My Helpful Tips to Increasing Instagram Engagement
Let's face it, Instagram's algorithm has challenged us all. I have been to countless panels, listened to countless Podcasts, and read countless articles. All have said the same thing, however, I have felt like no one has dug deep. No one has provided me with the non-sexy ways of increasing engagement. Yes, you need good content and you need to engage with your followers. But how frequently are you engaging? What techniques have worked for you? Exactly, what do you mean by "good content?"
I've shared my nitty gritty tips with other influencers and have been told they were helpful. So I decided to share them with you all. This post just covers engagement. If you find it helpful and want more tips, please comment below! Without further ado, here we go!
Like and Comment - Make it Genuine
When I like and comment on photos, I take the time to read the captions. I love when bloggers provide a CTA (call to action), so it gives me some meat to work with. I like to respond to a caption, as I know it would make the Blogger excited and it'll give them an incentive to visit my Instagram. *This works 85% of the time.
If there isn't a CTA, then I write more about the image. Such as, "This is so editorial! Love that you selected those yellow pumps with this neutral look. So stylish." I have seen much higher engagement levels when I go beyond the basic emoji and keep it authentic. *This works 90% of the time.
Always imagine putting yourself in that Blogger's shoes. Wouldn't you want someone to take the time and write a thoughtful comment? You've spent time putting that outfit together, editing the photo and developing a caption - a little appreciation wouldn't hurt, right? So, be thoughtful. It might result in a new follower?
Finally, don't be a Lurker. No one likes that. Instagram built this platform for social engagement. To make unique connections with like minded people. Not a platform for you to scroll through and not engage.
Your Caption Speaks Volumes
In the past, I never put much emphasis on my captions. I felt like the image was enough, why should I waste more time trying to also have a caption behind it? Well, fortunately I didn't let my stubbornness get the best of me. I started to put more effort into my captions, however, it was a slow progression. I began to describe my styling techniques in an outfit, and I slowly got more comments in response. Then I was like, "Hm, that resulted in higher engagement, lets write more next time."
I started to ask questions, but kept it simple. Such as, how would you describe style? The comments poured in. Once I started to discover my audience, I realized that they were connecting with me and my story. So then I got deep. I used the platform to talk about my challenges in growing my Instagram following, coming out as a Lesbian in the fashion industry, and ideas that have failed, but only motivated me to keep going. When I began to bring my personal life into the mix, my audience told me what they wanted to hear. That was when I found my purpose.
So you guessed it, I kept doing it. I decided every week I would write two posts on female empowerment, one post on the LGBTQIA community, and the rest on fashion. Making sure I had my audience covered.
So, how do I take those comments and make more of an impact? I engage back. For every person who commented, I would go to their feed and comment on their photos. That was how I created long lasting relationships and trust between me and my followers. We would follow each other, and soon became friends. Some live across the world and we've met up in NYC! Crazy how that happened just through a social platform.
After You Post a Pic
After I post a pic on Instagram, I engage for at least 30 mins. Some say they engage before for 20 mins. Either way, I would dedicate approximately 20-30 mins. of engaging. I've tried doing it for an hour after I posted a pic and honestly, my eyes began to burn. Felt like I was turning into a machine - so I wouldn't recommend it. We all know the first hour is important when you post in order to get the algorithm working.
Once I started to play with Insta Stories, I found a new outlet to reach my followers. I knew they loved styling videos. So I started to test out styling stories. Some worked, others not so much. However, I still learned a lot about how my followers reacted. Once I started geo tagging and utilizing the hashtag function, a new wave of followers came in as well. They were all interested in the styling videos and outfits I was creating. Which gave me the push to do styling stories at least once a week!
I would keep stories to minimum and not post more than 15-20+ a day. Your follower's attention span is short, so you don't want them to swipe away.
Secondly, make it fun. Use GIF's and polls to increase engagement. When I use polls on my stories, I have followers message me and comment about it. Give them more of an incentive to want to talk with you.
Untill Next Time
All the above will definitely work for you, however, what's most important is to be authentic and REAL. Have your own voice. Ask yourself why you started a blog in the first place? If you have a unique perspective or voice then show it. There are so many bloggers out there now who have made it and so can you! All it takes is 30 mins a day to stay consistent.
Hope this was helpful! Please let me know what tricks have worked for you as well as your thoughts on the post. Also, if you have any questions or challenges that I didn't touch on, please comment or shoot me a DM! I always respond ;)