Instagram marketing is all about engagement. Without likes (hearts, or whatever terms you’re going to use), we simply won’t grow our Instagram account.
In the past, getting engagements on Instagram is fairly simple (but not saying that’s easy): consistently publish high-quality posts. However, with all the recent algorithm changes especially after 2016, today’s Instagram engagement is much more complex. So, it can be difficult to maintain, never mind improve your Instagram engagement in 2020.
Yet, we shouldn’t let this fact discourage us. There are still some easy to implement tactics you can use to improve your Instagram engagement and grow your followers in the process.
Here are six steps of how you can do it:
1.Assess Your Instagram Profile’s Current Engagement Rate
What is your current engagement rate? The formula to measure Instagram engagement is actually pretty simple: (Number of Likes+Comments / Total Number of Followers) x 100 %. For example, if you have 100 likes and 50 comments per post with 10 k followers, then your engagement rate is (150/10000)x100%=1.5%.
So, what’s a good engagement rate on Instagram? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this, as the ideal engagement rate would depend on various different factors. However, we can generally consider that an engagement rate of 1% to 3% is considered pretty good, and above 0.5% being average. If you can reach more than 5% engagement rate, then you are already doing very well.
If you can, try to find out the average engagement rate in your specific industry.
2. Engagement Generates Engagement
The most basic principle in Instagram is that engagement generates engagement. If you engage with a lot of users on the platform, the more visible your account will be. In turn, this will produce more engagement from visitors to your profile.
However, the quality of the engagement is just as, if not even more important than engagement quantity. So, it’s important to target specific valuable accounts to engage with.
For example, if you are an Instagram account in a sports niche, then engaging with content from famous sports influencers will provide more value than engaging with random users. Engage with posts from the influencers, thought leaders, and important brands in your niche.
3. Tell a Story, Don’t Focus on Promoting
Remember that the purpose of social media (including Instagram) is to share stories. Various startup businesses put too much emphasis on creating promotional marketing strategies, and while they are important, telling an attractive story is much more important if you want to grow your engagement rate.
Yes, you can still communicate your brand messages, but share them in the form of an attractive story.
Start publishing Stories with the right caption to engage your users, and use videos. Videos can be an opportunity to engage your audience for a full minute, so make the most of them in your strategy.
Also, you can always leverage user-generated content to attract other users. Testimonials and case studies, for example, can really help in building credibility for your brand while also entertaining users.
So, create not only a promotional strategy but also a storytelling strategy to engage your users.
Here are some ideas:
- Takeovers: let an employee, an influencer in your industry, and even a customer take control of your account.
- Behind the scenes: show them your team, the making of your products/services, and so on. Encourage your audience to participate.
- Contests: run contests and giveaways. The secret here is obviously your offer, but how you run the contest is also important.
- Tutorials and educational posts: this type of post is useful in establishing your credibility. This can be simple, actionable tips and tricks but you can also include in-depth tutorials and product demos.
4. Outsmart the Instagram Algorithm
Back in January 2019, Instagram broke their silence about their algorithm, and they basically admitted that what shows up in users’ feed is based on the said user’s activity.
To put it simply, Instagram’s objective is to show content the user most likely wants to see. This algorithm-based content feed is displayed on the user’s home screen and the Explore page. Meaning, the user’s Explore page, and feed are based on the said user’s interaction with previous content. If a user liked a post, another similar post will be recommended. Instagram will also detect when a user adds a comment and recognize the context of the comment. Similarly, if you (even accidentally) quickly scroll through a post, it won’t be recommended to you.
There are three main factors that will determine what you see in your feed:
- Interest: Instagram will predict how much you’ll care about a post based on your past behavior on similar posts.
- Recency: How recently the post was published. The newer the content, the higher it will be.
- Relationship: How close the user’s account is to the person who posts the content. The more you interact with someone on Instagram, the ‘closer’ Instagram will determine your relationship.
Create your content based on these principles, and outsmart the algorithm.
5. Timing Is Key
A very important secret in getting more engagement is to deliver your message to the right people at the right time.
Remember that due to Instagram’s algorithm discussed above, when a lot of people engaged with your posts quickly, the algorithm will recognize it as a “good” post and it will appear on more feeds and Explore pages.
There are two key factors to consider here: finding the best time to post to reach as many active audiences as possible, and also to maintain the right frequency for your posts. In general, you can start with one post every day, and as your account grows, you can start posting more frequently.
Above we have discussed 5 important steps to help you boost Instagram engagement in 2020. You should definitely try them all out, as they are fairly affordable to try and won’t take up too much of your time.
The key to building more engagement is to properly understand your target audience, find the best time when they are most active, and post content that are going to provide value for them.