By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars
The 2018 Instagram Engagement Report showed that 81% of businesses use engagement as the number one metric for success on social media. The risks of paying for likes on Instagram has sent companies searching for more organic ways to increase interaction and activity on their pages. Read on for tips on improving engagement on Instagram.
START A CONVERSATION WITH STORIES
The best way to interact with followers is to invite them to join the conversation with your organization. With stickers, music and GIFs, producing content for Instagram can feel like a full-time job, and Stories are in a league of their own. However, Stories serve a different function than a traditional static post. Over 400 million people use Stories daily. From following along with your favorite brands and influencers to connecting with friends, the Stories feature allows several different types of engagement.
The power of Stories lies within the exclusive, personal experience that connects your organization to its followers. Since the posts you create in this feature are time-sensitive, there is a sense of urgency around the content. Use the Questions sticker to gather responses from your audience in real-time, take a Poll and share the results or add music to a Boomerang to engage with your audience. These features allow you to create truly unique content that will leave your followers wanting more.
There are several different categories your potential Story content will fall into: tutorials, user generated content, behind-the-scenes and special announcements. You can also use Stories to draw attention to a new static post — followers will often see a Story before a static post. Using stories to redirect their attention to your page to check out the new post is an excellent way to get greater post engagement. The same rings true with static posts — don’t be afraid to point your followers to your Stories in the caption.
As the popularity of Stories grows, follow these tips to keep your content on par: use a variety of video, Boomerang and static photography, keep your writing clear and concise and incorporate interactive elements whenever possible. Instagram Stories are a great way to have fun with your followers.
UNDERSTAND THE ALGORITHM
Part of the Instagram algorithm that affects how often and when your post is seen by followers is the time viewing spent on the post. Longer attention-grabbing captions can increase the time followers spend viewing your post and may also prompt them to like, comment and share it. Encourage your followers to tag friends in the comments and ask them a specific question to continue to the conversation.
Social media is a platform that is designed for engagement, but you must create original and thought-provoking content to utilize the fullest capabilities of the tool. The algorithm focuses on photo quality, consistency and variety of content, such as a mixture of photo and video. Some other ways to increase engagement based on the algorithm is to go live often, run contests or giveaways and pay attention to when you are posting. Be sure to pay attention to when you post content as well — timing is everything.
Hashtags are a great way to widen your reach. The Instagram Explore page allows users to discover new relevant content. An important factor in the algorithm is the use of targeted hashtags to categorize content. Instagram Insights even gives you the ability to analyze the effectiveness of your chosen hashtags and shows you how many users discovered your profile through them.
Don’t be afraid to be hashtag heavy, either. In its breakdown of how to use hashtags, SproutSocial shared that using nine hashtags receives the best engagement, while some successful brands use 15 or more. A wide range of relevant hashtags will allow your content to be easily searchable and increases your chances of getting onto the Explore page — the jackpot of Instagram engagement.
These tips will help you organically increase your engagement and impression of Instagram content, but the best advice to follow is to remain authentic. Users want to engage with relatable, thought provoking content which will flow best from an open and honest point of view from your organization.