Anyone who uses Instagram as a marketing tool needs to understand that engagement is just as important (if not more) as posting content to their feed. What exactly is Instagram engagement?
Engagement includes a variety of organic tactics to gain visibility, increase reach and followers, and get posts in front of the right audience. Following these tactics make your time spent on social media useful.
It’s time to say goodbye to “doom scrolling”. Trust us, as social media managers, we are well familiar with how unfortunately easy it is to let an hour on Instagram pass by and nothing happen. This is why we previously covered tips to avoid wasting valuable time while on social media. This is also why we create specific engagement steps unique to each client, which evolve as we discover what techniques work best for their industry.
We have a few resources for this, including a guide that covers the fundamentals of Instagram engagement. To summarize, our tips encourage marketers to focus on these ideas:
- Understand your audience’s interests
- Use your hashtags strategically (no, they’re not “dead)
- Use the discover tool with intention
- Leverage your competition
- Play with all the features that Stories have to offer
We’re going to break this down into more specific, actionable steps that you can take. Consider these best practices to make your engagement time purposeful.
Respond to comments meaningfully
Accounts that engage with followers build more trust and a create bond with customers. 44% of people think that what a brand says in direct communication, such as a response to a comment posted, are more persuasive than what a brand says in advertising materials. Additionally, replying to customer inquiries 24/7 on social media can drive a 49% increase in average purchase value. Of course, this is all true when the comments are meaningful and human.
When responding to customer-service related comments, express understanding in the commentor’s point of view and offer a solution.
When commenting on posts that are relevant to your niche or relatable to your target audience, seek opportunities to share something well thought-out, humorous, relatable, or helpful on a content creator’s post in your niche. Commenting on trending posts is a great way to gain visibility and increase your reach, especially when the creator decides to pin your post to the top.
Good Instagram comments will:
- Add value to the post
- Show support
- Show humor or be clever
- Respond to a question in the post
- Share your own POV
Avoid looking like a bot when commenting on posts. Bot comments are lazy, usually including a bunch of fire emojis or of course, promises of some sketchy forex trade completely turning your life around.
Follow new accounts
To gradually grow your follower count, search for other brand accounts in your niche that are non-competitors. You will encounter some of these in the “Suggested” section which will pop up as you search, too.
Follow content creators, meme accounts, and influencers in your niche. Follow accounts that represent your audience’s interests, too. Create yourself a list of complimentary brands to yours that your followers will be interested in and engage with those pages and their followers.
Don’t engage with your competitors, instead, engage with their followers. This is one of the most effective ways to get quality followers, as these are potential customers who are interested in the product or service that you have to offer. Our customized Instagram engagement guides provide you tips for how to utilize your competition’s pages to grow your own.
You don’t need to follow back every page that follows you. Focus on the ones that appear to be your customer or a key partner to your Instagram growth.
Conduct hashtag research
People love to claim that hashtags are dead. If they were, why would people still be using any at all? The key is to choose hashtags that will get you noticed, but don’t have too much competition. Follow the hashtags with the most activity and engage with those posts (yes, a reminder that you can follow hashtags!) There are many tools to help you identify what hashtags fit within this balance of high activity and low competition.
Instagram Stories are a quick and convenient way to drive engagement and increase visibility of your posts. Stories are the 24-hour posts that are quick and easy to tap through and view multiple sources of information. They come with a number of features, including stickers, polls, links (yes, links on Instagram!), and the ability to save these posts in your Highlights tab. The Highlights tab is an opportunity to organize some of your content in a way that shows customers what your brand is about. You can create categories like testimonials, a feature of your services or products, influencer highlights, and more. Our customized Instagram engagement guides provide specific Story ideas that you can use for your business so you don’t have to come up with anything new.
Of course, the whole purpose of engagement is to gain more visibility for your business through Instagram. The question to ask yourself is, what does success look like for you? Is it more purchases of a specific product? Heightened brand credibility? This goal will determine your overall actions on social media. To start, though, an obtainable overall goal to aim for after implementing these practices is to increase your engagement by 30% after a month. We think you’ll be surprised to find your engagement is actually much higher than that if you are consistent!
Secondly, choose a follower count goal you’d like to reach after three months. If you’re starting a new page from scratch, aim for 100 followers by then. Of course, many factors go into setting an obtainable follower goal. But remember, it’s about the quality, not quantity of your followers.
Want your own, customized engagement guide unique to your business? We have the perfect Standard Operating Procedure guides for you or your team to follow to ensure your social media efforts are maximized and your posts are getting in front of the right audience. Get yours here.