We recently did a story about how your business can benefit by using hashtags, the simplest yet most effective tool that Instagram offers to enhance your Reach on Instagram. Today, lets discuss how your business or blog can boost the Instagram engagement to build an everlasting community of faithful followers and consumers.
A lot goes into having your audience find, enjoy, interact and keep coming back to your Instagram account regularly to consume your content, and for them to become a part of your Instagram community. Organic Instagram engagement is easier said than achieved, and things are not made easier by the Instagram algorithm which has shown an increased consideration for posts that users more often interact with.
To make things easier, here are a few trivial Instagram Marketing basics, that can help you change the ball game altogether.
Your content may be as compelling, breathtaking or informative, but if you do not use your hashtags right, your Instagram account will never find the audience that it should. For this very reason, we once again reiterate the crucial part that hashtags play with respect to Instagram marketing.
Instagram offers a wonderful feature that allows you to see ‘Related Hashtags’, so you can find out which hashtags are used together often, or are popular among your audience. Lets assume you are a photographer, and focus primarily on abstract images. By searching for one broad hashtag, you can gauge the popularity of the hashtag and further find the hashtags that are often used by similar users. This can help you refine and reach the niche that you cater to and want to engage with your content.
This way, you can know the hashtags that work best, and further, you can conduct tests regarding the best performing posts by using different hashtags, to find the right ones that suit you and your business/blog.
Avoid using unrelated and overused hashtags that you may consider are popular but do not identify with your content.
It would be ludicrous to say you would find your audience on Instagram, through Instagram alone. Your audience may not have found you on Instagram itself. Other platforms provide better ways of reaching out to a distinct set of people, belonging to different demographic and geographic groups.
For example, Instagram remains highly popular among the youth, although there is an older target audience that could be interested in your content, but are not present on Instagram. Lets say, these older users stumble across your content on Facebook or Twitter because you regularly indulge in Cross Platform Promotion, and they are intrigued enough to join Instagram, or find you if they already have Instagram accounts.
It is a great way to engage newer audiences since most social media platforms have a certain type of audience with regards to demographic and geographic determinants. Facebook is popular with all age groups, whereas Instagram maintains a youthful appeal, and LinkedIn on the other hand has an older, professional audience, and Pinterest is predominantly popular among female users. As many as 81% of Pinterest users are female, and 67% of all Pinterest users are under 40 years of age.
Survey conducted between 7 March to April 4, 2016
Define your target audience, and use CPP to entice them with your Instagram content.
Regularity and Timeliness
Timing is of the essence when it comes to posting on Instagram, since your audience, depending on who they are, and when they are active, will be present on Instagram at those times. Through Instagram’s sophisticated and comprehensive business tools, you can unearth valuable insights about when your audience is most active, and tailor your post timings to give them what they want, WHEN THEY WANT.
If your TA is mothers, and homemakers, find the time when they are most active and that is when it makes perfect sense to provide them with fresh content.
A picture is worth a thousand words, yet words are not completely obsolete on Instagram
A spectacular image may speak for itself, but do not underestimate the power of expressing yourself with wonderfully written captions that your audience will love to read. Share your experiences with them. If it’s a breathtaking sunset you have captured, write a short excerpt about what you did that day, or how you captured it, or simply adorn the image with a relevant caption.
Storytelling is a complementary art, and your words and visuals MUST complement each other.
Hannah Shaw runs a feline rescue and adoption centre with her partner Andrew Marttila, and also runs an Instagram account titled, @kittenlady.
She regularly posts pictures of her rescued kittens, with a short story or an update about their health, or well being, or how, when and where she rescued them from. Her followers love reading about the good work she does, and her Instagram account remains highly popular among cat lovers on the platform.
Talk to your audience and similar bloggers
Once your audience engages with you in the form of Likes or Comments, make sure you build a friendship with them. Reply to their comments, express gratitude, answer their questions, respond to their messages, ask questions and their opinion, and you can also like and comment on your followers posts to make them feel truly special.
Also, there are a lot of like-minded Instagram bloggers, and interacting with them not only helps you put your name out there, but also opens up the possibility of collaborating, and lets your audience know that you truly recognize great work, even if it is not your own.
Use CTAs wisely
Use Instagram to grow your audience beyond the confines of Instagram itself by including a CTA in your posts, urging them to visit your website, or blog for more. You can add a link to your Instagram bio, and direct your audience to it. Ask them a question, or if you are organizing a giveaway, or a contest, or asking for fan submissions, adding a CTA to your post will work wonders for you.
Beardsace & Kent Jones Hola Collab. Available Now! Link in Bio! . #beardsace #bcmembersclub #beardsacecartelmember #bearded #BeardedVillains #beardmen #beardlife #beardlove #beardstyle #beardgang #mrbeard #paixaoporbarba #beard #beards #beardman #barbashot #beardlover #instabeard #beardnation #beardbrothers #guyswithbeards #beardboy #beardsofinstagram #beardandtattoos
Finally, all social media platforms offer paid promotions, and if used wisely, can do all sorts of good and deliver Instagram engagement for your content. Although, don’t be mistaken, the trick is not just to spend money and broadcast your content to all and sundry. Rather conduct a comprehensive research about your audience, and occasionally reach out to newer users through paid promotions.
You do not need to spend a lot of money if you define your audience well, and target them effectively to make the most of your sponsored posts.
Well, there you go. Adhere to these simple steps to boost your Instagram engagement and see the difference for yourself.