One of the most common questions I get when it comes to social media is on the topic of how to get more engagement on Instagram. It looks like a sexy platform, all of your friends are on it and they look really popular, but your account seems to go nowhere.
Instagram is one of those must-have platforms—as in all of the other people with no more social media knowledge than you say that you must have it. Unfortunately, for most businesses, Instagram is a vanity metric. It makes you feel good when you see it grow, but it really doesn’t do anything to help you grow your business.
Unless you work in a visually-focused industry like photography or food blogging, Instagram should not be your priority platform because it’s money-making engagement is notoriously low. It’s designed to keep people on it as long as possible, which means things like links and other leads are far and few between.
But just because it shouldn’t be your priority platform doesn’t mean that you can’t put any effort into it. There are things that you can do to step up your instagram game, increase your engagement and make it more worth your time. These following six Instagram engagement tips are easy to do and tend to work great!
- 6 Ways to Increase Instagram Engagement
- Make Posting Easier By Scheduling Posts
6 Ways to Increase Instagram Engagement
Post More Content
It goes without saying that if you post more content, your audience has more content to engage with. If you want to know how to improve engagement on Instagram, you should up your posting game.
It’s recommended that you post at least once per day to your Instagram account. If you are already managing that, try posting twice per day or even twice every other day to see how that works.
When it comes to picking your posting times, make sure to visit your audience insights—if you don’t see any you need to change your account to a business account so you can access them.
Pick the best posting times based on where your audience is most engaged (post right before those times when possible). And if you’re upping your output on some but not all days, make sure that you post on days that are the most active. You don’t want to try to engage when people aren’t already ready.
Struggling to come up with content? Use your blog posts to cross-promote your content. Here’s a quick guide on how to find great blog topics.
Post More Stories
Technically we could say that we covered this with the previous post, but we believe talking about stories separate from your regular feed content is important. Stories tend to have a larger reach and get more engagement which makes them extra important when it comes to increasing your engagement.
If you are not familiar with them, stories are different from posts. They are visible for only 24-hours (unless you add them to your highlights) and they have different capabilities than your regular posts. Stories can be very powerful because they come before the posts in the feeds of your followers and also in searches. The internal search engine for the app also prioritizes them over other content.
Stories are great as 15-second or fewer videos or stationary posts… just make sure you get the size correct!
Story pro-tip: Boost engagement more by using interactive features like a story poll. It gets watchers of your story engaged even more.
Engage with Your Followers
Engaging with your followers is important—it is called social media after all—and if you’re looking to increase engagement on Instagram for your profile, this is they key to making that happen.
What does engagement with your followers look like? When you engage with your followers you want to like and share their posts, stories and IGTV videos where applicable, comment on what they’re posting and engage on the platform with them.
Some great ways to engage include:
- Commenting on someone’s latest post
- Sharing someone’s engaging story if it’s relevant to your audience
- Reaching out on a personal level with a message
Engaging with your audience will encourage them to engage with you, making it a seriously great way to boost engagement and see a real benefit in your social media efforts.
Engagement Pro-tip: One great way to boost engagement with engagement is to engage with your community right before your next scheduled post comes out. Engaging around 15-minutes prior can make your posts pop out more to your engaged followers (especially if you were just engaging with them).
Use All of the Hashtags You’re Allowed To
Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags, so use those hashtags. Seriously, hashtags help your posts go further and further. So, it makes sense that you want to use them whenever you can.
However, make sure the hashtags you choose to use are relevant to your content or you’ll easily lose people. If you have the hashtag #foodie on a post that’s clearly about hiring a family lawyer, you’re bound to lose people searching for relevant content.
You can do hashtag research in a number of ways, which we’ll go over in more details in a later post. But one of the easiest ways is simply punch in #YOURDESIREDHASHTAG into the Instagram search bar and look through the associated hashtags. It’s also important to remember that the most used hashtags aren’t always the best ones for you to use.
Tag a Location
Many Instagram users search by location, which means that location tags actually get quite a bit of traction and can help you boost Instagram engagement. You’ll want to add location tags to both your stories and posts if you’re looking to increase Instagram engagement. Location tags can also help you up your local branding game.
You can add location tags to your Instagram stories by clicking the top button that looks like a square smiley face with a fold in the bottom right-hand corner and choosing the location option. The more specific you are with location, the more effective the tag will be.
When it comes to tagging a post on your regular feed with a location, simply go to the last page where you enter the post text and add the location. Again, the more specific the better.
Use Engaging Text
When it comes to creating great content on Instagram, you also want to up your post text game. So many times I come across boring and, more importantly, uninformative posts that say “new blog post on #onlinedating” or “visit the website to see the case we just solved.” And they’re terribly unengaging.
Instagram doesn’t work like other social media channels. They want users to stay on so badly that most of us are not able to connect a link to any post period, we simply have the bio link. That means that each piece of content needs to be able to stand alone.
So, when you are trying to improve instagram engagement consider your Instagram post a mini blog post of sorts. You want it to be understood without having to go to your blog, while being engaging enough that visitors actually want to go read your blog after having seen it.
Having a great, engaging written component is important because you only have access to ONE link and you really don’t want to be changing it all of the time. You also want your content to be relevant to your audience even if they’re reading it way in the future and whatever it refers to isn’t prominent on your page anymore.
Make Posting Easier By Scheduling Posts
Having an effective social media strategy for your Instagram account starts with creating a comprehensive posting schedule. And that schedule can be WAY easier to follow if you plan ahead. That’s where social media scheduling comes in.
My favourite Instagram planner is Planoly. It is a beautiful visual planner that allows you to plan your feed to make sure that it looks aesthetically pleasing. It was built with Instagram in mind. The only other platform they serve is Pinterest and the service is relatively new.
What I love MOST about it is that it was one of the first platforms where I could access direct-to-Instagram posting. That means I didn’t have to get a notification on my phone to post it. You can do this with most of the posts, but you’ll still have to manually post your stories and any carousels that you want to create.
In addition to simply having a great program that is easy to use. Their analytics are comprehensive and they offer online training on both how to use their platform and Instagram planning tips and tricks about once monthly. If you’re interested in stepping up your Instagram game, give Planoly a try today.
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