We’re huge fans of Instagram over here!
Instagram has grown to become one of the best social media channels to get your business noticed. Its audience is rapidly growing like wildfire, reaching 800 million active users per month as of September 2017 alone.
Also, a study found that traffic from Instagram spends the most time on online stores compared to other channels like Facebook and Pinterest. If your business is related to fashion, travel or food, Instagram provides you with a great opportunity to engage with potential customers.
As we love Instagram (and we know you do, too), we’re sharing some helpful tips in creating rapport with your Instagram followers and increasing engagement.
Come up with relevant #hashtags
Instagram followers speak through hashtags. These are being used to categorise content into searchable links. Using hashtags will make your content discoverable to other people and businesses. The science of hashtags is that the more you use popular hashtags, the more people will take notice of your content.
So how to find relevant and popular hashtags for your niche? We suggest taking a quick research on your competitors’ Instagram accounts and list down the hashtags they’re using. Or if you’re following brand advocates, check their accounts and take note of their hashtags.
You can search for other popular hashtags in Instagram here. While popular hashtags can help you expand your post’s reach, you have to make sure you use only those that are relevant to your business and are suitable to your brand personality.
But hashtags aren’t all about popularity. Using less popular hashtags relating to your brand will make your post appear on top of search feeds. We recommend combining popular with less popular hashtags on your posts.
Let your audiences know that you value their thoughts and opinions by asking questions. You can take a photo of what you’re currently working on, post it on Instagram with a caption “How’s your day going?” If you’re travelling, ask your followers if they’ve made any vacation plans and where they are headed to. Or simply ask their opinions about subjects relevant to your business. The goal is to keep your audiences talking. If you don’t want to take images, use Canva to come up with compelling graphics for your post.
Engagement is two way, so if your followers take the time to connect with you, you need to connect with them, too. Get in there and chat with everyone.
Share your blogs
Once you’ve published a blog, you can share your blog graphic on Instagram and give a short summary of what your blog is all about. Don’t forget to include relevant words to make your followers curious. Also, include relevant hashtags like #newblog or words relating to your blog topic (e.g. #tips, #strategies)
Now it’s a real bummer that links don’t work on Instagram posts. So we recommend posting your link into your Instagram profile (use a link shortener for this) and direct your readers to the link by adding hashtags like #linkinbio or #linkinprofile on your post.
Challenges or contests
Contests and challenges are a great way to invite people to be part of your community. These types of posts can help you create buzz and expose your profile to users who might not know you yet.
We advise you to reach out first to your currently engaged followers and even send them a direct message asking them to join.
In creating your contest mechanics, always think about your goal. Do you want to increase your free Instagram following? Do you want to increase the number of posts containing your Instagram handle (@MyBusinessName)? Don’t forget to always encourage people to share and like your posts or follow your account.
One of the best forms of engagement is to put a spotlight on your followers. Encourage your followers to create user-generated visuals, such as those that show your products or services in use. Then share these photos and share it on your own account. This will keep your followers going back to your profile to see if their photo gets chosen. Aside from increasing visibility and gaining more followers, this strategy will also help you deepen your relationship with your followers.
In creating engaging Instagram content, remember to always think about your customers. What value does this add to their lives? Will they be interested? How will they benefit?
Don’t limit yourself to just one type of post. Mix and match different strategies to see what works for you.
What strategies have helped you create a more engaged Instagram following? Share us in the comments!