How to Improve Instagram Engagement

Marketers around the world have come to appreciate the important role of Instagram in marketing and branding. While being a relatively new platform when compared to Facebook and LinkedIn, it is growing an incredible rate. It currently has an active monthly user base of more than 600 million. Importantly, it has the highest engagement rates among all the social media platforms.

As such, it is an exceptionally attractive platform for marketers looking to improve their connection with their audience. That said, anyone that has experience with Instagram will appreciate that engagement does not come naturally. In many regards, it is earned. For those not familiar with the platform, it is easy to feel lost and confused especially when starting out.

Herein we will look at simple, straightforward but effective means of getting likes and comments on Instagram.

#1. Use Strong, Vibrant, Solid Colors

It is important to stand out of from the crowd. The typical follower will be following dozens, hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of brands and people. Many of the brands are competitors. Standing out in the midst of all of this clutter is, therefore, important. To earn the audience’s likes and comments, it is necessary to grab their attention.

A Curalate study revealed that images with blue as the dominant color tend to get 24% more images with different colors. Additionally, images with a dominant color tend to outperform images without one dominant color.

With this in mind, ensure any images used have a dominant color, especially a vibrant and strong color. This helps grab the audience’s attention on their newsfeed.

#2. Have Calls To Action

Having a strong call to action in any online marketing endeavor is necessary to see results. The same case applies to Instagram marketing. The landing page will perform better when audience is clear on what to do. This might be signing up for an email list, submitting information, or making a purchase.

With Instagram, if audience is not told what to do using a strong call to action, they should not be expected to do anything. For instance, if a company wants their audience to visit their website or blog, they should entice them to do so with a good reason. Include the link to the website in company profile to circumvent the fact that Instagram does not allow direct posting of a link. If the goal is to get a Like or Comment, offer a conditional message such as: “comment if you like the picture”

#3. Encourage Discussion

To garner exceptional amounts of engagement, request the audience to engage in a discussion. One way to do so is by stating a strong opinion and inviting the audience to take on the view. Alternatively, it is possible to simply ask a question. The main goal is to encourage users to talk amongst themselves. By using auto view Instagram a company can increase their chances of growing their followers.

With just 3 to 5 comments, the comment feed will attract new and more comments, allowing for natural engagement to take place. With the discussion roiling, it is easy to chip in as a brand, engaging with the users directly.

The golden rule, however, is to not post too controversial and or political posts.

#4. Use Only The Right Hashtags

Hashtags are a powerful tool for brands to attain better visibility for their posts, especially when used correctly. People tend to use hashtags to find images under a certain theme. Using any hashtag will improve chances of being featured under those hashtags and, therefore, being discoverable to more users.

That said, do not over-stuff captions with hashtags. Using inappropriate and too many hashtags has been known to deter interaction rather than encourage it.

#5. Include Faces

We tend to look at someone’s face when we first meet them. We also use faces to recognize someone from afar and in bonding with someone. Faces do trigger strong emotions in us and play a huge part in helping us build strong impressions of the environment around us.

As such, it is not only prudent to include faces in the images posted on Instagram, it is critical. It helps build a social connection and make more ongoing contact. Just ensure the images are real people rather than stock images.

#6. A-B Test Content And Caption Strategy

Images undoubtedly take center-stage on Instagram; however, captions are also very powerful in influencing the users’ interactions. As such pay close attention to the length of captions, and the wording, and the intonation chosen to use and how they affect the comments and likes.

At first, the pattern will not be very apparent. However, over time, it will reveal itself and be noticeable as some elements clearly resonate.

#7. Cross-Promote

If other platforms are used to grow the user base make use of cross-promotion. For instance, promote Instagram posts on Facebook and Twitter as the bare minimum. Users come in different demographics and posting on different platforms increases reach. This will increase overall engagement.

It is also possible to leverage social influencers to leverage their audience.

#8. Time Posts Correctly

There are plenty of conflicting reports about the best time to post on IG. There are those that argue it is between 7 am and 10 pm on weekdays, while others reckon Sunday night is the best time. That said, results will be fairly unique to each brand and it is necessary to customize strategy based on needs and the expected results.

It is also best to mix things up to avoid having an account becoming too predictable and stale.

Melissa Thompson
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.