When Facebook bought Instagram for a staggering amount of $1 billion in 2012, it signalled the rise of the photo-sharing platform to popularity. As a matter of fact, more and more companies all over the world, big or small, are using Instagram to build and promote their brands.
Instagram, as a social networking site and a photo-sharing platform, has the ability to create engagement, thus competing with other sites such as Twitter and Pinterest. Its popularity can no longer be ignored, so companies who want to succeed in the digital world must make use of Instagram.
However, not everyone who is on Instagram will have the same fate. The level of engagement will depend on a number of things including the quality of the content that you are posting, how you are sharing your posts, and a lot more. This article aims to help you drive your Instagram engagement up by giving you tips.
Invest in quality photos
A high number of Instagram users visit the site in order to browse through beautiful photos. So the more attractive your photos are, the more engagement they get. So if you want to drive up engagement in Instagram, focus more on creating and posting interesting and attractive pictures.
You may be asking, “How do I know what photos interest my followers?” There are a lot of ways to find out, but the first thing you have to look at is your photos. Look through them and see which ones drive a lot of engagement. Those are the types of photos that attract your followers and target audience.
If you are new to Instagram and don’t have enough posts to determine this, visit a popular Instagram account that is similar to your genre or industry and find out which pictures drive the most engagement. By doing this, you will know what photos to create and design.
Another alternative method is to create a survey that will ask your followers about photo design. Asking the right questions will be integral to this method, so double check your survey before finally asking your followers to participate in it.
No matter which method you use, the important thing to stress is that you really have to give a lot of focus on photos because this is the only way to drive up traffic to your Instagram account. Invest in creating beautiful photos by brushing up your photo design skills, or hiring someone who is an expert in this field.
Also share informative and interesting content
As digital marketers, it is understood that you are promoting a brand or a product. However, you must limit the promotional posts you share and also share content that is informative and interesting.
Content that is not promotional in nature help drive more engagement and build trust and relationship with your followers. If your posts are mostly promotions, your followers tend to disregard your posts, but if you also share entertaining and educational content, they will take time to engage with you.
As a matter of fact, there is such a thing as the 80 / 20 rule. This states that 80 percent of the photos you share must be free content, and only 20 percent should be promotional in nature.
What sort of free content should you be posting? There are a lot. You can post beautiful sceneries, photos from your everyday life, or quote images. But the answer to this question really depends on you and the brand you are trying to build.
For instance, if you want to be known as an Instagram account that posts pun and sarcasm, then your free content must be related to such brand. Sharing motivational and inspirational messages may not work well as these go against your brand.
The same is true with the opposite. If you are building yourself up as a motivator and life coach, sharing sarcastic content, although non-promotional, may not work well with the brand you are building. Thus, consistency and the right content is the key.
Free content also depends on what your followers want to see, so you really have to study their behavior and share content that will surely capture their interests.
Make use of well thought out captions
People look at photos first, making it the most important portion of any Instagram post. However, the next thing they naturally look at after the photo is the post’s caption. Therefore, your caption is the second most important part of your Instagram posts.
If you are posting an image with a quote in it, you should explain in the caption what the quote means for you or how you can relate to the quote. If you are posting a picture of a landscape or a scenery, say something informative or interesting about the place in the caption. If you are promoting a product or brand, the benefits and features of the product must be disclosed in the caption.
No matter what photo you are posting, make sure that the caption is interesting, informative, and even educational. Take time to think about the caption because people really read them.
A call to action must come after the description of the photo. You may ask people to like the photo, comment on it, or share it. A question after the description will encourage viewers to comment, thereby increasing the number of engagement.
In addition, make sure to add hashtags at the end of the caption. Trackmaven conducted a study that found out that posts with more than 10 hashtags drive the most engagement and interaction.
Make sure to use hashtags that are related to the subject matter of your post, and to your niche in general. Include hashtags that are general in nature, as well as specific hashtags.
Work with other social media influencers
Look for other social media entrepreneurs who have the same goal as you and collaborate with them. You may give each other shout-outs on a daily basis. This is what Jason Stone, the entrepreneur who earned $7 million in affiliate sales through social media. Jason Stone and other like-minded Instagrammers worked with each other in order to build up their following.
In the beginning, Stone had trouble gaining new followers. But when he joined forces with 14 other Instagram marketers, his audience grew and his followers increased. Stone collaborated with the other 14 Instagramers and started out a Kik group. Their only mission is to give shout-outs to each other on a schedule.
So every day, all 15 members of the Kik group will give a shout out to one member, until all 15 members are marketed on each of their social media accounts. It was pretty much a simple but powerful strategy that you can also make use of.
Boost engagement with a contest
Contests are a great way to increase engagement and attract more followers. Sure, it may take a lot of your time, and you may even have to shell out some of your finances for it, but the payoff is worth it. Contests that are run well attract a lot of people, thus increasing engagement.
The most common and the easiest contest to run are those where people are told to like a post for a chance of winning a prize.
A spinoff of this contest would be to ask people to like and tag a friend also for a chance to win a prize. The prize, of course, will depend on the interests of your niche. It should be something that your target audience would like to have.
The Bottom Line
There are numerous ways to boost your Instagram engagement. Some are pretty basic such as brushing up your photo design skills, investing in high-quality pictures, sharing free content that is informative and interesting, and making use of captions with a lot of hashtags.
Other techniques take much of your time but they are all worth it. Teaming up with other social media influencers, running contests, it may seem daunting at first, but these techniques really help boost your Instagram engagement. They even attract more followers to your Instagram business account.
Using all or a combination of these methods will surely help build up your brand on Instagram. Oftentimes, you need to do trial and error in order to achieve success in the digital world, most specifically in Instagram. Remember that what works well with some Instagram influencers may not exactly work the same for you. The key is to never give up on finding the right marketing mix for your business and brand.