Top 3 Tips To Boost Your Instagram Engagement
I used to travel a lot for my business. And, as a total extrovert, I so much enjoy conversations with complete strangers on the plane. My own personal captive audience stuck next to me for 3-4 hours, might as well get to know each other, right? Well, not always. People love to avoid talking to me. They have their headphones on, they close their eyes, they pretend to be reading something, they don’t make eye contact, etc. I make it a game to see what opening line I can present to either make them laugh or put them at ease so we can get the ball rolling.
Over the years, I’ve heard enough stories to write a book. Something about meeting a stranger who seems very interested in you, that you feel safe with and that you’ll never see again – it allows them to share their deepest and most private information with me. I remember crying with a young woman who had just lost her husband, advising a young and brilliant woman who was in a middle of an abusive relationship that she’s worth more, even a 14-year-old kid flying to his dad’s house for the summer sharing about how to make ton of money picking up golf balls from the course next to the house. I even helped him make a list of brand names and showed him how to categorize them and what to charge people.
What does all of this have to do with Instagram engagement?
Too often the mentality behind social media posts is that as a business, we will post something educational, informative, entertaining, or even just brilliant and we wait for everyone to flood in, make comments, share my information, click on the like button…etc. But, in reality…crickets. What are you doing wrong?
You might be acting like the passengers on a plane. Not actively trying to make eye contact. Not actively figuring out the opening line to start the conversation. Not interested in others (just yourself). Not allowing other people to feel safe. It’s funny, when I tell people of all the amazing folks I’ve met and talked to over the years on the plane, they’ll tell me that they’ve been traveling for business for years and never once had a conversation with anyone. And they wonder why they might be having trouble engaging online!
So, how do you organically grow your Instagram following and engagement? Here are some practical steps to add to your daily social media processes:
1. Engage with other similar accounts everyday. Help promote them, encourage them and develop an online relationship with them. When you engage their posts, it helps them become more visible. Also, other visitors will see you active on the accounts they follow, and they might end up following you as well.
2. Write great captions. This is your opening line to start a conversation. Ask intriguing questions, state interesting facts, be funny, be real, be authentic, be human, share your pain, share your solutions…you’ll be amazed at how many people want to engage with you as well. Oh, and if someone does make a comment, reply as soon as possible. Tag their account as you are replying – this pushes the posts to the top of their followers’ feeds.
3. Post more photos of people including yourself. Sharing information about yourself builds trust and makes it safe for people to get to know you and for them to open up with you as well.
Don’t get discouraged when you are not getting a lot of likes on Instagram – it doesn’t mean people aren’t seeing and engaging. Instagram has found a new algorithm that’s redefining what “engagement” really means. For example, here are some insights for each post that help paint a bigger picture: comments, shares, link clicks, bookmarks/saves, reach, impressions, and followers. Bottom line, if you keep engaging with others, you will eventually reap the benefits from the effort you invested in the relationship.
Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. Give me a call, or even better – let’s sit next to each other on a flight sometime soon!