So, you’ve set up an Instagram account, you’ve been posting content for a while, and you’ve gotten new followers. However, you’re still not experiencing the growth and engagement you were expecting, and you're not growing at the speed you were hoping for. Does that sound familiar?
Don’t sweat it too much because you’re definitely not alone.
Today, countless brands are struggling to properly engage their audience on Instagram, and it’s usually because they approach it the wrong way. Fortunately for you, we've got 5 simple tips that you can start implementing today in order to increase your engagement levels and improve your conversion rates on Instagram. Note that this post is mostly aimed at brands and companies, but our advice tends to work just as well for influencers. Also, the following tips do not include your influencer marketing and hired influencers. Instead, it's focused on your everyday posting and interactions on the platform. For more information on how to run a successful influencer campaign, we suggest you check out our detailed guide on the topic.
1. Avoid One-Way Communication and Be Active in Your Industry
One of the most common mistakes that brands make on Instagram is that they aren’t interacting enough with their audience. Even though your followers are interested in what you’re doing, they don’t only want to hear about you, and they definitely don’t want to feel ignored. Therefore, it is crucial that you answer all of your relevant comments and messages. And yes, we really mean all of your comments and not only some of them. Naturally, you don’t have to engage with spam and such, but any real follower commenting on your post should at least expect to get an answer.
In addition, we highly recommend that you’re active with other influencers and brands that you want to be associated with. Don’t just like random posts in your feed but seek out your competitors and inspirations and follow them as well as comment, share, and like their posts. This will one, help you come off as more authentic which is extremely important, and two, boost your engagement since brands and influencers will repay the favor by engaging with your content.
2. Post Varied and Relevant Content
This tip might sound obvious at first, but you would be surprised to find out how many brands fail to post relevant content. It seems like many get caught up in only posting about themselves and their products which is not the way to go about it. Don’t get us wrong, posting about your products and services is clearly very important, but there is also a risk that it will become repetitive.
In order to combat that, you need to study your target group and try and figure out what type of content they’d like to see. Don’t be scared to mix things up and try out new types of posts and formats. For example, quotes and inspirational posts tend to get high engagement, and studies have shown that videos get more engagement than any other form of content on Instagram.
3. Don’t Be Afraid To Repurpose Influencer Content
This tip goes hand in hand with the one above but we think it’s important enough to get its own spot. A great way to spice up your feed and engage your followers is to reuse posts that you've paid influencers for. Not only does that limit the amount of work you have to put into it since the posts are already created, but this type of content is usually some of the best you’ll ever get access to since it’s created by an influencer who knows your audience inside and out.
Naturally, you need to make sure that the said influencers are okay with you reposting them, but in most cases, that shouldn't be an issue, especially if you’re working with micro-influencers. Furthermore, this tip can be applied to your own material. If you have one post that has performed better than all of the others, there is nothing stopping you from re-posting it. Just make sure that you wait long enough and space the posts out or you run the risk of hurting your engagement.
4. Run Campaigns, Contests, and Create Themed Posts
Humans are fond of familiarity and patterns, and we love nothing more than feeling included and acknowledged by brands and companies we look up to. Because of this, posting content with a purpose is a quick way to increase your engagement levels. Purposeful content can range from contests and ongoing campaigns to series and themed posts.
For example, you can ask your followers to like, comment, and share a post for a chance of winning an experience, a sample product or something similar. Another great tip is to hire influencers to create a series of posts that follow a theme and that all promote the same product or service. These type of posts require a bit more work and some planning, but when executed correctly, you are almost guaranteed to see your engagement levels skyrocket. As always, make sure you post in moderation to avoid making your followers bored. Variation is the key!
5. Learn The Trade Or Hire Someone That Does
Finally - and we can’t stress this enough - getting high engagement on Instagram is a skill that one has to learn. Brands and influencers alike spend years perfecting their skills in order to find out how to best engage their audiences. So don’t get discouraged if it takes time to get a good Instagram account that converts up and running. And remember that as long as you follow our tips and put in the necessary work, anyone can achieve amazing results on social media.
That being said, if you don’t have the time or the drive needed to do this, your best option is to hire a professional. Besides running influencer marketing campaigns with influencers, you can hire a digital marketing expert that can take your Instagram and social media presence to the next level. There is nothing wrong in asking for help, and it might just be the boost you’ve been looking for.
Bonus tips: Don’t Fake Your Engagement
Finally, we want to provide one last tip before we send you off. We understand that the pressure of Instagram can be tough to handle and the temptation to take shortcuts can be strong. But trust us when we say that there is no better way to ruin your engagement and authenticity on Instagram than paying for likes and comments. You might get instant results from it, and it can be exciting to see your number of followers grow. But in the long run, it will only hurt you. Also, as a brand, your main goal is to convert followers and engagement into sales, and fake numbers will do nothing to help with that. And there is always the risk of being punished by Instagram for fake engagement.
In other words, it’s always better to stay true to yourself and your audience by only posting real content and gaining organic growth.
Just imagine if a brand faked how many customers they have or their revenue or any other important information. Is that someone you would want to work with? Probably not.