Instagram Engagement Strategies That Really Work
One area of marketing where many business owners fall flat is Instagram. There are countless myths swirling around about Instagram best practices and stories about the algorithm which easily turn people away from dedicating their time to the app. But, don’t let this deter you, as Instagram is proven to have great returns for businesses who invest their time and resources into the app.
Considering that 60% of users rely on Instagram to find and research products (Sprout Social), it’s important to spend a significant amount of time and energy building and nurturing your Instagram community of loyal, raving fans. Instagram is no longer about just posting pretty photos and hoping followers find you, it’s more so about building a community, forming personal relationships, and networking… it is a social network after all — let’s not forget that it’s supposed to be social!
How Do I Even Do It?
Engagement comes in many forms, but its main purpose ultimately boils down to building your community and keeping them engaged with your content. Traditional engagement (likes, comments, shares, etc.) is a great place to start – you should always comment on and like posts from people you follow, others in your niche, people you want to work with, and other local businesses.
Another way to start conversations and engage your community is through video content. Believe it or not, Instagram Stories are one of the top places to be on the app. Did you know that 500 million+ people use Instagram Stories every day (HootSuite). Stories also has its own engagement features like questions, quizzes, polls, and sliders, making it a great place to get consistent, reliable feedback from your audience and interact with them regularly.
How Much is Enough?
You may be thinking that you need to spend hours upon hours engaging on Instagram in order to be successful. While that may work sometimes, it’s not necessary and if you’re a busy business owner, you’ll be wasting a lot of time that you could spend focused on other things.
In terms of organically engaging with other accounts, dedicate at least 20 minutes each day to it, and you’ll start to see some good returns. It’s best to interact right around the time you post – that way you’re drawing more eyes to your new post, allowing the algorithm to rank it higher since it’s seeing nearly immediate engagement.
Business owners should plan to show their face through video content or organic engagement (like a Q&A) at least twice each week. This can be simple, like a quick 15-30 second video, or more involved like an Instagram Live or a Q&A series – whatever you’re comfortable with will do the trick.
Where Do I Start?
The most important thing to do… is to just show up. Show up as you are, show up as you learn, as you grow, and even as you fail. You can start interacting with your audience today to form connections and build real relationships. However, if all of this is a little overwhelming, know that Marsha Austin Media’s team of experts is here to help you, or even do it for you. To learn more about how we can help you reach your business goals through Instagram, get in touch through our contact page.