How To Boost Engagement on Instagram
There are more than 500 million people using Instagram every day and over 5 million businesses using Instagram for marketing and connecting with their customers. Instagram is a great platform for businesses to target their ideal customers, create visual stories and portfolios and develop their brands.
It might be simple to think that success on Instagram is only measured by the number of followers you have. And while that certainly is something to pay attention to, what matters most is that your followers are your ideal customers. Having thousands of followers who don’t care about your content, business or brand is not what a business needs. Increasing follower count should be one of your goals in your marketing strategy, it’s not THE goal. So let’s go over the 6 simplest methods to grow engagement on Instagram and attract your ideal audience.
Post At The Right Times
To increase your chances of higher engagement, schedule posts when your followers are most active. According to CoSchedule, the best times to post are Mondays and Thursdays and not between 3 and 4 pm. But, everyone’s Instagram audience is different. Use this as a guide but experiment with your own account. Post at different times on different days and find out when YOUR audience is most active based on that.
Hashtags are one of the best ways to be found on Instagram. Bonus, it’s a great way to find your target audience. Posts with hashtags have 12.6% more engagement than those without. So the first step to improving your Instagram is using hashtags.
Instagram currently allows up to 30 hashtags per post. I suggest using a minimum of 11 hashtags per post. There are a couple of ways to research hashtags. Check out the competition, see what they’re using, find out which hashtags are trending and you can search using the app itself.
Used strategically, hashtags will help new Instagram users discover, follow and engage with your account. Just be sure to use hashtags that are topically relevant, and relevant to your audience.
So, let’s say you’re posting a photo of a Poodle. Instead of just tagging #dogofstagram (over 80 million posts), you could also use #poodle (over 7 million posts) and #poodlegram (over 200,000 posts) to reach a more targeted audience of people who really love Poodles.
Write a Great Captions
Captions are a great opportunity to tell stories, share thoughts and information and share more of your personality. For me, I’m not a big fan of writing extra long blog posts or reading extra long blog posts (yes, I said it, lol). Captions provide a space for mini blog posts and quick way to provide information to my followers who may not want to wait for a blog post.
Captions that ask questions or provide a call to action (CTA) can help start some conversations with your followers. But don’t stop at asking the question. Be sure to reply to comments and continue the conversation, otherwise, your followers might stop engaging.
Use Instagram Stories
This is a great way to get around the decrease in post engagement. Instagram Stories offer a variety of engagement opportunities, including the newest Poll feature. The poll feature is seriously my favorite. The Instagram algorithm takes into account all actions of engagement on stories like replying to a Story or sending a Story to someone. The more engagement, the likelier your posts will show up in the feed.
Create a Visual Theme For Your Account
When you develop a strong visual brand, your customers are able to identify you from your photos and subliminally begin to associate you with certain visual attributes. Keep your background colors the same. Take advantage of the filters offered on Instagram and use the same ones on all of your photos. I personally love the Clarendon and Juno filters.
You can also take it further by using the edit function and lighten up shadows and boost the brightness a bit. There are also a ton of apps, paid and free, that exist to edit your Instagram photos. One big one that you may have already heard of is VSCO. It’s a cult favorite amongst the Instagram crowd. A Color Story is a new one that I’ve started using myself. Experiment a bit until you find a look you like. This is a great way to show off your fun and creative side. Whatever you choose, remember to stick with it. Use the same photo editing process over and over to create that consistent look that followers love.
I saved this for last because this is the most important step. You can’t expect to have tons of people engage with you and not do the same back. The goal is to create a community. So spend time each day replying to all of the comments you receive on your posts and going through your news feed and liking or commenting on your followers’ posts.
I personally have made some great connections with people on Instagram. I’ve met clients, collaborators, and friends just by genuinely engaging with them.
With the right approach, you can see a great return from your efforts and really step up your engagement. Commit to sharing great content, step up your engagement, and stay consistent to start seeing results today.