Contrary to popular belief, having more Instagram followers doesn’t directly translate to engagement or success on the platform. Rather, being connected, constantly growing, and interacting with followers can help your brand/account to be top-notch. Whether you’re just starting out on Instagram, looking to increase your following and connections, or take your business or account to the next level, here are some ways to increase your Instagram engagement (naturally, and genuinely).
(Photo by Kayla Mendez)
First and foremost, don’t just share content, but share yourself. People will be more likely to engage with you if they see you’re active on the platform (and this is regardless of the number of followers you have).
A simple and easy way to boost engagement is to actually put yourself out there as a creator and individual. If someone posts a comment under one of your posts, send a quick note back. If someone asks a question, answer it. If you feel compelled, post a question yourself that prompts answers or comments from your followers. Feeling extra ambitious? Host a giveaway where comment(s) are entries.
Responding back to your followers will not only show them that you care about your following, but that you’re active on the platform—thus encouraging them to be more engaged with you.
It’s not enough to just respond, but reflect your personality in those responses. Can you showcase who you are as a person on and off the screen? Can you speak to ideas, concepts, even problems that you’ve faced in your field? Can you connect with your followers one-on-one?
This will promote yourself not only as a business but as someone people can relate to, which is honestly one of the most important aspects of creating an engaging platform.
In terms of scheduling and sharing posts, responding, or adding content to your Instagram Stories, try as best as you can to be consistent. Not only will frequent posts help boost your overall account rank in terms of social analytics, but it will keep your followers coming back, as they know they’ll see new content often and thus be excited to return to your page.
(Photo by Max Rainoldi)
Engage on other accounts
Don’t be selfish! Reach out and engage across the platform. Comment on other people’s posts, follow new accounts and share your insight with other people. Not only will commenting and following show people that you’re interested in their content (building your followers and connections) but will help your page stay active and present on the app itself.
Create a consistent, authentic layout
As you work to develop your account, try to create and embody a brand. Perhaps you have a set layout, color scheme, or schedule of posts. Though this isn’t absolutely necessary, it helps followers to know what to expect and can create a visual appeal, which will drive people to your page again and again.
Set a schedule
Life can get busy. To combat this, and ensure you’re always sharing content, create a posting schedule. This can be as simple as reminders of certain days/times to post, or you can pre-plan shares through a scheduler app, for example, Buffer, which will send a push notification or directly publish your shares on your Instagram page for you.
(Photo by Kayla Mendez)
Diversify your content
Though you want to have a brand (see #5) it’s equally important to create and share a variety of content. As a creator, you want to showcase your best work, but don’t be afraid to show who you are off the screen or behind-the-scenes. Change up the style, font, color, brand, idea, concept, etc. at times to reflect that you’re multi-dimensional, versatile, and interesting.
Above all, don’t lose sight of what Instagram is—a place to share content, explore others’ posts, be creative, and have fun. It’s important to try to build a following and increase engagement, but don’t get so wrapped up in analytics that you stop enjoying the platform altogether.