Things you should be doing with each Instagram post to maximize your engagement.
Before you, post
Setting up your profile correctly can directly affect your performance, as well as the type of following you attract. Take a look at a few key points below to maximize the effectiveness of your Instagram profile
1. Switch your profile to a business account: This allows you access to valuable insights on your posts and audience (+ if you plan on monetizing, brands look to see if you’re on a business account).
2. Make sure your bio reflects who you are. If your business is selling a specific product, put relevant points in your bio about that. Your bio is only a finite number of characters. Be direct and to the point in that small space to give a description of what your business is about.
3. Include contact information. Can people DM to get in touch with you? Have you provided an email address? How can people buy your product? Make this clear and provide the necessary information.
Ready to post?
Once the basics of your account is set up, you’re ready to begin changing the way you post. Remember, engagement is two ways. To receive engagement, you must be willing to give. Here are some engagement recommendations:
1. Checking your audience insights
This method will help you to determine the best time to post, it can show you when a majority of your followers are active. This is important because you want to post at times your audience is online. Research suggests that engagement you receive in the first hour of posting is the most valuable from an algorithm standpoint. By posting at a time your audience is active, you will increase the likelihood of your post being seen.
2. Engage before (and after!) each post
Spend some time before posting, engaging with others. Like, comment and respond to people’s stories before you intend on putting out content. Most people are likely to reciprocate the favour back and will comment on your post afterwards. This is also important because the more you engage with others, the more you appear on their timelines.
4. Do your hashtag research
There is loads of information out there on how to use hashtags correctly. We are keeping it simple today. Our recommendation is refrain from using unrelated hashtags – use these tools to make smarter selections.
Some of the most common questions we get have to do with hashtags:
• How many hashtags should I use?
• Where or how do I find hashtags?
• How do I know which will work?
We can tell you which won’t work as well – the most popular hashtags. You’ll just be one of the millions using them and your content will get lost in the mass of other posts with the same hashtag. And you will attract spam bots (which auto follow and unfollow, also auto-comment to try to get you to follow back).
There are many tools out there that help make smarter hashtag selections.
• We also like the Hashtag Expert app for use on iPhone. Just choose a category and put in a relevant hashtag then the app will give you related suggestions that you can copy/paste and it will automatically add a space block between your photo text and the hashtags, for a clean look.
Remember, you have 30 hashtags you can use, so use them! Make sure you’re switching up which hashtags you use each time.
Use the “tag a friend” method
Earlier on we talked about creating content that people will want to save. Let’s also talk about content that people will want their friends to see. Once in a while create posts that invite your followers to tag other people. “Tag someone who inspires you”, “Tag someone who is going to/should [do/be something]”, and so on.
Instagram stories + New features
A vast amount of people worldwide use Instagram stories! This is a 24-hour feature dominating Instagram’s feed for a short amount of time. With lots of options; business can utilize this feature for promotions and collaborations. It is perfect for engagement with followers! Here are some recommendations that will help you and your business in keeping your audience engaged:
Creating or finding the right template for your products goes a long way. This will help Instagram users to recognise your story. You could design your templates based on the tonality or colours of your brand and logo.
Here are a few Instagram story stickers you could use to gain more engagement:
Poll stickers will help you in knowing your audience better. Although the options are given as “YES” and “NO”, you can edit your response according to your brands tone of voice. For extra content you could, then, share the results later on your story again for people to see.
Asking your followers specific questions will give you engagement and real time feedback. You could ask your followers about their experiences with your brand or ask fun questions to keep them engaged.
The icon in this sider can be changed to your desired emoji.
Small business sticker:
Instagram launched New “Support Small Business” sticker in stories so you can shout out to your favourite small business. Use it and your photo or video will be added to a shared story where friends can see which businesses you support.
4. GIFs Templates
Many businesses choose to add GIFs to their stories to make them look more fun. GIFs template will not only engage followers, but it will also give you a wider reach. Don’t forget to add the name of your brand or logo on the template.
The Instagram story also has many engaging stickers such as chat stickers, which will let you start a conversation in a new direct thread your followers and a countdown sticker to count down to any exciting moment or event such as a launch of a new product. A location sticker to let your followers know where you are based, while a current time or weather sticker will let inform will let them know about the time and weather of your current location.
We hope that you found something new or reminded yourself of ways to engage your online audience.
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