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Steps to Take to Improve Instagram Engagement

Like any other social media platform, Instagram’s algorithm keeps changing and marketers are constantly kept on their toes. What worked before may not work anymore, so sitting back and just hoping that your high-quality photos will get noticed isn’t an option.

Don’t worry though. In this post, I’m giving you specific strategies that will increase engagement and in effect, grow your Instagram account.

These tactics can help you gain new followers, grow your reach, and establish a relationship with your followers.

Like and comment on other accounts within your niche

In between posting photos on Instagram, check out the posts of other Instagram accounts that are similar to yours, and engage with them. Like and comment on their recent posts, and not just those, “Great content, thanks for sharing,” kind of comments. Be genuine in your comments and start a conversation.

If you are in the makeup industry, for instance, you can connect with fashion brands, makeup enthusiasts, beauty bloggers, and the likes. To find similar accounts, go to Instagram’s recommendations page which can be accessed by tapping on the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the screen. When you tap on the search bar at the top of the page, you can see suggested accounts based on your past activities and preferences, and you can also search by category within that page, particularly:

  • People
  • Hashtags
  • Places

When you engage with similar accounts on a daily basis, people will start noticing you, and they’ll likely engage with your posts as well. Engagement brings forth engagement, which is basically how Instagram works.

Reply to comments immediately

The goal of every business owner and marketer is to increase engagement, so when someone comments on your post or replies to your comment, then you have to respond immediately. You will get notified anyway, so reply to them as soon as you can. Putting it off is one of the most common mistakes made by marketers.

Keep the conversation flowing by tagging them in your comment so they’ll get a notification, and by asking relevant questions.

You can also let other people join in on the conversation by mentioning their accounts. For example, when someone comments about how great the photo is, you can tag the photographer and the people in the picture when you reply.

When a post gets a lot of comments, Instagram will see it as valuable and will make it more discoverable to users.

Use long-tail hashtags

The long-tail hashtag strategy is where you use content-specific or brand-specific hashtags, instead of or together with the popular ones. When you type in a hashtag, suggestions will pop up where you’ll also see the number of posts for each hashtag. If you are promoting a book on finances, for example, there are several hashtags you can go for:

  • #financialfreedom has 4.3 million posts
  • #finance has 4.2 million posts
  • #personalfinance has 415,000 posts
  • #financialliteracy has 332,000 posts
  • #financetips has 62,300 posts
  • #financialfreedom 10,500 posts

Some marketers would go for the hashtag with the most number of post, thinking about the millions of people they can reach. However, that hashtag is being used every minute, so their content will likely get buried. To avoid this, you need to include specific hashtags such as the title of the book you’re promoting, and mix it up with hashtags that have less than 100,000 posts such as #finance tips and #financialfreedom in the list above. These hashtags are not being used as often as the others, so there’s a good chance your content will make it to the Top Posts when people search for that hashtag.

Post more selfies

Photos with faces of people tend to get 38% more likes, so you should be posting more selfies or photos of other people’s faces. It’s a fun way to improve your Instagram profile’s engagement. No matter what industry you’re in, or what product you’re selling, you can always work in pictures of people in your content strategy. Here are some ideas:

  • Get someone to pose with your products.
  • Look up photos of clients using your products and share them.
  • Post pictures of your team.

Minimize posting inspirational quotes, and photos of great landscapes, and start posting more pictures with people in them.

Publish Instagram stories regularly

Millions of people watch Instagram stories everyday, and your followers are among them for sure. Take advantage of the attention by sharing your new posts as Instagram stories and telling them to check out your feed for more. Follow these steps:

  1. Tap on the content you want to share.
  2. Tap on the airplane icon at the bottom.
  3. Select Add post to your story.
  4. You will be taken to a page where you can add filters, stickers, and texts.
  5. Add a text overlay that says something like, “Check out my profile for more.”
  6. Tap on Your Story to publish it.

There are also ways to increase engagement in your Instagram stories, but I think it’s great to also use stories to direct followers’ attention to your other posts.

Increasing your Instagram engagement

There are several ways to get more engagement on Instagram, and some of them keep on changing since Instagram’s algorithm also keeps being updated. The tips I discussed in this post, however, have been proven by social media marketers to work.

  • Engage with other accounts.
  • Respond to comments immediately.
  • Use long-tail hashtags.
  • Post more pictures with people in them.
  • Share your posts in your Instagram stories.

These tips drive engagement to your account, and the first two on the list – engage with other accounts and respond to comments – are basically the most important ones. Unfortunately, they are also the most ignored too since they require constant work.

Remember that the thing with Instagram is that if you don’t engage with other accounts, you won’t get engagement back.

Date: June 14, 2019 / Categories: Marketing, / Author: Rich Drees


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