8 ways to increase your Instagram engagement!
Updated: Jan 23, 2020
Social proof can be extremely important when trying to build an audience/page and also when trying to gain trust to eventually help convert this audience into your customers (If this is your goal). In 2012 Facebook capped the reach of your organic posts down to between 1-3% of your audience and recently, Instagram have started to do the same.
The reason for this is they want to make as much money as possible from their advertising platform and reducing the reach means more people are likely to 'boost' a post.
Therefore it is really important to do what you can to keep followers engaged as this can boost where your post will be seen.
There is a bunch of ways to help increase your engagement on Instagram however it can be very difficult (like with any social media channel) due to changes in algorithms etc.
These 8 tips should be fairly evergreen ways to keep your engagement high.
Create conversation with 'Stories' stickers
Instagram has found some really awesome ways to help businesses and people in general to engage with their following using the stories feature on their platform.
For anyone that doesn't know what stories are, they are a section of the platform that allows you to upload image/video that you can edit and upload, they only last for 24 hours and the disappear from your followers.
Stories are great to show what your business is up to on a day to day basis which a lot of your audience will usually enjoy.
The stickers that you can attach to your story are a great way to create conversation with any audience. One of the most popular stickers for this is 'Ask Me Anything'. Where you can ask a question to your followers and let them respond with questions or statements to discuss.
This is a great opportunity for you to talk and engage with followers, making them feel important to you. On top of this, it can really help you create more content with common questions they want to know about.
On top of this there is the countdown sticker which allows you to set a timer, which is great for announcements or product launches and can create a great hype around your subject.
The quiz feature is also another great way to engage with your audience to get votes on certain content you should post for example.
Encourage Story Shares
There is over 500 million daily users on Instagram stories, this gives an incredible audience for you to share your content to.
Imagine you had seen a post from your favourite clothing brand asking you to share one of their posts on your feed (Maybe for a competition). This would not be ideal as the main feed/grid of someones Instagram is usually very personal and i'm sure the majority of the people would not do this.
This is where stories comes in..
Since stories only last 24 hours and then can't be seen again by your followers unless highlighted, people are much more happy to share with their own followers. Opening up opportunity to organically grow your audience.
Pay closer attention to your hashtags
Hashtags have always been a big part of Instagram and are well known to help drive more engagement and impressions to your content.
The first thing to note is you need to categorise your hashtags. Make sure that you are looking at your target audience and the tags that are best suited for them.
This may mean that you use different hashtags for different topics you are discussing and showing on your page.
The next tip is that you should try and keep hashtags to around 25 to 30. Split this up into 3. 10 smaller hashtags, 10 medium size tags and then 10 larger ones. This allows you to have an opportunity to show yourself over a range of audiences.
Being consistent is a great way to keep your audience interacting with you. If you can create content that everyone knows is coming out on the certain day and at a certain time, then the chances are you will find people are there with you a lot more of the time.
Think about YouTubers; these people will usually let their audience know what days and time they are uploading a video at. The reason for this is so it becomes a habit for someone to check up on the channel at that time each week. Or even TV, you know that for example 'Love Island' is on at this time on this day each week and you will make sure you are sat at the TV ready for it.
Consistency also means posting regularly. If you post 3 times a week but then the next 3 weeks you post once. You can't expect to be getting the same consistent growth you would see from putting all 3 posts out each week.
Social media originally was all about being able to keep in touch with your friends and family, asking questions, sharing and engaging. This is the way it should be when you are talking to your audience.
Treat them as though you are having a conversation with them. A conversation is hard to keep going without questions and therefore you can't expect to have a conversation with your followers if you aren't asking them to do something or asking them to discuss a topic in your comments section.
Instagram loves to see engagement in your posts and when it does it will help you promote it organically. Therefore asking questions can be the most simple way to help you grow.
Engage with others posts
As much as you want people to engage with your posts, people want you to engage with their posts...
Therefore a great way to gain a following and engagement can be to talk to people on their posts. It could be a customers post that has written something related to your business or industry or even other businesses.
Before and after you post, make sure you are liking and commenting on other peoples posts. This will give them a little bump to check out your page and maybe follow you, or leave a like and comment.
However, make sure you are not just asking them to check your page out. This doesn't work very well for a few reasons, for example the owner of the page may hide or delete your comment.
Always lead with value and eventually people will come to you, even if you know in the back of your head that you are doing it for your benefit.
Reply to comments as fast as possible. This tip can really help you get to more of your followers feeds. As people comment more and more, Instagram notices that you have posted something valuable and will help you out as I mentioned earlier.
Try to reply to your comments in a way that creates even more engagement. This relates to the point above; ask questions! This way you can actually engage in a real conversation with your followers. Make sure to tag their account in the comment so that they get notified and will reply faster.
All of this will help Instagram see your post as valuable content.
Analyse the best times to post.
The final tip is to make sure you are analysing all of your data on posts. After a day or two, your engagement will slow down and it will be time to post again to keep the engagement high.
But each time you do this you need to make sure you improve. Therefore you should check your analytics section to show you what time is going to be best to post.
To do this you want to make sure you have a 'business profile' which can easily be done in the settings.
After this, head over to the analytics section and see what times of what days you posts are performing the best.
However, if you have not yet got any data you are not going to be able to find out when the best times are. If you do a quick google search you can find the best times to post.
These are some really simple tips you can start to implement straight away to make sure you are getting the best out of your Instagram posts/page. Try them out and let us know how they are working for you.
If you would like to know more or even get us to handle all of this heavy work for you then please get in touch and we will be more than happy to have a chat to see if we are a good fit.
P.S. Keep an eye on our social media next week as we will be releasing a FREE social media checklist to get your page optimised and ready to scale!
- Tiger Shark Marketing