Instagram remains one of the best places to market your brand online, gain a loyal following, and build a community that supports your business. With tons of creative brands competing for people’s attention, however, it’s harder than ever to increase your relevance on the social platform. While Instagram’s algorithm is based on factors that include relevance, timeliness, frequency in posting and number of followers, the bottom line is that posts with a lot of engagement will help you improve your ranking. So read on for some tips to organically improve your Instagram engagement.
Know What and When to Post
- Post quality content – high quality photos with compelling edits are the expectation, not the exception
- Utilize Instagram Insights to learn about your followers
- Know which day and time is best to post based on your Insights
- Know your top posts and analyze them—what are common factors? … and then do it again!
- Post often
- Post consistently
- Establish a pattern for your posts
400 Million People Can’t be Wrong
Instagram Stories are growing in popularity, with more than 400 million people posting or watching Stories every day.
- Use Instagram Stories to enhance your Instagram feed
- Post Stories at the same time each day to ensure active Stories are available for your followers to engage with
- Use Instagram Stories stickers to engage with followers and to encourage them to chat and share opinions and experiences to create a connection with your brand
- Use the question sticker on IG Stories to give followers the opportunity to get to know your brand better, and learn about your products and services
- Poll and vote stickers are useful if your followers’ opinions matter—it allows for feedback from your audience
Instagram captions play a role in how well your posts perform, as it plays into the “time spent on post” factor of the Instagram algorithm. Captions can be up to 2,200 characters long, so longer is better!
- At a minimum, write a full sentence for your caption rather than just using emojis
- Ask yourself “why does this post matter?” and write a caption that is captivating and leaves your followers wanting more
- Use your caption to keep followers informed about your brand and business goals, products, mission, career opportunities, staff, etc.
- Schedule your Instagram posts, which allows you to write long-form captions from your desktop
Optimize to Get Noticed
- Add a mention when working with other brands or businesses
- Add locations to posts and Stories so that your post is searchable
- Tell people in your Story each time you post on Instagram
- Develop and execute a hashtag strategy
- Use Instagram Analytics to see the number of impressions for each hashtag
- Understand which hashtags are driving people to your posts
- Categorize your hashtags and use different hashtag groups for different content
Collaborate and Listen
- Identify bands with similar business goals (even if they are in a different industry)
- Build partnerships with brands that allow for a continuous, year-round collaboration
- Your collaboration should offer your followers something unique and valuable that they can’t get with just your individual brands
Let’s be Friends
- Spend time listening to your followers
- Reply to all DMs and comments
- Repost user-generated content with a mention
- Focus on making friends, not followers
- Start a genuine conversation
- Don’t compromise the look and feel of your Instagram aesthetic
- Add humor and pop culture to your posts, when appropriate
Your Instagram journey is a marathon and not a sprint. It may seem daunting, but with a little time and attention your Instagram feed can become an integral part of your brand and how your audience relates to you.