive towards in your strategy. Try to look for patterns among posts saved most often, and if there are any, apply them in your future publications. For example, you may find that posts with long captions get saved most often, so you can write more text for each photo, and so on.

How to Get More Saves on Instagram

Likes and comments have long been used to estimate engagement on Instagram, but more and more brands are now looking at the number of saves for that purpose. This metric shows that followers really enjoy the content and want to revisit it later, which is a clear indicator that the post resonates with the audience and brings real value. Optimizing your content will help you get followers to save posts from Instagram, which will encourage the platform algorithm to show your content to more users in their feed or the Explore tab.