As one of the premier social media formats available today, Instagram offers many valuable opportunities for the savvy small businessperson or marketing director. Using this tool effectively, however, is both a science and an art. Instagram is all about user engagement with interesting, high quality visual content. Let’s review a few tactics to increase your followers’ engagement on Instagram.
Engagement on any of the social media platforms(Facebook, Instagram, twitter, etc.) basically boils down to increasing the amount of comments, likes, and followers you have. Other users sharing your posts can also be included in this category. While it may appear daunting to try to compete in this increasingly crowded space, there are several easy strategies to use which – if followed closely and daily – can help to give you an engagement boost.
5 Tips and Tricks to Increase Follower Engagement on Instagram
Consistently Post Visual and Interactive Content
Naturally, the quality of your content will go a long way towards making or breaking your success with follower engagement. Care should be taken when curating your company’s account. Keep a consistent and structured aesthetic but ensure that you are regularly posting new and interesting visual and interactive material.
The best way to actually increase followers’ engagement on Instagram through content is to tap into users’ emotions. Tell meaningful stories with your posts; in fact, try out Instagram Stories to get the full marketing potential out of the app. The stories you tell will be a function of the nature of your company; however, take some time to consider which of your pictures are your very best and post only these. Try to avoid filler posts. Write engaging captions where you have the opportunity to provide context or even tell a compelling narrative (whether that is serious, sentimental, or humorous).
Instagram Stories also have the added benefit of disappearing after a time. You may find that people will view these more than once to avoid missing anything. This manufactured scarcity provides good momentum for increasing engagement.
Finally, it is important to remain active in the comments section of your posts. This can ensure that your audience knows you are listening to what they have to say. Engagement is a two-way street after all.
Use Hashtags Effectively (and Selectively)
The quintessential method to increase engagement with your content is to effectively deploy hashtags. We discussed the use of hashtags in our post of increasing Instagram followers, they are also paramount to increasing engagement on your Instagram posts and pictures.
No other method better illustrates how this process is a science and an art. For example, one can simply use trending hashtags – gleaned from analysis – to get your posts a good shot at appearing in news feeds.
However, it is important to use discretion and insight when applying hashtags. First, there seems to be a “bliss point” (to borrow the economics term) when deciding on how many hashtags to use. While it may seem intuitive that using more hashtags must necessarily be better (as this will increase the scope of where your post appears), this is not always the case. In fact, it seems that using nine to twelve hashtags is optimal for increasing followers’ engagement on Instagram.
Make sure to target your audience when using hashtags. These keywords can serve you well if you are looking to pinpoint a precise demographic or group. The use of geotags (marking the location of specific picture/post) can also help your post appear in the markets nearest (and most relevant) to you.
Experiment with using longer, more specific hashtags. Additionally, using a combination of hashtags – including some which are specific to your company’s niche but also several trendy ones – will increase the chances of your post reaching many more users. Conversely, using overly generic hashtags can bury your quality posts amid piles of others.
Increase Followers’ Engagement on Instagram with Contests
This strategy is largely self-explanatory but many company accounts do not take advantage of the engagement-boost that contests can provide. In fact, contests generate 3.5 times the likes and 64 times more comments than ordinary posts. If you need a quick lift in Instagram numbers, establish a contest with some form of giveaway related to your company. Make sure the rules are clear to avoid any negative publicity. After that, sit back and watch your metrics improve. This is a sure-fire way to increase followers’ engagement on Instagram.
Manage Frequency and Timing of your Posts
Timing your posts can also be a powerful way to improve engagement. Here, the information is best expressed from several studies. It seems that one or two posts per day are optimal for increasing engagement. Any more than two and you run the risk of overloading your audience and being perceived as spammy. Nevertheless, consistency is important. Make sure to post regularly – daily, even – to retain your followers for the long-term.
Additionally, one social media posting analysis puts the best times to post at Wednesday’s at 3pm, Thursday’s at 5pm, 11am, and 3 to 4pm and Friday at 5am. While these times may not seem completely intuitive, they have been found to be ideal. It is also clear that it is best to avoid posting on Sundays. Ultimately, good timing will depend on your audience and when they are most likely to be most attentive. Optimal timing can also be found simply by posting at different times to test the waters. You can also use analytical tools to get some metrics behind your conclusions.
For more specifics on the nature of timing your posts effectively, check out this post. As you will see, if you are willing to put in the effort, timing your posts as precisely as possible will give you the highest chance of increasing your followers’ engagement on Instagram.
Promote Your Account
Finally, it can never hurt to promote your Instagram account wherever possible. Other social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter) are natural places to start. You can even post simultaneously across all platforms to maximize your reach. However, as a caveat, you should not do this for every post as it removes the incentive for people to actually visit your Instagram page.
If you have the determination, you can also attempt to engage and collaborate with influencers. Some spotlight from individuals who are already successful on the platform can go a long way towards increasing your followers’ engagement on Instagram. Commenting on their content is a potential way to get their attention.
As a final tip, openly encourage people to subscribe and comment simply be asking them to do it. Sometimes all it takes is a little encouragement.
Follow These Tips and You’ll Have a Leg Up on the Competition as you Increase your Instagram Engagement
It is increasingly difficult to make a mark in the Instagram space; however, that does not mean that it is impossible. Follow the tips outlined above and experiment along these lines. By putting some effort and thought into each post, you will find that your hard work will pay off. If you need help in increasing your Instagram Engagement, be sure to get in touch with our dedicated team today. With our knowledge and experience, we can help you to improve your engagement, reach more people and spread the word about your brand, product and/or service more effectively.