Five Ways to Boost Your Instagram Engagement
How to Boost Instagram Engagement
So you’ve mastered the art of lighting, angles, and dimensions to capture the perfect picture, but you’re noticing you’re not getting the likes, comments, or profile views you were hoping for? Unfortunately, you’ve only won half the battle. For businesses, influencers, and entrepreneurs, you have to also understand how users interact on the platform and what features you can use to help boost Instagram engagement.
Here are a few Instagram statistics to drive home the importance of giving your Instagram profile the attention it rightfully deserves;
- 60% of users (that’s 600+ million people) seek out and discover new products on Instagram.
- 71% of US businesses use Instagram.
- 80% of users follow at least one business on Instagram.
- 75% of users take action, like visiting a website after looking at a brand’s products.
- Instagram has a 2.2% interaction rate (they are king).
- Instagram users are 70% more likely to buy online.
1. Optimize Your Instagram Profiles
First things first. Let’s discuss optimizing your Instagram profile to maximize growth. Take these important steps to optimize your profile and begin garnering the engagement you’ve been hoping for.
Step 1. Transition to a Business Profile. It’s important that you choose a business profile vs. a normal profile. Business profiles add a slew of additional features that you can use to boost your Instagram engagement. Things like running Instagram Ads, Instagram Shopping, Insights, and much more are just the basics of the business profile. To switch, simply navigate to settings and click on “Switch to Business Profile.”
Step 2. Choose a Username that is Simply, Recognizable, and Branded. Instagram is used by millions of people. Creating a username or handle (@yournamehere) that is branded, recognizable, and unique will help ensure traffic dedicated to your content can find you easily. Our pro-tip, try and keep all of your handles the same. For instance, you can find us on social media and our website by simply searching @getwithtipsy. Try using your business name first, but if that’s taken, think about adding a simple addition to the name that makes it even more specific. Like, @yourbusiness845 or @followyourbusiness.
Step 3. Set an Easily Searchable Business Name. If you’ve gone with a different handle than your business name, it’s important to set that up. Click on “Edit Profile” and add your business name in the “Name” section. This will add the name of your business under your handle. The best part? When users are searching for your business, they can find you by both your handle or business name.
Step 4. Use a Branded Profile Picture. If you don’t have a company logo, find a branded graphic that will set your business apart when users scroll through their feeds. Your profile picture shows up next to every comment you make, is attached to your posts, and is the first thing users see when visiting your profile. You can imagine how easy it can be to grow brand recognition with a dedicated profile picture.
Step 5. Write an Information & Eye-Catching Bio. Okay, you’ve got 150 characters to tell users everything they can expect from your business. How do you use them wisely? That’s simple. Summarize why your business exists. Then, use space to tell users what they can expect from your profile. Regardless of what you write, make sure it’s aimed at the benefit of the viewer. Give them a reason to click “Follow.” Don’t forget to finish with your CTA, “Visit our Website ?”.
Step 6. Include a Call-to-Action (CTA). Your CTA is important, necessary, and should be sweet and simple. Think of how you can quickly TELL (not ask) someone to convert for your business. Maybe that looks like “Download the App ?” or “Share Your Pix ? #eatatyourbusiness”. Your CTA can get people clicking on your links or promote the use of your branded hashtag. Just remember, you’ve only got 150 characters.
Step 7. Optimize Your CTA Link. Okay, you may be thinking, how do I optimize my Instagram link? Well, first, don’t just think of it as a “link”. It needs purpose. If you’re hoping to convert your Instagram audience into blog readers, direct your link straight to your blog, not just your website. Maybe you’re hoping to get Apple Store downloads, link to your app or song. Another pro-tip, use Linktr.ee to point your CTA Link to multiple landing pages. You can choose to offer your website, blog, app, and more. P.S. It’s FREE!
Step 8. Turn on Notifications to Stay Engaged. Hey, you’re the one who wanted to be on social media, it’s your job to #staysocial! Turn on notifications so you can interact with your audience. You’ll see when people comment on your posts, reply to your comments, or send you messages. After all, isn’t your goal to boost Instagram engagement? Show your audience you’re engaged and they’ll follow suit.
Step 9. Share Quality Content with Branded Aesthetic. Instagram is a visual platform. Its purpose is to share quality photos and videos that build interest with the audience. Your job is to deliver content that is visually appealing, unique and branded. We’ll talk more about content strategy in our next section.
Step 10. Showcase Content & Promotions with Instagram Stories. Instagram stories are a small businesses best friend. This is a great way to bring relevant, time-oriented, content to your audience. We’ll go more in-depth on stories in the coming section.
2. Develop an Instagram Content Strategy
Now that your Instagram profile is optimized to gain attention, you’ve got to deliver content that is strategic so that you can reach your business goals.
Step 1. Clarify What You’re “Selling”. Before you dive into creating content for your Instagram profile, you need to have a strong understanding of what you’re offering your viewers. You should think of any social media platform as an extension of your business offering. What are the benefits your audience can gain from engaging with you on Instagram? Who will they become by “buying” from you? Once you know the answers to those questions, you can begin creating your content strategy.
Step 2. Get a Planning Tool. This is probably one of the most important. You need to be present on social media, and that means posting often. If you’re like the average business owner, you don’t have tons of time to dedicate to curating content and posting. That’s why many get stuck with “just existing” on social media, but never really growing from it. Using planning tools, like Later.com, can help you curate content, plan it out, and schedule when it should post. This keeps you active even when you don’t have the time.
Step 3. Find Your Content Themes. Each year, a new set of content ideas and themes hit the industry and everyone jumps to integrate them in their strategy. But, for many small businesses, keeping it simple, branded, and unique is all they have to do. You can find top Instagram content ideas, or just outline your own concepts. Think of things like behind-the-scenes pictures, product photos, photos of the community, quotes, inspirational photos, etc. If you work within a niche, come up with your own ideas, such as, “food recipes” or “creative cocktails”.
Step 4. Create a Posting Schedule. This is vital! Grab a calendar and create a posting schedule. This keeps you consistent and prepared. The worst thing in any relationship is when one party ghosts the other. Don’t ghost your Instagram audience. Your posting calendar, which can consist of daily posts, bi-weekly posts, etc. helps you identify the content you’re looking for in advance.
Step 5. Use Seasonal Promotions and Offers. Make sure to find out what’s happening in the future. Maybe it’s International Pancake Day (3/12) or National Adoption Day (Saturday before Thanksgiving), knowing what’s happening and relevant can help you create content that is on-trend. This will help boost Instagram engagement through organically using relevant hashtags and content of the day.
3. Add Relevant Instagram Hashtags
Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags that best describe your image or video and this then indexes your photo amongst those terms. You want to include your branded hashtag, #yourbusiness, and then find hashtags that are specific to your industry or niche. You’ll want to avoid “spammy” hashtags which are those that generate fake engagement. These are hashtags that are generally generic, such as “food” or “icecream”. Instead, you can dig deeper and garner more specific hashtags that still have higher engagement rates. Plus, add community hashtags, event hashtags, and more. The goal is to be specific but also to reach new audiences.
4. Dominate with Instagram Stories
Okay, Instagram stories are a masterpiece for small businesses. We know you love to share relevant and immediate information, but your Instagram profile is NOT good for this. Since posts can be seen for weeks to come (many users will even see it for the 1st time after a week), you want to post time-oriented content on your Instagram Story. Stories last 24-hours and offer additional fun features that help your audience interact. Things like polls, questions, this or that, hashtags, and more. Stories are a great way to get personal with your audience without having to keep your brand and aesthetic at the forefront of your mind.
5. Share User-Generated Content
Lastly, and most importantly, the best way to boost Instagram engagement is to emphasize the use of user-generated content (UGC). User-generated content can be photos or videos that were taken by your customers. You can find these by searching your branded hashtag or location on Instagram. These photos can be done very well and show real customers engaging with your brand. Asking permission to use the content and then giving them photo credit does two things; first, it ensures they’ll engage with the photo and second, it boosts the likelihood others will post their photos in the future. UGC is great for any industry, but especially for restaurants, bars, and beauty or lifestyle brands.
Bonus, Boost Instagram Engagement by Requesting A Free Social Media Audit!
If your business isn’t getting the engagement or results on social media it has been hoping for, let our team audit your assets! We’ll take a comprehensive look at your platforms, target audience, efforts, and industry to provide real recommendations on how you can take your social media to the next level. Contact us today to get started!