Let’s be real; out of all the social media platforms out there, Instagram is by far the most visual and appealing to a lot of us marketers. But, after it was purchased by Facebook, many have noticed small shifts in how content is consumed and engaged with. Instagram has approximately 800 million active users, which means there is A LOT of potential engagement waiting for you. Our social media manager, Rin, is sharing her top tips on how to get more Instagram engagement.
The Anatomy of a Great Post
While quality content is crucial to have an engaging following, it isn’t the only thing that matters. There is a science to creating the perfect Instagram post. We use the following formula when drafting Instagram content.
- Eye-catching photo or video
- Location, location, location
- Captivating caption (and leave it be for up to 24 hours)
- Industry-relevant hashtags (more on that later)
Hashtags: Free Advertising
How do hashtags actually work? That, by far, is the number one question we are asked when it comes to social media. The answer is, when used correctly, hashtags play a large role in broadening your reach and ultimately increasing your organic engagement on Instagram. Unlike its sister platform, Facebook, Instagram allows users to follow and search hashtags based on interests. This means that people can to find and engage with brands they normally wouldn’t know about based on a similar interest.
A few pro tips:
- Use popular hashtags for your industry and brand. We like to use All Hashtag when doing our initial search for hashtags. You can enter a keyword (i.e. #socialmedia) and it will generate the top 30 hashtags based on your search.
- Include hashtags in your post caption, not in the comments section
- Use no more than 30 hashtags; however, 10-15 quality ones will do the trick
We all know the goal of any post is to have people like it and comment on it. It means we are doing something right. But, what if I told you that the comments hold a greater weight then you initially thought? First, the number of words in a comment add up. In fact, a comment isn’t considered engagement unless there are at least four words. That means, you better be posting some pretty relevant and captivating content for your audience.
Once you get that notification you’ve received a comment (yay, you!), the next step is to show some gratitude. You’d be surprised how many brands don’t respond to comments, but you are actually doing yourself a disservice if you don’t. For ultimate exposure, always reply to comments within the first 60 minutes of them being shared (and don’t forget that four word rule). Every time there is a comment, conversation and engagement happening with your post, the happier the Instagram algorithm will be.
Engage With Your Audience
Sometimes, creating the perfect Instagram post is not enough. You could spend an hour crafting that perfect caption, but it means nothing if no one sees it. That is why you must always have an engagement strategy in place if you are on Instagram. Follow brands, influencers and users that align with your marketing objectives. Then, make it a point to interact with those people on a daily basis. Comment on a post or “like” another user’s comment. This helps expand your reach and gets eyes on your Instagram handle.
Another way to do this is to follow hashtags relevant to your industry or brand. Once you follow them, popular posts from those hashtags will appear in your home feed. This allows you to see them more easily and engage with them in “real time.” Trust us, this is a relatively simple and effective way to increase your following and reach.
Whether you are drafting your first Instagram post or looking for some traction on your current posting strategy. These Instagram hacks are sure to increase your organic engagement instantly. Have specific questions you want answered? Tweet us @thejamesagency and our social guru, Rin, will answer them!