How to 10x Brand Engagement on Instagram

Engaging with people on social media has become an integral part of modern brand marketing. In the past, large companies created social media profiles to drive traffic to their website or advertise new products. Customer service was still very much relegated to websites and in-person associates. Traditional channels for customer interaction dominated engagement strategies for most brands.

Over the last several years, social media platforms have evolved to be a primary method of communication between companies and consumers. Entire marketing campaigns are created and executed on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Companies introduce new product lines and offer exclusive opportunities for potential customers through social media.

Engaging directly with consumers is one of the most effective marketing strategies that companies have begun using on Instagram. Engagement involves commenting on users’ posts, replying to direct messages, and featuring user generated content on company Instagram accounts. While direct customer engagement is a great way to build brand recognition, it can be difficult to do on such a competitive platform. Here are a few ways that community managers can 10x their engagement on Instagram.

  1. Use Relevant Hashtags to Target Users

Hashtags are a great way to target specific users on Instagram that identify with a community or demographic. On average, users that use hashtags on their posts get about 13% more engagement than those that don’t. To effectively use hashtags, though, brand marketers first have to clearly define their audience. Finding a target audience can be tricky, but here are a few tricks to make the process easier:

  • See what hashtags are being used by similar brands or companies that are successful on Instagram.
  • Look for the hashtags used by influencers or popular figures in the community that your products are sold in.
  • Use Instagram analytics tools to see statistics on follower demographics, geographic areas, interests, and habits to guide hashtag decisions.
  1. Include a Call to Action

One of the biggest mistakes brand marketers make is posting content without asking followers to take action. Simply posting pictures of products being used by customers will not incentivize users to engage with the company or brand. A great way to start the conversation is to ask questions in the descriptions of posts or drive traffic to more content through links.

Companies can ask followers to send in pictures or videos of their favorite products and share their stories about the brand. Marketers can follow up on the conversation by replying to users in the comments or featuring user generated content on different platforms.

A great way to continue engagement throughout the day is to use a Instagram bot like SocialDrift. SocialDrift is an artificial intelligence software that keeps you engaged on Instagram 24/7. It identifies the best content like and comment on as well as the most influential users to engage with.

  1. Add Value Through Content

Social media managers often focus on highlighting new product lines or promotions without considering how to add value to their customers’ lives. Instagram community managers have a great opportunity to provide helpful information, tips, or tutorials through the content they post.

For example, a chef using Instagram to drive traffic to a local bakery could post content about the best way to refrigerate pastries or decorate cakes. If an is artist looking to sell paintings, post content about the best way to mix colors or the best canvas to use for watercolor. Content producers can even make full video tutorials on best practices for product use.

This type of content is not only a great way to add value to customers, but a perfect step toward boosting engagement on Instagram. Users that benefit from the content being posted will be much more likely to support the brand through likes, comments, and content sharing.

  1. Find The Most Popular Content

Some content producers have trouble determine what type of content to post. Brands that don’t have a consistent style or method for producing content may struggle to put out quality pictures and videos. A simple, yet effective method for determine what content to produce is to duplicate your most popular posts.

If a brand released a video depicting a family getting enjoyment out of one of their products, it’s likely that similar videos would be successful too. Eventually, marketers will recognize trends in their post engagement that will help guide their decisions for new content. The eventual goal for social media managers should be to develop a consistent style. Consistency is a key aspect of brand recognition and presence on Instagram.

  1. Partner With Influencers and Complementary Brands

Arguably the best way to increase engagement on Instagram is to attract users through partnership with popular brands. For instance, if you’re a clothing designer looking to promote your new fashion line, look for models that are influential in the community you want to sell to. Offer them free merchandise, discounts, or negotiate a revenue sharing strategy to incentivize them to post content with your products. They can link to your website in the description of the post and encourage their followers to purchase your clothes.

Social media managers can also partner with other brands to cross promote complementary products. For example, local breweries can partner with local restaurants to offer promotions or discounts when customers go to both businesses. Office supplies stores can work with electronics manufacturers to depict products being used in an office setting and offer discounts for products purchased in packages.

Once the partnership has been established, community managers can remain active with the brand partner’s followers in an effort to attract new customers and build brand presence. By cross promoting, companies can pool their resources to grow their engagement more quickly.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.