I absolutely love Instagram. But it’s only recently – like, within the past year – that I’ve really discovered how to use it for business. The main thing I’ve been focusing on recently is increasing my engagement. This is allowing me to reach new people and bring them into my network.
So how do you go about increasing your engagement? With so many users on social media, you can’t expect a ‘build it and they’ll come’ scenario. You’re going to have to actively and consistently work to grow your account. Just to give you an idea of what you can achieve, in the past two weeks, I’ve seriously upped my Instagram activity. In that time, my impressions have increased by 50%, my reach by 40% and my profile views have increased by 90%.
So, let’s get to the 4 ways you can boost your engagement..
1. Create an Aesthetically Pleasing Feed
Who are you trying to reach on Instagram? You should have this in mind whenever you post something new. If someone comes across your profile, and likes what they see, they’ll be likely to click the follow button.
I’m personally unlikely to follow an account that seems jumbled – and a bit all over the place – because I don’t really know what to expect. Think about what puts you off following someone.
Your feed should be consistent and cohesive, and represent your brand. Think about the message you’re trying to portray and consider the ways you can do this. Although your caption is a great place to provide value, it’s the image itself that draws people to it to begin with.
2. Make Good Use of Your Bio
Okay, your images have brought people to your profile. Now it’s time to grab their attention with your bio. A block of text isn’t the best way to go with this platform. Pick out a few key points: who are you? what do you do? what can you offer to people?
Make it compelling. Use your bio to really show your personality.
3. Use Strategic Hashtags
Instagram posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than posts without. And you can use up to 30 on each one. Using the right combination of hashtags can help you to get your brand seen by a huge, new and targeted audience.
The hashtags you use should relate to your brand, the content you’re posting and your target audience. Using them bunches your content together with a whole load of related posts. What kind of thing are your target audience likely to be looking at?
You can also create your own branded hashtag. This relates to you, or your business, and can be used to group together posts from your community.
Put your hashtags in a comment underneath your post, to keep a clean caption.
4. Comment on Related Accounts
Finally – and this is one that’s really boosted my engagement – it’s important to interact with other users. While many people are likely to appreciate a like on their photo, a comment really takes it a step further. Make an effort to write thoughtful comments on other users’ posts, and converse with them.
If you’re unsure about who to interact with, consider two things: your target audience and the hashtags you use. Each time I post, I click on at least one of the hashtags I’ve used and comment on posts that I feel drawn to in the search results. You can find your target audience by going to the accounts similar to yours. Take a look at their followers and start talking to people. Don’t go in with the idea of poaching other people’s clients, but rather extending your network.
* Bonus Tip
Use your Website field to direct people to a specific piece of content, rather than just your website homepage. Mine used to send people to my homepage but, since I’ve changed it to direct to a free eBook, the clicks have gone through the roof.