The social media landscape is constantly changing. From most popular social networking sites to optimizing hashtags, it’s often difficult to strike a balance between overposting and underwhelming your followers. Keeping fans consistently engaged is a challenging task, made even more so by ever-changing algorithms and pressure to produce high-quality content at all times. If you’re looking to improve your Instagram engagement, look no further; here are 5 tips and tricks to keep your business profile at peak performance.
Related: Instagram Marketing eBook (free download)
5 Tips to Increase Your Instagram Engagement
1. Use the Power of the Hashtag
While some social sites, such as Facebook and Google+, are hashtag-enabled, they don’t carry the same value that hashtagging on Instagram does. All social sites have unique hashtag strategies, and it’s important to understand the differences before publishing any content that could do more harm than good. A recent study found that using between 9 and 11 hashtags on Instagram produces the highest level of engagement (Source: Sprout Social).
By contrast, using any more than just 2 or 3 on Twitter and Facebook actually lowers impressions. Using branded hashtags, or those that are specific to your brand or business, are also often successful, with 7 out of 10 hashtags being utilized this way (Source: Sprout Social). While Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, by including that many you risk overwhelming and alienating your follower base. Simply adding 8 to 11 popular hashtags to a post, either in the form of a comment or caption, can increase engagement by up to 12.6 percent! (Source: Simply Measured).
Related: Hashtag Marketing eBook
2. Stay Engaged
While there may be times your Instagram Business Profile is getting flooded with comments, it’s important to stay responsive to them as much as possible. Often the people who comment on your Instagram content the most are the “power users” of your audience. They will be the ones most likely to repost your content, post organically about your product, and engage with you regularly on social media.
These are the users you want to respond to genuinely, with the hopes of creating a positive feedback loop that will keep engagement up and keep driving new followers to your Instagram profile. Responding to comments within a short time frame also improves your standing in the Instagram algorithm, making your profile more likely to be shown under the “explore” tab on Instagram, and in the top 9 posts under a specific hashtag. (Source: Simply Measured)
3. Emoji Magic
Emojis are a large part of our popular culture. From the big screen to Slack reactions, emojis have taken the digital world by storm. Emojis carry strong emotional power; they make your brand appear both relatable and entertaining. By incorporating emojis into your comment replies and captions, you make your Instagram Business profile appear more visually based and stand out from other monotonous profiles with lengthy text-based captions. The emojis used by Instagram Business Profiles that drive the highest Instagram engagement include:
These emojis that can be applicable to almost any caption or comment, so keep these in mind when creating content (Source: Simply Measured). Remember that Instagram is a photo and video sharing platform, so it only makes sense that those on it want to view aesthetically pleasing content.
4. Beware Follower Fatigue
While you may feel inclined to publish as often as 3-4x a day on Instagram, pause before you press that share button! Some social sites, such as Twitter and Pinterest, rely on frequent postings, but driving engagement on Instagram is more about high-quality, relevant content than about spamming your fans. In order to best reach your target audience, limit your posts to 1-2 clever, attractive, and high-resolution graphics per day (Source: CoSchedule), or you will begin to disinterest your followers and receive mediocre results. While you don’t need to spend serious change on a photographer, backdrop, or fancy camera, make sure you have a phone with a quality camera, strong lighting, and appealing backdrop. In fact, using the right filter alone can improve your number of comments by as much as 45% (Source: Refinery29). Keep your followers hooked on your high-quality content, like after like.
For more tips on getting high-quality photos without using a professional, check out this post.
5. Create Instastories
One of the latest additions to Instagram is Stories — a feature that allows for video and picture postings that either disappear once 24 hours have passed or can be added to your profile permanently as a “highlight” reel. Much like Snapchat, these brief clips allow for followers to get a behind-the-scenes look at your company, new product release announcement, or storytelling experience.
Over 200 million people use and view Instagram stories (Source: Plann), which are also discoverable via the explore page and are hashtag-optimized, making them a great way to maximize exposure and give fans a more personalized and exclusive experience. Stories also provide you with analytics that include impressions, exit rate, accounts reached, and more, to help you continue to improve your content and thus your engagement. Instagram Stories allow you to add some extra spice to your social media presence while obtaining valuable success metrics in the process.
Instagram currently has over 800 million monthly users, and also boasts the highest engagement rate of all social platforms—10x higher than Facebook! (Source: Dreamgrow). Making sure to utilize these tactics to optimize your Instagram engagement is a key tactic for any business.