5 Tips to Boost your Engagement on Instagram
22 Mar by Wendy Elsmore
Instagram is getting more competitive and it’s harder than ever to stand out. The platform boasts over 1 billion active monthly users and these users share billions of likes every day. So with all that activity, why does it feel so difficult to get seen these days?
With a greater preference for video content, reels taking over feeds and growing competition, there’s no wonder it can feel like a full-time job just to keep up with the crowd.
However, with a thoughtful and holistic approach, a few clever tricks up your sleeve and the right content for your audience, there’s a way forward. A glorious road to Insta-stardom and the influential brand you dream of!
In this article, we’re going to share just 5 simple Instagram tips and tactics you can use to reach more people and grow your brand on Instagram this year.
Set up your account properly.
If you have a business or personal brand, you need a business profile. Just go to your settings, click “Switch to Business Profile” and you’re ready to go. Why? Here are the top three reasons you need to upgrade your profile:
- Followers can contact you via a contact button, just like they would on your website. This makes it easier for followers to engage with your brand and get in touch with you.
- You can publish ads directly on Instagram without needing knowledge of Facebook’s Advertising platform.
- You get access to Instagram Insights to help you understand how effective your content is, including detailed information on your followers. The more you know about your followers and the impact of your content, the more you can adjust your content to maximise engagement.
Tease your followers.
We all love a bit of mystery. It makes life all the more exciting.
Often when brands launch a new product they do weeks or even months of product teasers. And guess what? We eat it up every time! Why should teasers be limited to product-based businesses? Creating some hype and excitement around your brand is what you want after all.
Styled a new client recently? Worked on a commercial project? Finished a home renovation? Don’t just dump all of your hard work on your followers. Drip-feed them.
Carefully select a few images or snippets from the projects you are working on and start introducing them to your feed or story as you go. Tease the reveal of your finished project on your story to get your followers wondering what you are all excited about.
You can then treat your finished project as a product. Tell everyone about the process – how you got there, what inspired you, what went well, what didn’t, and so on.
Sure, do your thank you’s and credits at the end, but don’t cheapen all of the work you put in by posting one image or video without first generating some intrigue. Otherwise, people will simply miss it or scroll past it and move on. Opportunity lost.
Your followers are more likely to engage with you when you create your own buzz. This is a great soft selling tactic too. Don’t sell the service, sell the solution and how you got there.
Your followers will be more likely to work with you this way.
Try advertising. It works.
Ads litter our lives. Especially our social media feeds.
But, have you noticed that a lot of them don’t feel like ads? They fit in nicely amongst your feed and don’t bother you in the same way that others do. Either they’re super relevant, or interesting, or they’re visually appealing. Whatever the reason, there are many ads that work really well on Instagram.
Try them out yourself. You can set a small budget – say £5 or £10 per day to sponsor one of your posts, or multiple posts using a carousel ad. This gives you the opportunity to show your content to more of the right people through the detailed targeting feature.
Put your best foot forward – use your top-performing content or the posts that look the best. The chances are, if the post performed well among your current followers, it will perform well to a similar group of people who aren’t already following you.
The key to successful advertising is to test multiple posts targeted at multiple audiences.
Using the insights tool you can see which ads performed best so you can focus on that kind of ad moving forward.
You may also want to test which type of posts works best when you sponsor them. You can choose from multiple options including photos, videos, carousels, stories and reels.
Sponsoring your top-performing posts is sure to increase your followers and eventually will lead to more inquiries.
Get intimate with stories.
Stories are the perfect place for a little selling or self-promotion. They’re only live for 24 hours which means you’re not taking up any real estate on your feed with sales content (which might turn off a potential new follower).
They’re also perfectly placed in the app. When anyone opens Instagram, stories are the first thing they see.
A lot of users also like to clear their stories, looking through each one from the people they follow. A little excessive? Maybe. But it’s true. People yearn for a sense of completion. Even a small win like clearing their stories gives people a little dopamine hit.
While your feed content might get lost in the noise, your stories give you another chance to be seen and heard.
You can use stories to show the BTS content and less high-quality stuff you don’t think belongs on your feed. All of these little interactions build authenticity, and you don’t need to worry so much about the aesthetic of your feed. You can be au naturale.
If you have over 10,000 followers, you can also create swipe-up links to your website or elsewhere. If you’re among the lucky few who have built an online community of that size, I’ll leave a link for you to read more here.
Build social media relationships and digital partnerships.
If you want to maximise your engagement and raise awareness outside of your current audience, one of the most effective ways to do so is by linking up with other people in your niche.
Collaborating with other influencers and creators in your space will surely put you in front of more of the right people. More eyes = more engagement with your brand = more followers.
The best thing about collaborating with the right influencers and creators is that you are tapping into an already engaged and trusting audience.
There are countless ways you can team up with other people in your niche. Get creative and think outside the box. Here are some questions to get those creative juices flowing:
- Who in your niche would be open to collaborating with you?
- Who outside of your niche would be interesting to collaborate with? E.g. If you’re a Personal Stylist, could you team up with an Interior Designer for a series of takeover posts?
- Could you run a competition? If so, what would you give away?
- Think about your audience. What common challenges do they have? What type of person could help them overcome those challenges?
- Who could you start a challenge with?
Marketing yourself or your business on Instagram is not easy these days. But sticking to a plan and doing the basics right consistently will help.
So, before you do anything else, check that your profile is set to an Instagram Business Profile so you can start collecting those valuable insights and sponsoring your posts to reach a bigger audience.
Get sexy and tease your followers. Don’t tell them everything you’re up to all the time. Don’t give them 100% of you. Work in sneak peeks and snippets of your work to build some sense of mystery. This will make people more interested in your work.
Use stories and reels for behind the scenes content and daily life updates. Don’t saturate your feed with multiple posts each day. This will clog up your followers’ feeds and turn people off.
Reach out to people and start collaborating. This is SOCIAL media after all. So, move beyond “wow so beautiful” comments and start socialising. For real.
Finally, post consistently and at the right times (learn when this is using your insights tool – Monday and Thursdays are typically the best days to post) – the algorithm may just take a shine to you.
If you are struggling with your social media, check out our Brand Your Social Media Certificate and take a cheeky £50 off by using code “New2022” at the checkout.
Keep smiling and keep grinding!