#1 Your Greatest IG Relationship = Stories
If you're a creator, then you know that engagement is key. And one of the best ways to boost your engagement is to use Instagram Stories.
With Instagram Stories, you can give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your life, show off your personality, and even run polls and quizzes. But how do you make sure that your Instagram Stories are actually helping to boost your engagement? Here are some tips.
Use attractive visuals
This one should be a no-brainer, but it's worth repeating. Your visuals need to be attractive if you want people to stop and take notice of your story. That means using high-quality photos and videos, and being strategic about the colors and filters you use.
Keep it short and sweet
No one wants to watch a 15-minute long story cut into 30 little stories, no matter how interesting you think it is. Keep your stories short and sweet; if you're telling a story over various stories, get to the point as soon as possible.
Your followers want to see the real you, not some polished persona that you've created for yourself. So don't be afraid to show off your personality, share your thoughts and feelings, and let your guard down every once in a while.
Interact with your followers
One of the best ways to boost engagement is to actually interact with your followers. Respond to their comments, run polls, and quizzes, and ask them questions. The more you interact with them, the more they'll want to interact with you. Retained engagement is all about creating a closer bond between creator and follower, so anything that bridges the gap between you and them is a great thing to implement.
#2 Use Relevant Hashtags
The point of hashtags in your post is to reach a wider audience. Make sure you use hashtags that connect your content to your niche when trying to increase engagement.
What are people in your niche interested in? What are they searching for? Research some common tags being used by your community and utilize them. Ensure these tags have 25,000 - 500,000 posts to maintain discoverability.
Using hashtags with zero to do with your niche may get you more views, but likely nothing that will lead to followers and engagement. Try a combination of niched-down, specific, and highly utilized trending-rated hashtags on your next post.
#3 Use Carousel Posts
Instagram carousel posts allow users to upload up to 10 pictures, videos, and/or graphics in a single post. It is literally an engagement hotspot because the swiping required to view the post increases time spent on post.
Carousels pretty much force more engagement since there's just more content there to begin with, a win-win!
Use a carousel post to share valuable information like educational content, tell a story, or support a social cause. Carousels are also great for photo "dumping" when you have an overload of content that you feel is relevant to share.
Basically, using carousels for anything that will tempt your followers to tap that save button or share the post with their friends will result in better engagement for your account.
So, next time you post, make sure you test carousels!
#4 Add quality captions
We all know the feeling. You've just taken an amazing photo, but you can't think of a single thing to say about it. Or worse, you have too many ideas and you can't decide which one to use.
Quality captions are highly underrated when it comes to increasing engagement on posts. Writing quality Instagram captions can be easy, but it does require a bit of thought and planning. Here are some tips to get you started.
Use strong verbs
The verbs you use in your caption can make all the difference in how engaging it is. Strong verbs convey emotion and help paint a picture in your followers' minds. Some examples of strong verbs include "love," "hate," "enjoy," and "fear."
Always include a CTA
Asking a question in your caption is a great way to encourage engagement from your followers. Always include a call-to-action. Questions also help create a connection between you and your audience by giving them a chance to share their own thoughts and experiences.
Asking for recommendations on brand-relevant topics or prompting followers to click a link in your bio (connected to anything from a blog to a YouTube channel) are always good moves. Just be sure to avoid questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no; those won't spark much conversation.
Use emojis sparingly
Emojis are a great way to add personality to your captions but don’t overdo it. Overusing emojis can make your caption 100% scannable. If people just scan your caption area, they are not engaging with your content.
So it's crucial to find the right balance. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than two emojis per caption or one emoji per sentence if you're using multiple sentences in your caption.
A good caption can go a long way; many followers save and/or share posts because of the message included. When deciding on your caption, focus on authenticity.
Anything that sounds like an engagement trap will not produce a long-term community. By following these simple tips, you'll be well on your way to creating captivating captions that will engage and delight your followers.
#5 Be Yourself
It's no secret that the internet can be a weird place. With so much anonymity, it's easy to get caught up in the comparison game and try to be someone you're not. But here's the thing: being yourself is the best way to build a following that will stick with you through thick and thin. Here's why.
When you're not being yourself, people can sense it. Whether you're trying to be someone you're not or you're presenting a persona that's only partially true to who you are, people will be able to tell that you're not being authentic. And when people can tell that you're not being authentic, they're not going to want to stick around for very long.
Being yourself also allows you to build deeper connections with your followers. When people feel like they know the real you, they're more likely to trust you and feel like they can relate to you.
And when people trust and relate to you, they're more likely to support whatever it is you're doing—whether that's buying your products or services or simply sharing your content with their friends and followers.
Finally, being yourself online gives you a lot more leeway when it comes to making mistakes. We all make them—it's part of being human!—and if people know that they can expect the real you warts and all, they'll be a lot more forgiving when (not if) you screw up.
So go ahead and make those mistakes—they'll only make you more relatable and human in the eyes of your followers.
The bottom line is this: being yourself online is the best way to build a following of loyal, engaged fans who will stick with you through thick and thin. So don't be afraid to show your true colors—social media will be a better place for it.
#6 Do Giveaways
People love free stuff. Seriously, go anywhere in the world; all humans love free stuff, and they remember where they got it. That being said, you need to host giveaways on your account.
Whenever you find a product or service that complements your niche, a giveaway is an easy form of promotion and partnership.
A common method you have probably seen used for giveaways is to have your followers follow a company, tag their friends, and share a post in order to qualify for a chance to win the prize. This creates immediate engagement and a connection to a brand within your niche that you collaborated with.
#7 Have a great aesthetic
In today's social media-driven world, first impressions are everything. And when it comes to making a good first impression on Instagram, there's no denying that aesthetics are key.
After all, users are visual creatures—if they see a feed that looks good, they're more likely to stick around and explore further. So, if you're looking to up your Instagram game and attract more followers, read our top tips on curating the ultimate Instagram aesthetic.
Think about what works for your niche, research what other creators are doing, and take off from there.
Use High-Quality Images and Video
When it comes to nailing the perfect Instagram aesthetic, it's important to use high-quality imagery. This means content that isn’t high resolution whenever possible and investing in a decent camera (or phone camera) if you don't already have one. Remember, first impressions count—so make sure that your photos and video are sharp and clear.
Edit Your Content
Editing your photos is an important part of creating a good Instagram aesthetic. This doesn't mean that you have to make major changes or use a bunch of fancy filters; sometimes, simply cropping a photo or adjusting the brightness can make all the difference. Take some time to experiment with different editing techniques until you find ones that you like and that work well with your chosen theme.
Developing a good design sense takes time but is achievable. Websites like Canva are an easy and quick way to design and plan posts.
Templates, backgrounds, design elements, and more are offered to make your posts and stories attention-grabbing and aesthetic goals. Stick with simple and cohesive designs. Overdoing posts can draw away the audience's attention, making them more likely to scroll past them.
Stick to a Color Scheme
Once you've found your niche, the next step is to choose a color scheme. This doesn't mean that you have to post photos that are all in black and white— although monochromatic feeds can look very chic. Instead, try choosing 2-3 colors that complement each other well and sticking to them throughout your feed.
This could be anything from pastels to jewel tones—whatever floats your boat.
Creating an aesthetically pleasing feed that will draw people in and keep them coming back for more.
#8 Share Memes and Make Them Applicable To Your Niche
Nowadays, one of the best ways to convey a message is through memes. Level up your game and start sharing trending memes related to your niche or viral memes you can make relevant to your community through specific text.
Several apps and websites allow you to create amazing memes yourself, which can be a fun way to increase engagement on your posts. To make it all relevant, ensure you are staying up to date on trending news and events that are connected to your niche. If you are a food page, some random ass meme about anime may not be the best move. Keep it all related.
#9 Post At The Right Time
You can get views at any time of day, but it’s important to know when most of your followers are online. Naturally, if you are one of the first posts they see, they are more likely to engage.
There are some general best times to post, but they vary with location and timezone. You can also estimate times for some niches. If you have a large mommy following, they will likely engage before their kids are in school, during school time if they don’t work, or after bedtime.
Use knowledge like this to your advantage! However, what truly matters is posting at the best time for your audience. Check your audience analysis in your professional dashboard and determine what your highest performance days and times are.
What posts get the most likes and comments? What time did you post them? Use that data to drive higher engagement by posting at similar times.
Instagram engagement is attainable.
So, how do you go about building an engaged and loyal online community? These tips are an excellent place to start!
It will not happen overnight, but if you start with small changes you consistently implement over time, you will see results!
And as always, we are here to help. Make sure to check out The Micro-Influencer’s Brand Partnership Bible, which is packed with tips and strategies on creating successful partnerships with other brands. We hope it helps get your community-building journey started off on the right foot!