Are you using Instagram for business and want to know exactly how to increase your engagement in 2020? We’ve got you covered.
These days, having an Instagram page for your business can be just as – or more – important than having a website! We know we need Instagram, but what exactly is engagement? If your followers are liking, commenting, viewing, saving and sharing your content, this is a form of engagement. It proves to Instagram (and you) that your followers have an interest in your content and that Instagram should keep showing them your stuff.
Since Instagram removed the number of likes in 2019, which many consider a vanity metric anyway, businesses are now focusing on an even more important metric – Reach.
Reach is a measurement of how many unique accounts view your content. Similarly, impressions measure the total number of post views – even if one account looked at your post 10 times. Therefore, reach is a far more effective metric to observe if growth is a goal for your Instagram page in 2020.
Reach and retargeting: Did you know it is more cost effective to run Facebook Ad campaigns to warm audiences? This includes email lists you already own, people who have watched your videos and accounts that have engaged with you in some form. So before you jump into any Paid Facebook Ads campaigns, it’s wise to grow increase your reach first.
So how do we increase our reach? By keeping your content interesting through educational, entertaining and inspiring posts that users will want to engage with.
We’ve put together a list of 9 Instagram growth tips for your business page.
1. Post at the most interactive times
There is a fine line between posting at a time when most of your followers are online and when everyone else is also posting on Instagram. You don’t want to end up at the back of the queue. The good news is, the most engaging content is king and the king certainly doesn’t end up at the back of the queue. So when is the best time to post? Hubspot revealed that their research showed the best time to post is between 2pm – 3pm on a Thursday. We think it all comes down to when most of your followers are online. You need to consider different timezones, varying work and life habits for your particular following. But the best way to take the guesswork out of it is through your audience insights. You can check your Audience Insights
2. Stay consistent
Think about how frequently you really want to post on Instagram. What are your time constraints? Does your niche expect to hear from you 3 times a day or just once a week? Whatever you start with – keep doing that. Even if you can only post once a week, stick with that, because changing your posting habits might see you lose followers. Don’t post for the sake of posting. On the other hand, if your goal is to increase your follower count, you’re going to have to be prepared to post far more regularly – and stick to that frequency. Planning posts in Facebook’s native scheduler, Creator Studio can help you be more organised.
3. Use Stories
If you don’t know what to post on your feed, Stories are a great way to post as it requires little to no planning and is generally easy-to-consume, fun content or a “day in the life” of your business. If you’re using Instagram stories, post regularly. Aim to have at least one active story available in your profile at all times. Accounts that post regularly enough will always appear at the start of the Stories feed for most of your followers. If you can post 8-15 stories in a 24 hour period then you will notice that your followers will also see your feed content far more frequently, helping you appear at the top of a refreshed feed. Double jackpot! It’s simple – if you’re posting interesting content that users are interacting with (ahem, even watching a story is an interaction) then Instagram will reward you with more feed appearances.
IG is a smart machine. It knows who wants to see more of your stuff.
4. Use stickers in Stories
Just like static feed posts, the more interaction your story gets, the more Instagram will reward you by showing it to more people. Did you know that Instagram shows your stories and feed posts more frequently to the people who interact with you? An effective way to encourage interaction on your stories is to use Stickers. You might notice your followers are interacting with you by responding to your stories with a “quick emoji reaction” such as love heart eyes or a clap. Another way businesses are nudging their audience for interaction is by using polls, questions and even. People are busy and often skim reading, so keep your questions simple if you want any chance of a response. Asking followers a Yes or No question will be a great start as it requires very little thought from them. Tip: Add hashtags to increase your reach. People searching your hashtag be it a location or topic will have a better chance of coming across your story. Hashtags can be added as a sticker or text and you can minimise it so small that it is invisible, or hide it behind another sticker.
5. Be brave, go Live!
There is no better way to build engagement than by showing your presence and personality on live video! Despite rumours circulating that IG are planning on giving the Live feature the axe, this is currently one of the best ways to captivate your audience right now. When you hit that broadcast button, the platform then alerts some of your active followers that you have gone Live, giving you prime real estate at the start of the Stories reel (for most of your followers).
You can even gauge the best time to jump on as Instagram will show you show how many of your followers are currently active on the app.
6. Film your first IGTV today
Staying on the topic of video, the masses are yet to adopt IGTV. The best time to show up on IGTV is now! Set to rival Youtube, it is a great way to have your very own channel without your followers having to actually leave Instagram. Once you upload the video to IGTV, you can also put up a preview on your profile where the first 60 seconds will be shown right there in the feed. After that, intrigued viewers will then be prompted to continue watching the video in IGTV. Likes and comments on IGTV also show up on your feed post! Instagram will reward you for using all of their features too, so getting on the IGTV bandwagon will make you Instagrams’ class pet!
7. Add Hashtags!
No, hashtags certainly are not #DEAD. Ever wondered whether people actually click on hashtags? The answer is yes. Think of hashtags as a directory to see other posts related to a topic, brand or location. In short, the purpose of a hashtag is to let Instagram place your post in certain niches across the platform. You can post up to 30 hashtags on your post and while many of us maximise this opportunity for more reach, our go-to Instagram expert Jodie Mae Holm suggests spamming your posts with hashtags is probably going to have an adverse effect. Jodie recommends sticking to around 5 optimal, researched, and relevant tags per post is ideal.
A good way to see what is trending is to start typing a topic and seeing which suggestions come up first. According to Later, by using at least one hashtag, you can increase engagement by 12.6%. Additionally, more engagement equals more chances of popping up on the explore page.
Branded hashtags are a great way to get around Facebooks policies when it comes to running competitions on Instagram. You can create your own unique hashtag relevant to your product or campaign and encourage your followers to add the hashtag to their user-generated photos. A great example of a hashtag competition was by Upwork who ran their competition using the hashtag #UpworkSuccess to keep track of all of the entries. It was also a great way to get users to create their own content.
8. Be seen on Explore
Hashtags are also a very effective way to get your content on the Explore page. No two explore pages are the same. Instagram organises your unique Explore page based on accounts you follow and other posts you engage with. One of the best ways to show up in the Explore feed is to add hashtags. Hashtags play a big role when the Instagram machine decides which posts to show someone, so adding hashtags will boost your visibility, and in turn your engagement. We also encourage you to play around with posting more video content in 2020. Whilst there is no advantage to posting video over photos for your current followers, it is good to note that if your video is featured on the explore page, video takes up the same space as 4 static images.