How can I boost my Instagram engagement? It’s one of the most common questions we get asked at Boost Social. So this week, we’re going to let you in on a few or our Instagram engagement hacks so you can apply these to your own account. Or…you can hire a marketing agency just like us to do social media marketing for you. Of course that frees your time up so you can do the important things in life such as managing the daily operations of your business, spending time with your kids or watching Married At First Sight.
If you’ve ever posted what you thought was going to be amazing social media content and be left underwhelmed with the response from your followers, you’re not alone! You might spend hours making a video talking about the services your business offers and it gets one comment and a like. And yet the selfie you shared with your cat, or the coffee you shared when you stopped for breakfast gets a gazillion views and 100 comments? What is going on?
There’s more to boosting your instagram engagement than throwing money at ads and posting random posts and crossing your fingers. The Instagram hacks we are sharing with you we apply to our clients’ social media accounts and have seen great results organically.
Take for instant Speedy School Supplies, they don’t do any other marketing but just before Christmas they had their best sales month ever!
So let’s get to the real reason you’re here and give you the 7 tips we recommend to boost your Instagram engagement.
Go behind the scenes
Whether you’re selling investment properties or school supplies, your followers want to know more about the people behind the brand. Show off your office where you work, the view (something we should do more off, because our temporary office overlooks the beach), introduce your team, talk about projects you’re working on, take selfies on work conferences, even share after work drinks, weekend team bonding at Top Golf or pranking the boss. This humanises your brand. It allows you to have a deeper connection to your audience as they get to see glimpses in your life. Your followers will feel like they know you and in turn, it creates a sense of trust and loyalty.
Tag your location
By adding your location to an Instagram post, you are letting people know where you are and how to find you, leaving your caption for further information. You have several options when it comes to choosing a location.
1) Country: If you’re providing a service to all of Australia or New Zealand, it lets your customers know the extent of your service area.
2) State: For example; if you’re a buyer’s agent and service only Queensland, listing the location is a quick and easy way to communicate that,
3) Street or Venue: Such as Marine Parade or The Sheraton Grand Mirage
In addition to being searchable by location, it can create a connection with your audience. For example: Our office is located at the Sheraton Grand MIrage on the Gold Coast while we are waiting for our Surfers Paradise office renovations to be completed. Many people will see the location and comment on the Gold Coast location or the view from the hotel because they a) want to stay there b) have stayed there. It gives us a common bond with those audience members with minimal effort.
Keep in mind the same location tag, over and over and over won’t reach new audiences.
Hashtag! Hashtag! Hashtag!
There are so many different strategies surrounding Instagram hashtags. Some suggest only using five hashtags, others suggest using 15 and never using 30 because it looks spammy. So how many hashtags do you use?
Why would Instagram provide you with the ability to use 30 hashtags if you got better reach by only using five? It doesn’t make sense. Think of each hashtag as another opportunity to reach a different audience.
This brings us to the next question: How do I choose good hashtags? When selecting your hashtags, it’s important to avoid using the super popular ones that have already been used 30M times. While you may think the bigger the hashtag, the more reach your post is going to have, that’s not always the case. Using hashtags like #catsofinstagram (154M uses) or #cats (117M uses) is simply going to see your content lost in a sea of cat posts.
Make sure you do your hashtag research. Use a couple of niche tags specific to your business, as well as one or two bigger hashtags (and by bigger, we mean under 1M uses), geotags and relevant hashtags that describe the subject of your photo.
You should also use 10 hashtags in your Instagram Stories. Different to the hashtags you use with your posts, your stories hashtags should be relevant but broad. For example: #cats #mumlife #australia. There are ways to camouflage the story hashtags so they don’t look spammy. Download our Instagram Cheat Sheet for tips on how to hide your Instagram story hashtags.
Use polls to see what your audience wants
Give the people what they want! The best way to find out what your social media followers want to see on your Instagram profile is to ask. The best way to do this is through an Instagram Poll on stories. Ask a question and your audience can interact by simply clicking yes or no. It doesn’t have to be a yes or no question. The options are editable.
Create your own gifs
Everyone loves a gif! They are exceptionally versatile. They can be used to hide Instagram Story hashtags, they are easily digestible—a picture says a 1000 words without having to read a thousand words, they are attention grabbing. People relate to gifs and can make your Instagram stories seem more personable. Creating your own animated gifs for Instagram can create brand awareness, plus instead of having some random person encouraging your audience to swipe up, you could have a picture of you or even your logo. Follow us on social media to stay tuned for the dates on our next downloadable Masterclass on how to create your own gifs.
Video is king
Creating quality video content is key to engaging more people on Instagram in 2021.
Studies show that video is more likely to get more reach, more comments and more shares. In recent studies, Buffer reported that the watch time on Instagram has increased by 40%. With the ability to use 60 second videos in post feed, video stories, Instagram TV and now Reels, it’s not hard to see where the future for Instagram is headed.
View this post on Instagram
Tag other accounts
Tagging other businesses or followers in your posts or stories encourages the people who are tagged to engage with your posts, including their audience. There is a difference between tagging accounts and @mentioning accounts, Most people think they are the same thing, but it’s not the case.
Tagging someone is done on the image and can only be carried out by the person who created the post. Anyone can create a mention in the comments. The trouble with mentions is they can be easily bypassed since they show up in your notification feed and Instagram only displays the most recent 100 notifications. So if you get 300 notifications, you may miss yourself being mentioned.