One thing that everyone can agree on is that Instagram engagement is way down. Be it your personal account or your business profile, everyone is getting hit hard with low engagement rates. People are quick to point fingers about IG's 'algorithms,' but are slow to find meaningful ways to get it back up and on track. After hours (and hours) of brainstorming, researching, and talking through options; here are Think Media's top 5 steps to kickstarting your Instagram engagement.
1. DONT FAKE IT
The quickest way to spot bots trolling Instagram are those generic comments on your Instagram that look like "👍👍" While it may seem tempting to pay a few bucks to have someone comment on 1,000 photos, please don't. These companies that promise growth hacking are usually engaging with anyone and everyone they can come across regardless of your target audience.
2. TALK TO YOUR FOLLOWERS
A great way to improve engagement from the people who already follow you is to create a meaningful dialogue between you and your consumer. This can be as simple as asking a question at the end of your Instagram captions or as elaborate as creating a series of Instagram stories that have polls or a place for people to ask questions and then performing an Instagram live to answer their questions with your team.
3. FOLLOW THE PEOPLE YOU WANT TO FOLLOW YOU
Following people just to Unfollow them later is so 2018. This year, follow accounts that are in your industry or are potential customers and interact with them. You would rather have 500 meaningful followers who are all interested in your company and your products then 10,000 followers you gained just by following and unfollowing random people.
4. CHOOSE AN ARRAY OF HASHTAGS
You can see the blog post that I wrote here about hashtags, but the point being is that it is important to take those hashtags and mix it up with all of your posts. Choosing a mix of incredibly specific and broad hashtags will ensure that you get different people looking at your account with every post.
5. GET COMFORTABLE WITH STEADY BUT SLOW GROWTH
Without cheating the system, your Instagram engagement is not going to grow as fast as you would probably like. This just reinforces the idea that quality followers are better than a large quantity of followers. Spending 10 to 15 minutes every day finding accounts you like, asking your audience questions, and interacting with the accounts you follow will pay off big in the long run. Because long after this "Instagram algorithm problem" is forgotten about, you will have a steady growth of followers who care about you and your business.
You often hear people who are trying to lose weight talk about "non-scale victories" a.k.a. things that they feel good about, whether it's eating habits or a difference in the way that they look, regardless of what the number on the scale says. This year at Think, we are committed to seeing all successes. That means success in achieving our social media numbers and "non-number" successes. While, of course, we hope to grow our social media followers and Instagram engagement, our main goals go beyond the number of followers and the number of likes each post get. It lies deep within the relationships we make, and the positive as well as thoughtful impressions we leave on our audience.
Cheers to the leaps and bounds we'll make in 2019.