There are two factors for Instagram success. The first is figuring out what kind of content to post (which we already mapped out for you). The second is increasing engagement with your followers. And if you think just posting content and watching it is going to work, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Just like any social network, increasing engagement on Instagram takes effort, time and a good strategy.
To help you strategize your Instagram attack plan, we put together these 6 pointers for increasing engagement with your brand.
1. Use #Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags might be the most important piece to Instagram success. They're pubic and link to other accounts. This means that by using hashtags, you're automatically sharing your brand with thousands (sometimes millions) of other accounts. Any time someone clicks a hashtag you've used, they'll see your brand along with hundreds of others.
Go crazy with the hashtags. Use as many as you want. Create your own. You're allowed up to 30 in a post, but studies show that "the highest Instagram engagement comes to posts having 11 or more hashtags." Just make sure your hashtags are relevant to your brand or post. If your post is about productivity, you might not want to use the hashtag #nature.
2. Always Caption Your Image
Photos are the first thing people see on Instagram. After they look at your photo, they look at your caption, making captions equally important. A good caption could mean the difference between your post getting hundreds of likes or none.
So how long should your captions be? Advertising experts tell us shorter is always better, but for Instagram it really depends on what works best for your followers. Test various lengths and see which works best for you.
Humans of New York is a good example of a brand that sees success with various lengths of captions. This post had a long caption and still got 96,000+ likes!
3. Follow, Like and Comment Like Crazy
You have to invest time with your friends to keep them around, right? Same thing goes for Instagram. One of the best ways to gain followers and increase engagement is by following, liking, and commenting as much as possible.
Why? Every time you like or comment or follow, that person or brand gets a notification with your name and logo. Easy brand awareness. AND they will likely follow you back out of common courtesy.
4. Connect Your Social Media Accounts
Instagram allows you to share your posts across all other social networks. By connecting your accounts, you can post once on Instagram and it automatically posts on your Facebook page, your Twitter and/or your Flickr. It's called "cross-promoting." The benefit of this feature is that it shows all your followers that you're on Instagram. Inevitably, they are also on Instagram and will follow you there, too.
Careful, though! When Tweeting from Instagram, Twitter does not allow you to post your image. It only posts a link to your image. We recommend creating separate images designed to Twitter's specifications. Here's a cheat sheet for social media post sizes.
5. Never Forget A Call to Action (CTA)
Always. Always. Always include a call to action. Without a call to action, you're letting your followers remain passive when you want them to be active. You can add it as text within your image or in your caption. Here are a few different example of CTAs:
- Ask people to "double-tap" your image (this means "like" your post).
- Send people to the live link in your profile (the only place Instagram allows you to add a live link).
- Ask people to tag someone else in the comments.
6. Post When Your Followers are Most Active
Recently, Instagram added "Insights" for business profiles. Now you can track impressions, reach, top performing posts, demographics and what times/days your followers are most active. Finding out what times your followers are scrolling through Instagram is key. Post during that time and you'll see much higher engagement!
Don't Have an Instagram Account?
Check out these previous posts to get started: