How to Effectively Boost your Instagram Engagement
So now you've learned what your feed should look like and who you are targeting, which is great, but how do you put it all into action? What will your content actually be? Most importantly, how are you going to create a reputation for your brand?
Feeling overwhelmed? You should. Owning a business is non-stop work. But as they say, with every challenge comes an equal or greater opportunity. You put in the time and the results will speak for themselves. Let me make things a bit easier by teaching you the ropes on what works when it comes to getting noticed and being remembered.
1. Acknowledge New Followers
It is imperative you make your audience feel important. When someone follows you, don't ignore them. Whether you click over to their account and reciprocate by following them as well or double tapping a few of their photos, ensure they know you think they're special. Everyone likes being acknowledged and this will leave them with a lasting impression.
2. Find your Audience & Follow
You know who you are targeting now, but where do you find these people? There are a few ways to go about this. First, seek out your competition if you haven't already. Check their followers and don't be afraid to follow them as well. There is also nothing wrong with following competition and other entrepreneurs in the same industry as yourself. This helps you show up in the "suggested accounts" feature for others.
Secondly, search related hashtags and see who is both using and following those accounts. This creates a community around each keyword and before you know it, you will begin to see how the effects pay off.
3. Like A LOT of photos
You may be asking, "how do I know which photos I should be liking?" Continuing from the previous tip, search related hashtags that your target market would be using. The easiest way to follow these appropriate keywords is by using Instagram’s new hashtag follow feature. This works the same way as if you were to follow an account. Instagram’s algorithms will then pick and choose some of the highlights from that collection and surface them in your main feed.
4. Feature other Accounts/People
This isn't based on the whole "feature for feature" method of promoting someone if they do the same. It is actually posting and directing people to another account that you think could add value to your followers because you stand behind what they offer.
5. Leave Genuine Feedback
I cannot stress the importance of typing real comments (and using more than 4 words with each.) We've all seen it, the accounts that use automation apps to leave the same generic comments on multiple posts. This only hurts your reputation and is completely off-putting, especially when the comments do not relate to your post whatsoever. Get in the habit of setting an alarm each day for a minimum of 20 minutes. Utilize every minute of that time to comment on your audience's posts.
6. Respond to all comments
If you want to create an amazing, authentic community, you must recognize comments left on your posts. Responding to each makes your fans more likely to comment again in the future.
7. Include a Call to Action in every post
Two words: be intentional. With each post, invite your followers to take action. Whether it be telling them to like the photo, tag a friend or click a link, encouraging them means more engagement for you.
8. Use appropriate hashtags
The best way to go about this is sitting down and really thinking about what your dream clients would be searching for in order to find someone like you. You have 30 hashtags to implement and I suggest using all of them if you can. However, due to Instagram's famous "shadow banning," make sure you are not using the exact same tags in every post. I like to use narrow hashtags that are specific to what I am promoting/offering (ie: instead of #graphicdesigner, I may use #torontographicdesigner.) The likelihood of you getting noticed is much greater.
9. Plan Ahead - Never Post in Real Time
When you are preparing for an interview, you carefully plan your outfit to ensure you look both professional and presentable, right? This works the same with your Instagram feed. You are setting a first impression when your prospective clients come to your profile. If you create a post as soon as you snap a photo, it is often rushed and you miss points you were meaning to include if you had taken your time. Slow down, be attentive to detail and make certain your content relates to your overall theme (as discussed last week.)
10. Share your Story
I see so often other business accounts who only display their best work or behind-the-scenes shots. How do you let your personality show if all you're doing is posting your portfolio? Prove you are a real person, not just an entrepreneur that is too busy or entitled to interact with his or her customers. Demonstrate that you go far beyond your services or products and share your personal life to create real connections. If you have children, talk about them. If you enjoy painting, show it. Again, as I've said many times, people fall in love with the owner of a business first, not the company itself.
This concludes my training on the ins and outs of mastering Instagram. Give yourselves a pat on the back if you've read and practiced some or even all of tips I have discussed. What I want you to take away from these articles are two things:
1. Show your followers that you are REAL
2. Make them feel special
Doing so means you are setting yourself up for guaranteed success. If you have any questions about the content posted, please feel free to comment below and I will be happy to answer!