Simple Ways to Improve Your Instagram Engagement
Building a following is one thing, growing an engaged, connected audience is another!
Rather than focusing on follower numbers, focusing on engagement should be your main goal in 2019. After all, what do you want with thousands of followers if they’re not paying attention to what you’re putting out there?
What do I mean by Instagram Engagement?
‘Likes’ on your grid posts count as a very basic form of engagement. Typically, an account might get between 2% and 10% of their followers ‘liking’ their posts - so for example if you have 10,000 followers, on average you might expect to get between 200 and 1,000 likes on any photos you post. The higher your percentage, the better engagement you have.
However, ‘likes’ are only a very basic form of engagement, and it’s easy to fake with bots! Comments on your posts are more valuable because it means someone has taken time to write out message to you, and the longer and more thought-out the comment, the better.
You can also have people ‘share’ your posts to their Instagram Story, which shows they connected with your content enough to want their own followers to see it too.
Engagement also comes in the form of direct messages; people sending you private messages via your profile or via your Instagram Stories. This means the person wants to connect with you or your brand on a personal level, which is amazing!
Why is Engagement so important?
The reason you won’t ever get 100% engagement (ie. 10,000 followers and 10,000 likes per photo) is because of Instagram’s algorithm. Due to the amount of content posted to Instagram daily, it would be impossible for every user on Instagram to see all posts by all the people they’re following (consider that many users follow over 1,000 people!). Therefore Instagram uses an algorithm to decide who will see your posts and when.
To decide this, it takes into account a number of factors, including content relevance, the post’s initial engagement and your overall account engagement. This means that if you have higher engagement (regularly getting lots of likes, comments and activity on your account), Instagram will show your content to more people!
Your key goals on Instagram should be:
Have your content seen by as many people as possible
To get in front of your target audience and raise brand awareness
Connect with your audience and hold their attention
To built a rapport with potential clients, building trust and like-ability
Focusing on improving your engagement works towards BOTH of those goals!
How can you improve your Instagram Engagement TODAY?
Reassess your content strategy
If your followers don’t find your content interesting they’re not going to like or leave comments. Make sure you have a clear understanding of your target audience and the types of content that they want to see, and plan it in advance so you’re not rushed posting ‘on the fly’.
Always consider how your Instagram content can be useful and add value to your followers, whether that’s the image itself or what you write in the caption. You want them to look forward to seeing your posts each day.
Take time to write interesting captions
Speaking of captions, try writing captions in advance so you can make them longer. You don’t have to write essays, but telling some kind of story, sharing tips, or using the caption space as a kind of ‘mini blog’ is a great way to get people reading and commenting on what you post.
Ask questions, talk about trending topics, or say something that might be a little controversial!
Use Instagram Stories
Through getting engagement via Instagram Stories (whether that’s with interactive stickers or getting people to DM you), this counts towards the engagement on your account as a whole, which means Instagram’s algorithm will take this in account when deciding who to show your posts to. In other words, using Instagram Stories and can help to improve your overall account’s engagement - so this is a feature you should definitely be using!
I’ve just launched my Instagram Stories Success Ecourse - an online course specifically showing you how to use Instagram Stories strategically and creatively to build an engaged following, so go check it out!
Show up and have a schedule of when you plan to post (both on your grid and on Stories) so that your audience knows what to expect. It will throw people off if you post once a day for a few days and then nothing for a week, and your overall engagement will drop in that time. I’d recommend posting to your grid either once a day or once every two days, and 3+ Stories per day if you’re looking to grow your account.
Always reply to your dms
Your Direct Messages is where the magic happens! Every private message you get not only shows that your audience want to get to know you better and connect with you on a deeper level, it also wins you big ‘engagement points’ with Instagram’s algorithm. So don’t neglect your inbox!
Also, when replying, try to keep the conversation flowing by asking questions or encouraging another response back.
Use your analytics
Keep an eye on your analytics to see how your audience are reacting to your content and which is performing best or worst. Use this information to adjust your content plan and constantly improve what you’re doing.
I show you exactly how to understand and interpret your Stories analytics in the Instagram Stories Success ecourse.
Engage With followers / people you follow
I like to spend between 10 - 30 minutes a day commenting on other peoples’ posts on Instagram, just before I plan to post on my own grid. It is a ‘social’ platform after all! It means I can start conversations with my followers or people I follow, and it also shows Instagram’s algorithm that my account is active and using the platform for its intended purpose.
Engage with accounts on relevant hashtags
This also includes searching for hashtags in your niche (and hashtags that you use on your own posts) and engaging on other peoples’ posts there. This again shows Instagram that I’m active in those topics but also means those people I’ve engaged with are likely to find my content interesting too and engage on my account.
Try these tips out and let me know if they’re helpful in the comments below!
Learn how to use Instagram Stories to improve your engagement!
I’ve created this online course to teach you how to get started with Instagram Stories and use it as a successful marketing tool for your business.
For £48 you get:
Video lessons & demos
BONUS Cheatsheet with 60+ content ideas
BONUS third party app tutorials