Instagram’s recent shift to an algorithm-based newsfeed has cemented the importance of audience engagement for brands.
Instagram feeds are no longer presented in chronological order, and instead have taken a Facebook-esque approach to prioritise posts that users regularly interact with. Building engagement on Instagram is more important than ever, as without it your posts won’t be prioritised and your audience will not see your content… it’s a scary thought.
Here are 4 Ways for Startups to Generate Epic Instagram Engagement:
1. Commit to creating fantastic and eye-catching content.
Keep your audience interested by mixing up your posts with eye-catching branded and unbranded photos and videos. Post daily, consistently and at the optimal time for when your specific audience is online.
To maximize your content’s engagement:
– Add a #hashtag or ten (you have a maximum of 30 per post) to expand your reach and make yourself discoverable.
– Include a simple call-to-action in your caption. Instead of ‘Leave a comment below’, try something a little more more directive. For example, ‘Tag a friend who would love this’ or ‘Comment #agree if you agree” or ‘Mondayitis … Double tap if you can relate’.
– Experiment with the latest feature, Instagram Stories, and share a unique behind-the- scenes experience with your followers.
2. Interact with your audience.
The law of reciprocity plays an important role is generating Instagram engagement. The more you give, the more you’ll get – so share the love! Here are a few guidelines:
– Respond to comments, like posts, follow new accounts and comment on brilliant posts (a simple emoji or thank you goes a long way!)
– Acknowledge posts you’re tagged in though a like or a comment.
– Regram posts as a way of community building and as a shout-out to customers and influencers (make sure the posts you regram align to your profile and don’t forget to @acknowledge the photo credit.)
3. Run competitions.
Competitions are a great way to engage your audience and attract new followers. The options are endless – follow-to- win, tag-a- friend-to- win, regram and hashtag-to-win, comment-to-win or simply, like-to- win.
To maximize engagement in your competition:
– Create and use a specific #competition hashtag.
– Encourage your audience to share your content using tag-a- friend and regramming tactics.
– Promote your competition before, during and after the event on both your Instagram account and cross-promote on your other social media accounts. Plus, remember to publicly announce and celebrate the winning entry!
4. Collaborate with influencers.
Promote your brand via Instagram influencers, through incentivising individuals and brands to post on your behalf. Whilst this is often a pricier option, the rewards are significant!
– To find these potential “influencers”, search hashtags related to your business or look to your competitors to discover who their influencers are (TIP: look at their ‘tagged’ posts).
– Reach out via Instagram direct message or email (often noted in their bio). You could either request a copy of their media kit (to find out their prices for this service) or you could offer to gift your product/service in return for a tagged post (be sure to have them include your Instagram @handle and unique #hashtag in their caption).
– Leverage this relationship through interacting with their post and even regramming the post to your own account.
So there you have it – four ways to ensure you’re sharing the best content, interacting with your audience, attracting new followers and leveraging influencers to maximise your audience engagement! Instagram requires consistent hard work and dedication in order to reap the substantial benefits.
Get started and share your success with us by tagging #socialzest in your post (we promise we’ll return the love!)