In the last few years, Instagram has become extremely popular. Business Instagram claims that the platform has over 1 billion monthly active users, 90% of accounts follow a business, and 83% use Instagram for discovering new products and services. In other words, Instagram has great sales potential for brands of all shapes and sizes, so it’s no surprising that over 25 million businesses use Instagram for promotion.
However, having an Instagram business account doesn’t mean getting wonderful results as users miss 70% of the posts on their Instagram feeds.
To reach your target audience and interact with your followers, it’s important to increase Instagram engagement. The more popular your business profile is, the more people will see your posts as Instagram algorithm shows content that people view, like, comment, share, and save.
Thus, it’s important to keep up with the trends to understand how to increase Instagram engagement in 2020, and here are 8 proven ways how to do it:
1. Keep Your Instagram Feed Cohesive
According to Forbes, 65% of people are visual learners which means they perceive visual information better. Having an eye-catching and cohesive Instagram feed is a great way to grab and hold the attention of your target audience, convince visitors to follow your brand, and give your followers a reason to check your business profile regularly. Simply put, it helps to increase engagement rates.
It’s no wonder many brands create a series of product photos that match each other perfectly as it’s the easiest way to look cohesive on Instagram. But if you don’t have budget to take various photos of your product, you can still use authentic stock photos to create a cohesive Instagram feed that grabs the attention. Here’s what it can look like:
Since people process visual information better, we always pay close attention to beautiful things, so having a cohesive Instagram feed is a great way to attract new followers and make them want to come back for more. All in all, it helps to increase Instagram engagement with ease.
2. Develop a Content Strategy
If you want to interact with people who want to check your profile regularly, you need to publish interesting and engaging content daily. Thus, sharing one brand post per week isn’t an option; you need to develop a content strategy that keeps your target audience engaged and plan publications in advance.
Why? Developing a content strategy helps to:
- produce eye-catching content
- save time
- plan ahead
- build your ideal calendar
However, you also need to stay up-to-date and react to breaking news when needed. For example, it’s a good idea to publish time-sensitive content that people discuss around the globe.[bctt tweet=”Just put your audience first and try to understand what your followers want to see and discuss.” username=”relevance”]
3. Start a Conversation with Your Audience
The days when brand content could interest potential customers are far behind us. Modern consumers are savvy and they crave communication with brands on social media. According to The Manifest, 74% of customers follow brands on social media, and 96% of them interact with the brands they follow. Simply put, it’s important for brands of all sizes and niches to start a conversation with the target audience to understand customers better.
Here’s an example of this strategy from Starbucks:
Want to know the best part? Since people love talking about themselves, they will be more likely to share their thoughts and preferences when you ask them. Thus, starting a conversation helps to encourage interactions and therefore boost engagement.
4. Publish Fan-Made Content
The idea of using fan-made content (also known as user-generated content) isn’t new. It’s said that fan-made content is 76% more trustworthy than branded advertising which means it helps to build brand trust.
Have you ever heard about the sense of belonging? It’s proven that people want to be a part of something important, so it explains why big brands like Starbucks and Dunkin’ receive so many user-generated content for nothing. Moreover, customers crave authenticity, so they love creating fan-made content to help other customers make the right purchase decision.
If you want to get more UGC photos from your customers, always ask people for permission to publish their posts and tag them to give credits. Not only does it help to satisfy customers’ ego, but it also boosts engagement as people are more likely to share posts with mentions on their social media which means driving extra traffic to your account.
To avoid missing out fan-made content on Instagram, you can use SocialPilot to track brand mentions. Moreover, this tool helps to increase engagement as it’s perfect for analyzing your performance and scheduling posts. Plus, don’t forget to check out your direct messages, brand hashtags, and photos you’ve been tagged in.
5. Interact with Your Target Audience
Here comes the ugly truth: social media ‘likes’ impact our brains and behavior, so Instagrammers crave for likes and comments when they share something on the platform. Moreover, people are more likely to pay attention to accounts that interact with them, so it’s a proven way to show you care about customers and you have interest in their content.
Here are several ways to interact with your target audience on Instagram:
- follow your target audience
- like posts
- comment on photos
- watch Instagram Stories
- vote on IG polls, join chats, etc.
- tag people
6. Make Instagram Stories a Part of Your Strategy
Back in 2016, Instagram has copied Snapchat’s feature of sharing ephemeral content—Instagram Stories. Over the last three years, the number of users who watch Instagram Stories has grown to 500 million users, making this type of content a successful feature.
People spend much time interacting with short-lived content on Instagram, so it’s no doubt that Instagram Stories help to boost engagement, especially if you know Instagram Stories hacks that help to increase organic reach. For example, it’s a good idea to use geotags and hashtags, and SproutSocial does it often:
When you use geotags or hashtags in your IG Stories, you make it easier for other people to find your content and follow your brand. So, why sharing Instagram Stories is important?
- Create the FOMO (fear of missing out) effect
- Beat the Instagram algorithm
- Drive website traffic
- Humanize your brand
- Interact with target audience
So, do you use Instagram Stories as a part of your strategy? If not, you’re falling behind your competitors, and nothing kills engagement like it.
7. Post When Your Audience is Online
Modern users share around 95 million photos and videos on Instagram each day. For brands, this means your content can get buried in the newsfeed unless you post when your audience is active.
Not only does it help to improve the customer experience as people won’t miss your content, but it also affects your Instagram engagement rate as people can see and interact with your content which means your content is marked as popular on Instagram. Moreover, you can use Instagram’s in-house analytics or any marketing tool to get the data about your followers’ activity with a few clicks.
8. Work with Nano-Influencers
In the era of paid posts, word-of-mouth marketing works well as 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than branded content. Today, opinion leaders affect the purchase decisions of their followers, so brands seek out relevant influencers to secure collaboration opportunities with them.
Just imagine: The number of sponsored posts in the first half of 2019 reached 1.7 million.
If you want to get wonderful business results without investing much, consider working with nano-influencers – those opinion leaders with less than 1000 followers. They have in-person connections with the majority of their followers, so their posts get higher engagement rates. Big brands like Dunkin have already realized the power of nano-influencers:
Moreover, it can be an opportunity to invest in long-term collaboration. Here’s how to establish a strong connection with nano-influencers if you invest in your relationships (communicate with them and help them grow).
It’s Time to Increase Instagram Engagement
Instagram prioritizes content from friends and family, so it’s getting harder for brands to achieve organic reach. However, if you experiment to find out what helps you increase engagement, you can reach your target audience, interact with interested followers, and bring your business to the next level.
So, who else wants to boost Instagram engagement in 2020?