With more marketing moving towards social media in 2021, there is an abundance of platforms to choose from. Unsurprisingly, Instagram is one of the most popular choices. Its visual nature is the perfect place to showcase your business or personal brand.
Success on Instagram, just like any social media platform, fundamentally comes down to numbers. How many people are you reaching with your posts? How many users are interacting with you? Who is reaching out to you because of your content?
In the biz, these numbers are actually what is known as your ‘engagement’. A big question you may have, then, is can you increase your engagement?
The short answer to this is yes, you can increase your Instagram engagement yourself. And the long answer? Well, this article will provide you with our six top tips to best boost your interactions.
How is Engagement Calculated?
Engagement rates are calculated through the amount of interaction your followers have with each post. Post engagement is affected by follower count, comments, likes, re-shares and views. You might think that bigger is better, but often, accounting with a large following can have a smaller rate of engagement – that’s because there are more people you have to try and reach!
The ‘optimum engagement’ can be hard to pin down for Instagram, as they are famously coy about these numbers. However, experts say that a usually strong engagement falls around 1% to 5% of your following.
So, why is this important? Post engagement actually serves a great purpose. It shows how successful your marketing is because you can actively see how people are reacting to your content.
More engagement translates to more of your audience being shown your posts by Instagram’s ‘algorithm’. It connects your posts to users who like your content and things similar to you, and boosts up their timeline, making them more likely to see your recent posts.
7 Fool-proof Tips for Boosting Engagement
1. Community Interaction
This is one of the easiest methods of boosting your engagement. If you make a point of reaching out to your audience, they’ll return the favour and interact with you!
You can improve your community interactions by simply responding to comments and questions. Once you post content, make sure you’re on deck to respond to people, especially within the first hour of putting up a post. This is roughly around the time your post will garner the most engagement, giving you an implication of how well it will do.
You can also reshare user-generated content and reply to direct messages. Make sure you ‘get on the ground’ with your audience and make them feel heard. Social media is a conversation, so include people!
This will not only help drive engagement but give you great feedback. This ensures that you know your audience so you can produce content more catered to your demographic. It’s a win-win!
2. Be authentic
This should go without saying. People tend to prefer reality over perfection, especially as more people realise how fake social media can be. Authenticity is valued far moreover creating the perfect aesthetic, and people are more likely to buy into something or someone that they believe in or relate to.
It’s important to create an independent and authentic voice for yourself or your brand. This makes sure you can connect with people, helping you build a loyal and engaged audience from the get-go.
You can do this by showing behind the scenes of your day, the making of a product, or even giving an insight to your mistakes. Be yourself and let your personality shine through in your content!
3. Streamlining your Timing
Did you know you can be limiting your success if you aren’t posting to Instagram at the right time? You want to make sure you’re posting at peak times to get the most engagement, not when most of your audience is asleep!
Despite saying this, there is actually no real ‘perfect’ universal time to post. You should utilise your ‘audience insights’ to tell you what day of the week and what time of the day your followers are most active. Posting when the majority of your audiences are online is best because the Instagram algorithm prioritises recency.
This will also help personalise your posting schedule and allow you to pre-emptively schedule your content. This ensures that you always have something ready, promoting consistency and keeping your followers engaged with your account and your content.
4. Take Advantage of Carousel Posts
Carousel posts have some of the highest engagement levels on the platform, as the algorithm re-serves these sorts of posts to followers who didn’t engage the first time around.
It is best to use all ten slots on the carousel as these are pushed higher up the algorithm. You can use this space to be as informative or detailed as you like. They can be used in so many ways, for example:
- Show the steps of making one of your products
- Show yourself boxing your products or even unboxing them, to show the experience you provide your customers
- Tip-based threads that can encourage saves
- ‘Photo dumps’ (a series of photos in relation to each other)
5. Hashtag Away!
Instagram allows users to implement up to thirty hashtags per post. That might seem a lot – and it is! It can be tempting to overdo it and cram as many as you can into your posts but hold on. This can look like spam and potentially end up seeing your account ‘shadowbanned’.
However, when you optimally use them, you can direct the correct audience to the correct places. You need to be selective with your hashtags, and make sure they’re relevant to the conversation you’re having. Try and make them as trending and industry-specific as possible: too generic and your posts can get buried beneath thousands of others.
If you’re struggling to know what to hashtag or how many to use, look at what other successful brands similar to yours are using for a benchmark. Hashtags enhance the search engine optimisation (SEO) of your posts and draw more people in.
6. Use all of Instagram’s Features
Instagram offers a wide range of content features other than in-feed posts, such as Stories, Lives, IGTVs and Reels. So, take advantage of them all! Creators who vary their content through all offered mediums are often posited as the most successful.
For example, take Instagram Live. Studies show that 82% of users prefer live video from a brand to social posts, as it is more interactive and instantly informative. It gives a level of authenticity as it allows you to have a more direct and conversational connection with your audience.
Instagram Stories are another popular implementation to boost engagement. Stories have a massive reach, with 500 million people using them every day. You can use them to keep things topical and be more casual than on your feed.
You can engage more with interactive features like polls and stickers that will encourage follower interactions. Make sure you experiment with different types of content to see what works for you!
Do you need more help with boosting your Instagram engagement? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Floodmaker today!