User engagement at all social media channels is vital for any personal or business account. People see you differently when they see 100k likes on Facebook or 1000 retweets on Twitter, the same is right for Instagram. In June 2018, Instagram had reached one billion monthly active users, up from 800 million in September 2017. Maintaining a good engagement rate is important for Instagram too. This is one of the top reasons why every social media expert or content marketer on the planet working on improving the engagement rate for Instagram.
Likewise, other social media channels, Instagram also has influenced of algorithmic updates, it is hard to manage a stable state of engagement but you do not have a choice, keep on trying. Otherwise, you will lose your credibility for your account. You will find many guides out there discussing how to master Instagram engagement but this one I found is different. Let’s explore 6 tactics for improving your Instagram engagement instantly.
1. Stay Active
You cannot get engagement if you are not consistent. Consistency is also a key on Instagram as well. Staying active every single day is important. Starting an Instagram account is easy but maintaining and growing for higher-level engagement is hard. You need time and expertise, even experts need help when they face unexpected or complicated issues generated by the specific audience or followers they are feeding. So, planning and taking actions on the latest updates on a daily basis is a vital part of engaging your users on Instagram.
This method will not only help you improve your engagement but also may potentially form a relationship. Building a relationship with followers only possible when you are active or show up every single day.
In any business, the relationship is the key to success. By partnering or cooperating with like-minded businesses can help you go a long way. This is because you and they share the same or similar values or goals.
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2. Pay Attention to Hashtags
Hashtags are essential for Instagram. It is through hashtags that help your post reach out to other people outside your space. Therefore, if you want to increase your engagement, you need to understand which hashtags are driving people to your post.
I know you must be using them every time you post a new picture or video. But have you ever taken a second noting and tracking your hashtags? You only get a maximum of 30 per post, therefore you need to use each one of them wisely.
Categorize your hashtags based on the results and relevancy. For example, if you run a local computer repair service, your hashtags will always be something related to computers and IT. Therefore, keep track of each of your posts, by seeing which sets of hashtags are performing well, and which don’t.
Based on that, you set the priority. Group them into sets and rotate the hashtags. Remember, don’t use the exact same hashtags on each and every post. Always include the ones that are doing well, plus a couple of new ones. This way, you get a chance to explore more possibilities of new hashtags and add diversity to your reach.
3. Experiment with Captions
The right captions with the right images or photos play a huge part in engaging an audience or followers on Instagram. Photos without captions are similar to soldiers without weapons. Be awesome, bring something new every time you post, even the topic could be the same but your captions and photo should represent a new angle on the same topic.
You must be thinking, “I thought a picture worth a thousand words, why do I need to pay attention to the captions?” – Well, that’s true, but not in most cases.
Think about it, if you have the best picture in the world, who wouldn’t want to explore more about it? In fact, not everyone will understand the story behind your image. The most engaging images are the ones that arouse people’s curiosity. Take a look at this image on official Coca-Cola’s Instagram account.
This image was posted in regard to the release of Strangers Things 3 on Netflix. First of all, the image itself is upside down, which makes it really intriguing for people to pay attention to it. Then there’s an upside-down caption, which further explains what the image is about. No wonder why it received well over 10K likes.
So now you know the importance of captions, let’s get to know how to write great captions.
4 Tips to Write Great Instagram Captions:
- Consider length – There’s no hard or fast rule when it comes to the length of the captions, it all depends on your image. If it requires you to write 1,000 words, go for it.
- Give meaning to the picture – As I mentioned above, captions are the way to express the deeper meaning of the image. Therefore, give images’ the meaning they deserve and clarify everything your audiences need to know about the images.
- Add questions and Call-To-Action (CTA) – Captions open a way for you to communicate with your audiences deeper. Take this opportunity to make it further intriguing by asking your audience a question and include a CTA if necessary, for example, to visit your website for more information.
- Use emojis to stand out – According to the studies, emojis are proved to be a key factor in improving our communication better online. Therefore, having a few of them in your captions can really make you communicate better, as well as make them look stand out.
4. Make Use of Stories
Instagram story feature has been out a while now and no doubt, it’s super fun! Many business owners think that this feature is only for “Fun”, which won’t help their business in any way. Well, this is wrong.
First of all, the feature is one of Instagram’s main features. With over 500M daily views of the stories, you can potentially reach out to tons of people. Observe this, here I say, “reach out”, which means that the stories are discoverable by other people outside your space.
Don’t believe me, let me show you a proof with one of the big brands utilizing this feature to grow huge awareness, i.e. Minimalist Baker.
As you can see from one of the company’s story, it’s using this feature to make the audience guessing about their new product. This arouses the curiosity and makes the audience want to participate in it.
The above method is just one of the ways you can utilize this feature for your business. Some other ways include a small how-to tutorial, visit the website for more information, facts, product launch and many more. The possibility is endless with Instagram stories.
5. Take Advantage Of IGTV
Instagram’s latest and hottest feature, IGTV has been a buzz in the community for a while. In case if you still haven’t heard of this feature, let me introduce it to you.
IGTV is an Instagram feature that allows you to create your own video channel, called IGTV channel, which is the channel within your account. Videos supported are between 15 seconds to 10 minutes in length. It also supports videos of up to 60 minutes, but this is currently available to verify or larger accounts.
The cool part here is that this is a huge compliment to the traditional video post on Instagram, which is only limited to one minute.
As a business owner, you should probably know that video marketing is becoming a huge trend in online marketing. With the ability to have a longer duration video for your brand, I’m sure you don’t want to miss this feature.
I suggest you start taking advantage of IGTV now because the feature is new and is not that popular among businesses.
6. Post at The Right Times
Posting at the right time on any social media channel will bring you a lot more engagement- likes, comments, and shares. According to some Instagram experts, the right time for the post is between 9:00 am to 11:00 am. However, this might be different for different accounts or Instagram profiles. Every Instagram profile has a unique set of followers, located in different parts of the world. You need to post at their best times; every follower on Instagram at any given profile might have the unmatched habit of using Instagram at a specific time. You need to keep an eye on what posts brought more engagement as compared to others.
Using your Instagram analytic dashboard, or using an online platform like later.com will help you understand the engagement metrics much better.
If you want to know more about the perfect timing to post on any social media channel, check out this 2019 social media post timing.
You may also like: 4 Ways to Boost Social Media Engagement for your Brand.
Do you want to take action on improving your Instagram engagement? Whether it is for the personal profile or for business, these 6 tactics going to help you a lot. Instagram is a powerful social media platform to bring extraordinary results in business.
This article is written by Louise Harris. Louise is a co-founder of Christian Marketing Experts and marketing consultant at SeedX Inc. She is an excellent editor, a wonderful writer, and a magnificent marketing specialist. You can follow her on Twitter.
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