Instagram is easily one of the biggest and fastest growing social media platforms of 2019. But, with so many brands out there competing for user’s attention, in addition to a complicated and intricate algorithm, it’s become increasingly difficult to increase engagement on the platform. However, don’t be too disheartened, Instagram still is an extremely powerful place for brands to reach their ideal customers, build loyal and long term relationships with potential buyers and ultimately increase sales if you can learn how to engage your audience. So, without further ado, here are my top 5 tips to increase Instagram engagement.
1. Write longer captions
Did you know that one of the key factors affecting you Instagram post’s performance in the algorithm is time spent on post? And with the ability to share captions up to 2,200 characters long, why wouldn’t you make use of this space to communicate with your audience? Writing a long and interesting caption is the best way to keep your followers on your post for longer. In the past few months I’ve definitely noticed a trend of people using longer captions. I find that I, myself, am more intrigued by a longer caption, especially when the person or brand is sharing something meaningful, insightful and/or personal. Don’t be afraid to get a little vulnerable with your followers. Share not only your strengths and successes but also your struggles and failures too. Take people on a journey with you and leave them wanting more. You’ll build more meaningful relationships with your audience which will keep them engaged for longer.
2. Follow the EEI rule for creating content
Far too often I hear people complain about the algorithm when it comes to why their engagement numbers have fallen. Don’t get me wrong, when the algorithm changed so that posts were no longer shown in chronological order, this definitely had an impact on how many people organically saw your posts. But, at the end of the day, Instagram is a business and like all businesses, they need to make money. They do this by keeping users on the platform for longer, making Instagram an attractive platform for advertisers who in turn, pay Instagram to show ads for their products/services. So what does this mean for us when trying to increase our engagement levels. Well, the key here is to create and share high quality content. But how exactly do you do this? Simple, you follow the EEI rule when posting content on Instagram. Let me explain…Everything that you post should have a purpose behind it. Your content should aim to do at least one of these three things; Entertain, Educate or Inspire your audience. If you consider each of these three elements when planning your content, you’ll start to notice real change. More people will start reacting with your contact and you’ll start to see your engagement increase. Yes, it will take more time and more effort but if you’re serious about upping your Instagram game and generating real results then this is something you need to take seriously. Give it a go and you won’t be disappointed.⠀ ⠀
3. Actively engage in your community
One of the best ways to increase engagement is to actively engage with your community. Your community include’s the people following your account as well as other people in your industry or similar industries. The whole purpose of social media is to be social. This is why it’s crucial that you’re engaging directly with your community on a regular basis. When you leaved someone a thoughtful comment (not just a heart or smiley face emoji) they’ll be much more likely to leave a thoughtful comment on your post. From there, you can start to build meaningful relationships. Next time someone makes the effort to leave you a thoughtful comment then it’s important that you also take the time to respond in a meaningful way. Show your community that you really care about what they have to say. The more conversation you can create, the better your engagement will be.
4. Optimise your posts and stories
Ensuring that each of your posts and stories are optimised as much as possible will greatly help to improve your Instagram engagement. So how exactly do you do this? Well, for Instagram posts, be sure to tag your location as well as any other people, brands or products featured in the post. This will offer you increased exposure to other users in that location as well as people following those tagged accounts. You can also optimise your posts by including hashtags. Using hashtags will allow you to reach people searching for those tags, increasing the potential audience seeing your posts. When it comes to optimising Instagram Stories, you can use the above strategies (hashtags, geotags and tagging people/brands) in addition to using story stickers. The classic AMA (Ask Me Anything) question sticker is sure to spark conversation with your audience. Alternatively, you could try the poll/vote sticker. People love to offer up their opinion and feel included.
5. Use Instagram Live Videos
Instagram live videos are a very powerful engagement tool if you are comfortable in front of the camera (something i’m still working on myself). The Instagram algorithm loves video content, especially the live feature, so if you make use of this you’ll be sure to gain news feed priority and prime positioning at the head of your followers feeds. Brands can use Instagram live to respond immediately to customer issues, answer questions and have valuable conversations with their audience. Allowing your followers to interact with you live will build massive trust, credibility and ultimately, increased engagement.
Now I’d love to hear from you. Have you tried any of the above tips for increase your Instagram engagement? If so, how have they worked for you? Have you got any other tips of strategies for increasing engagement? Let me know in the comments below or send me a DM on Instagram or Facebook.