Social Media platforms run on algorithms and all of them use engagement as one of the indicators of a valuable post or profile. Engagement on Instagram is the audience’s interactions with a post by likes, shares, comments, and saves. (buffer) These engagements increase your brands visibility and therefore increases other metrics to make you more successful. Below you will find the main parts of an Instagram post and how you can optimize them to improve those likes, shares, comments, and saves.
Photos And Videos
Share Beautiful Photographs
No matter what your brand is or subject matter is sharing original well thought out photos will improve your engagement. If you are not a photographer look up tutorials on how to stage and light a seen and use free software to improve your skill or look to purchase original photos on Etsy or another sight catering to creatives. They expect their photographs to be used for media purposes.
Keep in mind that if you use free pictures from pixabay or another photo sharing site there is a good chance that others will use them too. If you go this route try to edit the photos in an original way and make sure you have a good story to back it up.
These are multi image posts. Instagram will show you post again and again, moving through the photos, to your audience hoping that one of these photos will interest them. Hootsuite says carousel posts have the highest engagement globally.
Tell A Story
Every time you post ask yourself if it is helping you tell your brands story. Behind the scenes, products, memes that match your tone of voice, videos of your content or another though leader in a similar subject. All of your content should tell YOUR story.
Instagram used to be all about photos. Remember when it used to be just photos of food and duck faces? Did I just age myself? These days, you will get more engagement with videos, whether they are original content, a trend, or a highlight of someone else’s work. Keep this in mind when you plan your content strategy.
Keep It Short
Instagram allows a post to be 2,200 characters long however it cuts off at 150 characters when scrolling. These are the characters that really matter and you want to draw your audience in as soon as possible. Use these first characters to ask a question, give context to your image, or share a call to action depending on what type of engagement you are trying to achieve.
Have A Call To Action
A call to action tells your audience what they should do after they see your post. There are many different ways to go about this but for engagement purposes you can focus on a call to action for likes, comments, and, shares. Below are some call to action options to get you started.
- For LIKES: Focus on the content that your audience will love. Likes happen during scrolling so keep in mind those first 150 characters and creating great photos. You can also just as people to like your post but that is probably the least successful.
- For COMMENTS: Ask questions. An example could be sharing different outfit ideas and asking your audience which outfit they would wear for a night out on the town.
- For SHARES: People share content that they think their friends and family will love. They may even tag these people in the comments of your post (bonus!). To achieve max shares consider using trends like memes or videos or any comments and photos that may seem relatable.
Including relevant keywords in your posts caption. To find keywords for your industry you must first understand your niche. A niche is the specific location or topic of your brand. After you know what your niche is (aka fashion, art, science, etc) take some time to think about the topics related to your work, then ask, “What words would my audience use to search these topics?” and “What are some popular words or phrases related to my topics?” This should give you a good starting point. Sprinkle theses words into your caption to be easily found.
Select Your Hashtags Carefully
The popularity of certain hashtags change all the time. It is necessary to follow hashtag trends but it isn’t that easy to follow them. Here are a few things I would try to keep up to date on hashtags.
- Look at the influencers in your niche and see what hashtags they are using.
- Use resources like Hootsuite to find the most recent trending hashtags.
- Don’t just use hashtags that are trending. Add in one or two that are used less (100k or less) so you don’t get lost in the millions and billions of posts in trending hashtags.
- Use event hashtags like holidays, days of the week, and trending topics that relate to your post.
Good To Know
All engagement is good and it feels great when you check your post and see that people have liked it but not all engagement is equal. Likes are the least valuable engagement. Think about when you are scrolling through facebook, it’s easy to hit the like button without much thought and interest. Keep an eye out for comments and shares these may just get you more follows. Comments mean your audience cares enough to talk to you while shares means your audience knows someone who would also like your post.
These tips will boost your instagram post game. Follow me on Pinterest and Save this post for more social media help.