The Five Step Formula To Instagram Engagement
Instagram is one of the most popular social networks in the world. Launched in 2010, Instagram reached the milestone of one billion monthly users in June 2018. Even more impressive, users spend an average of 28 minutes on the app per day, with approximately 200 million users visiting at least one business’s profile each day.
While these impressive numbers present a terrific opportunity to marketers, it also presents a challenge. Over 75 percent of American businesses are on Instagram today and the need to stand out has never been greater. Fortunately, Instagram users are extremely receptive to marketing messages, with one survey showing that 62% of respondents reported that they became more interested in a product or brand after seeing it in the Stories feature.
Engaging with your audience, growing your followers, and achieving your marketing objectives becomes a matter of adhering to the best practices.
Step 1: Hashtags
Hashtags are, of course, an essential part of stirring up engagement. However, they can also play a huge role in branding. To get the most out of your hashtags, you first need to define your goals. Next, create a branded hashtag that you can use on all of your posts, and that followers can use in their posts about your brand.
You can also create branded hashtags for just about any important event relating to your business, such as product launches, product updates, promotions, contests, and sponsored events. These branded hashtags will make it easier for your followers to engage with your brand.
Step 2: Captions
Captions encourage followers to interact with your post, which boosts the performance of your post. One factor that affects how your posts perform in Instagram’s algorithm is how long users spend looking at your post. That means writing longer captions that take some time to read will benefit your profile.
However, make sure you’re not writing long captions just for the sake of it. Take this as an opportunity to connect with your followers and open up about your brand. This helps foster authenticity and creates trust between your audience and your brand.
Step 3: Influencers
Influencers have become essential to the platform in recent years, especially for brands. However, properly utilizing influencers to
increase your engagement involves more than simply tagging them in your posts or asking them to mention your brand, you need to consistently interact with influencers or other accounts that are similar to your niche.
Think about working with influencers as developing a friendship. The most effective Instagram influencer relationships are reciprocal, where your account is commenting and engaging consistently with influencers, and they are engaging just as consistently with yours.
Step 4: Consistency
Speaking of consistency, this is one of the driving factors of engagement on Instagram. Not only does this mean creating and adhering to a posting schedule for your grids and stories, but it also means consistency in the content you’re posting.
When followers look at your Instagram profile, you want them to see a cohesive, consistent aesthetic that they can immediately identify with your brand. This mean keeping a consistent tone and look, which could mean using the same color scheme or filter on all your posts. You should also consistently be replying to comments on your post, engaging with other accounts, and responding to DMs.
Step 5: Polls
Polls help increase your engagement because they are essentially a call to action that encourages your followers to engage. It also helps your followers feel like they have a say in what your brand does.
This meaningful engagement doesn’t stop with polls. Other Sticker features like the Question Sticker and Quiz Sticker are also great for sparking conversation and encouraging your followers to interact with your page.
In addition to these five steps for increasing engagement, there are two things you must learn in order to get the most out of this social media platform:
Understand the algorithm: Social media marketing is a numbers game. The higher the number of people who see your content, the more chances your posts have for engagement. However, understanding the algorithm is more effective than going in blind. Instagram’s algorithm works by studying your post’s engagement among a small subset of your followers in the first few minutes of your submission. The engagement benchmarks gathered from here influence the scope of your post’s visibility among other followers. In essence, focus on timing your post to extract maximum engagement, and continue to analyze your engagement to see how you can improve.
Understand your follower demographics: The level of engagement is not equal among all followers. Your engagement metrics are determined by how targeted your audience is, and how active they are on Instagram. In short, build an audience persona that is most likely to engage with your account and work on growing followers who fit into this persona.
Instagram marketing is influenced by an array of factors, and engagement is just one of them. However, given the influence it has on the platform’s ranking algorithm, it is important for marketers to study their account’s engagement metrics and work towards improving their performance with every post.