Instagram is a great way to reach consumers and these two strategies will help you improve Instagram engagement to reach them on a deeper level.
Among all the social media networks, Instagram is one of the fastest growing. The Instagram audience still tends to skew younger than other social networks. Instagram users are more female, much younger (mostly 18-49), and well educated according to Instagram demographics.
If your target audience for your business fits into the proper demographics of Instagram then it may be somewhere you want to focus. Even if it’s not somewhere that fits right now, the demographics of it are always changing.
If it is somewhere you’re going to focus then you need to have a complete Instagram profile. Not only that but because you only get one link in Instagram, take some time to learn different ways you can use that one link more effectively.
This post focuses on how to improve Instagram engagement rather than just vanity metrics like followers.
Followers vs Engagement
Vanity metrics are what everyone seems to be seeking these days.
What are vanity metrics though?
Followers are the most common vanity metric and the one that gets the most attention from those not well versed in social media.
Likes are sometimes considered a vanity metric also. This is somewhat debatable though. Likes which are purchased are of course vanity metrics but real likes are still important to an engaged Instagram account.
I want to go back to followers and how unimportant they really are.
My Instagram account isn’t huge. In fact, it’s very small when compared to most accounts on Instagram. How many followers I have isn’t important though. What’s more important is that people are engaging with my content.
Most Instagram accounts that have 500+ followers still don’t hit as high as my account in like or engagement counts.
Take a look at this Instagram account that has over 1,000 followers but only about half the engagement as a typical post from the Exprance account:
That’s what I call a low follower – like ratio.
What does that mean?
The account has either followed/unfollowed a lot of people in hopes of getting followers or they bought the followers.
Whichever is the case, that leads to low engagement and high vanity metrics that don’t do anything for the account. No likes = nobody cares, low comments = nobody’s engaged.
If either one of those are the case then this social media profile isn’t going to do much them. Social media is critical to a small business but not if it’s approached the wrong way.
You have to have the right connection, not just any connection.
The Right Connections
Instagram is all about making the RIGHT connections. That means targeting the right people and sparking up conversations with the right people.
If you target the right people and provide them something interesting or useful then you can’t lose.
But how do you target the right people and even more important, how do you create engaging content?
Two Ways To Improve Instagram Engagement
Improving engagement on Instagram is more important than more followers or any other vanity metric. Even likes and comments aren’t important if they’re not from the right people.
If I were selling t-shirts and was always posting content about food and or food hashtags then I wouldn’t get the right audience (unless my t-shirts were food related!).
These two strategies to improve Instagram engagement will help you improve your Instagram account.
1) More Of The Right Hashtags
Hashtags are really important to Instagram. In fact, hashtags are the driving force behind the whole system which is why it’s recommended to use at least 11 hashtags for the perfect Instagram post.
You can post up to 30 hashtags of which I recommend you use them all.
It’s not all about hammering out mass quantities of hashtags though. They have to be the right hashtags.You have to use relevant hashtags on Instagram or no hashtags at all. Click To Tweet
That doesn’t mean relevant hashtags only to the picture you’re posting either. Don’t simply describe the picture in hashtags.
Your hashtags need to meet two goals:
- Link your relevant content to an audience who would be interested in it.
- Explain what’s in the picture you just posted if it’s relevant to your audience.
Sometimes that means number two is a far off second in importance.
In fact, most of my posts don’t contain a single hashtag that relates to the picture content but rather to the text I put over the picture. My main goal is to showcase the text on the picture in a fun and interest way though.
My recent Instagram share was able to gather up 40 likes in less than 3 days and my profile has a meager 146 followers.
Yes, with a fraction of the followers as the previous profile I mentioned above I got 9 more likes. The post above was from only 10 hours ago but going back several posts and the pattern is the same. Low engagement.
My trick? I use highly relevant hashtags to reach my target audience. If you need help researching keywords then you can start with hashtagify.me.
Not only that but I go one step further by providing engaging content.
2) Engaging Content
Relevant hashtags and lots of them isn’t enough. Nope, it has to be useful, interesting, and most of all engaging.
If I reached my target audience and my image said “50% OFF” then I wouldn’t get much traction on that post.
Instead of posting content in hopes of getting a sale, I post content in hopes of reaching someone who I can help. Yes, social media always comes down to helping in some way which is why the engaging content is so important.
What is engaging content though?
Something useful. Engaging content does something for the viewer rather than for you.
It could do any of the following for your viewers:
- Make them think
Any of those are going to provide something good for the viewers that go beyond a self-serving piece of content.It's not about your follower count, it's about your engagement. Click To Tweet
The more value you provide your audience the more likely you are to get valuable followers. You won’t get thousands of followers but you will get valuable followers.
That doesn’t matter though. 146 valuable followers are more important than 100,000 followers of which only 10 are valuable.
There are accounts out there with 100,000 followers of which none of them are engaged too. Don’t believe me? Go take a closer look at the engagement of so-called influencers.
Get Your Social On
Hopefully, this has given you some thought on the real importance of social media. It is a step outside of the typical mindset of more is better.
When it comes to social media, more definitely is not better.
Quality is king, not content.
Let’s talk about your social media presence and see how Exprance can help you. We’ll work with you to set your business up for success starting with an amazing online presence.
It’s not about followers, it’s about engagement.