Increasing Instagram engagement is a big task in 2019, we’d predict that the majority of companies are trying to do the same.
Instagram has a really unique, smart algorithm that means tones of brands and businesses are trying to gain people’s attention. Unfortunately, it’s now harder than ever to increase your engagement.
The good news is; it’s not impossible.
Instagram is still one of the very best places to market your brand and gain organic traffic to your social media, website, or business.
Why you should choose Instagram
Is Instagram the right platform for you?
We’d safely say that majority, if not all, companies would benefit from being present on Instagram. If you haven’t already jumped on Instagram, you could be doing your company a great disservice.
More people than ever are using Instagram, with over 800 million active users – 500 million of which are on the platform daily.
Instagram allows any size of business to thrive. Whether it’s through gaining money, gaining traffic, or finding new opportunities.
One of the main advantages of Instagram, however, is engagement. The platform allows you to actively and effectively engage with customers.
Below, we’ve listed the top ways to optimize your Instagram posts for better engagement.
Before anything else — Instagram stories
Instagram now has a story option – this gives you the chance to post short, temporary pictures, or videos. These last for 24 hours before disappearing.
Stories are a great way to create a spontaneous post – perhaps something from behind the scenes. However, many brands fail to optimize these posts, since they’re temporary -this shouldn’t be the case.
Every time you post a story, you should consider adding stickers, locations, and hashtags. This will help more people find your story, and ultimately your profile.
Also, if a friend or influencer is in your story, don’t forget to mention them.
Make the most of the stickers on stories
That brings us nicely onto our next point – Stickers.
In your stories, you can add various stickers to help increase engagement on your posts.
These stickers can also help you gain feedback from any of your products or services.
These stickers include:
The Question sticker – These allow you to start a question and answer type dialogue with your followers. This gives you an excellent opportunity to answer any questions that your brand has.
Vote and poll stickers – These give your followers or customers a quick chance to share their opinion.
Quiz sticker – This is Instagram’s newest sticker, which allows your audience to guess an answer to a quiz-type question.
Use humour in your posts
You shouldn’t let the fact that planning and coordination are essential. You should also have a bit of fun and make everything light-hearted.
Of course, this is very dependent on your brand and message – but a light-hearted meme will often go down well.
More brands are using humour and fun to gain more engagement. This could be pop culture posts, memes, or a trending topic joke.
If you use this tactic, you could see a boost in people sharing your posts or messaging you. That’s precisely what you want.
Funny posts tend to also get shared with friends a lot, which brings you new customers and traffic.
Make your captions longer and better
Your Instagram caption is really limited (you can have 2,200 characters). That’s a great deal of space, giving you a fantastic chance to engage with your audience.
One factor which affects how your Instagram post performs in the algorithm is how long somebody spends on the post. The easiest way to increase the time spent on the post is by writing a great caption.
If you write an engaging and long caption, you’ll automatically gain more engagement – even if it’s merely somebody spending more time on your profile.
Don’t make every post thousands of words long, this will probably have adverse effects. However, your captions should be longer than just a few words or a couple of emojis.
With every post, there’s always an opportunity to say something really meaningful. Tell a story, and tell your audience why your post matters.
Some brands really use their caption section, telling a thoughtful story to all their followers. In fact, some even had to extend their caption in the comment section.
Use the best hashtags
We had to mention hashtags – which might be something that you roll your eyes at now.
Having a strong hashtag strategy is super important, they impact the content that you post more than you may believe.
Research into the best hashtags for you – and we don’t mean just generic popular hashtags (these won’t help with engagement on an authentic level).
You need to choose hashtags that are relevant to your brand and company that will bring in the audience that you’re trying to attract.
Engagement is king
Make sure that you’re engaging with your audience too, this is a mutual relationship. You can’t expect your followers to engage with your posts and gain nothing back in return.
Make sure that you’re liking and commenting on other people’s content, as well. Also, you should always be replying to the comments made on your posts.
Engagement is a two-way relationship – you have to engage with others so that they can engage with you.
Don’t forget, if you comment on other people’s posts, you’re also more likely to get noticed by others from those comments.
Use your insights
As a brand, you should always have your Instagram set up as a business or creator’s account. This gives you tools and insights unavailable to a personal or private account.
Instagram insights are an excellent way for you to track how well your posts are doing and where you could do better.
Make sure to keep tracking your insights, to have a more in-depth look into what content works for you, and what content doesn’t.
Instagram’s insights give you the option to look at everything from engagement rates to the best times for you to post during the week.
To get to Insights, simply click the three horizontal lines in the top right while on your profile, and you’ll see an “Insights” option. It’s relatively in-depth and will help you out massively.
Schedule your posts and stories
Talking about the best time to post, this is something that you should consider.
Posting at the best time is a sure-fire way to gain the most engagement on your posts. This could be a specific day or a particular time of the day.
We recommend that you post during people’s commutes (if your target audience has commutes).
For many, the best day to post is surprisingly on a Thursday, which is definitely something you should keep in mind.
Include faces in your posts
Did you know that photos with faces gain 38% more likes than those without?
You should always try to make sure that your next post has a person in it.
Posting photos of people is a great way to boost your engagement and add a more personal touch to your posts. Don’t worry, you can always somehow loop people into your posts in one way or another.
Perhaps you can post photos from an event you visited or your social media team or your customers with their products.
Obviously, you should make sure that the photos are of good quality and relevant to your brand and company.
Answer all your direct messages
Don’t forget to take a trip to your direct messages every now and then. Ignoring a query or message from a customer can deter them from engaging with you ever again.
So many brands are ignoring their DMs – which is something that you should never do.
“Instagram revolves around building a community, and ignoring messages will push your customers away from you and your profile. Also, you should respond to both negative and positive messages – you can’t pick and choose.” — Social Media Manager at TopWritersReview.
Collaborate with relevant influencers and brands
Another way you can increase engagement and optimize your posts is by collaborating with like-minded influencers. While this may not be free, it’s a great way to push new people to your channel, and optimize your posts.
Don’t just collaborate with anybody, though. Make sure that it’s the right brand, influencer, or business for you. It should be relevant for your existing followers, and also bring in your target audience.
Research and connect with possible brands, that might be the right fit for you. Influencer marketing is prevalent on Instagram at the moment, and you have to get it just right for it to be effective.
Get personal with your posts
Your followers are expecting a lot more than just product shots when they like your page. They want to know about your brand mission, how your products were made, where they were made, and the people behind your brand.
Instagram is the perfect place to share all these more personal bits of information.
In return, your followers will feel more connected to your brand and will be more likely to engage with your posts.
You should get personal on both your Instagram feed and your stories.
Sidenote: Don’t do this type of posts every day. It will become a little overwhelming for your followers.
We hope these quick hints and tips for your Instagram posts help you gain more engagement.
Optimizing your posts is an integral part of your social media strategy, which will help you gain more followers, traffic, and leads.
Most importantly, have fun.
About the author – Daniela McVicker is a blogger with rich experience in writing about UX design, content planning, and digital marketing. Currently, she contributes to RatedbyStudents where she helps individuals and organizations improve their web content writing, design, and planning skills. Her posts are always packed with examples and actionable content that readers can put straight into the action.
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