ENGAGEMENT DOESN’T COME FOR FREE.
It doesn’t matter if you have the best marketing strategy. It doesn’t matter if your profile is on point, and your captions genius. And if you have the highest quality, most interesting and helpful posts, but that’s all you have, then you won’t find the level of success you could have.
Because at the end of the day, if all you are doing is creating and posting, creating and posting, creating and posting, you still aren’t doing enough. You might have high reach, but you’ll have low engagement.
Reach: How many people see your post.
Engagement: How many people do something with your post, from likes, follows, comments, shares, or saves.
Engagement is arguably better for your ROI. And engagement doesn’t just happen by itself. It takes a lot of time and practice. So we’re going to look at how to ease into it with six steps to improving Instagram engagement.
#1 FOLLOW BACK THE PAGES THAT FOLLOW YOU.
This is the first and easiest step. You can follow back pages without even going to their profiles, if you want to. We do suggest going and checking out what they do. In our experience, there are a lot of businesses on Instagram that “follow-bait”, meaning they follow pages, hoping for a follow back, only to unfollow them a few days later. That’s what is happening when you go from 500 to 525 followers, then a day later to 505.
Look at their profile. If they have wildly more followers than follows, and they followed you, then chances are, it was follow-bait. Try and follow profiles that are giving legitimately good content, or profiles that match with your target audience.
#2 FOLLOW HASHTAGS THAT HAVE CONTENT YOU’RE INTERESTED IN SEEING.
One of the more recent developments out of Instagram is the ability to follow hashtags. This is a great way to access on your feed, the kinds of posts that you are interested in. All of the steps so far, in addition to encouraging engagement, will enrich your Instagram feed and make it easier for your to find the kinds of posts and profiles you want to engage with.
#3 SEARCH RELEVANT HASHTAGS AND LIKE THE POSTS THAT GIVE VALUE.
There are two things that happen when you do this. 1, you get a better idea for the kind of content that is already out there or finding success on Instagram. 2, you start to get your profile out there and in people’s sights and minds.
#4 SEARCH RELEVANT HASHTAGS AND FIND/FOLLOW PAGES THAT ARE GIVING GOOD CONTENT.
The next step from #2, this step focuses on rewarding pages with great content by giving them your follow, instead of waiting for them to follow you first. There are three ways to decide whether to follow a page or not: 1, do they post valuable content? 2, do they have a lot of followers you can leverage? 3, do they have few followers and will care more about my engagement. Following these pages is important for the next step…
#5 CHECK YOUR FEED 3+ TIMES A DAY, ENGAGING WITH RELEVANT, VALUABLE POSTS.
Now that you have a good feed, with lots of variety, valuable and relevant posts, and almost constantly refreshing content, you can start to push your engagement efforts. Every time you check your instagram, make a point of going through and liking 5, 10, or 25 posts from different pages. Follow the profiles giving great content. Wash, rinse, and repeat.
#6 COMMENT ON POSTS IN THOUGHTFUL WAYS.
This is time-consuming, at least at first. With experience, you will be able to think of good comments faster. The reason it is harder than it sounds is because you want to make sure your comment is thoughtful. Don’t just comment with an emoji or a generic “great post!”.
Respond to a question in the post, ask your own question, or add your perspective. Cultivate a conversation. Not only should the page who posted the content respond to you, but for a while, the people who see and like the original post will also see your comment on it and can follow it to your own profile.
CULTIVATE THE ENGAGEMENT BECAUSE IT WON’T HAPPEN ON ITS OWN
Of course you need to start out with good content. If your own page doesn’t have good content, then there isn’t much you can do to get engagement going.
But if you do have quality content, and you put the time and effort into these six steps, then you’ll start to see the engagement grow. We want everyone to do this because we’d like to see Instagram marketing go from a place for companies to just post selfishly to a place where we can have some quality industry conversations and help each other out.
Pixel506 loves to help companies with their content marketing strategy and creation. We’ve got the whole team to do it, from strategists, to copywriters, to graphic designers. We even have user experience experts who can make sure your messages and graphic design are on point for your target audience.