With one billion people using Instagram every month, it’s undeniably one of the most powerful business tools available to build your brand. However, to see the most benefit you need a large audience, but also you need engagement. You need comments, shares, likes, and other actions that prove your content resonates with the people who see it.
Engagement on Instagram is measured by a range of metrics, such as:
Followers and growth
Mentions (tagged or untagged)
Actions like these evidence that people aren’t just seeing your content. They’re interested in what you have to say. So here are our top tips for you to drive engagement.
1. Get to know your audience
The demographics of your target audience will help define the type of content you post, your brand voice, and even what days and times to publish. It’s hard to make great content if you don’t know who you’re making it for.
2. Be authentic
Most people appreciate honesty over perfection. Be sure to share content that goes beyond slick marketing campaigns. Introduce the real people and experiences behind your brand behind-the-scenes footage or write a cheeky caption.
3. Share the right images
Instagram is, of course, a visual medium. Therefore you need to show some credible images. Even if you’re not a great photographer or graphic designer, there are a million tools to help you give your pic a little oomph. You can edit photos directly in Hootsuite and add text and filters.
4. Post carousels
Carousels — Instagram posts with multiple images — are a great way to build engagement.
Globally, carousels have the highest average engagement rate of all types of Instagram posts.
5. Post video content
Posts with video receive about 32% more engagement than images. Video content doesn’t have to be overly polished or perfectly edited just shoot now, give it a quick edit, and get it out into the world.
6. Use strong captions
Good captions add context and showcase your brand’s personality. Instagram captions can be up to 2,200 characters long and include up to 30 hashtags.
7. Go live
Using Instagram Live to stream live video is a great way to connect directly to users, share news, and build engagement. With Live video, you can answer questions live, welcome viewers by name, and generally welcome your audience into your world in an intimate, engaging way.
8. Share audience content
Remember, social media is a conversation, not a broadcast. Make sure you’re listening and engaging with fans when they reach out. One great way to do that is to repost or share audience content. They’ll feel thrilled you were listening, and other followers may be compelled to tag you in their content.
9. Respond to questions and comments
People always like to feel heard, as discussed in the last tip. To track any indirect mentions happening outside your page, just set up search streams on your Hootsuite dashboard. That way, you don’t miss a chance to keep the conversation going.
10. Get experimental
The beauty of social media is that it’s made for experimentation and you’ll never find out what works best for your brand until you test, measure, and tweak.
11. Post consistently and at strategic times
Posting consistently at the right times is key. If you’ve got a post going up when your audience is asleep, you might struggle. Also, the more you post, the more opportunities your followers have to engage.
12. Create topical content
If there’s a trending hashtag involved, you’ve got an instant hook. If there’s already a buzz around a current event or holiday, squeeze yourself into that conversation.