growing your engagement
Growing your engagement is a bit of a two way street - in order to get more engagement, you need to make more people engage with you. Now this may sound like a bit of a catch 22, but I promise you it's not. Instagram's algorithm will instinctively show your content to the people who engage with you the most. But engagement isn't just achieved through posts.... oh no! There are plenty of softer approaches to getting people to engage with your account, which will in turn get your posts higher up on their feeds! The key ways of increasing organic engagement on your page can be put down to four main actions:
engaging with others
building strong relationships
writing engaging captions
using stories strategically
hidden engagement tricks
Let's talk about these now!
engaging with others
One of the silliest (yet unfortunately rather common) things I see on instagram, are people who are expecting high levels of engagement on their posts, yet not actually. taking the time to engage with their current and ideal followers themselves. How can you expect anybody to do something for you, if you metaphorically do nothing for them. If you are not engaging regularly with your current followers, then they will not have any emotional bond to you, and therefore will not feel particularly compelled to engage with your content when it pops up on their screen.
If you are not putting yourself out there and engaging with new and ideal audiences, then how do you expect anybody to find you in order to give you a piece of that delicious engagement pie? Creating valuable content that s optimised for reach (clear caption, good hashtags, good quality etc.) will get you so much reach - but actively reaching out to new people who you know would love your content can be that one additional step to really get you notised!
writing engaging captions [video]
writing engaging captions
Another great way to get people to engage with your content is to create killer captions that beg to be engaged with! Here are our top tips for writing super engaging captions!
One of the best ways I've ever been told to think about captions, is to treat then as though they are mini-blogs. A big part of being gaining traction and influence on Instagram, is creating interest in your life and opinions - so why not put them here!
2) Get Personal
Getting personal in your captions shows that behind your account, is a human, and not just images on a screen. Talk about the topics that you care about, whether it be body positivity, feminism, mental wellbeing, your community - voice it! Not only will you seem more approachable and real, but you may also find your post will be very helpful to someone who can relate to what you're talking about.
3) Encourage Engagement
Perhaps one of the most important things you can do when writing a caption is to encourage engagement. Engagement means people actually 'engaging' with your context - i.e. commenting, liking, saving and sharing, which as we learnt before - put you in a favourable light when it come's to Instagram's tricky algorithm! There are plenty of ways of doing this - but they all involve one thing, a call to action! This is when you encourage the person reading to take one of these engagement actions on your post. Examples of engagement encouraging text could be....
tag a friend who needs to see this' (encourages comments/sharing)
'like if you agree' (encourages likes)
'send this to a friend and don't say anything (encourages sharing)
and perhaps the best of all....... ASK A QUESTION (great for creating conversation and engagement in your comments section!
4) Tell a Story
Story telling is a fine art - but I believe it's something we all have in us! Create a story-like structure to your captions by building up suspense and having a clear and coherent ending!
5) Have a good hashtag strategy!
Our final tip for you captions is to use hashtags. Make sure you use a range of hashtags, and research the best hashtags for your niche and account! Use a combination of 'big' (popular, well known) hashtags, niche (specific to your niche/industry/sector) hashtags, brand hashtags (if including a brand), and location or event hashtags is relevant! We will talk more about hashtags later on, so stay tuned for that!
Struggle with structuring your captions? Here's the easiest way to do it:
CALL TO ACTION
Let me explain:
1️⃣ include a SCROLL STOPPING headline!!
The headline is the first line of your caption - and it is the difference between people clicking on that ‘see more’ button and engaging, or just scrolling on to the next! You HAVE to make it pop! GRAB peoples attention with an eye catching, information packed, intriguing or controversial statement that makes people want to read more!
The main body of your post should be jam packed with value - something that adds onto or answers the question in the headline, and something that helps your audience!
3️⃣ White Space 🤍🪐
Write in paragraphs!! This breaks up your caption by adding white space, and makes it easier to read!
4️⃣ call 📞 to ACTION 🏃🏻♀️
What do you want your audience to do next after reading your post? Do you want them to share your post? Check out your website? Follow you? Tag a friend? Join your newsletter? Tell them!
Top tip: don't use more than one CTA as it can confuse your audience or make them se it as more of a chore, and may move on without engaging al all. Make it short, sweet, and easy to follow!
getting better story engagement [video]
understanding story stickers
The first suggestion to drive soft engagement, is to introduce interactive elements to provoke a response from people who watch your stories. There are many stickers that Instagram provides for stories that can help you do this! Two very good tools to utilise are questions, polls, quizzes and sliders! Here are a few ideas on how to use each in order to encourage engagement.....
Using the 'questions' sticker is a really fun way of both getting your followers to interact with your story, and allowing them to get to know you a bit better, which in turn should make them more loyal to you, and you more memorable to them!
Sliders can be used to ask your followers what they think (on a sliding scale) of a particular topic. The most used slider is the standard 'love heart eyes emoji' slider (seen to the left), however you can use any emoji to have on your slide - from the green sick-y face if something is unpleasant, to the fire-flame emoji to get people to vote on how 'fire' your outfit is! For this reason they can be very versitile!
Quizzes are essentially a more sophisticated version of polls. They allow you to add multiple answers for your followers to choose from!
They can also be used as actual quizzes, where you can engage your followers to guess the answer to a questions. Good ideas for this are 'four truths and a lie' or 'which one have I not done in my life'. Get creative!
Polls are great because they're so EASY! They don't require your followers to use much if not any brain power at all to answer! They simply have to click on the answer that appeals to them most! For this reason, using polls can be super engaging!
increasing your reach
Learning how to 'grow your reach' is a little bit tricky to talk about on it's own. If you remember from the algorithm section, by growing your following and engagement, you will also ultimately grow your reach and increase your chances of ranking in hashtags as well. This being said, there are still a few additional tips I can give you to grow your reach even more! To start with, I'm going to highlight the three most important points from the previous sections that also increase your chances of getting seen by other accounts. These are:
Using a Variety of Hashtags
Getting Mentioned by other Accounts
Collabs and appearing on brand accounts
Okay, now let's look at a few other reach specific tips:
tag your location
Did you know that by tagging your location on Instagram, you can increase post engagement by up to 79%?! Tagging a location is super easy to do, and it's fee, so why not! You can even mix it up with some of the comical locations people have invented!
delete your followers
Did you know that by having the wrong types of followers, you could be stunting your growth on Instagram? Here's a list of the followers you should be actively looking for and deleting on a regular basis to keep your engagement rate high and your audience connected. When removing these followers, do remember not to go over Instagram's follower limits!
Followers who are not in your target market, niche, or your ideal followers
If a person has no interest in the message or information you want to spread, why would they engage with it? If you’re a mummy blogger and you have a tech recruiter following you (friends and family not included) do you think they’ll be interested in your tips for child development? Having followers who have nothing to do with your niche could seriously damage your engagement rate!
Followers who are following way more people than are following them, or have no profile picture
These are pretty much sure fire ways to spot a bit or spam account! These followers will never engage with your content, and are just a number who are decreasing your reach!
Followers who have not engaged with your content in a long time
You can take this one with a pinch of salt if they are active and in your niche. With these guys it might be worth engaging with them first to give them a little nudge towards your content - they may just never have your content come up in your feed! But if you try this and there’s still no activity from them, then it’s time to go joe
Now don’t get me wrong - removing your followers can SUCK
It can feel superficially as though you’ve worked so hard to get to a certain follower count, and now you’re voluntarily taking them away
But remember, followers are just a vanity metric!
Followers, brands, and potential customers care WAY more about the connection you have with your community (and your engagement if they are looking to work with you as an influencer)
Removing these types of users from your page will only change your follower count in the short term, and you will find that growing becomes so much easier and faster once you’ve done it!