Instagram used to be a platform where people could connect and share what’s happening in their lives by sharing their photos and videos.
Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has won a number of awards and continues to improve its app and add new features. Over the years, the number of users increased rapidly. Today, there are more than 1 billion active users monthly.
From a business perspective, that sure is a great opportunity to tap into. If you are one of the entrepreneurs who hasn’t maximize the social media platform yet. Here are some tips from the industry experts.
Kayli Kunkel, HYPR
To earn more engagement on Instagram, find influencers who already engage your target audience, and partner with them on a variety of campaigns. Some campaign types include:
- sponsored content,
- account takeover, and
- Product giveaways.
The important thing is that finding someone who is merely a well-known celebrity won’t cut it anymore. Social media users, especially in Gen Y and Z, are wary of celebrity influence.
Instead, peer-to-peer recommendations are king, and influence is now measured by original and authentic creators within a sphere of knowledge. For example, a little-known chess champion
with 5,000 followers will have more influence than a pop star like Justin Bieber — if you’re selling chess boards.
So look for micro-influencers (who have fewer than 100,000 followers on Instagram), then vet them with an influencer marketing platform specializing in audience demographics, to show your projected engagement with target follower types.
Make sure to measure ROI against important metrics like cost per engagement, media value, and number of engagements with your target audience. Automation tools can help you scale up what works for your brand!
Kayli Kunkel is the Marketing Director for HYPR, an influencer marketing platform.
Noah Riggs, DollarSprout.com
My “secret sauce” for boosting Instagram engagement is to first get your ideal audience on your profile! Most people do the follow/unfollow technique, and this can grow your follower count but not your engagement. So how do you get your ideal audience that will like and comment on your page and boost total engagement?
- Make a list of competing Instagram accounts that have profiles very similar to the type of account you are trying to grow.
- Every day click through to one of the competitors on your list and click the most recent post (it should be a post relevant to the type of posts you make). Go to the comments section for that post and begin following the people who have commented on it. Once you finish that, begin following the people who have liked the post as well. (Avoid just following their followers, only follow the engaged audience)
- Be careful to not follow thousands per day as Instagram does have limits (usually 20-30 per hour), and don’t unfollow these accounts immediately. (wait a couple of days)
- Watch the likes, comments, and followers roll in.
This strategy works so well because you are attracting the attention of an audience that is not only interested in content like yours but also already engaging with content like yours. I have used this strategy several times to grow accounts by several thousand followers with engagement rates of 20% and more.
Noah Riggs is the marketing coordinator from DollarSprout.com, a personal finance blog that is geared towards helping millennials better understand their finances. I am a marketing specialist who has done work for several companies whose revenue exceeds seven figures.
Beverley Theresa, HelloBeverly.com
Take advantage of the Instagram caption 2,200 character limit! You may have noticed that more and more businesses are publishing longer captions along with their photos/videos. This is on purpose because time spent on a post is one of the factors taken into consideration by the Instagram algorithm.
Tell a story, write something meaningful that entertains or evokes emotion. Write something followers can relate to that humanizes your company and they’ll return the favor by engaging with your post.
Beverley Theresa is an unconventional and brutally honest Social Media Strategist. She uses her 8+ years of experience to help businesses grow using social media through speaking engagements, training, consulting and strategy creation.
Calloway Cook, Illuminate Labs
The best way to boost Instagram engagement is to improve the graphics you use. Many brands use copyright-free image databases to find graphics for social, but these databases tend to be extremely limited. They’re cost-effective but not ideal for engagement. I always recommend a resource with a large database of high-quality images like Adobe Stock.
Startups might not have room for a platform like this in their budget, but for mid-size and larger businesses it will be totally worth it when you compare engagement metrics before and after improving your post images.
Calloway Cook is the Founder of an angel-backed dietary supplements company called Illuminate Labs. He has worked on social media with some of the biggest brands in the U.S. in his previous role at a digital marketing firm. He currently runs the social media for his company which just launched.
Rio Rocket, RioRocket.com
Think of your Instagram page as your platform to tell your personal or company story. Every great story has a theme and some semblance of a linear flow. Since Instagram is a platform driven by visuals, your page’s overall theme aesthetic means everything when it comes to its appeal and engagement.
Examples of a visual theme would be the repetition of a specific color, pattern, subject matter, or photographic technique such as outdoor adventure photography, in-studio headshots, or artistic black and white photography. Other examples are affirmations, artwork, multi-image carousels, and infographics. The theme can even affect the media such as using video more prominently.
Whatever your theme may be, stick to it while offering good visual variety, play an active role in the comment section, and coordinate your hashtags to match the subject matter. The sum of these activities will significantly increase your Instagram engagement and growth velocity.
Rio Rocket is an actor, artist, and entrepreneur. You can learn more about him by visiting his website.
Ioana Stoica, The World Is My Playground
As Instagram continues to change on (what it feels like) a daily basis, Stories are gaining more and more importance. Hundreds of millions of people watch Stories on a daily basis, and it’s become one of the best ways to engage with followers.
Set aside one or two time slots a day or an hour each (or two, depending on how many people you follow), and go through the stories of those you’re following. It’s best to separate the slots into morning and night.
Your engagement in people’s stories will result in profile views and reciprocal engagement. That, in turn, will put you on the top of their list and increase organic engagement. That engagement will also signal to the algorithm that your stories are interesting, which will result in an even higher ranking on your future stories and posts.
Ioana Stoica is a travel blogger and author of The World Is My Playground, where she helps people fall in love with hidden corners of the world. She uses social media to connect with her audience.
Michael Guberti, Michael Guberti’s Digital Marketing Services
Here are 11 strategies to boost Instagram engagement:
- Join an Instagram Pod & implement the 5X Rule: comment 5 times per day on other pod members’ posts, make sure each comment is 5 words or more, & do this 5 days per week
- Create your branded Instagram Story Sticker by getting a verified account on Giphy.com & submitting your Sticker aka GIF through Giphy.com
- Run an Instagram giveaway asking users to like a post of yours, tag 3 – 5 friends each as a separate comment on your post and follow you on Instagram.
- Post a weekly video on InstagramTV & show a preview of the InstagramTV video in your Instagram feed
- Add the Instagram Stories that you post to an Instagram Story Highlight, which is similar to creating a folder of “Your Greatest Hits” regarding your Instagram Stories
- Create your branded Instagram filter for your business & encourage people to post pictures using the filter to be entered into a contest or giveaway you’re running
- Like & comment on other people’s posts
- Go live on Instagram at least once per week
- Use industry-related hashtags to get found on the platform’s internal search engine
- Post Instagram Stories daily
- Create an Instagram Ad Campaign
Michael Guberti is a Digital Marketing Strategist & founder of a full-service digital marketing agency empowering surgeons, med spas, aestheticians, orthodontists, architects, interior designers & other industries. He has spoken at Microsoft, Gensler & Associates, the annual Vegas Cosmetic Surgery Conference, International Society of Plastic & Aesthetic Nurses (ISPAN), Society For Marketing Professional Services, “An Evening With The Media Panel at the Westchester Magazine Headquarters in Rye, NY & has been featured on television shows including Verizon FiOS News.
Hamna Amjad, SIA Enterprises
Instagram is a perfect platform for businesses to enhance their brand visibility by building a community of loyal followers. Here are the top 3 tips to boost your Instagram engagement:
This one is a no-brainer. Using the right hashtags is extremely important if you want people to discover your Instagram posts.
- Use the hashtags that are popular and people are searching for, to attract your targeted audience.
- Using five to ten high impact hashtags can help you attain maximum customer engagement.
- Create a branded hashtag (the unique hashtag for your brand) so that all the content about your business can link back to it.
- Use your branded hashtag for:
- Product launches
Communicate with your followers
Encourage your followers to communicate with you. The more likes, comments, and shares your posts get, the better the probability of them appearing in your followers’ feed and reaching in the Search Page of wider audiences.
Three best ways to do so are:
- Reply to the comments on your post. Always respond to the feedback that you get, whether it’s negative or positive. This will encourage people to engage with you more.
- Reply to your DMs. Take your time to listen to people and whatever their concerns are. This will show your followers that you care about them and help you develop a trustworthy relationship with them.
- Start conversations with Instagram Stories. Show them what’s happening behind the scenes. You can use the question sticker so that they get to know your brand better and can connect with you. You can use poll or vote stickers to collect their opinions about your products or services.
Use video posts
Hamna Amjad is a Content Marketing Executive at SIA Enterprises, a boutique marketing agency that helps startups grow. SIA Enterprises has been mentioned in several top publications including Huffpost, Entrepreneur, Inc, Forbes, Business.com.
How about you? Have you found a creative way on how to use Instagram to boost your engagement?
Let us know in the comments below!