More engagement on Instagram means a more lively page, one that is far more likely to circulate around the right crowds in a similar niche. If you’re aiming for more engagement on Instagram, it’s not necessary to use every single instagram functionality.
A big part about sustaining a successful account that grows a steady following with time is about working at making your account discoverable to increase your following. Once you’ve taken all the right measures and have a system set in place on how you run your account, it’s time to focus on engagement.
Regardless of your number of followers ,this article is about getting your followers and potential followers to want to engage with your content, adding more value to your account. This is an important step if you want to branch out and remain relevant in the big sea of niche Instagram accounts. You’re not setting out to conquer Instagram, or you might be, in which case this article will also be useful.
#1: Quality and consistency
You knew we would start with the basics! Before getting to the good stuff, it’s important that you establish a norm for your account. This means posting quality content on a consistent basis. It’s quite tempting to get caught up in consistency, which results in a compromise in quality. Don’t fall into this trap and find a schedule and artistic workflow that works for you.
What does this mean? Your content must be coherent and translate your aesthetics, or highlight images shot on the same theme depending on your niche. When followers stumble on your Instagram page, they should get a sense of what your Instagram account is about. This type of content will inspire interaction if it is often in people’s feeds.
#2: The great cleanup
If you feel like you’re not ready to post top notch content on a strict schedule, consider doing the great cleanup. What this means is that you can use Instagram’s ‘Archive’ feature to hide posts that don’t align with your new theme. In doing this exercise, you’re also creating a more coherent account which is so important as we move on to the next steps.
#3: Post when users are most active (business account)
It is not necessary to switch over to a business account, however this feature gives you access to information that will prove to be very useful. For one, you get to find out when your users are most active as opposed to having to guess.
Once you know when your users are most active, it’s more likely they’ll engage with your content, like it and comment because it’ll be at the top of their feed. It is also worth noting that there are different tools to help you schedule posts, but it’s also not a must and you can do just fine without these tools. If you want to automate this process, we suggest trying Planoly.
#4: The power of words
Not many resources will focus on this point, which is nonetheless an important one. The captions under your photos and stories can be witty, funny, creative, inspirational and so on. You can toy around with this concept and the copy that goes along with your images because ultimately, words are very effective in inspiring others to share their thoughts and opinions. Think of it as another layer to frequent postings of visual content. What are the words that you string together to strengthen your message or thought?
#5: Experiment with formats
Video continues to gain momentum in the digital world. GIFs remain fun and engaging which means that trying a new format can’t hurt you. If you’re including videos in your Instagram posts, make sure to include caption as many view videos without sound. You can use tools like Crello to create customized videos with animations and convert them to GIFs if need be.
When we talk about engagement, as important as it is to have your own aesthetic, it’s equally important to experiment and try new things to see what your audience prefers and what kind of content they want to continue seeing. Instagram analytics will also help you track this with a business account.
#6: Improve your hashtags game
Relevant hashtags is another game of trial and error that every Instagrammer goes through. Hashtags are so important because they improve the visibility of your Instagram page, but also they make sure that your content is visible to the right audience.
You can use tools such as Display Purposes or Focalmark to generate hashtags according to your content. Although we have these handy tools, nothing beats good old research that you can do on your own to find hashtags relevant to your city, style or theme. Either way, you should have a collection of hashtags that work well for your posts somewhere handy. Be strategic and smart about your hashtags, they’re important in acquiring the right audience.
#7: Invest time into stories
Instagram stories is just another reason to have fun and experiment with other types of content that perhaps doesn’t go on your page. It’s also a way to bring your followers closer to you and your activities on Instagram. Stories are very useful for boosting Instagram engagement as well.
Another benefit of Stories is that you can get featured on the Explore page. You can pack your Stories with as many as 10 hashtags, making them invisible yet index with Instagram as a relevant post. This technique works best for videos.
#8: Analyze your competitors, make the right ‘friends’
There’s no better way to extract valuable information that will be useful in growing your engagement than studying successful accounts of people that have managed to achieve what you’ve also set out to do. Study your competitors, see what they’re doing that you can build on. Competitors research can start with something as basic as hashtags.
As for making the right ‘friends’, what we mean is creating connections with people that have similar accounts or are inspiring to you. Focus your energy on building connections because it can lead to potential partnerships with more followers, possible Instagram takeover plans, reviews and shout outs. One tool to help you track competitors is SproutSocial.
#9: Run an add to see if it’s a good investment
Running ads on Instagram is easy. This option is presented to you quite often if you have a business account. It’s advisable that you use the Facebook ads interface instead of your phone, because you have more control through Facebook with things like targeting, keywords and optimization in general.
This can get quite addicting if you see spikes in activity in your account due to ads. Be sure you analyse the effectiveness of your ads based on your goals. If your goal is to get more followers, calculate your acquisition costs.
#10: The holy grail – Instagram contest
Engagement spikes dramatically if you host a contest with some sought-after accolade for your users. It’s a good idea to combine this with an ad because you will reach more people. Instagram contests are very effective because you can specify that people have to comment and follow you to participate. Mind you, this can come off as a little desperate as many companies make it a requirement.
Simply promote a good idea, study other successful contests from brands and accounts and create something that is your own. Surely, your followers will express their interest and want to check your page out, spiking engagement in the process.
#11: Engage and be engaging
We end on a simple note. You need to interact with your followers to drive engagement. You can’t ignore comments or overlook them because your page loses value. If you want to build up an audience that is truly engaged, you have to devote time to them and acknowledge their thoughts and comments.
Every comment that you post puts a face to your account, it shows others that there is a person behind this account that takes the time to answer. That being said, you can’t expect it to be a one way street. You need to not only respond to comments but also reply to stories, ask others questions, share your thoughts etc. Engage and be engaging.
So there you have it. 11 tips that can help you grown your page, all the while spiking engagement and hopefully making it a constant. You have to build on this everyday, persistently and deliberately.
You may have noticed that we talked extensively about the importance of experimenting. If you’re just starting out, it’s especially important to understand the type of content that will form your niche or be your signature. Covering the basics sets you up for success so don’t overlook the power of small features and elements to your page.
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