Building an Instagram profile is a challenge, but the best way to increase your chances of maintaining an Instagram empire is to get your followers engaged and keep them that way – often easier said than done.
Here are some simple tips to help you stay focused on user engagement without going off the rails and losing followers.
Few users on Instagram spend more than a second or two per post – Instagram is just not conducive to difficult information or long posts. Instead, focus on keeping your points very clear and your explanations or wording very short. Bright pictures with a pithy text explanation will generally play better than a long-winded quote overlaid on a similar picture. Complexity is your enemy. Make your posts easy to digest or your users will begin to get overwhelmed.
Space on a user’s Instagram feed is a scarce commodity. People want to see fun, engaging, useful content delivered on a consistent basis – a mixture of their friends, their idols and their interests. The last word was key – interest. You and your content need to be interesting to maintain your place on someone’s feed. This means that you need to be delivering value every time they see your name. Value could be anything from a chuckle at a funny joke post, to some inspiration from a weight-loss testimonial.
One of the biggest issues on Instagram is when businesses only promote themselves without adding value – leading to instant unfollows from the few followers they have. Even when promoting a business, there are good ways to add value to increase engagement and brand loyalty, something RedBull and Hootsuite are already doing. Whatever your content niche is, make sure you tailor these posts to cater to what your users want to see. You can grab some ideas from our What to post on Instagram guide.
You’ll note the word ‘consistent’ in the section above. It’s important, as people tend to forget rather quickly, so re-engaging them on a regular basis is good for your brand. It’s crucial, however, not to overwhelm your followers. There’s nothing worse than checking your instagram and having to scroll through 10 photos from the same account talking about the same stuff before finding what you were looking for. Often times, this can earn an instant un-follow. Keep your content in check, and release it in moderation
When looking to form long-term relationships with your followers, variety can be the key to continuing your growth curve. Curating @mentions and sponsored shoutouts from other popular accounts can boost your follower interest, and is a useful tactic. Beyond outside accounts though, giving your most active followers some face time on your account is a great way to spark engagement. That user feels honored and encouraged, and the rest of your followers are more likely to engage when there’s potential incentive created by your shoutout post.
This is the silver bullet to solve your Instagram engagement problems. Run a contest, give away an eBook, offer premium content, etc – nothing gets followers excited like the promise of free stuff. Try combining this tactic with the other tips for increased engagement, and watch as your posts come alive.
At the end of the day, the key to understanding what your users wants comes by putting yourself in their shoes. Ask, ‘If this showed up on my feed, what would I want?’ By engaging your followers as humans rather than as potential leads, you can inspire a much greater level of interaction from them – which benefits everyone involved.
Date: September 17, 2015 / Categories: Tips, Uncategorized, / Author: Rich Drees