How to boost your engagement on Instagram
No other social network is as quite as well suited to interactivity as Instagram and high-quality, relevant pictures and videos can often snare their first likes and comments in just a few seconds.
In the past few years, visual content, and then video content, became the kings of social, and these media types are a fantastic way for your business to increase its Instagram engagement rate.
Communicating on Instagram consists almost exclusively of visual stimuli.
Every tiny detail of your social media profiles can be fine-tuned to be engaging, attention grabbing, and to create a digital marketing machine. The trick is knowing what really matters, and how to make the necessary changes.
Likes and comments play a very important role on Instagram as both types of interaction can also be used to generate more followers for your account thanks to Instagram's algorithm that prioritizes content with perceived quality based on engagement rate.
Let's talk about how you can sustainably increase your business's Instagram engagement rate.
1. Post regularly, preferable daily
If you never post anything, no one is ever going to engage.
Even the best Instagram content strategy will fail if you aren't creating enough content.
You don’t have to post a thousand photos each day – one photo is usually enough if the content is of particularly high quality. That's overkill and may be detrimental to your page's perceived quality. You are never going to be the only thing in your readers' feeds.
Instagram users are used to seeing worthwhile material and if you take a closer look at many of the wide-reach accounts on Instagram, you will discover that the quality of the images is usually excellent.
How often you decide to publish new Instagram content is a decision for your content marketing team and will likely be based on a number of factors such as production ROI.
Never create rapid content at the expense of quality just to meet a daily quota. Create an appropriately frequent and consistent schedule that works for your team.
2. Post content when the most users are online
If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it fall, does it really make a sound?
If you're not publishing content when your followers are awake and paying attention, nobody is going to see it and it's going to slip into digital oblivion faster than you can blink, rendering all your hard work wasted.
Instagram no longer prioritizes content chronologically. Much to the chagrin of many marketers, the algorithm follows suit with Facebook's famously frustrating system in which "quality" and "relevance" are prioritized.
Discover exactly when you can reach the most users on Instagram
This means that not only is it important to have your content seen by fresh eyes, it is doubly important because content that receives quick engagement will be considered more "relevant" and appear in more newsfeeds later.
So, build your Instagram strategy in such a way that you always consider the right moment to publish your content. You can quickly determine which times these are by checking Instagram's built-in analytics tool. It will indicate the times of day and the days of the week on which your followers are checking out your content!
3. Use specific calls-to-action in your posts
Would you ever build a landing page without a clear and obvious CTA? Probably not. Then why is it that so many social media posts – particularly those on Instagram – do not prompt active responses?
It's true that Instagram seems to discourage links and other activities that pull users away from their site or app, but that doesn't mean that your company can't take advantage of CTAs despite this shortcoming.
The point is that the majority of users do react to these kinds of "instructions". Not everybody does exactly what you may expect, but you still shouldn’t underestimate those that do.
It’s certainly not a bad idea to include calls-to-action such as "double tap if you like the photo" or "tag a friend who could like this photo in the comments section" when you post your photos on Instagram. You can find out exactly how successful such measures simply by observing the type of engagement they return.
If engagement rates increase, you are on the right track and you should try to intensify and develop the principle further.
Specific calls-to-action works very well on Instagram
4. Re-post popular content
As part of your analysis, you should also check which content is the most popular in general. You can easily find this information by looking at the number of likes and comments individual posts have generated. Posting regularly and at a similar or the same times (see above!), ensures you have a solid basis on which to compare your success rates.
You will no doubt realize through your comparisons that certain types of content work better than others. This is precisely the type of content you should increasingly publish. In this way, you can achieve the highest engagement rates while simultaneously and effectively positioning yourself, which is another factor that Instagram users really appreciate.
5. Use a special hashtag for your brand
Major brands and international corporations are not the only ones who have the "right" to use hashtags. You can also work with this stylistic tool exactly the same way! Even if you are only just starting out with your Instagram activities, working with hashtags is recommended.
Branding yourself by using a hashtag not only ensures that your content is associated with you as a publisher. It also means that you can monitor which content has already been posted much more effectively and find out if a particularly good photo of yours has been shared on Instagram via third parties, for instance. Using a hashtag ultimately makes a positive contribution to your brand and if you are tagged by others on Instagram, this method can ensure that you are recognized more intensively.
6. Identify which trending hashtags are attracting the most attention
On Instagram, as with other networks, certain content on particular topics is repeated more often than others over a certain period of time.
Hashtags are also usually associated with this content, enabling individual hashtags to be used more frequently. You can identify these specific hashtags and use them yourself if the topics are good matches with your content.
This allows you to reach more users on Instagram and to generate more interaction at the same time. This is because content with popular hashtags remains in focus and is seen by more users and, in turn, quantitative distribution is more widespread, which is also ultimately relevant for your content!
7. Locate the best hashtags in your own niches and use them
The same principle applies to hashtags which are fundamentally popular in your niche. On Instagram, some hashtags are frequently used and adopted by a great many publishers. This strategy may initially seem appealing, but more benefit can be achieved, for both you and your topic, if you use hashtags which best relate to and describe each post.
For example: photos and images on Instagram which depict impressive buildings often use hashtags such as "architecture" or "architecturelovers". These hashtags are effective and ensure that your content always reaches the right target groups by way of hashtag searches on Instagram. This increases engagement rates for your content and is often a way of attracting new followers from your chosen topic area too.
However, remember that with Instagram's enormous success and countless user base grows all the time, the usage of high-volume hashtags is increasingly difficult to work with. Common keywords with tens or hundreds of millions of uses will be extraordinarily difficult to compete in.
We recommend using a mixture of large, common hashtags as well as some more obscure, more niche, long-tail hashtags that really reel in better targeted fans. Try shooting for a few hashtags that feature only a few thousand uses.
Hashtag searches on Instagram
8. Analyse your most successful posts and make use of the findings
In addition to the content itself, the structure of your posts also plays a role. Interaction levels are higher with photos and images set against bright backgrounds, while content with dark backgrounds does not work as well. The same applies to images and photos with low saturation.
Instagram users love high-quality images and photos that are colorful and unique. The colors themselves are also significant: cool colors such as blue are clearly preferred and you should take this fact into consideration when choosing your content.
9. Interact with your followers and other Instagrammers
In order to boost engagement rates for your content, it is essential for you to be active yourself.
One of the most important rules: if you get feedback on your content in the form of comments, you should thank the contributor for it. This doesn’t have to be an elaborate and extravagant text – just keep your reply simple and concise and thank each user who has shared their opinion with you. Do vary your responses, though. You don't want to look like a bot!
In addition to your own followers, you should also target Instagram users who also share good content.
"Like" their photos and make positive comments on their content… if, of course, you approve of it.
The result? Not only will the owners of this material become aware of you, but you will also influence the people who read the comments on these posts. Additionally, through the use of the proper hashtags in your comments, you can increase the possibility
10. Make sure yours is a top quality profile
External links are a rare commodity on Instagram, but you can nevertheless use your account to generate traffic for your website.
Although it is possible to list a website address in posts and comments, clickable links are not. For most users, the only link that works is in your profile. There, you can indicate a landing page, lead to a website, or even direct users to your latest blog article.
However, this link is only a part of your Instagram profile.
As is the case with other social networks, your profile picture acts like a type of business card. To that end, make sure you use an image or photo that visually supports you or your company and ideally stands out from the rest of the Instagram profile crowd (at least in your niche anyway).
The same applies for the description. You don’t have that much space, so keep it short, sweet and to the point. The purpose of your Instagram account should be clear, and users should be able to easily find out what they can expect in following you.
Pages with more than 10,000 followers can user links in Instagram Stories.
Bonus tip: Take advantage of Instagram Stories!
Instagram's stories are an ephemeral content feature that pioneered the concept across many other social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, and recently Pinterest.
With stories, you can take advantage of increased organic reach, higher engagement, and, as mentioned in the last point, accounts that boast more than 10,000 followers can indeed post links in their stories.
Another perk is that stories are not supposed to be quite as carefully groomed as standard feed posts. This means that you can use stories for employer branding, fun little messages, and as an insight look at your company's activities without spending hours or days creating professional-grade visuals.
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