Instagram is a favorite among most digital marketers. There's no wonder why ? it has over a billion monthly active users, and approximately 50 percent of the population are following brands.
Instagram's engagement is also better at a rate of 4.21%. That's 10x higher than Facebook and 83x higher than Twitter.
In today's ever-changing digital landscape, marketers are still thinking about proactive ways on how to increase Instagram engagement. While there's a no-size-fits-all method to improve your visibility, we've provided you with eight actionable tips that will boost your brand's engagement in the long run:
Do not underestimate the power of hashtags
Sure, hashtags are huge on Twitter. But do you know that they're as effective as Instagram? By using the right hashtags that are relevant to your brand, you can already generate a big boost on likes, only in a matter of minutes as soon as you post your content.
In the platform, you're allowed to use at least 30 hashtags per post. So the potential is there, as long as you know how to use it correctly. You can even create your own branded hashtag, while simultaneously promoting it on Instagram. Don't forget to add as many relevant hashtags as you can.
Make use of Instagram Stories
Last year, Instagram has launched Instagram stories it was such a huge hit. There are approximately 400 million daily active users and continues to grow. It gives brands a fantastic opportunity to get in front of their audience.
Note that these days, people tend to gravitate on the circles on top of their feed than to the actual photos and videos on the feed. So if used the right way, it can be a tremendous driving force in the overall engagement of the brand.
To maximize this feature, you can use polls, swipe meter, and questions to engage your audience. For instance, you can do a quick survey on your target audience by asking their feedback using the polls feature.
The swipe meter allows you to gain necessary insight on your audience by asking them their thoughts about something, whether it's a particular product, outfit, or recipe they love.
Another engagement feature of Instagram is by asking “questions.” It makes your followers interact with you and helps you generate better ideas in the kind of content you want to create in the future.
Post when followers are most active
Know what are the best times to post. Chances are, these are usually the times when most of your followers are online.
But you also have to be aware that every Instagram profile has a unique set of audience. You will have followers that exist in different time zones. That's why it's crucial to find your own personalized time to post. That way, you can reach more followers and increase your engagement in the long run. You can also utilize some apps to help you determine when are those peak times.
Ideally, you should know:
- The best time of the time/day to post
- The best time/day to interact
Instagram also has a change of algorithm last year, prioritizing content that is “new” on other people's feeds. So, for you to get a massive amount of engagement, post your content on those peak times where most of your followers are scrolling the app.
Work with influencers
We couldn't stress this enough ? you have to learn how to tap into the power of influencer marketing to drive in more engagement for your brand. Partnering with an influencer helps boost your brand's authenticity. By aligning your brand with a more authoritative voice in your niche, you come off as more genuine.
Most businesses face the challenge of looking for the right influencer to partner with. Don't easily fall for the glamor of working with a macro-influencer or a big name in the industry. Instead, focus on what they can bring to the table.
You can start by planning out the right influencer strategy that fits your brand and target market first. Then, run a short trial campaign and see how receptive is the influencer's followers to your own personal brand.
You also need to see to it that the influencer you partner with is given the right tools, guidance, and resources to carry out what is expected of them. Work hand in hand with them during the entire campaign to maximize your results.
Share user-generated content
Utilizing user-generated content is one of the top marketer's best-kept secrets. It gives your followers a chance to create a deeper connection and involve deeply with your brand.
It's also an excellent strategy that helps reduce marketing costs as the content that is being created by your audience.
Know the latest trends
If you want to gain new followers, maintaining a robust social media presence isn't enough. You have to know how to interest them and keep an eye on the latest trends and updates.
That way, you'll understand what type of content you need to create (that has the power to grab your target audience?s attention)
Here's a tip ? most of these social media trends usually generate the highest amount of engagement from your followers. For instance, you can reach out to more potential followers when you add a geotag in stories. Chances are, your story will appear on the recommended feed of users.
Aside from that, you can also save your interesting/top stories on the story highlight feature. Doing so enables your profile visitors to see your best content.
Instagram continually changes its algorithm from time to time, so you need to stay updated on what's trending regularly so that you won't miss out on all the important updates on the platform.
Come up with awesome captions
It?s a given that Instagram is a highly visual social media platform, but you shouldn't forget the text that you come up with either. Use your captions in a way that people will engage with you.
In your caption you have to include:
A strong call to action- Here, you may ask people to like or comment with your content, visit your online store, or do anything that you'd want them to.
A compelling story- Now that you've come up with incredibly stunning visuals that will capture your audience's attention, you have to share a story that will equally make an impact.
During the initial stages, you can try experimenting with different types of captions. Test if different caption lengths influence your overall results as well.
In most cases, captions need to be kept short and sweet, because most people don't have the patience to read your entire post. Also, the average attention span these days is becoming shorter and shorter.
It doesn't hurt to write an occasionally long update though, as long as it doesn't have a significant impact on your overall engagement.
To Wrap It Up
Like we've mentioned earlier, engagement plays a vital role on Instagram. If people fail to engage with your posts, you wouldn't be able to create a constant online presence. That's why it's crucial to apply these tactics in your current Instagram marketing strategy and work towards building your engagement continuously.
About the Author — Kevin Urrutia is the founder of Voy Media, an Instagram Marketing Company in New York. Voy Media believes in the power of Instagram in helping businesses to boost their sales and improve their conversions. Voy Media aids businesses to push the right message to the right audience in order to deliver the right outcomes.