Updated: Jul 19
In the marketing world, engagement on social media posts is an essential part of exposure. Understanding Instagram's algorithm and the way it learns the likes, interests, and dislikes of its user will help your businesses to understand why engagement is so important. Read our blog post all about the changes in the algorithm.
The three big ways are likes, comments, and DMs. But Instagram has been introducing new features that all contribute to engagement, like story polls, question boxes, and reels.
Here are some concrete ways to change your Instagram strategy to increase engagement from your followers.
Tip #1: Find the best time to post.
Knowing the best time to post is a strategy that will help you post at the time your particular followers are the most engaged. Meaning, you will get more likes and comments, as well as “saved” posts. This will boost your posts even in your less engaged followers. Track your Instagram analytics to learn when the best time is for you. Factors to consider are employment, time zones, family life, and the product you're selling.
Tip #2: Stickers
Instagram has introduced several stickers for stories in the past few years: the question sticker, the poll sticker, the countdown sticker, among others.
Using these stickers will encourage your followers to engage by creating a more relational feel between you and your audience.
Use the question sticker to have your followers share what products they may be looking for in the coming months, or have them ask you any questions they have about your business.
The poll sticker gives followers a chance to voice their opinion about a matter in your business. Are you a boutique owner at market? Let your followers “be the buyer” and ask them “this or that”. Not only will this increase your engagement, you will be buying products you know your customers will love.
Anticipation will excite and interest your followers, so use the countdown sticker to announce a big event, a new collection, or a product launch. The countdown sticker also offers an opt-in for notifications when the timer is up.
Later posted an in-depth blog post about Instagram Stories stickers.
Tip #3: Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Now that you know the best time to post and exciting, engaging Instagram features, test new content types during highly engaged time frames and take feedback from the change in engagement. Use Instagram’s video features like stories, reels and IGTV (which is a long-form video feature).
Tip #4: Encourage your followers to save your content
The saveable content is anything your audience can revisit later. Examples of savable posts include tips, information, and advice or how-tos. Spend time brainstorming “savable” Instagram feed posts, considering what your audience values.
Tip #5: Write longer captions!
Captions can’t be an afterthought! “Time spent on post” is a factor that contributes to the performance of your post in the algorithm. More to read = more time spent on the post. Keep captions relevant to your photo or video and add a strong call to action. Don’t overthink it, having one full sentence is better than nothing!
Tip #7: Share business BTS
We all know authenticity can go a long way when considering who and what to support with our dollars. Show behind the scenes of your business so your followers can see the vulnerability and authenticity of running a business. Vulnerability can also foster relationships, which will lead to a more engaged audience. Think “a day in my life”, show the back room at your boutique, artists can show a timelapse of a painting, interior decorators can show a before, during and after; just to name a few examples.
Tip #8: Keep it fun
Why does everything have to be so serious?! With the world we lived in 2020, we learned humor gives hope. More and more brands are adding memes and gifs to their Instagram to keep up with humor and pop-culture. The relatability memes carry will increase engagement between your brand and your followers.
Tip #9: Create shareable content
We talked about “saveable” content, now it’s time to talk about “shareable” content. Think relatable quotes (or memes, like we talk about above!), giveaways, and infographics (if applicable to your business).
Tip #10: Create more video content
Instagram offers a few types of video-sharing features aside from the main feed of your page: Stories, Reels, IGLive and IGTV. Stories offer up to 60 seconds of video (or photo and text) sharing. Reels are a TikTok style feature to Instagram that can also be up to 60 seconds. IGLive is a long-form video sharing service Instagram offers. These can be saved as IGTV’s and stay on your page permanently.
* Use hashtags.
* Keep feed visually consistent.
* Use user-generated content.
* Use Instagram video subtitles and closed captions.
* Hosts contests and giveaways.
* Use a link.in.bio or related service.
* Take advantage of the swipe up feature.
While Instagram did change the algorithm, they also offer many features that encourage followers to interact with your content. The more interactions you have, the more exposure and visibility your posts will have. Take advantage of these features and easily increase follower engagement. Plus, these features are fun, so start HAVING FUN with your content!!!
Curious about how we can help boost your Instagram engagement? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org