Are you battling to get more engagement from your audience on Instagram? We get it! With the ever-changing nature of the Instagram platform, it’s getting trickier to keep up with precisely what will work to get real conversations happening, above and beyond a like here, and a one-word comment there!
In this article, we run through 7 tips to help boost your engagement and develop genuine connections, conversations, and eventually – sales for your business or brand.
What exactly is engagement on Instagram?
There are many ways that your followers and audience can interact with your posts. It’s important to note that there is no weighting on each of these interactions, but they affect the Instagram Algorithm regarding the Followers Account and your Account.
The more an account interacts with your account and its published content, the more likely they are to see more of your content. So our goal here is, of course, to obtain as much interaction and engagement from our ideal audience as we can via these actions:
On the Instagram Feed:
- ‘Liking’ a post via tapping the heart, or double-tapping
- Commenting on posts
- Sharing a Post to their own Instagram Stories
- Sharing/Sending a Post via Direct Message
- Bookmarking/Saving the Instagram Post
- Swiping through more pages on a Carousel Post
On Instagram Stories & Reels:
- Story & Reel Views
- Tapping and holding Instagram Stories to enable viewing the content for longer
- Interacting with Stories Stickers such as Emoji Sliders, Quizzes, Polls, and Questions
- Sending a Direct Message to the Account
- Viewing more content via swiping when applicable/available
- Likes/Quick Reactions and Comments
- Setting a reminder for an event from a Countdown Sticker
- Viewing an IGTV, with added emphasis on retention until the end of your video
- Likes and Comments
On Instagram Lives:
- Instagram Live Views
- Reactions and Comments
- Direct Messages
All of these signal interest in your content to Instagram and should result in more of your content being served back to that account!
Let’s look at seven easy tips that you can utilize to increase Instagram engagement for your brand!
1. Use Instagram’s latest tools and features while they’re hot!
Instagram is always looking for new ways to make its platform more enjoyable and engaging. Recently, they introduced Instagram Reels, which let you create short-form (up to 60 seconds) video collage of multiple clips that are seamlessly looped together with an (optional) accompanying soundtrack and other effects such as text and stickers.
In addition, recent updates to the platform include Instagram Guides, the ability to go Live (and Live Rooms), as well as Instagram Shopping, IGTV, Carousel Posts, Story Highlights, and many new interactive stickers to start conversations in Stories!
Being an early adopter of these latest and greatest features is rewarded by the Instagram algorithm, so it’s worth giving them a try for your own brand account/s and then utilize them regularly to get further gains.
2. Start a conversation with your Followers.
The secret to Instagram engagement is allowing your followers to provide their input! Any person that follows a brand or personal account loves to feel heard, and starting that two-way conversation begins with a thought-provoking graphic/caption and a question.
Develop a Community Culture and get to know your followers. Who are they? What do they want to know about you and the industry? How can you provide a service or experience that changes their lives for the better and keeps them coming back for more?
Instagram provides endless ways to do this, starting with the post and caption, combined with the comments area. Unlike other forms of Instagram engagement, the post comments are a fantastic way for you to engage directly with your own audience and your audience to interact with each other in ongoing group conversation threads. In addition, post comments can have likes applied from any account, and you can choose to ‘Pin’ a comment to the top of your comments, which sends an alert to the account that has commented.
Within Instagram Stories, you can also provide them with a simple means to add feedback. By adding interactive stickers onto your story,
Try any of these to get the conversations rolling: The Question sticker, Emoji Slider (which you can customize in many creative ways!), Polls or Quizzes.
3. Schedule an Instagram Live Event
People love to connect with other people, and there is nothing more powerful than doing this Live. As in, real-life, face-to-face. But the next best thing is going live with video and allowing your audience to interact with you in real-time. It’s an excellent way for you and others to feel like they are there with you as if it were happening in real life!
Start by planning out your Instagram Live – why are you going live, and why should people join you? Ensure you have a precise topic or reason for the Live, and start pre-promoting the event. This can be achieved with designing and posting a graphic post and caption in the feed, along with Story posts coupled with the ‘Countdown Sticker’ that enables your viewers to receive a reminder before the Live event.
Some popular reasons to go live on your Instagram account include:
- An interview with a special guest or member of your team
- A product launch or exclusive deal
- An open Q&A session with your Followers
- A scheduled training or tutorial.
Show up and allow your followers to learn more about the individuals in your organization and ask questions about your product and services directly, and you’ll quickly reap the benefits.
4. Cross-Promote Your Instagram Content
Along with pre-promoting live Instagram events, there are many opportunities on the platform to promote after an event or to repurpose content. These are some of the ways you can get more eyeballs on your produced content:
- Save your Instagram Live to your Stories/IGTV. Ensure you tap Download Video after completing your Live to save the video to your camera roll.
- Repurpose parts of your Live videos into bite-sized content you can post on your Instagram Feed and in Stories. Or even consider a mash-up of the content for an Instagram Reel!
- Reshare Reels content to Instagram Stories and to your feed.
- Promote your content on other social platforms. For example, saving Reels and Stories to Facebook Stories, LinkedIn Stories, and even Pinterest Idea Pins! While you cannot download videos produced in Stories and Reels that utilize the Instagram Music library, you can download the video with your own completed content and original audio and apply different music using external tools. Or on Pinterest Idea Pins, you can add alternative music.
Hot tip: Try using the Instagram Captions sticker to add styled text content to your downloaded Live video content before repurposing! This awesome new sticker converts voice-to-text, and allows you to edit the transcription, and choose from various styling options to place onto your recorded content.
5. Create High Quality, Relatable Content
It goes without saying that without high-quality content and posting it consistently, you’ll have trouble engaging with your audience long-term and growing your following.
When creating content intended for Instagram, you should always aim to educate (add value), entertain and/or inspire the audience. Think less about picture perfection and more about your follower’s needs and wants.
First, think about what makes your audience tick. What drives them crazy? What keeps them up at night? What do they wish they had more of in their lives?
Second, consider what’s essential to your customers. What are they buying? Are there any trends that you should know about and incorporate into your posts? This information will help you plan each post with a focus on making sure it doesn’t lag or bore the customer.
Third, analyze recent posts from other companies that have successfully made an impact on your industry. What type of content do they post? What’s their purpose behind posting it? Where do they find the content to use in each post?
Successful social media strategists have a clear understanding of these three elements and more, and they’re a great starting point for creating high-quality content to post on your brand accounts.
6. Keep some things Exclusive to Instagram
Give your followers a reason to stay with you on Instagram. Ensure you reward them with platform-exclusive content, goodies, or discounts that are genuinely only available to the IG audience.
You can also try first-look type content (new releases of products or styling), or combine prototype sneak peeks with Instagram-only features like Polls to get input before release. Be sure to let your audience know they are part of the process and that you take their opinions seriously. They’ll love you for it.
7. Share the Platform with others
As the saying goes, sharing is caring, and it’s no different in the land of social media and Instagram, with many ways to share social media love! Here are some of our favorites.
Instagram Live Rooms: In early 2021, Instagram introduced Live Rooms, which gives us the ability to host Instagram Lives with up to 3 additional guests. This is an exciting opportunity to massively increase the reach of your Lives, with each account alerting its own followers of the Instagram Live that is on – in addition to any pre and post-live promotion!
Shout-outs: Tagging other profiles in social posts and Stories, as well as using the Small Business @Mention Sticker are great ways to expose your audience to new content, as well as introduce them to other brands that may be a good fit for their interests or needs.
Host an Instagram Takeover: Taking the guest experience to the next level, an Instagram Takeover is when you allow someone to guest host your entire account for a certain amount of time and then to share their content on your behalf. This can be a great way to reach new audiences and also to give someone greater visibility for future collaborations with you down the road.
Over to you
Are you ready to take on some of these tactics to generate increased Instagram engagement? Let us know by sending a DM or commenting when you share this article 🙂