BlogHer is committed to educating our community of bloggers and influencers by providing expert advice on all elements of the business, and social media is at the forefront. With the growing emphasis on the Instagram platform for audience development and brand opportunities, understanding Instagram is imperative for influencers. Engagement is crucial to building a brand on Instagram, and engagement with brands is 10x higher on Instagram than on Facebook. With this in mind, we asked our Social Team at BlogHer, SheKnows and StyleCaster, the best ways to increase engagement on Instagram. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Actually engage.
To get engagement, you have to give engagement. It sounds simple, but the easiest and quickest way to build real, authentic engagement with your followers and prospective followers is to engage with their posts. Visit your followers’ pages and the Explore page to like, comment and follow their accounts, especially within the first hour of posting content on your own profile.
2. Make the most of ALL features.
Instagram rewards brands that utilize all of the platform’s features: Stories (and GIFs, stickers, swipe up, within stories), Highlights, Live, IGTV, multi-photo carousel posts, and more. There’s a reason stories, highlights and live posting sit at the top of your feed—they’re engaging! The Stories and Live features showcase the content that is happening in real time, feels more authentic, while remaining aesthetically pleasing. This is your chance to show your personality in a way that your carefully curated feed may not allow. Followers love getting a behind-the-scenes look at your day-to-day, and it’s also a chance for you to get creative with text, animations, and fun filters. These features are also a great way to tease your latest content and drive clicks back to your profile.
3. Use calls to action.
In your posts, add a caption that either directs people to your page or encourages them to comment. For instance, a great format to both increase engagement and draw new followers to your content, is to say in your caption, “Tag three friends in the comments below who [relate to/like] XYZ”. This allows more comments on your content and a chance to expand your reach to your followers’ followers. Another great opportunity to add calls to action on Instagram is through Insta Stories. This is particularly effective if you are verified and can utilize the “Swipe Up” feature, but if you are not there yet, directing people to the link in your bio is also effective!
4. Create content that keeps people looking.
Longer and more interesting captions tend to have more engagement, as it takes people more time to read a lengthy caption, so they’ll stay on your post for a longer period of time. Using GIFs, videos and carousels also have more engagement because it takes more time to watch them and swipe through multiple photos. In fact, the amount of time users spend watching video has increased by more than 80 percent from 2016-2017, so give your followers what they want, and your engagement will soar!
5. Get tagging.
Tagging the right and most relevant people, brands, hashtags and locations is a surefire way to integrate yourself onto the appropriate accounts’ radars. By tagging location or a relevant hashtag, you automatically are able to add your content to the collection of existing content that is of interest to the viewer. With tagging people and brands, you are directly sliding into those accounts’ notifications. The numbers don’t lie; posts that mention at least one other handle gain 56% more engagement than those that don’t and posts with hashtags gain 13% more engagement. Tagging one or all of these features allows you instant interaction with relevant people who will most likely be interested in your content!
These tips merely brush the surface of the valuable tactics we are eager to share. For more tips on how to grow your blog and social reach, join us at our upcoming events and join The #BlogHer Creators Network!