Instagram is one of the staple social media platforms. Businesses of all kinds are on Instagram. It’s one of the easiest ways to find and foster community, brand awareness, and brand affinity.
Engagement on Instagram comes in the form of likes, comments and follows. Instagram users tend to be more engaged than users on other platforms. People on Instagram will gladly like a picture that remotely appeals to them. You don’t have to work too hard to encourage engagement on Instagram.
So, if it’s that simple, what can you do to improve your Instagram engagement? Let’s take a look…
1. Like more
Social media is a two-way street and this is definitely true for Instagram. Getting more likes can be as simple as giving more likes. Find and follow as many relevant, active, and engaged users as you can and get liking their posts. You’ll soon find the reciprocal likes flowing back your way.
2. Comment more
Much the same as liking more, commenting more on other people’s photos is going to have them jumping over to your page to have a look at what you’re all about. Secondary to this, by commenting on other people’s photos, their followers will see your comment and your Instagram handle and therefore it increases the potential audience who are aware of your presence.
3. Comment better
It’s pretty obvious on Instagram who is commenting just to make their presence felt and is trying to just generate more attention on their own page. Comment smarter – actually be interested and contribute something positive/funny/poignant to the post. Instead of just saying “wow looks amazing”, think of something more original and personal to say.
Remember, commenting isn’t about driving people to your product or your page. It’s about branding and generating a positive online presence that encourages positive opinions of your page and your business.
Hashtags are the best way to reach new audiences on Instagram and through this they also improve engagement. Connecting with new followers through a hashtag that they were searching means they’re interested in what you and your brand are about and they’re more likely to engage with your page.
5. Reply to comments
Once again, reply smarter and actually continue the conversation rather than just a simple “thanks guys!” This encourages people to continue to engage with the post and carry on the conversation. It also makes followers feel valued, building brand affinity and encouraging followers to comment again in future because they know they’re being heard.
6. Tag in other people
Whether it’s taking a photo of a product or place that you’re enjoying and tagging in the relevant companies, or re-gramming a photo from another user and tagging them to give them credit, drawing other people into your posts is a great way to boost engagement on Instagram. Not only does it reach a whole new audience, but you’re guaranteed likes and comments from the users you’ve tagged and their inner circles. They’ll appreciate the extra exposure and with any luck will return the favour.
7. Avoid using black and white filters
Black and white gets lost in a feed and people are more likely to scroll past without even giving the photo a look, let alone a like.
8. Post at particular times
Use metrics to determine when your audience engages with your posts the most and target those times for future posts. That’s when your followers are scrolling through Instagram and are more likely to see your posts and engage with them.
9. Share your posts elsewhere
Gain more followers by linking your Instagram to your Twitter, Facebook, and/or website. Audiences from those other platforms are then exposed to your Instagram and are more likely to follow you on there as well.
10. Find international audiences
Instagram doesn’t necessarily need to directly drive sales. It’s more about the long game, so generating more likes, follows, and comments is about developing social proof. To that end, having an international audience who may never actually purchase your product or service is still useful and worth having. Scour wider than your local area to cultivate a larger network of engaged followers.