When Instagram announced a new algorithmic feed that would sort posts based on what each user interacts with, many Instagrammers weren’t happy. But if you use Instagram as a marketing tool for your small business, you should already be thinking about how to build more engagement on Instagram. And if you are able to get users to regularly interact with your content on the platform, they should still be likely (if not more so) to see each of your posts.
Now, that new feed is starting to show up for more and more Instagram users, knowing how to build more engagement on Instagram is more important than ever. Here are some tips you can use to build more engagement on Instagram so your posts can reach people even with the new algorithm.
Tips On How To Build More Engagement On Instagram
Post Content Regularly
Keeping some kind of regular posting schedule on Instagram can help your followers understand what to expect from you. There isn’t necessarily a certain amount of posts that you need to create each day or week. Some businesses try to post once a day around the same time. Others post a few times per day. And others just choose a few days throughout the week. But if you are at least consistent in when you usually post, then your loyal followers will be more likely to catch your posts. If they don’t see a post from you at the times you usually share content, they might even go to your profile to see what they missed.
Use Eye-catching Images
When Instagram users scroll through their feeds, they aren’t likely to take a lot of time to analyze each post and read through every lengthy caption. But if your images actually catch people’s eyes as they scroll through, they could be more likely to stop and interact with them. This could mean that you use bright colors, high contrast, large text, or any number of other design elements.
Create a Consistent Style
In addition, it’s important that you create a consistent style to carry through all of your Instagram posts. That means using similar color schemes, text and whatever other design elements you usually use. That doesn’t mean that every post has to look exactly the same, but there should be a few common elements that connect many of your posts. If your posts constantly feature different styles, then your followers have no idea what to expect from you. And they might not even catch that those posts are from you while scrolling through their feeds.
Engage with Other Users
If you want to build engagement on Instagram, you have to also engage with others. That includes following others in your industry or members of your target audience, liking their posts, commenting and otherwise interacting with their content. If you do this, you can build relationships with other users and increase the likelihood that they’ll interact with your content as well.
Include Calls to Action in Your Captions
If there’s something specific that you want your followers to do upon seeing your posts, the best thing you can do is just tell them. If, for example, you’re sharing information about a new product, you can include a link to that product or a relevant landing page in your profile and then direct followers to click that link to learn more.
You can also ask questions within your caption or even the post itself and then encourage your followers to answer in the comments section. This encourages engagement and gives you the opportunity to start real conversations with your followers.
Encourage Followers to Tag Friends
Another great way to build more engagement on Instagram is to encourage users to tag their friends in the comments section of your post. For example, say you’re sharing a photo that promotes an upcoming event you’re hosting. You can ask your followers to tag a friend who might be interested in attending. This increases their engagement with your posts and potentially gets your posts in front of some new users.
Consider Using Relevant Hashtags
Although the new Instagram algorithm can impact which posts show up on your main feed, you can still scroll through the posts chronologically within relevant hashtags. So if you want to get your posts in front of people in a certain industry or interest group, research hashtags related to those interests and include them in your caption or comments.
Share Instagram Posts on Other Platforms
To get your Instagram posts in front of the people who also follow you on other social platforms, you can periodically share your Instagram posts on other sites like Facebook and Twitter. Or you can even just share a link to your profile to encourage people to view your posts and follow you.
Respond to Comments
When people do leave comments on your posts, it’s usually good practice to respond in some way. Especially if people ask questions by leaving comments, responding lets them know that you are listening and available to interact with them on Instagram. If you just ignore every comment, then people aren’t likely to keep commenting.
Create Contests or Incentives
Instagram contests can be a great way to get people to interact with your content. You can offer a prize of some kind and then encourage people to tag their friends in the comments or repost your content and tag you. This increases your engagement right away and potentially gets your content seen by more people, making it more likely that you’ll get even more engagement in the future.
Find the Best Times to Post
While it is important to try and stick to a regular posting schedule, you can play around with some different times to post to see which ones bring you the most engagement. You can go through your photos to see if there are any major differences in the amount of likes and comments you get between photos that you’ve posted at different times. Or you can use an analytics platform like Iconosquare to see when you get the most interaction on Instagram. Then adjust your posting schedule so that you’re able to get as much engagement on your posts as possible.
Tag Relevant Accounts in Your Posts
When you share posts that feature other Instagram users or that might be especially relevant to certain users, you can tag them in the photo or comments so that they’ll get a notification about the post. Don’t overuse this feature and tag everyone all the time. But for those situations where a post is especially relevant to a few followers, doing this can ensure that they actually see it. And the people who follow those users also have the opportunity to see the posts that they’re tagged in if they’re interested. So that can increase your potential reach even more.
Include a Location When Possible
Another way to get your posts in front of more people, especially if you’re using Instagram to promote a local business or a business that takes part in special in-person events, is to tag your location. If people nearby are interested in seeing posts that were taken in a certain spot, they can browse the posts with that tag. So when it’s actually relevant, you can use that feature to reach users who could be likely to interact with your content.
Measure Your Engagement
And lastly, it’s important that you keep an eye on your engagement over time. You might find that some types of posts tend to get more engagement than others. Or if you try out posting at a few different times throughout the day, you could find a schedule that works even better for your business. You just have to look back at your engagement and be open to changing things up to better build more engagement on Instagram.
Instagram Photo via Shutterstock