How to Increase Your Instagram Engagement
If you are an E-Commerce owner, you probably know how important social media is. Of specific importance is the ever-popular Instagram. Arguably the platform of all platforms, Instagram is a fantastic tool for businesses to leverage for growth. As of June of this year, Instagram boasts an incredible 1 billion monthly active users. That is an absolutely massive number, and that kind of traffic simply cannot be ignored.
With that many active users, it is no question how influential Instagram truly is. For E-Commerce, Instagram can certainly have a large part in taking a company from average to successful. The question is, once you begin using it for business, how do you maintain it and shape it to grow?
If you are looking for key ways to grow your Instagram to better support your E-Commerce store, this information is for you. If implemented consistently, the following tips and tricks are great tools to spark your Instagram engagement and continue building your online voice, reputation, and brand.\
1. Be yourself
First thing is first. As with any aspect of business it is important to be yourself on Instagram. Take the time to think about how you would like your brand to be seen on social media, and post content that matches those goals. Avoid emulating other brands, and instead use Instagram for presenting your audience with content that is original and true to your company. Try to be innovative and give users a visual experience that they haven’t had before!
Feel free to check out what the competition is doing, but for informational purposes only. Use their success stories, as well as their mistakes, to spark your own ideas and make note of what to avoid. Use that research to learn rather than to create identical content.
Post content that you are proud of, and be sure that it represents your company. Over time, you will find what works best for your brand and can then continuously post in that style. Be real. Your audience will resonate with that.
2. Post content consistently
It is very important to be consistent, as followers will learn when to expect your content. A great way to measure follower activity, Instagram’s built in analytics tool is a vital source of information. As an Instagram business account, you are able to see important statistics about your followers. This information includes their peak activity times, interactions, age ranges, reach, and more. Pay attention to this data and make notes of the trends you discover.
By keeping track of engagement levels that take place at various times, you can optimize your posts and share things when the highest number of people will be able to see them. Study the trends you see and act accordingly. Over time, you will see what works best and will come to learn the most optimal times to post and be active within the app.
3. Use popular and creative hashtags
Hashtags are a fantastic tool to use all throughout the Internet, but especially on Instagram. Using hashtags correctly is a great way to gain followers and increase engagement, as users search them to find content that they may like. By adding at least one hashtag to your posts, you can increase your engagement by 12.6%!
There are many online tools that will help you find the best hashtags to use. It is definitely worth it to invest time into the research. Put together a few different groups of tags that you can use for various styles of posts.
Once you begin using hashtags (opt for 5-10 per post), keep track of the effects. Like in tip #2, over time, trends will pop up. From those trends you will be able to identify the most effective hashtags for your brand.
4. Make your captions valuable
When captioning your photos, take the time to write something that is relevant to the image and your brand. In addition, keep it thought provoking and meaningful. Make your captions valuable.
Though Instagram allows for 2,800 characters, it is best to keep your captions shorter rather than longer. Only short previews are shown, so keep the important information in the start of your caption. Users have to choose to expand longer captions to reveal the hidden text. They do not always choose to do so. Including important information at the end of a caption can be ineffective, as users may not even see it.
Additionally, write something that will, from the start, entice your followers to engage and interact. Through asking a question or user opinions, you can use captions to somewhat pose a CTA!
5. Engage with your audience
To receive engagement, you must engage!
With the ever changing Instagram algorithm, engagement has become a huge tool that dictates whether your images will appear in your followers’ feeds. By increasing engagement, Instagram sees your image and content as important and will show it to more users.
Directly after posting, spend time replying to comments and interacting with your followers.
It is great to check out the profiles of your followers and like some of their content. Doing this right after posting is best, so that if they come to your page, they will be presented with your new content.
6. Network with other brands and companies
A great way to expand your reach is through working with others. Find companies and accounts that are similar to yours and propose collaborations!
- Shoutouts: A great way to mutually share content, quick shoutouts are a simple trick that will increase engagement. Shoutouts are great to include in captions or stories!
- Stories: Instagram has recently implemented a feature that allows users to share posts directly through stories. This is a great way to collaborate, as you can alert followers about a new post created by an account you are collaborating with, and vice versa! Posting about some of your favorite accounts in your stories is a wonderful way to mutually increase traffic, as stories are often seen more than actual posts.
- Giveaways: Giveaways are probably the most effective way to gain followers. When collaborating with another Instagram account through a giveaway, tell users that they must follow both accounts in order to be eligible to win! You will then gain each other’s followers.
7. Post behind-the-scenes content with stories
Stories are a great way to share content that may not be able to be shared in actual posts, as stories don’t necessarily have to be “branded” or match a certain aesthetic. With either videos or photos, stories can provide fun insight into brands that may not be possible through regular, more serious or calculated posts.
Many brands choose to use stories to talk about fun topics and post content such as behind-the-scenes videos, inside-the-office images, updates, and more.
In addition, stories are a great way to share content from users of your brand, but more on that in tip #9.
8. Add fun content to your highlight reel
As mentioned in step #6, story highlights can have a huge positive impact on your Instagram account! Though stories expire after 24 hours, the highlight reel allows stories to be “saved” to your profile and replayed by users at any time.
Many companies have opted to truly shape and brand their highlight reels, as it is a great way to categorize your stories and supply followers with fun, additional content! You can divide your stories up by certain topics and allow users to easily find information that they may be looking for.
9. Engage users by encouraging user generated content
User generated content (UGC) is an incredible tool because it is quite literally free marketing. With user generated content, brands are able to get their customers excited and involved. Reposting user images that feature your brand is great way to not only use, but encourage UGC. If a customer posts a photo wearing something that they bought from you, simply repost it and tag them! Stories are a great way to do this, as like mentioned above, they don’t need to be as branded or match a certain aesthetic.
Sharing user generated content, encourages additional customers to post about your brand, as they will hope to be featured as well. When users post about your brand, their followers see that content, and it works as a snowball effect!
Begin optimizing your Instagram today
By implementing these tips, you can truly optimize your Instagram account to work as a tool to gain brand awareness. All of these tricks are easy to incorporate into your marketing routine and should not be overlooked, as they can each have a very large impact!
Head on over to Instagram and hit me up with a follow here