Instagram Engagement has become quite a buzz word these days. What’s it mean? Why does it matter and how the heck do you get strangers on the internet to respond?? The role of engagement on social platforms has shifted so much recently. That’s how it goes. No biggie, right? But if you were just figuring things out only to discover it changed… again. Well, that starts to get annoying.
Here’s my one-minute breakdown on Instagram Engagement and where it does and doesn’t matter. Engagement lets you see what your audience is in to. It gives you ideas for what to share more of. It tells the algorithm that your account is sharing content that people are actually enjoying. Engaged followers spend more time on your account and will see your content more regularly than those who never interact.
Likes, comments, and saves do not turn into dollar bills automatically. They are not the measured focus they once were. Plenty of qualified leads and loyal customers may not tap the “like” button or chat with you through DMs. So don’t get caught up there, okay?
Creating Instagram Engagement Without Following Fads
Who has time for short-lived fads? If you are running a business, you don’t! Here are some creative tips for creating new engagement opportunities that stand up over time and serve you in the long run.
1 Know Your Audience Triad
I talk more in depth on this in Instagram Made Simple, but what it comes down to is understanding the breakdown of your customers. Have they bought once? more than once? will they ever? and if they won’t, are they worth the time? In case you’re wondering, they are totally worth your time if you understand their benefit to your business.
It’s true that these were kind of a fad, and we all got tired of the loop giveaways requiring you to follow 25 accounts in hopes of winning the mother-load bundle of goodies. Nowadays these are a more practical staple to let your audience know you continue to value their presence. Serving well before selling will never go out of style. The key is to create giveaway opportunities with prizes that are valuable to your ideal audience.
3 Intentional Captions
Another topic covered in IG Made Simple that I want to break down for you. It’s important that you create the first sentence with purpose. It needs to say enough that your followers are willing to stop their scroll and choose to read more. When captions are valuable, interesting, entertaining, or inspiring you will see followers trusting their time to future posts. This helps when it comes time to share more promotion-focused content. Don’t forget to frequently utilize a call-to-action either.
4 Collaborate for New Instagram Engagement
When you find another account with a similarly aligned audience there is great potential to partner up for some kind of collaboration that gets each of you in front of the others’ audience. If your followers trust you, they’ll trust your recommendation for this other account. And vice versa. This is a quick way to gather new, qualified leads who are more eager to trust your offers. It also validates your authority, industry expertise, and consumer desirability.
5 Give More Than You Take
While Instagram feels like the place to highlight your highest highs and showcase your business wins, it’s essential for your account to share content that is consumer focused. If your content is all about how great you are, your audience will wonder why you even need them there. Social platforms need to include gratitude and conversation that benefits your followers.
6 Being Genuine Increases Engagement
When in doubt, be genuine. Not sure how that looks for you on Instagram, check out this post next. Basically, make sure that if someone came into your business in real life, or bumped into you at the store they wouldn’t be surprised by what they find. Self-serving interests are easy to spot and that can be hard to come back from. Instagram engagement stems from connection and relationships. It’s hard to build either without authenticity.
7 Show Your Face, Alot!
Don’t let large brand accounts or influencers with large followings discourage you from showing the face, or faces, behind your business. Consumers are more driven by purposeful spending than ever before. They want to know their dollars make a difference. It also helps to show your follower community that there are real people behind the posts each day and encourages them to engage more regularly with you as a result.
8 Promote Your Business
Balancing your value driven content with promotional content doesn’t need to be some crazy calculation. If one in every five posts is a more direct promotion for your product, service, offer then you’re in a good place. People need to regularly be reminded of what you’re selling in order to make the buy. User generated content is a great way to share more of your business offerings without making a direct promotion. This type of content is social proof and lets your raving fans do the promoting for you.
9 Map Your Customer’s Journey
Make sure what you share on Instagram lines up with where your customers are at in their journey of supporting your business. It’s easy to get off-track sharing a specific type of content only to realize later it doesn’t make sense for what you’re wanting to sell in your business. Where can you sell more of your biggest revenue generators? How can you get existing customers back more regularly? What’s the next natural move for them? Don’t skip out on identifying these details!
10 Saved Replies & Welcome Messages
No one likes spammy, impersonal messages, but as a business owner we know how valuable our time is. Typing a message to each direct message you receive is not a wise use of your time. If there are questions or messages you receive regularly, create a saved reply so that it’s ready the next time. Welcome messages are a great way to connect to new followers. It lets them know they’ve been noticed and appreciated. It also removes the barrier for future questions like “when are you open?” or “do you have this in stock right now?”
Don’t get overwhelmed as you finish reading this list. That’s not helpful. Instead, use it as a resource you can frequently revisit as you try out one or two of these tips and ideas as you go. Over time you’ll see which ones work best for your business, what your community enjoys most, and how you can continue to create engagement with your followers. For more strategy inspiration, you might like this post.
If you liked this article and find my teaching style easy to follow, try out Instagram Made Simple for more information just like this. My $27 self-paced workshop breaks down everything you need to know to take your time spent on Instagram and turn it into a profitable plan. I share what you need to know right now, how to put it into action, and the results you’ll see when you do. Easy to digest, no fluff, created with the busy business owner in mind.